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Escapees Webinars: Downsizing for RV Living

So you want to live in an RV but know your house full of stuff won’t fit in your new home. Where do you start? Brandon and Kerensa share their tips for downsizing for RV living, based on their years of experience RVing in a variety of RVs.

Show Notes

Downsizing for RV living is a big challenge for everyone no matter if you’re going from a large house, small apartment, or even another RV!

No matter how much storage your RV has, it just won’t fit everything you’ve accumulated in your life. How do you know what to take? With so many rooms where do you start?

The overwhelm is real. Kerensa and Brandon, instructors of our Roadmap to Full-Time RVing course, will share tips on downsizing, simplifying, and how to beat overwhelm. Using proven methods will help you clean out those closets and kickstart your RV life!

Kerensa Durr and Brandon Hatcher have helped hundreds of people transition smoothly to full-time RV living with the course Roadmap to Full-Time RVing offered in RVers Online University powered by Escapees RV Club. They hit the road full-time in 2014 falling in love with the lifestyle so much they created the course to help others enjoy RV life. They went on to join the Escapees team as Marketing and Brand Directors to continue sharing RV lifestyle with everyone.

If you want to know more about how to downsize, simplify, and have a minimal amount of things in your RV, here are more resources for you:

Want to know more about RVing Full Time? Then RVers Online University is for you! 

Transcript

So welcome to Escapees RV Club webinars. Tonight, we’re going to be talking about downsizing for your RV living.

And my name’s Brandon Hatcher, this is Kerensa Durr, and we are two of the instructors in RVers Online University. That is a program put on by the club to help people learn to either go full-time in their RV or just learn more about
the operation, safety and maintenance of their RV. All important, whether you’re full-timing or part-timing or on weekends.

So we’re here to help you figure out a little bit about downsizing for RV living to help avoid the overwhelm,
because for all the things you do in RV life, you don’t really think about downsizing until it’s time to get started. And it happens to be one of the most stressful parts of getting ready to go full-time in an RV or go a long time in an RV.

Yes, so we’ve got about seven tips for you here to talk about downsizing, and we’re going to just start off with one that is really kind of the foundation for what you need to do and that’s preparing your mindset.

So in this part of it’s just thinking about what you need to do, you might have like a few months before you really want to hit the road or a year or two years.

And at that point, you just want to think about keep your goals in mind of that RV because you don’t want to bring a bunch of stuff into your life that you’re going to have to get rid of in a couple of months.

Yeah, we had this very situation happen to ourselves because we had about a year to two years before we were going to go full timing. And in that year to two years, you forget and you you know, you get back into your old habits and you start looking for fancy furniture for your house or or apartment or whatever, and you have to stop and remind yourself that I’m about to get an RV. Why am I buying more junk that I’m going to have to get rid of later or figure out what to do or buying something expensive now that I’m going to have to sell for cheap when I decide to go full time. And then I’m going to be all upset that I sold it for cheap.

So, yeah, that’s something I definitely keep in mind.

Also, as we’re going through these tips, if you have any questions or comments, post them in Facebook, in the chat, and we’ll try to get to as many as we can while we’re going through them.

Yeah, absolutely.

Because we know it is a big topic and it’s something that can be very overwhelming when you start to think about it. And something else to think about is the space that you currently use and the items that you currently use. Because there’s a lot of stuff that we have in our houses, in our homes that we might not use on a regular basis and with a limited amount of space in an RV. You have to think about if you are really going to use that item.

And when you’re talking about space, think about what you do in your daily life. You know, if you’re going to work or maybe work from home right now, you might have your desk space that you’re using, but then you might you’re going to use the kitchen to make food. But maybe you go to the living room, you have a chair that you use to watch TV, that extra bedroom.

Do you use that at all?

Do you need anything in there?

Yeah, I think this is extremely important because we see this time and time again that people come from a large American dream style home and they go to an RV and they feel like they still need to bring everything with them because they’re still in this mindset of I’ve got to I’ve got to live inside this thing and it’s got to have everything. So they end up buying the biggest possible thing they can with all the possible room for, you know, let’s have an extra bedroom just in case someone wants to stay with us once along our journeys or I need all my toys. I need my boat and my ATV and my motorcycles and all of this stuff and all of that stuff starts to weigh you down, especially when you’re the one that has to drag it down the road.

Like a kayak and a sailboat? Yes, I have a sailboat in the bay and I did carry full scuba gear.

Most of those things you talked about you’d have to drag behind you. But there are a lot of toys and extra things that you can pack into the RV.

Yeah.

And something that a lot of people don’t realize when they’re getting started is RVs have a weight limit and if you exceed that weight limit, you’re putting stress on your vehicle, you’re putting stress on your brakes, on your engine, your transmission and you’re illegal going down the road. So, you know, a cop, if they found you and found out you were overweight could stop you from driving.

So, you know, you really got to get all of this under control and think about – what do you really use?

Yes.

You’ve got a twenty five hundred square foot house, but you’re not twenty five hundred square feet. You have a chair. You’ve got a desk. You like to cook in the kitchen. You need a place to sleep. You probably want a bathroom. You know, really narrow it down and really think about what do you really need. That’s really going to help you as you start the downsizing process and think about what to take it will it will help to know what you’re actually using. So that’s a good place to start is just in that preparation for it.

Yeah.

And I just I want to interrupt you, because I think Anna is and you are the same people. So she says clothes are her biggest issue. I’m trying to pack for both summer and winter and also fall and spring and Colorado mountains in the summer. Then we might go scuba diving in the Keys. We’re going to need wetsuits and then, you know, if we’re skiing we need all our ski clothes. So, yeah, how do you handle that?

So clothes? That was a big issue for me and it actually does relate to the next point is prioritize. And one of the things we talk about is determining your lifestyle needs. And when we started this process, we were going into an office at first when we were talking about RVing. And I had a lot of office clothes and nice clothes that I needed to wear into that, and when I started thinking about downsizing them, it was kind of hard to think about getting rid of all of that, because I really like a lot of my clothes.

And I’ve been out here for quite a while now. And I can tell you, I never use my office clothes. I think we even when everything’s gotten more casual and, you know, there were some meetings that we did fly to and I had some nice things, but I didn’t need them.

So I, I because I had more time to go through the process too I realized that I really wouldn’t use it because I was working from home for a year before we hit the road. So I realized I didn’t need that stuff. But there was also the idea that we didn’t plan to be in a lot of winter weather. So we didn’t pack a lot of sweaters and things like that. Now we do definitely keep coats because in Colorado, in the desert, it gets cool at night. You know, there’s there’s not all the humidity. So I definitely wear a coat, but I don’t have a ton of sweaters and things. I have a couple.

You know, that you just have to be realistic with what what you really are going to need. And space bags are your friends.

Yes.

Somebody actually commented. What about space bags?

Yes. Space bags are great because you realize that you can smash all those big fluffy coats down small. For me, you know, I trim things down a lot. You don’t need a lot. You’re going to be casual most of the time. So you don’t need a lot of fancy clothes. And if you’re doing a lot of Zoom calls we’ve all learned in the past year, you only need to look good from the waist up. Guess what we have on? Our pants. So loungewear.

Yeah, really, really try to pare it down as much as you can and imagine you’re going to be in all these new places. There’s going to be new places to shop. So, you know, if you need fancy clothes for an interview or flying off to do a meeting or whatever, you can always make that part of the experience and go buy some new clothes. And it can be hard to think about your plans and where you plan to go if you don’t really know if you haven’t experienced this life. But for us, we have found that we are out west. We’re in the desert a lot. We’re in nature a lot. We’re hiking. We’re boondocking a lot. That’s not the cleanest environment, so I am not wearing I still have dresses that I carry with me because if we’re in cities and we’re going somewhere, sometimes I like to wear them and I just have a few that I love. But I pared them down substantially.

But for the most part, I wear casual things because I don’t want dirt all over them and we wear a lot of flip flops. Yes, flip flops don’t take up much space.

Teresa commented, that space bags only work with a vacuum. There are actually another type of space bags that you can roll up and you kind of roll the air out of them. You don’t get them quite as flat as the vacuum kind, but you can really compress them down a lot. Yeah, and if you have clothes that don’t wrinkle, you can do stuff sacks like they do for camping so that you stuff everything in a sack and you cinch it up tight with straps and it gets real small.

So as we’re talking about this prioritizing, you really need to think about what are your must haves and your life because everyone is different. And so what is important to you may not be the same thing that’s important to me. So you need to think about what it is that you’re doing on a daily basis, what you want to do. It is your goal to go hiking everywhere, make sure you take your hiking clothes in your poles. You know, other people don’t need that stuff.

And again, like kitchen items, some people love to bake and they are planning on baking everywhere they go and doing it all along the road. But other people don’t need anything in their kitchen. Maybe a pie and that’s it. So you have to think about you in your life.

And when you’re thinking about this, be really brutal with your needs versus your wants because people say, I need all of this, I need all my clothes and shoes, or I need my sailboat, my kayak. I don’t. I want it. I want to have it with me. But things like outdoor gear, like kayaks and those sorts of things, you can usually rent those anywhere that’s got good kayaking, there’s somewhere to rent them.

So if it’s not something you’re going to do all the time, don’t think about carrying this thing around. That’s just going to sit on your rack. It’s going to get dirty. Every time you get it down, you have to clean the cobwebs out of it. And the same goes for bicycles. We carried bicycles for a long time and every time (with good intentions, good intentions), every time we got them down, we had to, like, get the rust off the chain and get the brake cables moving again and put air in the tires. And we realized that we weren’t really using these things. They’re just taking up space. And giving us trouble. For us, it didn’t make sense. We know other people who bike every day, you know, and that’s the difference.

You have to really think about what you want. So our next one is “chunk-it”. And that sounds weird. It sounds like Chuck it, which is my method of downsizing. It’s just to chuck everything out the window. I know it could go either way. Right? You could chunk it or chuck it.

I think Bill Trinkle said his method is just to take it all and set it on fire. And you know, could work. That’s chuck it basically. But basically chunk it in small pieces.

Yes, exactly. It’s to help you avoid overwhelm. Because when you’re thinking about I’ve got to downsize and go through my whole house, that sounds crazy! But as you said…

Yeah if you just think about things one room at a time and just start small and think about, OK, I’m just going to work on this right now. I’m just gonna get this little bit done. And then I have a little sense of accomplishment and maybe I can use that motivation to keep going, but really try to break things down.

It’s really difficult. We’ve seen this a bunch of, you’ve been in a house for twenty five, thirty, fifty years and you’ve got to downsize. You’ve got so many memories tied into that house. So it’s we understand it’s a very difficult process. So start early. And it’s not just the physical like, oh my gosh, I have to go through each room. It is emotional too. Especially if you have been in that home for a long time and you’ve collected all these memories.

So the best way is to really just pare it down and don’t think about it as your whole house. Think about it as I’m going to work on this closet or I’m going to work in the bedroom today and that’s what I’m going through. Because that those little pieces, those little smaller ideas of where you’re going to work, you can go through those and that’s a win . And all of those will snowball until you get your whole house done. Yeah, yeah. It’s definitely hard to get started, but it’s real easy to get finished because the RV’s here, it’s time to go.

Deadlines.

Deadlines always work.

Speaking of the RV, keep that in mind when you’re doing this, even if you don’t have the RV yet, you probably have an idea what you’re looking for. You’re either looking for a larger RV or smaller RV or maybe a van or trailer.And you have a general idea of the amount of space you have. So keep that in mind. Think about that space where you’re going to keep these things and when you can’t find places for them, think real hard about what you’re going to do. Something’s got to give.

You’ve got to get rid of something to get something else in there. On the flip side of that, RVs are pretty well designed from a storage point of view.

So your house, you may have one chest in the corner that your clothes go in.

But in the RV, like in our RV, we have a chest. We have two closets. We have all the space under the bed. And things we don’t need a lot like winter clothes if it’s summertime. If they’re in a space bag, they can go down in the bay. If we really, really need to. Thankfully, we don’t carry that much. We do have to put our coats underneath sometimes.

And and then we have like extra blankets under the bed that we do have a space bag for. But we have pared down and figured out because, just jumping back to clothes, thinking about that for winter stuff, layering is your friend. That’s why we don’t have the sweaters, just put on different layers.

Yeah, somebody commented that earlier.

(Oh yeah.) And yeah, layering’s great. And especially if you start trying to chase the nice weather, which is the dream of all of us, you’ll end up in the desert in the wintertime at some point or Southern California in the wintertime. At night it gets cold, even though it’s 70 during the day you’ll have a 30 degree temperature shift. And then in the summertime, we like to go to Colorado and try to chase the cooler weather at higher elevations. And it’s the exact same thing. It might be 80 during the day, and 40 at night. So being able just to put on layers and peel off layers is a really nice thing. So find things that work together so you’re not having a bunch of individual things and not a lot of bulky things.

Right.

But as you were talking about imagining your space or if you have your RV, you can actually go ahead and measure some of the spaces you have. If you know that your closet is half the size of your current closet, work with that. Just put your items in there. And even as you go through every day and wear your clothes, shift everything to one side, and then the items you wear and you know you want to keep and wear you can put on that side and you’ll know that they should fit. It’s kind of a little trick to work it into your current space to understand how much space you have, or close off certain cabinets in the kitchen so you have about the same amount of space as you do in your RV.

Here’s a really cool one, Jill, from Yesterkitchen. She has a food history cooking YouTube channel, which I’m sure you’re going to check out now. She needs her vintage cookbooks, her filming equipment, her set decor, her cooking and serving ware. How do you deal with must haves that take up a lot of room?

Yeah, that’s that’s a hard one.

It is. But that if that’s your thing, you have this history, you have a YouTube channel, and so you need those. That’s what you have to prioritize. So you have to think about what can you cut instead and make sure you dedicate the space you need like that. I know like vintage cookbooks, you might you might be able to keep in a tub in a bay if they’re easily accessible. You don’t want to you may want to make sure they’re in a tub to be protected. Otherwise you want to have them inside just because you don’t want anything to get to them – water or other stuff like that. For things like set decor, backgrounds.

I mean, this is just a flexible fabric thing. You could take a photo of your current set and have it printed large that you put behind you. And the camera doesn’t really know if that’s real stuff or a photo.

As far as camera gear, think about your gear. Smaller and smaller gear is getting better and better. I mean we have an extremely thin, small light panel that we use. It’s actually on right now. You could have a couple of those that don’t take up much space.  A nice small camera.

As far as having things to like plate with. I get it.  Few items so that I could plate food and take photos of it, and things like that. But maybe part of the part of the journey is going to local shops, local thrift shops and finding plates and interesting pieces that you can use for that that show or a series of shows, then donate them somewhere and then go somewhere else and find more. So you’re not building this gigantic library of things. You’re just you’re swapping them out as you go. You’re basically letting them hitchhike with you to the next stop.

Right, exactly.

And yes, get a toy hauler like they’re saying, you know, get a gigantic RV. And we know people that do. You could set up a beautiful space in an RV. But really think about what the camera can see and what you really need and think about how you can swap things out and, you know, try to keep it down. I get it with the vintage books.

Yes.

And they’re going to be heavy, unfortunately. I mean, if you have someone that that is stationary that can help you out, maybe it’s you can ship them a stack of books and they can ship you a different stack of books. That way you can keep rotating through things, but you’re not having to carry every single thing with you.

Right.

And even before you go, if there’s some that, you know, you could just scan or take photos of so that you have the recipes, you have what you need, then you can leave them with somebody or in a storage space or something like that. Maybe that will help cut down on the amount that you have to take and then you can always switch them out. And again, if there are certain ones that you want to use, but you don’t really want to keep the book necessarily after a while, you can trade it out for a different one at a different stop. Because one of the things that we love to do, and I’m sure you will, is to find regional cooking. So maybe you’ll find regional cooking books as you travel along.

And we also we like to go to antique stores because it’s like going to a museum of the town. You know, every as you go through different parts of the country, the antiques are completely different because there’s different people that were there at different times. So, you can find all kinds of cool stuff there.

So then the next step to actually start getting rid of stuff is you know, to start figuring out how you’re going to get rid of it. And one method that works really well is called the Ohio method, and that’s o h i o stands for only handle it once.

Right.

So just like it says, you want to pick up an item, so you’re going through your closet let’s say, and you pick up an item and you look at it and you say, OK, this is either a keep, a trash, or a giveaway. We don’t make a maybe pile.

Yeah.

Notice there’s no maybe piles in there. No maybe piles because everything will end up in that maybe pile and then you’ll just be doing it all over again. But you just want to move it to one of those piles. You don’t want to put it in the maybe pile and then look at it again and decide and decide again. Now, I will say that we can’t just put it in there once and then walk away.

That keep pile, you should go through it again. Because if you start early, which we’re going to say you should do in a year or a few months down the road, you may find that, you know what? I really don’t need that. I thought I did, but I’ve had since I can get rid of it, it’s very easy. And Theresa is right, your giveaway Pile is also your sell pile. (Yes.) Give away in exchange for cash or give it away. Whatever suits your fancy.

Yes.

So give away whatever you want to do with it. But yeah, you’ll find at the beginning of your process it’s like this cup is the most important cup in my whole life. I remember so much about it. By the end of (it really is) nah, that’s just an Xscapers cup. Nobody cares. But at the end of it, you’re just like, who cares about this cup? And you want it gone.

So that’s what you got to go back to, like that keep pile, because at the beginning, you’re you’re a little slow to get started . But once you get going and you get rolling and you see your piles and you see that keep pile growing and growing and growing, it gets really to come back and be but not really easy, but it gets easier to come back and be pretty brutal. It gets easier because, again, you just don’t have all that space. So maybe you’re going to be really good and get that keep people down to just a little bit of stuff. But it might still be too big to fit all fit in your RV. And so you’re going to have to get rid of more at some point.

Yeah, but if you can just pick up an item and just decide where it goes, that’s going to be the easiest way for you to get through it. And for the giveaway/sell pile, there’s some there’s lots of great, easy ways to sell things now. Facebook marketplace is super easy among their everyday looking for things to buy, which is not the right way to go, but it’s an easy way to sell things quickly and simply. There’s always Craigslist if you’re not on Facebook or if you’re selling higher dollar items. EBay if they’re collectible.

For clothing, Poshmark is kind of cool. It’s p-o-s-h-m-a-r-k where it’s mainly clothing. You can sell other things, but it’s people look for clothing there, but you can usually get a little bit better money there on clothing. And then you’ve got your your humane societies, your church thrift stores, your local thrift stores and goodwills for giveaways. So there’s lots of ways to get rid of stuff. And there’s always yard sales. You can have a yard sale. If you do have some of the collectible items, sometimes eBay is better for that. If you want the price, if you just want to get rid of it- yard sale.

And an estate sale.

An estate sale, that’s actually what we did. We ended up having an estate sale. They’re going to promise you how much, they’re not going to promise you. They’re going to tell you how much money you’re going to get. You’re probably going to get about half of what they say. But what’s great is they come in, they price every single thing, and then you leave and they sell it. And then at the end of the day, you get cash in your hand.

And so it’s, if you have a lot of sentimental stuff you may not get what you want for it, but if you’re just trying to get rid of stuff and want to make some cash but don’t want to do all the labor, estate sales work out pretty well. An estate sale could be a sale when people are walking through, or it could be an auction like Bill mentions. And he’s right. With that you do need a little bit of time to do that. So you’re very more of an impulsive person, you’re saying I’m going to go full time, I want to get rid of everything and I’m going in a month. You might need a little bit more time to do it, but it’s a lot more hands off. But you do need to decide what you’re keeping and what you’re getting rid of.

Yep, but with an estate sale or even an auction, you can have a minimum price you’re willing to sell something for. So like we had everything, pretty much everything we let them price. But then I had some scuba tanks that I knew they were worth money. So I put a fixed price on them.

And if they sold at the sale, great. If not, I would go sell them on eBay. But yeah, it’s a really nice way to do it. And then there’s also the dump. You can just take everything to the dump and just be done with it or set it on fire as long as you don’t have a burn ban and it’s not too toxic. Moving on from that…

(right, Bill?)

So let’s talk about memories versus keepsakes, because, as Brandon mentioned, we can attach a lot of emotion to items (like this cup, so important to me), right. So that we can attach a lot of emotion to items. But sometimes it’s not the item itself that’s really important .It’s the memory that it evokes. So when we’re looking at items we need to think about, is it this item that I really want to keep or just the memory? And is a photograph good enough? Because I look at a photograph of me winning an award or winning this cup or whatever it is, and that that actually brings back memories. And I don’t actually need to keep the cup.

Right.

Like, when you look at the you look at a photo of your first car, you remember all the fun you had in the first car and how crazy you were because you just got your license and you’re driving around and maybe had a cool car. It was something you feel like you don’t have to drag you that car around with you for the rest of your life. You know, you can just look at the photo and get the memory. So what we’re saying here is if something is difficult to get disconnected from. Think about why. I mean, there are things that are passed down through your family that you don’t want to get rid of because you want to be able to pass it on. And it was part of it’s part of your history.

But sometimes a thing is just a thing and it’s the memories we place on it that, that get us all confused as to how to get rid of this thing. So, yeah, take your phone and just take pictures of everything and then put them put them in a file somewhere and go scan through them or print them out in a little book so you can flip through them one day and just reminisce about all the fun you had. Yes, sometimes it’s the picture of just the object and sometimes you might already have photos of it actually being used or when someone gave it to you. And so that’s even going to mean more than just a photo of it.

The other thing is you just need to give yourself time to process those items sometimes. Like if you do have a year and you start off the year planning to get in the RV, you can look at that item at the beginning of the year and it’s like, I cannot part with this, but if you give yourself time, pull it out, let yourself look at it and actually have it for that year. And then maybe at the end, you are ready and you don’t need it and you just want a photo of it. And at times there can be items that you do want to keep or you still need more time to process.

And that’s when we get into storage units. There is no shame in having a storage unit. RVing can sometimes feel like a competition to downsize or get the biggest one or the smallest one. Nobody cares what you’re doing. Do what you want to do. If if you don’t want to get rid of this thing yet and you want to hold on to it, then hold on to it and then give yourself time. Go out on the road, have new memories, new adventures, and get some distance from those things.

And when you come back in a year, you may find that what you thought was important at the time when you were a house person is not so important now that you’re an RVer. And it becomes a lot easier to get rid of that stuff. I mean, we’ve seen a lot of people it’s very common for people to have a storage unit and then come back in about a year and just clear the whole thing out because they felt they needed the stuff, or maybe they’re not sure RVing is for them. And that’s very common.

You go out, you RV, you do it for a year, decide you don’t want to do that anymore or find a new place you like. You want to live there and you want your stuff so you don’t want to sell all your furniture and then have to rebuy it all if you decide in a year or two this isn’t for you. But, flipside of that is you don’t pay for things just because you don’t want to take the time to get rid of them. Right. It’s worth it to walk it through, because even if you’re going to keep some items, maybe you don’t have to purchase as big of a unit. You need to think about is it replaceable and easily replaceable.

An Ikea table? Do you need to pay to store an IKEA table for months, years down the road? Whereas maybe you do want to pay for a family heirloom. Something like that makes sense. So you only want to pay for items that you really plan to use in the future, and that make sense financially. And again, check with your family.

I mean, maybe they’ve got attic space or garage space or somewhere you can put stuff you don’t have to pay a storage unit to do this. Or if it’s something that they could use themselves, maybe it’s better to give it a new home or maybe they will want to use it temporarily.

My actually, my mom has a painting by my friend, which is huge. There’s no way it would fit in the RV, but she had a perfect space for it. So now my nephew gets to enjoy it when he comes over and he sees it and is inspired by it. But and we see it when we visit.

Yeah.

And then also if you’re going to put valuable items in storage, make sure you got you’ve got climate-controlled storage, make sure it’s nowhere that’s going to flood because we had a we had a little pop-Up Camper that we kept in a storage locker and it never flooded. They told us it never flooded. It flooded. Of course, during Superstorm Sandy. So it was a pretty crazy experience. But, yeah, definitely make sure you have climate control. But yes, you have papers or antiques that you want to protect.

That’s important.

Definitely. So, yeah, bottom line is, if you need a storage unit, get a storage unit. Don’t feel bad about having a storage unit. RVing’s not a competition. Nobody cares. And then, you know, you’ll come back to it in a year and clear it out just like everyone else does.

I did see there was a comment from, oh, I can’t find it now. Someone who has been RVing for 15 years.

Kay McDonnell yes, 70 years old, still downsizing, full timing for 15 years.

It never stops.

Yeah, you know what? That’s I don’t think we have this on the list of things to talk about. But, yes, once you get in your RV, you’re going to continue downsizing. You’re going to take a whole bunch of stuff at the beginning that you think you need.

Six months later, you’re going to be tripping over that stuff, realizing I don’t need all this junk. And then when you’re out, you’re going to find things you want and you want to put them in your RV.

So one of the things we do a lot of RVers like to do is the one in one out idea. So if you bring something in, you throw something out or sell it or move it out somehow. And this doesn’t mean bring in a four hundred pound kayak and then take out a three pound pot. You know, you really got to try to keep that even because you don’t want overload your RV, but.

It’s a constant process and…

We do spring cleaning just like everybody else where you kind of got to go through, especially your first year on the road. I will say that’s when you need to really reevaluate what you brought and realize that, yeah, I put that stuff in that van and never looked at it again. Do I really need it?

Yeah, a lot of process.

A lot of times at events like Escapees rallies, Xscapers convergences, there’ll end up being a giant free table where everybody just brings out all the stuff they don’t want and they put it on the table. And people they can trade and find other things they feel like they want now. And then if it doesn’t get taken, then somebody usually takes it to a thrift store at the end or you’ve got to take it back, you know.

And I see Jill from Yesterkitchen also mentioned that they do have a toy hauler someone had suggested and they’re selling that getting a MountainAire. But there’s still room issues she’s so relieved to know that she’s not alone. You’re not alone.

Yeah.

Everybody goes through this and has to figure out what they really need and that a lot of a lot of people have too much stuff to fit in the RV and try to take too much stuff at first.

Like I said, you end up having to reevaluate a few months down the road. You should once you hit the road, get six months down and look at it all again and think about did I really did I really need that? Am I really going to use it? Because it’s not what I’ve been doing so far.

Kay worries about, her husband worries about, her getting rid. I mean, Kerensa could fit a lot more shoes if I wasn’t there.

(Yes.) So. But, you know, we have these contracts we signed that said we can’t throw each other out in the middle of the highway. So I guess we won’t.

The bottom line is starting early and starting now is going to help you on this process. You um, the earlier the better, you know, but that just gives you more time to really go through everything that you have and to make thoughtful decisions.

Although sometimes sometimes maybe not having too much thought and just saying get rid of it all can work to our advantage. It seems like there’s two kinds of RVers. There’s the RVers that have a year or two to figure it out like we did. And we take our time and we research. And then you have the RVers like I want an RV and they get an RV and they’re gone. And that’s it. And we’re probably not talking to the second group now. We’re probably talking to the first group because the second group just gone, you know.

But yeah, start early and start easy. You know, this is a difficult process. It will take time and you need to do it (It can be emotional) You know, at the end of the day, you’ve got to get your stuff out of your house if you’re not going to have a house anymore or an apartment. And you need to give yourself time to do this right. So…

Yes.

And one of the easiest ways to get started, you could start this right after we finish here. You can go to a junk drawer and just clear out that drawer because it’s a junk drawer for a reason, right? I mean, there’s definitely stuff that you need in there, but maybe not all the ketchup packets… Or maybe the ketchup packets since there’s a shortage right now?

That is an unusual little pick up right there. But most of the time, you don’t need all the rubber bands that are in there and the paper clips. And then you’ll have a clean drawer and it’s just kind of like ahhh, relief. And you realize that you can do this. Another room that’s good to get started on. You know, we talked about closets before is a bathroom, because there’s definitely things you’re going to need to keep in there. But there’s definitely a lot of stuff that can go. And you’re not emotionally tied to most of it.

I am.

That that toilet paper was passed down for generations. It was carved from (unintelligible).

That’s a little disturbing. Yeah, it’s a lot easier because your hair brushes and things like that just don’t usually mean as much as something that might be in your in your bedroom. Again, extra bedrooms usually don’t house as much stuff that is very personal to you and it can help you get started. And again, you get those wins in and they snowball and then you’re on your way.

And remember, RVing is very casual. So all that, you know, the makeup and the hair products and all those things that you did all your life going to work.

When you get into RVing, you find people start really paring down and becoming you know, it’s not important. You know, you’re having fun. You’re doing your life, you’re moving around. You’re not seeing the same people every day. And when you do see people that you know, you see them more than you do at home, like you probably camp next to each other. So you’re going to see them all day long, maybe, you know, and you can’t keep up appearances forever. You know, at some point you’re just going to be who you are and everybody’s going to be fine with it. So.

Right.

It may take some time to pare that stuff down, but it does help to start paring down everything.

Yeah, really.

I mean, it is. It is kind of everything. But just don’t let it overwhelm you. You can make it smaller chunks, you can break it off and you can do it and you can get through it. And then you’ll be able to move into your RV a little lighter and feel good about it and have the things that you need for your life and enjoy yourself.

That’s what it’s all about.

And Teresa made a good point that once she gets rid of something a few weeks later, she doesn’t even miss it.

And it’s kind of the flip side, if you think about when you buy something, when you buy something, you love it so much and you really want that thing and you bring it home and it’s so important to you for a week or so. And then it’s just another thing that’s in your house and then you’re off looking for the next thing. That’s the exact same when you’re getting rid of stuff. It’s very important. I need this thing. It’s so important I can’t get rid of it. And then once it’s gone and you’ve moved on, it’s not such a big deal.

So let’s go back through now quickly and just remind everyone what we’re talking about. The first thing we talked about was prioritizing. You want to make sure that you prioritize for your needs, your lifestyle and what you plan to do.

So if you’re planning on exploring all the cities moving around a lot and just and walking, you just want to make sure you have the shoes and everything that will fit you for that, you know, and if you’re planning on living the high life and going to fancy parties, that might be different. Where’s the fancy RV party? Maybe not every party… Or what your needs are for kitchen items, you know, things like that. So you have to prioritize and think about your must haves.

I think Teresa said it again earlier. I might be wrong, but because you mentioned kitchen…

Hold on. I got to find it. It’s important. I hope that it was Teresa. If it wasn’t Teresa, someone can correct me. But have things in your kitchen that serve more than one purpose. Oh, yes, I was going to say no unitaskers is a thing, yes.

Yes, she did.

It’s right here.

Everything is you have multiple functions.

I was going to bring that.

And that’s your kitchen. That’s everything. You know, that’s your tools, your kitchen supplies, everything you buy, hopefully you can find more than one use for it. Unless it’s like Unless it’s a sailboat and that’s very important.

Right.

Or a rolling pin for rolling out pie dough or conking you over the head. So it does have dual purpose.

Right.

So but yes, it needs to serve multipurpose or be very important to you.

The next one is chunk-it.

Chunk-it?

Now I’m about to feel like I’m saying chuck it like Brandon wants to do. But avoid the overwhelmed, break everything down into smaller pieces. You know, start in a closet, start in just one room. Don’t think about it as your whole house. Don’t overwhelm yourself.

No.

And then Ohio – only handle it once – so put it in the right pile the first time and get rid of it, but then also go back and double check the pile too because the keep pile.

The keep pile…

Don’t double check your, you know, the trash and get rid of piles. Those are those are done. You made your decision. You got to move on. And then on the the same thing is one in, one out.

So when you get into the RV and you’ve got your stuff in there, don’t start overloading it because it’s… Everywhere is new and it’s got new souvenirs and new crafts, new art, new vintage cookbooks to find. It’s real easy to overload that RV real quick.

And remember to think about your memories versus keepsakes. Do you need that item or is it really about the memory attached to it? And can you take a photo or have a photo of it, something else that will work? And there’s really great apps on the phone for storing photos and getting photos into the cloud. Google Photos works really well. Amazon Prime comes with free photo storage.

So lots of easy ways now to do that.

And use a storage unit wisely. There’s no shame in having it. Just make sure that you’re using it to the best advantage for you. If something’s replaceable, do you really need to pay to keep, to keep it in the storage unit?

And don’t use the storage unit just because you got lazy and didn’t want to finish downsizing, so you just shoved everything in there and you’re paying some rando, however much a month to keep your junk for you. Your Beanie Baby collection or something that’s important.

I just randomly thought of something.

Yes.

And Teresa’s good. We should just have her on next time.

But yes, scan paperwork and put it on the cloud. You really shouldn’t be carrying a lot of important papers in your RV with you except for the things you need. But you don’t carry like your RV titles and stuff. Put those in safe deposit boxes. If you had an RV fire or an accident and you lose the important papers in your RV, that’s no fun. So we would send like the titles for our car and our RV , we would send that to our family. And they would put it in their safe deposit box, their stuff.

So, yeah.

And there’s also really good apps on the phone for scanning things so you can take pictures of documents and it’ll straighten out the picture and it’ll clear up the image. You don’t actually have to own a scanner anymore. So again, keeping everything very compact and not carrying a scanner because it’s just a one-use item.

And then finally, as we said, start early, start now, give yourself time to process the whole journey because it can be emotional and it can be overwhelming. And we don’t want you to feel that. We want you to go through it. Go like, chunk it out. Just start with a junk drawer, go easy and make it to the RV and then come out and see us at an event! And then talk to everybody else and give all your stuff away to them.

And just to remind you, if you want to learn more about the process of getting into an RV, we do have RVers Online University. You can find that at RVersOnlineUniversity.com and you can go through the RV Foundation’s course where you going to learn about operation, safety, and maintenance. Learn how to do everything you need to function with your RV.

And then if you are looking to go full time, we have the course Road Map to Full Time RVing, which will walk you through the whole thing, walking through the start and thinking about your journey all the way into camping like a pro. Yeah, and it’s really good to make sure you don’t forget things along the way. We go over downsizing a lot more in there and there’s a lot of a lot of tips and handouts and things like that that can help you organize your your process to go full time. Because when we went full time seven years ago, there wasn’t a lot out there. Now we have the opposite, where there’s so much out there that you could spend your entire life watching all the videos in the world, trying to learn, you know, what to do or, you know, we can just short-cut you there if you want to.

Absolutely.

And we’re so glad you joined us and thank you for sticking with us through that issue. The software we’re using actually came up and told us halfway through this. Our engineers are investigating an issue and doing their best to fix it.

So, yeah. So we found that out. So thank you for moving over to with us to Facebook live. And in two weeks we’re going to have another virtual campfire. So just hop back on Facebook and hang out with us then.

And then next month will be another webinar. We can’t wait to see you there.

Thanks for joining us, everyone.

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