RVing web sites
Is Where We
Park Our House!
Planning to full time in an RV
many times smaller than your residence?
If you are a first
class, award winning pack rat... like I am... you are about
to discover the fullest meaning of 'frustration'. Ahead is
soul-searching and decision-making about possessions you
have spent a lifetime accumulating... souvenirs,
photographs, paperwork, mementos from your youngster's
childhood and your own, knicknacks ...and way too many
I even have stuff from
my parents' home. Guess I thought if it was important to
them I owed it to them to keep it! They're probably having a
big chuckle over that.
I have always loved to
travel. Travel used to mean taking a trip ...and returning
home where 'everything' was. One day I realized the boys had
grown and gone; my pets had departed earth and I was
shouldered with a house and yard that I no longer needed.
The plan to sell the
house and buy a fifth wheel to full-time in was only the
beginning of the decision making. Sorting began. It took me
awhile, and it took constantly reminding myself that the
past is gone... GONE forever. The future is where I am
headed. It's hard to let go.
Here are some hints
for getting started:
JUST BITE THE
BULLET AND UNLOAD THE PAST.
- Keep meaningful
things that are small and lightweight ...and photographs
of family and friends.
- Video tape or
photograph other stuff ...bigger things that initiate
fond memories. Art objects, a favorite chair or table, an
entire room that you decorated and love or the garden you
planted. When you're out in the middle of nowhere someday
you can crank up the generator and view your past 'til
your heart's content!
- Think, seriously,
what your kids, your family, your friends might want.
What would they do with your stuff if you died today? If
there's something special they want, give it to them.
Tell them it's their inheritance... YOU plan to spend all
the cash! And remember it is theirs now. You can still
visit it, admire it, touch it... but it is their
responsibility to protect or do with as they please. Let
- The stuff your
heirs don't want or wouldn't know what to do with
...pitch ...sell ...give to charity. Have an estate sale
(you never get what you think things are worth at a
garage sale). People who do estate sales are more
objective about prices. If you only get what you would
have at a garage sale, you didn't have all the work!
- Tools and books
are tough to eliminate. Ask yourself of each book ...can
I find this information on the internet? If yes, get rid
of it. Donate your books... art and craft books to the
library or arts council, etc. You can probably access
them if you need the information. Keep quick reference
books ...first aid, flower and tree identification,
dictionary, etc. Paperbacks take less space and are
lighter. Anywhere you travel you'll find libraries and
new/used bookstores to donate, trade/sell books you have
- Keep telling
yourself... "the kids don't want this stuff." They are
busy collecting their own memories... 'cool, modern'
- After spending
hours, or days, sorting and decision making you find
yourself 'needing to save' more than you discard... STOP!
Rest awhile! Tomorrow's another day.
- At the point where
you just can't part with anything else and nothing more
will fit into your RV, rent a mini storage ...or better
yet ...get a utility trailer to store stuff. We found a
nice used one and parked it in a storage lot for $25 a
month. A mini-storage compartment will cost from $50 to
$85 for the same amount of storage. Whenever you finally
get rid of your excess stuff you can sell the trailer to
recoup some storage costs.
The prize for
downsizing is the feeling of great freedom you get. It's
true. If you are a full timer with hitch-itch, and you no
longer own property and have cut your possessions to a
minimum, you will have such an incredible feeling of
This concept may be
difficult to understand until it happens to you. If you
possess something, you are responsible for it... if you just
savor the memories you are free!
A late 1960s song
goes: "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to
Feelin' good is easy
when you aren't responsible for dragging your entire life's
baggage along. The past may have been great ...store it in
your heart. The future can be greater as you head down the
Copywrite 1999 --