We’ve been hearing a lot lately from people who are full-timing in their RVs—not just in retirement, but just as a lifestyle. That may not be for you, but there are a lot of other lessons to be learned from the lifestyle, like getting out of debt and being more minimalistic. These steps to downsizing can help you out even if you’re just a weekend warrior looking to bring less with you, or if you’re planning on making the jump to a life on the road.
We all amass too many clothes. There are no doubt dozens (or maybe more…) t-shirts or blouses or pairs of dress slacks that you’ve completely forgotten about or that don’t fit any longer. Start a donate pile. If it’s not a normal, at least bi-monthly wear, get ready to give it away.
In an RV, closet space is prime real estate. Audit your clothes for seasonal wear—especially if you’ll be traveling from warm to cold areas (and vice versa) regularly.
The new age is here, and almost every movie, book, audiobook, album, and anything else you could want to listen to, read, or watch is available on the internet. CDs, DVDs, and books can all be sold, recycled, or donated.
If you’re planning to hit the road, an e-reader is your best friend. If not, odds are you have a library in close proximity to you. You can still get your reading fix without hundreds of books on your shelves.
Do you really need that strawberry huller? The quesadilla maker? The dozens of other one-use-only kitchen gadgets that we all tend to amass over time? No, you don’t. Learn some knife skills, practice, and make yourself some delicious meals without the help of kitschy plastic tools.
On the road, a good cast iron skillet, a small set of stackable pots and pans, plus a few basic kitchen instruments are all you need to cook like a professional chef.
It’s great to be thought of, but that shot glass from Paris (especially when you’ve never been) doesn’t do anything—unless it’s the only shot glass you own. Same for all of the swag that people hand you at conferences. If it’s taking up space and you’re not using it, the memories you have may serve every bit as well.
When you’re always on the road, you don’t need trinkets to remember a place. Take up photography, or even just snap some pictures on your phone, then upload them to a cloud service.
None of this is to say you should get rid of everything, especially a few things that you simply like having around. Keep your heirlooms that you want to pass down. This is just a means to minimize your lifestyle and remove some clutter. If you’re living in an RV with limited space, you’ll be thankful you did. After time, you may even realize you need even less than you did after your first sweep.
Have suggestions for downsizing? Leave them as a comment.