How we downsize and declutter! | Full Time RV Life
Downsizing and decluttering is not something that stops once you move into an RV full time and hit the road. Even though you’ve cast off most of your possessions to fit your life into a tiny mobile living space, you’re still going to bring along a lot of things you don’t really need, and you’re going to pick up stuff you don’t need along the way. That’s why we still make an effort to downsize and declutter while living on the road. We found that when it becomes a part of your routine on the road, and off, it helps keep the wave of clutter from consuming you!
This is something we’ve certainly learned after being on the road. We’ve done multiple donation drop offs, passed belonging off to others that could use them, and sold some stuff on eBay. And we still have things we don’t really need. We decided to put together a little video of use going through and finding a few things we weren’t using and eliminating them.
After so many downsizing sessions, we’ve come up with a format we follow when going through our stuff.
First and foremost, remember “WHY?” you are doing this! Without a good reason, you’re not going to be able to push through the hardships of downsizing. So, it’s important to have that in place when you get started! For us, the reason was we wanted to move into a 200 square foot Airstream, because we wanted more freedom to travel by not being tied down to a location.
1. Start Small: Warm up your downsizing muscles by getting rid of the easy stuff. Have a pile of papers you haven’t recycled yet? Go through them and get rid of what you don’t need! Got something you’ve been meaning to fix, but haven’t been able to? Get rid of it if it can be replaced easily! Are you carrying around something because you imagine the perfect scenario for it to be used, but that scenario is super unlikely? Maybe it’s time to pass it on to someone else! Have a pair of pants you absolutely hate and haven’t worn in months? Someone else would live to find those at a thrift store!
2. Ask Your Partner: We can’t always see the value of something we own very clearly, so we tend to overvalue things and hang on to them. But chances our your partner has a list of items they don’t understand why you’re hanging on to. Ask them to identify these things! It might be painful, but it should at least move them to the forefront of your mind. Maybe you don’t get rid of them immediately, but now they’re in your sights for the next round of downsizing!
3. Go Digital When Possible: We had so many books and movies before we hit the road. Most of these had to go. And we have way few books now that when we started our travels. We’ve replaced them with our library and apps like Libby. But we still keep a few of our favorite books around for rereading when we feel like it.
4. Save Sentimental Items For Last: When we have a strong emotional tie to something, it’s really hard to let it go. It helps to have already purged some things before you take on the more challenging items. A lot of the time the attraction of the item is related to a person or experience. You have fond memories of this person, place, or time, and the item triggers those memories. But here’s the thing. The item itself is not the thing you are reminiscing…it was just part of it, and happens to still carry this value. As long as you have the memories, you don’t need that thing around anymore. You can throw it away or pass it on to someone else who could better use it!
This approach to downsizing has helped us get through countless piles of stuff over the last few years. Do you already have an approach to downsizing that works for you? Let us know in the comments below!!!
Check out our interview with Aimee here – http://tincancreative.co/downsizing-with-aimee-olsen/