So you're ready to say goodbye to your stick 'n brick home and embrace the life of full-time RVing! Congrats! While possibly a somewhat bittersweet endeavor, it's definitely filled with thrilling adventures and amazing opportunities! Not being tied down with a permanent residence, the world (or at least North America) is your oyster! Your travels are only limited by your imagination! But before you can comfortably move into your new motorhome or RV and hit the road, you'll most likely have to undertake the difficult task of sorting through your possessions (all of them!) and decide which to keep and which to ditch, as RVs are notorious for stingy storage space. Since this is easier said than done, here's some help on how to downsize for full-time RVer status so you can take a load off before taking to the open road!
RVs come fully furnished, so you won't need your furniture where you're going! Sofas, beds, dressers, tables, and other big pieces are not only too big to move into an RV, but they're heavy too, and you don't want to overload your RV's gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR)! Smaller items like lamps, plants, wall hangings, pictures, etc. can definitely help make your rig feel like home, just make sure they're secured when traveling.
If you're selling your home in the north and kissing those brutal winters goodbye by heading south, then perhaps you can also say goodbye to your winter wardrobe! Winter coats and accessories, bulky sweaters, thick wool socks, and other cold-weather clothing takes up a ton of room in drawers, so don't bring it along if you won't need it. You'll want to keep a few pairs of long pants, light sweaters, and some long-sleeved shirts for those rare cool days or nights you'll have in your new tropical location, but they should be a small fraction of your entire wardrobe.
Your RV's kitchen is inevitably smaller than the kitchen in your home, so it makes sense that you won't need (or have room for) all of your pots and pans. While it might be hard to imagine making your favorite meals with fewer essentials, you'll learn how to do it. Don't bring along multiple 12" skillets or four of the same spatula. Depending on the size of your RV's kitchen, you might have room for one of everything, but it's likely you'll have to leave behind larger appliances like your KitchenAid stand mixer or Keurig brewing system. Thin out your silverware, cooking utensils, spices, and other pantry staples and only bring along things you can't live without. If you're on the fence and not sure whether to keep or ditch something, try to remember the last time you used it—that should answer it for you!
RVing and reading go hand in hand, but bringing a small library with you is not a good idea. Books are heavy and bulky, meaning you could be overloading your GVWR and taking up valuable space. Bring along a few of your favorites or ones that have sentimental value, but leave the rest behind. If you're going to be putting down roots in one spot, see if you can join the local library. If that's not an option, go digital and read books on a tablet or iPad. Books can be bought on Amazon, through Kindle or Apple, or elsewhere for an average of about $7-8, or try a local online library service for free reading. Ebooks don't cost much and they don't weigh a thing—sounds like the perfect RV library to me!
Sell, Donate, or Store Your Items?
When you find that you're done sorting through your life's belongings and are staring at a heap of items that won't be making the move with you, you have to decide what to do with them. You really have three options—sell them, donate them, or store them. Let's take a look at the pros and cons of each:
Sell Your Items
Make money for your new RVing adventures
Takes time and effort Items might not sell Have to choose where to sell items (Craigslist, eBay, local newspaper, garage sale, etc.) Might have to deal with no-shows and bargain hunters offering pennies on the dollar for your items
Donate Your Items
Easiest way to get rid of your items Donation centers will take almost anything You're recycling your items Other people can enjoy your items at a bargain rate
Dropping off items with sentimental value can feel "cold"
Storing Your Items
You're not getting rid of your possessions
You're not getting rid of your possessions A storage unit can be costly Storing items with family or friends can put them out and strain a relationship You'll eventually have to do something with them
Are you making the move from stick 'n brick home to full-time RVing? If so, do you have any downsizing tips or tricks you'd like to share? Here at Motorhomes 2 Go, we love helping our customers find the perfect rig for their lifestyle! Whether you're looking for a smaller Class C rig or a mammoth Class A coach, we have what you're looking for! Check out our huge selection online or come see us in person at our dealership in Grand Rapids, MI! We offer RV customization, great financing rates, and we'll even deliver your new RV right to your door if you can't come see us! It's never been easier to hang up your house key and make the move to full-time RVing! Come see us today!