Downsizing & Declutter

As Ed and I decompress from the Big Tent RV Show in Quartzsite AZ, we have been talking about all the gadgets or accessories that were sold at the show. Do you need this gadgets or accessories? Do you have the space to add these items to your RV? Well…… we TRY to go by this motto. 1 item comes in then 1 item goes out. But, Ed and I have found that the longer we set in one place we tend to accrue more stuff so that motto gets broken. So what do we do? We go through room by room, cupboard to cupboard and then each storage cubby.

As you declutter and downsize, you may find that it is a bit liberating. The huge collection of stuff really doesn’t provide joy. Sure, there are mementos and things that are a priority but the more stuff we got rid of, the more we wanted to get rid of.

Here are a few tips.

Organize First: Organization is the key ingredient to keeping your sanity during this process. Break down the process into manageable chunks to make it less overwhelming. Rather than tackle your house as a whole, think of major groups of belongings that you will need to downsize. As you make your decisions, keep in mind the space you have available.

Organize by Groups: Each group of belongings contains subgroups: necessities, items that would be nice to have if there is room, and items that you just will not need . . . ever!

For simplicity’s sake, we’ve listed four groups of things that you will need to examine:

Clothes and Shoes
Kitchen and Household Items
Files, Papers and Office Items
Tools and Garage Items

Be Realistic When Downsizing Clothes. This can seem like an overwhelming task, but unless you will be working a job that requires dressy clothes, you can probably pare down your wardrobe drastically. I suggest that you make four piles of clothes starting with the stack that you will need. Basic casual clothes will be the most useful but in limited quantities. Don’t pack ten pairs of jeans or dozens of t-shirts when three or four will do!

Downsizing Kitchen Items: Moving into smaller quarters or decluttering your current RV, you may have very limited kitchen storage. So choose wisely on what items you really think you have to have. Do you need 2 sized crockpots? Do you need 5 spatulas? OR do you need those super heavy glass bowls?

Downsizing Your Hobbies: If you have hobbies that you love, you may want to allocate space for some of them in your RV. Some hobbies are not easily packed into an RV, but it’s amazing the inventive ways that people manage to take their hobbies on the road. Limit yourself to one or two hobbies, and take along some basic supplies for the ones you really love to do. Things like wood carving, crocheting, painting and drawing are easily portable. There are many people who are rockhounds, beaders and quilters who gather together in campgrounds to share their hobbies. When you set your space priorities, do find a little room for your favorite hobby!

While the whole process of downsizing may seem overwhelming, it will come together as you organize a segment at a time. Expect to feel a mixture of relief, and maybe a bit of regret as you see your things pared down to what will fit into your RV. But I can tell you from experience, that there is a huge feeling of freedom and joy when you are done downsizing & decluttering. Just please keep in mind. While your piling up items that you haven’t been used in a month etc., try to either sell those items to help fund your travels OR donate the items to someone in need.


Dora & Ed