Downsizing is hard! I went into the process fairly optimistic. I had followed several full-time RV groups on Facebook for a while and had laughed at some of the posts where people discussed spending a year preparing to downsize. I now apologize to anyone that posted on those blogs that I secretly laughed at! Looking back now, a year would have been the perfect amount of time to accomplish what we shoved into just a month! We decided to sell our house so suddenly, then it was under contract in less than a week, so I only had 30 days until our closing to condense our 2,800 sq. ft. home and 2,200 sq. ft. shop into a 37 ft. 5th wheel. Did I mention that when we sold our house we hadn’t bought any land, so we really had no idea where we’d be parking the camper when I started the process of downsizing!? Thankfully, we did buy some land in that 30 days.
Those 30 days of September are really quite a blur at this point. I am sitting in my recliner in the camper now, but if you’d have asked me 2 weeks ago if I’d ever get to sit down again I would have laughed in your face. Thirty days were spent cleaning out toys, clothes, old blankets and towels, wrapping paper, office supplies, kitchen utensils, decorations, old photos and mementos, more bags than any one human being should have, and old attic junk! Basically things you don’t even think about because there is plenty of room for it but things you have to part with because there isn’t room for it in a 5th wheel. Honestly, some of it felt like a breath of fresh air to get rid of. I donated lots and lots of things to our local battered women’s shelter thrift store. Seriously, that was one of the easiest things through the whole process. I’d load my car up, pull up at their store, and some sweet ladies would meet me and carry the stuff inside. We also got rid of a lot of our furniture. My husband ensured me I’d be able to purchase what I wanted when we build something that will fit our new space. With this process Facebook Marketplace was my friend! Most everything I posted sold in less than 24 hours, and I never had a problem with anyone not paying or meeting me on time. I reasonably priced items because I knew I needed the items gone and needed them gone fast. The other very smart thing we did was rent a construction dumpster. It was so easy just to walk outside and chunk the junk! I am embarrassed to say that we filled that thing up in 30 days. My house wasn’t junky, so I’m not really sure where all of that trash even came from? I truly decided then that we really had too much stuff, and it was my reminder that downsizing and minimalizing was a good thing when I was so tired at the end of the day.
For the stuff out of Kyle’s shop that he didn’t want to get rid of, he purchased a 40 ft. shipping container to put on our property. He and I moved the stuff out of his shop over 3 days, and I’ve decided that in the future he needs a hobby that doesn’t require as many heavy objects as it takes for him to be into old cars. Holy moly that stuff is heavy! I honestly can’t remember when I’ve been as tired as I was at the end of those 3 days.
For the stuff from the house that I wanted to keep, we have rented a climate controlled storage unit in town. I thought that I had gotten rid of most of my stuff, but it didn’t take us long to fill up a 10X15 unit. My plan was to be able to get into the unit and get stuff out as needed, but we wound up pretty much throwing things in there at the last minute. I hope we can get some type of metal building up on our property rather quickly so I’ll have access to things like our extra clothes a lot easier and so we won’t be paying that monthly fee of course.
We did get out of our house in 30 days even though about half way into it I wasn’t sure if we’d make the deadline. Kyle and I would go back and forth encouraging each other that we would make it out in time. Thankfully we weren’t pessimists at the same time, so we could keep motivating one another! My biggest regret with how fast it went was that I didn’t have time to focus on getting our camper set up and organized. It mostly became just throwing things we would need in the door to get it out of the house. When we pulled up at our campsite (because we are still waiting on power, septic, etc.), my camper was a disaster inside. I would have loved to have had everything set up nice and neat, but that just wasn’t the case. And honestly, it still isn’t the case. Kyle is working on building some bunks in the mid bunk room because there was only a pull-out couch in there (stay tuned for more info on this). I’m still trying to find the best way to organize all of our stuff. I don’t like that things are still out of sorts, but I have to remind myself that we only started this entire process 45ish days ago. Kyle and I both work full-time jobs, we are raising 2 kids, and we have to do normal life things like cooking, cleaning, etc. When I think of it like that, I feel like we’ve accomplished a whole lot, and I know that it will all be together soon! Even so, I’m enjoying this journey! The kids are happy, my parents are right next door (more on that later), and we honestly have everything we need right inside these 4 walls however close they may be to one another!