If I could give you any advice when you're making the transition from house life to RV life, it would be to give yourself some grace. It. Is. Hard! Don't get me wrong, it is 100% worth it and I would do it again a hundred times over, but some of the transition was less than enjoyable.
Downsizing from a house to an RV is not an easy task. We already considered ourselves, somewhat minimalists, but we still had SO much stuff! What does someone do with all that stuff? I've always had issues with forming emotional attachments to "things". I think a lot of people are like me. When I first started downsizing, I just couldn't let go of a lot of it. After a while and after it started getting closer to the time that we had to be out of our house, I just learned to stop thinking about it so much.
Eventually, every single item in our house had to go one of 4 places: To the RV, To Storage, To a Local Charity, or To the Trash. Every. Single. Item. The mental load it puts on a person to decide that for every single item you own is extremely overwhelming, especially when you're the main person responsible for it. But I did it...one day at a time, one minute at a time, one item at a time. And this is where learning to stop thinking about it came into play. If I look at the picture of all the items we donated, it makes me a little sad. Every item has a story or memory attached. But guess what, that memory is still there even though the item isn't. That's one other thing I learned along the way. Take lots of pictures! If the item is a toy or a piece of clothing that you know you'll never use again, take a picture of it and donate it. Then use your picture to trigger memories and think about the fun the new owner is having with it and the new memories they're making.
We did keep some things that didn't go to the RV. We have a 10X20 storage unit that we're already ready to downsize. We kept a lot of our favorite furniture, just to make sure we didn't have immediate regrets and want to move back to a house. Looking back, the storage unit was a kind of emotional safety net. Of course, we kept the most important sentimental items. We will always keep those. And we kept some expensive items that we weren't sure if we'd want to keep forever, like tools.
Just like everything else, we're learning as we go. We're already ready to downsize the storage unit, but if I had that part to do over again, I wouldn't have done it any other way. I needed that small rented space to put my most loved things into that I couldn't say goodbye to, just yet. And while I say we're ready to downsize it again, I know all of those emotions will be brought to the surface when I let go of those things too. So, maybe just maybe, I'm not as emotionally ready for that part as I thought.
And that's ok!! Grace!
P.S. As I was uploading the picture for this entry, my four year old had his head on my shoulder, watching. He saw one of his old toys in the picture and said "I want that back! It can fit!" I guess he's heard, "It won't fit in the RV" a few times. That's something I didn't really address here, kids. But our kids have been so flexible! Even now, he's already forgotten about the toy and he's off riding his bike outside. I've asked them many times if they would rather stay in the RV or move back to the old house and every, single time, they've immediately declared, "RV!" That says a lot.
Remember...they're just THINGS
Speaking of THINGS... When we moved into our RV, we had to add quite a few specific RV items. If you'd like to check out our list of all of our favorite and most needed RV "Things", here's our Affiliate Storefront Link: