Well, the house is sold, we are completely out of it (in more ways than one) and now we’re back on the road again.
We now have over 117,000 miles on our Alpine Coach and have enjoyed almost all of them. I say almost all because as any RVer knows, there are mishaps along the way. Although they give us something to talk about when comparing horror stories with fellow RVers, and for me, they give me something to write about, I wouldn’t say those times are particularly enjoyable. (More on some of these adventures later.)
But these stories are worth sharing because one thing I’ve come to know over the miles is that there is so much to learn…and one of the best sources of information is other RVers.
In the first few posts I’ll be sharing some of the experiences of downsizing from a large house to a motor coach. Having just experienced it, I will give you some valuable tips for going through this dramatic change.
No Other Moves Like This One
We’ve moved many times during our married life but this move was different from any in the past. We weren’t just packing up one house and moving to another. We were downsizing…drastically…from a 3850 sq. ft. house to an approximately 400 sq. ft. (with slides out) motor coach.
The biggest piece of advice I can give to you is to start preparation early. In addition to the things you want to take with you, you must think about the things you need to take with you. Or at least you need to have easy access to.
Multiple Piles to Sort
When downsizing you have 3 categories of items.
- Things you want to keep and are important enough to pay for storage.
- Things you no longer need or want and must dispose of either by selling, donating, gifting, shredding or just tossing.
- Things you want or need to take with you on the road.
This may sound easy, but it wasn’t. Of course category three is the most important but also the hardest pile to determine. As all RVers know, space and weight is limited, so you really must need and/or want it before you store it on board. (This can be the cause of many arguments so be ready!)
Let’s take a look at each category separately:
(Right now I’m going to cover some things to think about in category 1. Next time I’ll visit categories 2 and 3.)
Category 1 – Things to put into storage:
Our plan is to be out on the road for several years. I’ve said before that we originally said 2 years but as our bucket list of things we want to do grows, so does the length of time to do them. You need to think ahead to the time when you are through traveling and want to settle down again. You’ll want to think about what you’ll need at that time. Here are some questions you need to consider:
- What size of place will you be in when you return from your travels; apartment, condo, smaller house, or the same size of or bigger house you left? (This is assuming you no longer wish to live in your Rig.)
- How much furniture will you want to store and what will it cost? (This question leads to thinking in terms of cost of storage vs. buying it when you are ready for it at the other end of your adventure on the road.)
- Where will you store the items you want to keep…in a storage locker, use PODS or Portable on Demand Storage, store with a storage company, store in someone’s garage or basement (don’t laugh, it could happen!)?
- What pieces are irreplaceable…meaning they have sentimental, emotional or financial value?
- What records or documents will you need to keep over time but don’t need to take with you or have immediate access to?
- If you have a vehicle(s) that you are not planning to bring along, what will you do with it/them…sell, store, etc.?
This is not an exhaustive list but will certainly give you something to think about.
Next time I’ll cover the remaining two categories; the get rid of and take with you categories.
More fun is in store so stay tuned!
Do you have advice for the folks transitioning from part time to full time RVing? Let us hear from you so we can all learn from each other.