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Preparing For The RV Lifestyle: Tips For Downsizing Your Home

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You’ve made the decision to make a lifestyle change, move into your RV full-time, and begin your journey of full-time RV life. Now what? According to RV Travel, some full-time RVers decide to keep their traditional home for investment purposes, and some hang on to the house while making the adjustment to their new lifestyle, but many choose to sell their home. When deciding to sell or keep your traditional home to live a life on the road, all Rvers must answer these questions.

Should You Sell Or Keep Your Home When Traveling Full-Time?

  • Do you want to be a landlord?
  • Will you be able to maintain the home remotely?
  • Can you afford the mortgage, property taxes, and homeowner’s insurance?
  • Do you need to use the home for investment purposes?
  • Will you be alright not having a “home base”?

When my husband and I decided to begin our journey of full-time RV life, we asked ourselves these same questions, and our answer surprised us! It wasn’t an easy decision, but in the end, we decided to sell. The fact that we were selling our forever home and everything we worked so hard to have was almost heartbreaking, but we knew it had to be done if we were going to truly make RVing our new lifestyle.

Tips For Downsizing Your Home

Meet With The Realtor

After making the tough decision to sell your home, the first step in selling your home is to meet with a realtor. This may be the hardest part! You may be super excited to begin your new adventure, but let me just say, never settle for the first realtor you meet!

At the time, I didn’t understand how important it would be to meet with several realtors. We met with the first one, loved everything he had to say, and later, realized he wasn’t the right one for us. So, after having our home on the market for 6 months, we change realtors and our selling strategy. This was the best decision for us because our home sold in less than a month!

  • Meet with several realtors.
  • Do your market research.
  • Know what you want, and stick to your selling strategy.
  • Be prepared, be patient, it’s a process.

Decide What To Keep For Your New RV

Have you ever looked around your house, and thought to yourself how did I ever accumulate so much stuff? When downsizing from a 2500 sq ft home to a 500 sq ft 5th wheel RV, it quickly became apparent that I had way too much stuff! I couldn’t bring everything, so I had to decide what to keep, what to give away, and what to sell. 

Starting small, I began by going through each room of the house. The things that I decided to keep had to be used daily or have multiple purposes.

  • Coffee Pot –  MUST KEEP! My household requires coffee DAILY!
  • Pots, pans, utensils – Keep only what is needed. I had a ton, but usually, only cook for two! Oh, and why did I have 5 cheese graters? I never even used them because I always buy shredded cheese!
  •  Bedroom Essentials – My husband and I sleep with several pillows, so YES, these I had to keep!
  • Bathroom Supplies – An RV only has one bathroom (typically, a very small one) so, again, only keep what is needed!
  • The Garage – The garage was a beast, I stayed away, and my husband cried! 

You get the idea, only keep what you will need or use. Downsizing may be a chore, but it can be quite entertaining when you discover you have 5 cheese graters or enough dishware to prepare a meal for the entire neighborhood!

Donate To Local Families In Need

Deciding what to give away wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. First, I invited my friends and family to come over, and take anything they would like. Most of the things they chose had sentimental value – pictures, old furniture, stuff they were attached to. What they didn’t want, I donated to local churches, charities, and made several trips to Goodwill

Sell The Remaining Items

Now, what to sell? This was the most challenging for me! My heart would break every time because every single thing that needed to be sold had a memory attached to it. The picture Travis and I bought in Boston when we first began dating, the sofa where the kids would sit when they came to visit, the crystal dish that everyone loved, but no one wanted, the black sparkly high heel shoes that made me look like a superstar when I walked into the room, each one of these things had a story and a memory attached to it. 

Several times, I had to step back, take a breath, and remind myself it’s just a process. Selling these things was going to allow us to make a lifetime of new memories, experience awesome travel adventures, and follow our new journey of full-time RV life. It easy, but eventually I was able to let go of the material things while still holding on to the memories. 

Consider Long Time Storage

For beginner RVers, one option to consider is utilizing long-time storage. Some who make the RV lifestyle change discover, in time, that full-time RV life is not for them which is totally reasonable. Others who choose to downsize their home simply can not get rid of everything they own. For this reason, investing in a  long-term storage facility may be the best decision. However, it is worthy to note that this option can be quite expensive. Make sure you are able to budget for this extra expense while still living the dream of full-time RV life! 

Make New Memories In The RV Lifestyle

Throughout the process of selling our forever home and downsizing for the RV lifestyle, I’ve come to realize life is not about the things we acquire, but it’s the experiences and memories we make along the way.

You may have to take a step back, breathe, and know that it’s just a process so that your dream of full-time RV life can begin! 

Change is the law of life, and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”

~John F. Kennedy

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Traci LeBlanc

After becoming a full-time nomad, I found my passion for travel, photography, and writing. By sharing our journey, I hope to inspire you to discover adventure....Live By Faith!

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