Downsizing – Moving Into an RV

We knew that moving into an RV would require us to get rid of a lot of things. In theory, this sounds easy. As a matter of fact, I was sort of looking forward to it. The clutter that I had created was wearing me out. I knew this, but I thought cleaning all that stuff out of the garage would wear me out even more. So, I left it. Who knows, I might need that stuff some day.

As we prepared for the transition to mobile living we got rid of the first layer of ‘stuff’. You know, the things we knew we really didn’t need, but might want some day. The things that we had often thought about throwing out or giving away, but decided since we had the extra room, we would hang onto it a bit longer.

That first layer was satisfying! I had accomplished a great feat getting rid of so much stuff!

But, when faced with the decision as to where to put the rest inside the RV, I could see that I was far, far from done with getting rid of my stuff.

The next step was to see what the kids wanted. Hopefully, they would take enough of the ‘stuff’ that I would have ample room in the RV for what was left.

They took load after load of stuff, but still the house was full. I was amazed at how much stuff that little house could hold. I thought things must be multiplying while we slept.

The next layer was much harder. The kids had all they wanted (what do you mean you don’t want the rest?), this meant that the next layer had to either be given to strangers, sold, or thrown away. We put ads on Craigslist for a few of the bigger items, but we didn’t want the time and expense of a garage or yard sale, so we decided to give most everything else away. Besides, in our experience, the tax deduction was usually more helpful than the money we could make at a yard sale.

The more layers we peeled away, the more it hurt, until we were finally, both a puddled mess. Emotions were raw and real, and flowing fast. Letting go of ‘stuff’ meant letting go of memories from a couple of lifetimes. It meant facing head-on the emotions behind the objects for which we place our desires, our hopes, our dreams, our memories… the list could go on. We, like most of you, had become attached to our things when we weren’t looking.

The tail pipe on our truck was literally dragging the ground when we first embarked on our journey. We still had too much stuff.

I started writing this soon after we left home to start our new RV journey and the words just wouldn’t come. Since that time, we have gotten rid of even more of our stuff. It was a hard, emotional battle. Now, I can’t even imagine our lives will all that stuff! I feel like we should be able to remove another layer soon.

I can’t tell you how freeing it is to get rid of so much stuff that was dragging us down. We need far less than we really think we do. And if our outside world is a reflection of our inside world, like I believe it is, my world – inside and out – was really cluttered. I had things hidden that even I had forgotten were there.

One thing being mobile has done for me – for us – is to force us to go through our clutter more often. You can’t just drive off with all your clutter laying around. You have to go through it every time you move. And once you’ve moved the same shit around a while without actually using it, you realize how unattached you can be.

I love this uncluttered life. I love being able to see most, if not all, my stuff from one chair. I love being forced to deal with my stuff on a regular basis. Inside and out.

Every time we get something new, we have to get rid of something else. There’s just not enough room to accumulate more. I’m glad it works that way. It often reminds me that there is no such thing as mine. We all own the things of this world. We share them. There is an abundance of all things. I shouldn’t keep things I no longer use. Especially if someone else can be using them.

Becoming unattached to ‘things’ has been one of the most freeing things I’ve ever learned. Just another reason to love this mobile lifestyle.

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