We’ve been prepping for full time RV life for a year now. But sometimes we take a step that makes this plan super real and significantly closer.
Today was one of those days. As I was booking our motel room for our February visit to Embassy RV it hit me. This is getting REAL! We are really prepping to change our entire lifestyle! It’s exciting, scary, and exhilarating all at once.
We’re so ready for this move. We see God making a way every day as we move closer to this transition.
Downsizing from a 1200 square foot sticks and bricks home to a Class B RV that is only 22 feet long overwhelms me, if I’m honest. We’ve lived in this house since the first weekend of January 2004. Lots of stuff accumulates in that amount of time. Not to mention the stuff from the six years of marriage before we bought our house.
When we decided to downsize and move into an RV full time we knew we had to purge our belongings. We knew we had to be brutal. We knew we couldn’t look at anything through the lens of nostalgia or sentimentality. We knew it would be a lot of work. And, y’all, I mean A LOT OF WORK.
Thinking about downsizing our whole house sends me into a panic. Seriously. I’m not a panic-y kind of person usually. But I did some hardcore hyperventilating the first time we sorted through our kitchen junk drawer. I couldn’t stay focused on the drawer. In my mind that one drawer morphed into an entire house of kitchen junk drawers dancing around me and mocking me. My heart raced. I broke out into a sweat. After Daniel and I went through that drawer I had to stop. It completely drained me.
But other people have done this. People do this every day. Lots of people go through their stuff and declutter at least once a year. How do they start? How do they survive the anxiety and panic? I’m learning how, and I’m going to share it with you.
Remember the old cliché: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. It’s that simple and that difficult.
How do you downsize a lifetime from a sticks and bricks house to a camper van? One bite at a time.
Pick one spot, one drawer, one shelf. Daniel and I had the right idea starting with one drawer. I just had to learn to narrow my focus. Instead of thinking about what comes after that drawer and the next one and the next one and the next one, think only about that one drawer. Set that one drawer as the goal. Not the whole house or even the whole room.
Another technique that works for me, especially for spaces larger than a drawer, is to set the timer on my phone for 30 minutes. Purge stuff like mad for 30 minutes. When the timer buzzes, stop. Take a break. Go for a walk. Drink some water. Do 15 minutes of yoga. If you have time after your break, purge for another 30 minutes. So on and so forth.
That’s how I faced cleaning out the closet in our spare room this morning.
In 30 minutes, the closet went from this (which I’m truly embarrassed to share publicly):
From that closet, I took two trash bags full of paper and plastic to the recycle bin. I took a handful of garbage out. Daniel took a box of stuff to Goodwill. I did keep my mother’s old sewing machine which I’ll store at Dad’s house for now. I also have a quilting frame that I will sell. But all of that took 30 minutes. Yes, that room is still a disaster. But that closet, that one space, is clear. It’s done. I don’t have to think about it again.
The 30 minute rule works really well for me. Some people suggest 15 minutes. Others suggest an hour. Find the time limit that works for you. Break it down to small chunks. Focus only on that chunk, no more. Then take a break before facing another chunk.
Do you have any special ways to deal with decluttering? What works well for you? Do you declutter on a schedule? Or are you like Daniel and me, facing years of clutter with only a few months to go through it all?
I realized over the weekend that this flare of reflux and heartburn is related to some anxiety and stress I’ve been experiencing the past few months. So lately I’ve been meditating on peace, God’s PEACE, the kind of peace that only comes from Him. Daily life on earth doesn’t offer much in the way of peace.
But He does.
And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Mom, you left us six months ago today. My heart hurts. I’m still trying to find my way in this new reality. I still can’t find the words to express all that fills my heart. I miss you more than I knew I could miss anyone.
We are 90% sure we have found our RV! We know we want a Winnebago. This is after a lot of research. We thought we liked the Jayco Alante, but the difference in the look and feel between Jayco and Winnebago is night and day.
Our final decision is months away. Of course we could change our minds before we buy. But we both really love the Adventurer 30T. We love the floorplan. We love the storage. We love the colors inside and outside.
Finding our rig is a big step toward our goal of full time RV life. Huge step.
Tuesday morning Daniel and I met with our financial advisor, Debbie Murphy. We want to put our retirement money in one place and with someone who has a more vested interest in us and our goals instead of a huge company’s goals.
Daniel met Mrs. Murphy when she worked for a huge financial company that administered retirement accounts for the company we work for. Five years ago she left and began to work for herself, following her passion and gift by helping those of us without any financial know how reach our dreams.
After meeting with her today, I’m confident God led us to her. I have complete peace that she will get our retirement account where it needs to be to fund our dreams.
Do yourself a favor and give her a call. Click here to go to her website. You won’t regret it.