Downsizing into an RV

How to downsize and faithsize your life.

Full time RV living is not for the faint of heart. You have to rethink everything that society has trained you for. As Americans, it is always more, more, more. Bigger house, bigger car, more stuff, bigger dreams. Next thing you know, you are staring at a large house that is packed full of things that you don’t need.

We started the process of downsizing several months ago. We had looked around and decided that the big house and all the fancy things just weren’t us. We didn’t need a tv room, media room, play room, and game room. We didn’t need six bedrooms. We didn’t need the big backyard. We just didn’t need it…

We looked around and saw parents that were disconnected with their children because of electronics, families so busy that they forget to stop and enjoy the smiles of their little ones. But, unfortunately, that is how many of the families in our area are becoming. You get wrapped up in little league, gymnastics, ballet, sports, work and a slew of other social commitments that you don’t have time to enjoy life.

That’s when we decided to downsize. Or, as I like to call it, faithsize… The process of faithsizing didn’t occur overnight. It has taken us six months to make this transition. And all along the way, our faith and trust in God has been tested. We are constantly worried, are we making the right decision? What if we fail? Is this really what we are meant to do? But then we are given a glimmer, a sign that He is with us and always watching out for us.

So what is the process to faithsize / downsize your home?

Take it in waves. With every room we took things in waves. The first sweep / wave was always a general clearing of trash and items that we knew we didn’t want to keep. This step was the easiest because it resulted in a 50% reduction in the items left for storage / packing. Most people also do this first sweep during any moving process or garage sale season to remove clutter.

After the first wave, we went back and did a second wave of reduction. Items leftover from the first wave that we thought we wanted to keep had to be re-evaluated for overall importance and purpose. This was a little more difficult because we had to justify keeping it either in storage or in the RV, which were both limited in space. And in some rooms, a third wave had to be done. We kept repeating the process until our home of 4,400 sq ft was reduced down to an RV and items that could fit into a single storage unit.

Trust in God’s Plan for You. If you don’t know God, I encourage that find yourself a church home. He has shown us the way many times during our adventure. And learning to trust and have faith in His plan has been an experience. It never ceases to amaze me that when we believe, He shows us His grace and love in the most AMAZING ways.

But, no matter where you are going, what you’re downsizing into, or the reasons on why you are choosing to simplify your life… Never forget that God should always be in it and home is where you park it.

Moving Tips

5 Moving Tips

While packing out our house and preparing for another move, it occurred to me that there are several tips that we have acquired through the years. While the best way to move is to hire someone, hiring a person comes with a costs and you loose some ability in what stays and what goes.

We hired a company to move us once and they ended up packing EVERYTHING up in boxes. This is great for a no hassle quick move. But it also means that EVERYTHING comes with you… all the way down to the clutter that could have been trashed.

Since then, we have pretty much been DIY in the moving department. It allows us the opportunity to declutter in the process. But, we will talk about how to do that another day.

So, my top moving tips…

  1. Do it one room at a time. We have found that tackling one room at a time is effective and works. We spend the extra time to work through the clutter that has accumulated over the years and pack things that we actually want to take with us.
  2. Use styrofoam plates as cushions. When ever we move, a trip to the dollar store is a must. We purchase several styrofoam plates, bowls and cleaning supplies for use during our move. The plates come in handy for a cushion between the ceramic or glassware. We layer our plates and alternate glassware with styrofoam to ensure that nothing rubs or gets broke.
  3. Leave the spare bedding and towels out. Our first move we threw all our bedding and towels in one box and called it good. But, then we were stuck buying a whole bunch of bubble wrap for our fragile items. Not anymore… Now we keep the towels and bedding out and utilize it in boxes as we would bubble wrap.
  4. Leave some kids toys for last. With our four children, there is no shortage of toys in our house. And, when they get packed up, you would think that the end of the world is coming. To help ease the stress of moving with our littles, we keep some of the more popular out for last. Bikes and scooters are a must for last minute packing. The kids can play with them almost all day and it provides them with an outdoor activity.
  5. Save a box for last. It never fails that when we think we got all the rooms packed, we can walk around and find a few odd ball things lying around. Usually one of two things happen. Either one we decide ‘too bad so sad’ and chunk it in the trash. Or two, we decide we need to take it with us. Then it goes into our ‘catch-all’ box.

No matter what place or reason you are moving, remember that it will only be as pleasant of an experience as you make it. Also remember that it is a stressful time for you. If you have littles, it is even more stressful for them. So, when packing all those boxes… don’t forget to pack your patience.

Oh the Places We Will Go!

How our family of 6 begins our adventure in RV living.

The famous book by Dr. Seuss comes to mind as we start our adventure. “Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away!” (Dr. Seuss)

Some might think we are crazy. Other’s might think that we are insane! I mean who in their right mind sells off everything they have, packs their entire family of six into a travel trailer with a cat and a dog and heads out for a nomadic lifestyle…. We do.

We started this journey a couple of months ago by pulling our children from public school and deciding to homeschool over the summer. It was pretty harmless at first, the only thing at risk was a few learning opportunities during summer break. Then, we tacked on a week long summer trip to California.  We spent a week traveling Route 66 through the Grand Canyon and up to Yosemite National Park. IT WAS FABULOUS! The next week, we traveled to Florida. That’s right back to back… coast to coast. The kids loved it.

Once we settled into Homeschool life, it was amazing watching the kids learn and grow. We were hooked. That’s when we decided to go full force and dive into full-time rv living.

The journey has not been easy. We have had to rethink the way we do everything from taking simple showers to grocery shopping. We have had to retrain our minds.

And now we come to the critical point… Launching. Go or no go… Take a leap of faith or turn and walk back to our safety nets… When considering all the little ones involved, it is a pretty daunting decision.

But, faith has guided us thus far, and faith will continue to show us the way. Believing and trusting in God’s plan is a must.

Will we succeed?… According to Dr. Seuss “Yes! You will indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)”post