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.

Touring Washington D.C. – RV Style

Free activities and how to get around Washington D.C. in an RV.

Well, we finally made it to the Washington D.C. area. The roads are not very RV friendly (or large truck friendly for that matter). So prepare yourself and take an extra dose of patience before entering the greater D.C. area.

We are staying at a great KOA Campground right out side the D.C. area (about a 40 minute commute into downtown). KOA has become our campground of choice. They have RV hookups in both 30 watt and 50 watt. They are also very dog and kid friendly. The ones that we have been to have had an awesome playground for the kids and also a dog agility course for our furry child.

As far as taking the RV into downtown, I highly advise against it. In fact, I also advise against taking any vehicle into greater downtown. There are plenty of commuter options available. But, if you are like us and not familiar with metro transportation… then you might wonder what to do. We drove our truck into town and parked up by Union Station and walked.

There are several parking spots near Union Station that accommodate large vehicles. The parking lot we chose was $8 a day. However, be prepared to pay double if you are an over-sized vehicle and need two spots. You can also choose to park over at Arlington National Cemetery and walk. Parking is a little more over there for day parking. It is also a long walk, so I would advise against it if you have littles.

After 6:30 p.m. the street parking of Washington D.C. along the Washington Memorial and Smithsonian open up. Once we left Union Station and Capitol Hill, we parked down along the Washington Memorial and walked to the White House and Lincoln Memorial. It was about a 1 hour walk in total, but we took a little longer while we waited at the Lincoln Memorial for night lighting to illuminate the area. Well worth it.

Oh, did I mention that all this activity was FREE! That’s right! Our tour of the Nation’s Capitol Building, visit to Washington Memorial, and Lincoln Memorial… all FREE. The only thing we paid for all day was the $16 for parking (because we were over-sized) and any souvenirs / food that we wanted. In fact, many of the buildings are free to the public.

All in all, I would say that it was a great learning day. The kids learned a lot about government and presidential history. Later this week we will dive into the world of the Smithsonian and hopefully find “The Thinker” statue so our oldest can cross an item off her bucket list.

But until then, remember that no matter where you go and what you do… Home is where you park it.20160829_194253 (2)

On the Road!

Staying near Sulphur, LA with a dog

In the great words of Dr. Seuss, “Congratulations! Today is your day! You’re off to great places! You’re off and away!”

We are OFFICIALLY ON THE ROAD! It has been great to call ourselves full-time rvers!

Our first stop has landed us in a great community near Sulphur, LA. I can’t say enough about the awesome folks here at A+ Motel and RV Park. They were very accommodating with our late night arrival and very friendly. The park has lots of amenities and is also dog friendly. FANTASTIC!

Oh, yeah, did we tell you that we are traveling with a dog and a cat! In honor of National Dog Day, here is our Sam!

Sam is a border collie. The breed is very intelligent, which is why we love him so much. It took him 15 minutes to learn roll over. He knows basic agility as well. The breed thrives on having a job. And while most fall into the spot of herding sheep or cattle, our Sam has fallen into the job of herding kids. He makes sure they are doing what they should be doing. And with four of them running around, he has his work cut out for him.

Well time to load up and see some more great places. Next stop… the Appalachian Mountains…

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