About a year before we moved into our first travel trailer, I changed the way I looked at every purchase. Most of us do not think twice about going shopping and buying things. Sometimes I made multiple purchases per day. You can see evidence of this by the number of trash cans put to the curb every week.
But when I embraced the idea that we were moving into a 160 square foot travel trailer (we called her Mona later in her life), I looked at every single purchase and asked, “Will this fit into the trailer?”
This simple switch made my impulse buying disappear in an instant and without any remorse. But you do need to make a COMMITMENT to the plan.
Why? Because my desire to have location freedom was stronger that buying “stuff.” It was usually stuff I really did not need. I was bored so I went shopping.
Can you relate?
When you make the decision and commit to hitting the road and living your dream, this one shift can make it a reality faster. For me it was all or nothing.
Minimalizing, or downsizing, your current life can take some time and be a bit emotional. Some of you may be like me and enjoy the purge. I mean, why do I have that gag gift I received ten years ago?
Remember, you can store those things you just can’t let go.
Of course I still have a storage shed that has family heirlooms, what’s left of my library, and various bits of memorabilia, like my daughters first fancy dress. Everything in it fits into a tub with a lid. That means there is no furniture.
For many years I did store the furniture and a bit more stuff. Until you are completely comfortable with this new lifestyle, you will probably do the same. But have an exit plan.
I met a person recently in an RV Park that just started their journey. He was going to meet the truck that brought his possessions across country so he could put into storage. It required five full size storage units.
That is not a commitment. And it is quite an unnecessary expense.
Stuff ties you down. It requires maintenance, cleaning, emotional attachment, a place to keep it – all things we are trying to eliminate. It leads to the opposite of financial freedom and location freedom.
Less stuff also means you have more time. More time to enjoy traveling, meet interesting people, and relax. It can also do amazing things for your relationships and peace of mind.
Tips to Getting Started
I still like to watch those home makeover shows. There was a short series on Netflix that had about 6 episodes where people were downsizing into a tiny home, which is about the size of our current motorhome (240 sq. feet).
The hosts would have them put things into piles – keep, donate, store, throw away. There was also a series about hoarders that did a similar thing.
They both were a bit comical. At first, their keep pile was still quite large. Then as they went through it several times, they realized what they really valued and what they could release.
This is your task.
Before you begin, set yourself a goal. What date would you like to be out on the road? Be sure to put a date on it. Then you can create a timeline with tasks to begin the minimization process.
What is the most cluttered room in your home? Start there. If it seems overwhelming, start in one corner, and move around the room.
What you will discover is how much the removal of clutter will clear the clutter in your head. You begin to feel energized. Your creativity returns. You feel good donating things to people that need them more than you.
Make this a short timeline. It does not mean you have to move into the RV as soon as you are decluttered. It just means you are closer to the transition to freedom.