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Post Info TOPIC: FUTURE FULL-TIME RVER IN PREP MODE AND IN DESPERATE NEED OF ENCOURAGEMENT


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FUTURE FULL-TIME RVER IN PREP MODE AND IN DESPERATE NEED OF ENCOURAGEMENT


My husband and I are about 14 months away from becoming full-time RVers.  This weekend marked the first official step of purging/sorting major amounts of stuff in anticipation of moving toward selling the house and getting ready to make the final steps to become full-time RVers.

The process of purging/sorting is exhausting - both physically and mentally.  I am just struggling with parting with some material 'stuff,' given that the accumulation of said 'stuff' was often times my escape, comfort, and 'thing.'  I realize from going to the rally, from talking with many of you and with having a true desire to travel --- that becoming a full-time RVer is definitely what I want to do.  It just seems at this juncture a bit daunting, far off, and there is a sense of 'will I miss this stuff?'

I was just looking for some stream of consciousness thoughts from a few of you about the feelings of freedom that you experienced when you shed the 'stuff' (because I started to feel a glimmer of that for a brief period this weekend), if you ever look back and miss your brick and mortar life (i.e. life in a stationary home), or perhaps the experiences that you have had as RVers that you would never had had if you had stayed put amongst your things and routine (like the typical retirees do).

As always, thanks for the time and input!

Dee Henderson



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Dee - there is really not much of the "stuff" that I miss. I can say this after 14 months of FT RV'ing. Every once in a while we find ourselves purchasing something that we purged, thinking we wouldn't need it, only to find that we purged too much.

When we were back in our old home area 3 months ago, we down-sized our storage room and got rid of a lot more "stuff". As we looked through a few of the boxes, there were a few additional items we chose to bring with us and other items that moved from the RV to the storage room in an effort to keep a reasonable balance.

What I find myself missing, occasionally, is the familiarity of knowing where to go to get things done. One simple example, today I called 3 local branches of the national bank we use and found that none of them offer notary services for non-bank documents. This was never a problem in the local area of where we used to have a house. I HATE having to find someone different to cut my hair, I think I'm still getting over the mental scar of getting the worst hair cut I've had in years when we were in AZ last December.

That being said, there are so many new things and so many opportunities to explore that more than offset the occasional frustrations. For example, just this weekend we rode a new bicycle trail, the weekend before we were at a music festival, 3 weeks ago we visited Lake Tahoe for the first time, etc. We've discovered "new to us" restaurants that we can't wait to go back to, we've visited more botanical gardens in the last year than we had been to in 3 years prior to going full-time, etc.

We're both still working full time so only have evenings and weekends available to explore, but I can honestly say this lifestyle is giving us more of an opportunity for exploring the new, fun, interesting things in life vs. the drudgery of having a house and all the chores, maintenance and getting stuck in a rut that can come with spending too long in one spot.


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The purging process seems to take forever, but once it's done you do feel a weight lifted off you. I have to say that we haven't really missed any of the things we got rid of. We put nothing in storage.

Steve and I have been so many new places and made so many new friends that we would not have if we had stayed put. Wouldn't change a thing!

The most difficult part of rving for me has been finding someone to cut my hair! I've had some really funky looking hair cuts over the past few of years!



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Wife and I had a ton of stuff.. A warehouse, 3 car garage, shed, car ports.
We did garage sales, sent stuff to auctions, gave stuff away, anything to get rid of it, and get some value out of it if I could..

They say you'll be glad to be rid of the stuff..I don't think it effected us that way.. as we where buying and selling"stuff" for years.. and like my classic cars, even the stuff you liked came and went for one reason or another.. So for me, selling it all was normal.

However, I was very happy to be done with the process.. while I don't miss 90% of it.. I do miss 10%... But onto something different now.. and a new adventure! It was not able to come with us, and did not make sense to store..

As newbies on the road, We already found we brought too much stuff.. Me with tools and such, and the wife with kitchen gear.. We have the room for it all in the rv, but we know we will never use it.. so off it goes..lol

At 14 months, you folks are sitting pretty.. we had only a few months from decision to "in the rv" ..

I'm a person that gets bored easily..When I do.. time for a change.. This change is rv'ing. Something we have always talked about doing.. Been doing it 3 weeks.. And the best part for me, is not having to go open the warehouse for guys, and go to work..lol

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I would suggest maybe dividing the purging into 3 parts: (1) You really don't know why you still have it because you don't use it and aren't that fond of it. (2) Things you would like to keep but in reality you don' need and it is not that dear to your heart. (3) The harder stuff and for me, if will mean something to other family, I'll be sending it out to them and otherwise if I don't have room, it will be disposed of. I have seen too many auctions of someone's personal things where no one wanted any of it so they threw stuff in cardboard and the whole box sold for next to nothing or it ended up in the trash on the alley. I would hold some things back that I was not sure about purging just in case there was room in the RV. Also, you can box it up, put it to the side and think about whether you want to part with it. Many people do leave the lifestyle and go back to S/B. You don't have to full-time in order to travel and see the country. Make certain this is what you want before you give up your things. Is there any chance that you will change your mind? Circumstances that might cause you to do that? Changing lifestyles is BIG so make sure you aren't trying to talk yourself into doing this when you aren't sure.

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You want to travel and go full time. You mentioned all the work in preparation. Granted, it is a lot of work,but anything that is worthwhile is work. You will get through it. All full timers did.

You asked if you will miss your "stuff?"

You probably will not. We certainly do not. As you get rid of each item, you are lowering the amount of stuff that has to be taken care of. It's just stuff, and soon after starting full timing you will really question why you had it in the first place. With each piece of stuff you rid yourself of, the more freedom you will feel.

Example: I had a three drawer dresser in my bedroom in our house to hold my underwear, socks etc. I now have a three drawer plastic box about 18 inches square that completes the same function, and does it well! I did not "need" the three foot wide three foot tall dresser I had.

You asked will I miss that stuff? Again probably not. Of all the luxuries we had, 1600 square foot house in paradise,, private pool, huge living room with a billiard table, etc. You can get the picture. Of all that we really only miss three things: 1. A large bathtub(Wife) Pizza delivery to the door (both).
3. Daily newspaper delivery. (Hubby) Certainly not much, is it?

We don't have the time to look back, as we are too busy looking forward and seeing all that this beautiful country has to offer.

My dog has peed in more states than most people will see in a lifetime! Come join the adventure. You won't regret it either.




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I think everything I would want to suggest has been said already. It took us 3 years from the decision to becoming full timers (the end of June of this year). I admit it was very difficult to start the purging process initially, but as we kept the dream in sight, it became easier. By the final days, we were ready to throw or give all the remaining items away. We also started by sorting into "haven't used in 5 years, and don't anticipating using it again within the next month," "may need to use it soon" (in which case it would go into storage), "must have in the RV" (very few things). I'd say 80% of our belongings went into storage just until we could determine how much space we had (the "we'd like to have but not critical if we don't) or were given away or sold.

Like NWEscapee said, we also discovered we could have taken more with us, and have had to purchase some things we gave away. AS for sentimental stuff, we took photos of them so we can look at them whenever we want.

Good luck!

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I have known a few people who lost everything in a disaster, a fire or other problem. What they missed was personal stuff, photos, letters, documentation, maybe some heirlooms. The vast majority of what they lost did not matter to them in retrospect. I am not saying to take drastic action, but just trying to give some perspective.

To echo what SnowGypsy said about auctions, I have seen the same. My mother loves to go to estate sales and for my wife and I, they are eye openers when we go with her. We see so much that the owners must have treasured and thought was important, but is now priced at 50 cents to get it out of there.

I have known a few who quit fulltiming and went back to a fixed dwelling. Often they go for some place much smaller than they had before. They also complain about the costs of getting new furniture, but most who have been on the road a few years do not regret starting over.

If you are unsure, sort that last pile into a storage unit. Come back in a year or two and clear it out, or use it to furnish a new fixed dwelling.

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RV-Dreams Family Member

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Hey guys.. as to auctions.. You can bid it up your self, and even get agreement from the house to only pay 10% if you buy it back.. Common practice for the inside track people..

So either you make people pay.. or just pay fee to take it back..

Personally.. anything I send/sent/will send to a auction, is not worthy of much else.. And I don't bid up.. cause it's here or it goes into the trash, or tax write off at good will..lol



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We gave to kids and rest to Red Cross. Tax donation also.

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2003 Teton Grand Freedon  2006 Mobile Suites 32TK3 SOLD     2006 Freightliner Century 120 with Detroit 14L singled, ultrashift,  hauling a 2016 Smart Passion



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To quote Chuck Palahniuk - You buy furniture. You tell yourself that this is the last sofa that I will ever need in my life. Buy the sofa, then for a couple of years you’re satisfied that no matter what goes wrong, at least you’ve got your sofa issue handled. Then the right set of dishes. Then the perfect bed. Then drapes. The rug. Then you’re trapped in your lovely nest, and the things that you used to own, they now own you.

 

I've come to view "stuff" the same way….



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NWescapee wrote:


What I find myself missing, occasionally, is the familiarity of knowing where to go to get things done. 


 This is my biggest headache.  I have been able to find good resources, but I usually spend a day or two talking to the locals to get a good reference.  

The only thing we've had to repurchase so far is a decent camera.  When on vacation we never carried the bigger one around so we let it go, but when in Alaska the point and shoot just didn't cut it.  Another  big thanks to Terry of (Terry and Jo) for all his help in picking out a good one.

 

Stuff is just stuff.  If it will bother you to get rid of it put it in storage.  Many people go back to their storage units after a year and then discard whats left, but a year down the road they are comfortable without the material stuff.

 

Red



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el Rojo and Pam wrote:
The only thing we've had to repurchase so far is a decent camera.  When on vacation we never carried the bigger one around so we let it go, but when in Alaska the point and shoot just didn't cut it.  Another  big thanks to Terry of (Terry and Jo) for all his help in picking out a good one.

Stuff is just stuff.  If it will bother you to get rid of it put it in storage.  Many people go back to their storage units after a year and then discard whats left, but a year down the road they are comfortable without the material stuff.

 Red


 I was very happy to be of help to you.  However, I'm disappointed that you haven't started a blog and shared a bunch of those photos with us all.

(Just kidding.  I'm glad you have enjoyed it.)

 

As for the stuff, it was actually liberating to get rid of it.  With regards to what I would call our "heirlooms," the hardest for me was giving up my mother's oil paintings.  At one time, we had as many as 65 of them, just in our house.  Now, we are down to only a few of the smallest ones that could go on the walls of our Mobile Suites.  With all the supposed "heirlooms," we asked our family if they wanted any of them.  For the most part, none were desired, so the "heirlooms" only meant something to us, and that "something" wasn't all that important, even to us.

Now that we are settled in for anywhere from 1 to 3 years in the Colorado Springs area, I need to go through a bunch of our storage tubs and get rid of some more "stuff."

Terry



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We have 9 months left of the 27 month count-down. We will be through all the "stored" stuff next week and have another yard sale. It is a big milestone for us because the only things left will be 1) what we are taking with us, 2) things we'll use/live with until we leave - to be sold or given to family when the house sells, 3) three heirloom trunks with the mementos we will store at my son's. And after Christmas the attic will be empty. Yay!

I can understand how many full-timers have filled a storage unit only to go back and purge the stuff once or twice until there's nothing left after a year or two. Many of the things I pulled out for the yard sale this week are things that I kept even through previous purging - just a couple months ago I thought they were important enough to keep, and now I'm ready to sell them for a dollar

Having empty cupboards and drawers is a wonderful feeling! You'll find your rhythm and feel the excitement of getting closer to your dream

Jodee




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I often wonder if one is older and going through the process of getting rid of stuff if it isn't more traumatic sort of like admitting that a lot of the stuff won't mean anything to anyone after you are gone as when people part with their homes and things to go into senior living. I think the difference might come when you get half way through and realize it is the beginning of a new and exciting chapter to your life, not any sort of "end" plan which would explain why it is hard and then you are ready to just put it on the curb and sell it by the box, find your yourself hopping up and down to just see others driving away with it and feel the weight of those things lifted from your shoulders. I still think one needs to ask themselves if is more the uncertainty of changing the lifestyle or the stuff that is making them hesitate.

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SnowGypsy wrote:

I often wonder if one is older and going through the process of getting rid of stuff if it isn't more traumatic sort of like admitting that a lot of the stuff won't mean anything to anyone after you are gone as when people part with their homes and things to go into senior living. I think the difference might come when you get half way through and realize it is the beginning of a new and exciting chapter to your life, not any sort of "end" plan which would explain why it is hard and then you are ready to just put it on the curb and sell it by the box, find your yourself hopping up and down to just see others driving away with it and feel the weight of those things lifted from your shoulders. I still think one needs to ask themselves if is more the uncertainty of changing the lifestyle or the stuff that is making them hesitate.


Very astute point. I also believe that at one point a person looks at an item as realizes,:"I can't use this anymore. It won't fit in the RV. I am going to be ON THE ROAD!"  That excitement of the future ahead makes purging so much easier.



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Your stuff can all be classified into one of four categories, A, B, C and D:

Category A: Things you really are going to use and take with you in your RV.

Category B: These are the things that you can sell -- your dining room table and chairs, the sofa you bought two years ago, your riding lawnmower. In fact, you can sell almost everything and it doesn't take long to do it.

Category C: These are the things that you put in a garage sale one Saturday and then take what doesn't sell to Goodwill. This way, at the end of the day it's gone. Basically category C items are things that you could buy at Goodwill for almost nothing IF you ever really needed them.

Category D: This category is for sentimental things. A few of these things you can take with you – but very few. Pictures and photo albums can all be scanned and put on a thumb drive. Give most of your sentimental items to the person you would want to have them when you're gone.

By all means don't put things in storage – at least, not more than what will fit in the smallest storage unit they make. And if you do put things in a storage unit, a year from now consider getting rid of even those things. Some people have found it easier to get rid of sentimental things in a two step process like this, but don't let it drag out into years and still have the junk in storage.

Just my two-cednts worth.



-- Edited by Jerry8mm on Wednesday 1st of October 2014 06:25:05 PM

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Hi Dee,

It was great to see your post as we are going to be full-timers in April 2015.  Our trailer is a little teardrop so "purging" is really a priority as our storage will be limited to the back of our SUV, and cubbies inside the trailer.  Our kitchen as an outdoor galley so kitchen gear is limited significantly too. 

For us we are trying to figure out what to do with the "personal" things, like photos and past journals.  I have two sisters that hopefully will take some of these things plus family odds and ends.  But, we may have to toss some of this and that will be hard.  All summer we went weekly to a flea market as a vendor and sold quite a bit.  We will continue this once a month through the winter.

I hope you are doing well with your "purge" and I am open to any of your ideas!

Best regards!

 



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Cape Cod, MA

April 2015 Full time Teardrop campers

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Hey Dee,

Thanks for starting this thread.  It's really good to read the perspectives many of the FTers have.  Got rid of stuff and pretty much never looked back.  After all, it is just 'stuff'.  Like Bill and Jodee, if I'm counting correctly, we have a shade over 9 months to go.  We've started to purge stuff as well.  Mostly clothes at this point.  We will have to do some bigger stuff later.  I think we may be a bit luckier than most (or unlucky depending upon how you look at it).  My kid's gonna move in and rent from us.  I don't know if that's just prolonging the inevitable of having to sell the house?

In any case, we'll will be getting rid of pretty much everything except a piece or two my wife wants to keep.  And we can leave it in the house.  But I think if your mind is set to 'do this thing', you know what the prize is and what you have to do to get there.  I THINK it makes it a little bit easier.  AND I WANT TO DO THIS THING!  Oh, and so does my wife.



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If you can handle a little raunchy humor, Google "George Carlin Stuff". His bit on "stuff" pretty much sums up the dilemma of our belongings, and how it takes over our lives.

Purging can be a painful process. Rest assured that the prize is worth the pain. You will not miss your stuff, once it is gone.

Jim (and Diana)

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Couple of things really helped me with this. We had the kids come in and take what they wanted. Since everything will go to them eventually it was easier to let go, plus we had some wonderful family bonding. Secondly we got a storage area for two years and then we will reevaluate. Some people feel they need to purge everything and I respect that, but once I knew I could keep some things it became much much easier.

Trace

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