It’s almost the new year! We hope you are having an incredible holiday season.
But now that it’s coming to a close, you may be looking around you and wondering, “Wow… when did we get so much stuff?”
Obviously, there’s all the holiday decor that’s got to come down and get stowed away for next season, from your favorite festive mugs to those endless strings of Christmas lights. (Make sure you roll them up nicely so they’re not one, giant mess come November!)
But a brand new year also offers a fresh start and the promise of new beginnings. What better time to get serious about downsizing and decluttering your home, whether we’re talking about the one on wheels or the one built on a foundation?
Getting organized and paring down your belongings can help you create more living space and can even be a way to give back to the community help those in need if you donate your used goods to the less fortunate. And besides, it just feels nice not to be drowning in “stuff.”
But it’s not always as simple as grabbing a roll of garbage bags and getting slap-happy with throwing things into the “no” pile. If you want to be successful in your decluttering venture, you need a plan.
That’s why we’re here to help. Whether you’re downsizing to move from a stable home to an RV for full-time living or you’re just trying to make some breathing space, here are our best tips and strategies.
How to Start Downsizing Your Home
If you’re just starting the process of downsizing, you may be completely overwhelmed with how many things you’ve got to go through. We can acquire a surprising amount of junk during a lifetime!
But if you’re looking for top-of-the-line advice on downsizing your home (and just getting your head straight in general), we recommend Marie Kondō’s fabulous book, “The Life-Changing Art of Tidying Up.”
You may have already heard about this title, as it’s an international bestseller. But inside, Kondō will walk you through the basics of figuring out what should stay and what should go. One of the key questions she asks you to consider about each item: Does it bring you joy? That might seem like a weighty question, or even a little hard to take seriously — but if you really had to say “yes” for everything in your home, imagine how much less stuff you’d have.
Another approach is to create a downsizing checklist, where you write a list of everything you know you absolutely need, and nothing else. Start by thinking through your day and imagining every object you use from start to finish. (Hopefully, you’ll begin with your toothbrush. 😉 )
Writing such a list will help you realize how little you actually need and how much excess stuff you have that can be gotten rid of. For instance, you may need a coffee mug, but you probably don’t need ten of them — and many of us have far more than that!
Advantages of Downsizing Home
There are many benefits and advantages of downsizing your home, no matter your lifestyle or living situation. But for seniors hoping to retire on a budget or families who wish to travel the world, narrowing down your roster of worldly possessions can help you achieve the goals without being weighed down by extra weight, both literally and financially.
Of course, downsizing can make it possible to fit all of your belongings in an RV, so you can live on the road full time and see the world while living minimalistically and without extra expenses. But even if you’re planning to stay put, you might be surprised at how much downsizing can help you hone in on what you really want out of life. It can even help you create your personal style — if you limit your belongings, you start to be a whole lot more intentional about the things you do acquire and keep!
Declutter Your Living Space
Now, what about if you’re already committed to RV living? Even after making the shift to a small space, it’s possible to accidentally end up with more stuff than you bargained for.
Don’t beat yourself up — it happens to all of us! But when you call the limited square footage of a camper “home” year round, it becomes even more imperative to narrow down the list of items you share that space with. Finding creative storage solutions and ways to organize your must-haves can also go a long way toward ensuring your RV’s environment stays comfortable and relaxing, rather than claustrophobic and chaotic.
Wondering how to declutter your RV’s small space? Well, the approach is similar no matter whether your home has four stable walls or four moving tires. You have to sit down and think hard about what items have enough importance that you’ll allow them to take up space, and to prioritize your needs above wants and luxuries. When you’re already working with a limited number of objects, you may even find yourself asking Kondō’s all-important question of each item, one at a time. (Trust us, it’ll be worth it in the long run!)
Organize Your Motorhome
Of course, at a certain point, you can’t get rid of any more objects. You do need certain things in order to get through everyday life, especially if you’ve got a family.
That’s why RVers have come up with great camping organization strategies and storage solutions, like using magnets to save the cabinet space you might have taken up with your spice collection.
You can find plenty of pre-built space savers and devices perfect for RV living, from hanging closet organizers to drawer separators and garbage cans that you can tuck into your cabinets to save some room on your floor. For even more great storage ideas, check out our article here. Many of them are super-simple to DIY — yes, even if you’re not particularly craftsy!
Enjoy your newly-decluttered space. We hope it helps you gain some clarity and breathe a little easier in 2018!
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