RV living isn’t for everyone and I’m sure everyone has different reasons, when it comes to why they chose to live the
Some people may choose rv living because they figure it’s cheaper than living in a house. Others may choose it because they just retired and they want to go on an extended vacation before settling down somewhere permanently. Some people really like the idea of “permanent camping” and living in the great outdoors.
More and more people, such as ourselves, are choosing rv living because we wanted to simplify our lives and be un-tethered from the conventional “sticks and bricks” where you’re confined to living in a specific place.
RV Living: Minimalism, Whether You Like It Or Not
Whether you consider yourself a minimalist or not, living in an rv will give you a quick lesson in living with only the necessities. You simply don’t have the space for unnecessary stuff, and when you move from a typical house to an rv, you quickly learn you have a LOT of unnecessary stuff!
When you’ve had a consumer mindset for a long time, it’s not as easy as you think to make the switch!
My wife Lorena and I had only been married 8 1/2 years when we decided to make the move to rv living. You don’t realize how much you consume until you take a good hard look at every space in your house. You never think twice about picking up this trinket, or that thing for the shelf, or this piece for the living room, or this piece of clothing. It adds up to a ton of stuff you really don’t need.
Once we made the decision to buy the rv and starting looking around at the purchases we had made over the years, it was overwhelming.
What were we thinking when we bought all of this stuff!?
Was it really necessary?
What is the purpose of having 160 some odd shirts?? Yes, I had over 160 shirts! Mostly Harley Davidson t-shirts that I had accumulated over the years. Thousands of dollars worth of clothing, I really didn’t need.
Anyway, it forced us to evaluate, not only what we’ve already bought, but our future spending as well.
Walking into a store is completely different when you know you absolutely DO NOT have the space for that purchase! I am not a big shopper anyway, and I can’t speak for Lorena, but it completely frees you from any impulse spending because it simply won’t fit in the rv!
In this video, on Youtube, about our transition to rv living, we talk about how everything has to go: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFlofdMsKfM
RV Living: What Is Really NECESSARY?
There is a lot less stuff that is absolutely necessary than you think.
We are downsizing from 1,879 sq ft to less than 300 sq ft and we thought we needed space for all of it.
Think about that!
Not a 25% decrease…or 50% decrease…or 75% decrease…we’re talking almost 85% less space, for all of your stuff!!!
Lorena and I could have almost filled all of the closet space in our rv with just our shoes alone! That’s insane!
The bottom line was, we needed to reduce the amount of “stuff” we had. Not just shoes or clothing, but EVERYTHING! It was time to take an inventory of the necessities and, of course, like most people, we thought everything was a necessity. Obviously, if anyone takes a look at their possessions and does an honest assessment, they are going to immediately see a ton of things that they absolutely don’t need,
The hardest part of the process is finding the things that you don’t need and have no emotional attachment to. Many of the things we keep is simply because we have some sort of emotional attachment to them.
I know what you’re thinking…”Not me Paul. I don’t have an emotional attachment to any of my possessions.”
You are either an emotionless freak or lying!
Emotional attachment, in my opinion, is what makes most of our possessions seem necessary. The reality is, the large majority of what we own is not necessary at all.
RV Living: Over Valuing Our Possessions
We thought we had no emotional attachment to our stuff, until it was time to start getting rid of things. The value we place on our used stuff shows just how crazy they are about it. You especially find this out once you start listing it in classified ads. You have a perceived value on something, but to other people it is just your junk and they want it for nothing!
If you truly want to make the transition to rv living, there are three things you must do:
- You must realize that you can’t fit the large majority of your stuff in your rv.
- You must “let go” of any attachment to the stuff.
- You must GET RID OF IT!
RV Living: What We Expect From Living In An RV
Most people can’t wrap their heads around wanting to live in an RV. They look at it as restricting because you have to give up your stuff. They look at it as restricting because you won’t have any living space. They look at it as restricting because you don’t have a “home.”
Let me address all of these one at a time.
I’ll start with the last first. For me, home is where you decide it is. In the RV world you’ll hear people say. “home is where we park it.” I totally agree with that. An RV is not a home in a traditional sense, but if that is where you lay your head to sleep at night then I would consider that your home. Your clothes are there. Your toiletries are there. Your food is there. In that sense, your home is where you park it!
Giving up your stuff does not have to be restricting. It can be a real sense of freedom. We are so programmed to be consumers that it’s hard to come to grips with not being able to buy things whenever you want. After you’ve accumulated all the stuff, then what? You can only use so much stuff and then it just goes to waste. How many people do you know with a ton of possessions in a storage facility and they never use it. That is total non-sense. If you can’t fit your possessions within the confines of your house…you have too much junk! Yes, I said it, JUNK!
Lastly, let’s address living space. Many people never leave their house except to go to work. They commute to work and straight back home and never go anywhere else. To me THAT is restricting. Sure you may have 1,500 sq ft, 2,500 sq ft or even more, but if you never leave what’s the point.
Living in a small space makes it easier for you to get out and enjoy the outdoors. Open the windows and let a breeze flow through. Get out and go for a hike. Sit out on a picnic table and have breakfast, lunch, dinner or maybe all three! Living in a small space makes cleaning up after yourself an easy process because you don’t have enough space to let it go for long periods of time.
Living in a small space allows you to enjoy other things, instead of living just to afford your house and spend all of your time caring for that house.
Add wheels to that small space and the entire country becomes your backyard! You aren’t restricted to just one area. You can decide where you want to live and at what time of year. You can decide to live somewhere specific or no where specific.
Of course, we could be completely delusion and this will be the worst decision of our lives!
We’ll let you know in a year!
Check out this video playlist on Youtube to get you started: RV LIVING