Wingin' It!, Episode 40:
We recently had a chance to host a couple of RV life seminars at the Austin RV Expo. One of the topics we spoke about was downsizing. And that is a topic that is near and dear to our hearts, since as full-time RVers, we are always downsizing. It's a continual process. So, in this week's Wingin' It! we talk more about downsizing and how it has helped us to upsize our lives!
How to Rehome Your Stuff
You have a lot of options when you're looking for ways to thin out your belongings. Here are a few things that worked well for us...
Facebook Marketplace - While we didn't get top dollar for any of the items we listed for sale on Facebook Marketplace, we did sell a lot of our furniture and household decor through it. Our top tips for Facebook Marketplace? Set a realistic price, give a good, honest description of the item with pictures, and arrange for the person to pick up the item when and where you are comfortable. It's okay to meet somewhere public or have friends or family with you. We had zero issues, but better safe than sorry.
Facebook Neighborhood Groups - At the same time we listed each item in Facebook Marketplace, there was an option to add the listing to our neighborhood group also. We sold quite a few items to neighbors who saw the listings in the group.
Charity Groups - There are a lot of charity groups out there who take furniture, clothes, bedding and household goods. Do a Google search for veterans' groups, womens' shelters, childrens' charities, senior centers, church organizations, and pet shelters in your area. It's possible that some of these local organizations may send volunteers to help you load up donations and haul them off for you. We weren't close enough to any of them in our sticks and bricks home, but it worked great when we were downsizing Stacie's Aunt... the local senior center sent a volunteer who was a HUGE help with loading and hauling!
Even though we were too far out in the suburbs for any of the groups to pick-up, we tried to spread our donations around to a lot of charities.
Don't Forget Food Pantries! - If you are really downsizing, you may not have the same level of food storage that you have had in the past. In this case, consider donating the food you aren't taking to a local food pantry.
Garage Sales - You're certainly not going to get rich off of garage sales, but they are a good way to downsize items like clothes, kitchen gadgets, old kid toys and holiday decorations. And you don't have to box anything up! We started with garage sales years before we went full-time just to chip away a little bit at a time.
Family - Our friends Alec and Cindy of Sharing the Journey shared a great tip with us about how they decided which of their kids got what... They gave each of their grown children a set of colored stickers (a different color for each kiddo). They set a day and time for everyone to come over and each kid got to put a sticker on the items they wanted.
Over the past year + of being full-time RVers, we've learned that we need very few items to be happy. In fact, we don't really miss any of the items that we gave up in the initial downsizing from the 3,000 square foot house to the sub-300 square foot RV. And we have downsized several more times since we've been living in our motorhome.
Often in an RV, you'll find that you have to store items in front of other items. Sometimes we've found that we use the item in the back more often and so we find ourselves getting rid of the lesser used items in the front. Other times we've forgotten completely about the item in the back, and so it goes in the next round of downsizing giveaways. Bottom line... downsizing is a continual process and it's okay to be a process. You don't have to do it all at one time.
We've found that every time we make a trip to donate items, we feel lighter, more free, and a little less weighted down. If something new comes in, something old has to go to make room for it. But that's okay. For us now, life is about the experiences we have, the places we visit, the people we meet. It's not about the stuff. And that's how downsizing our stuff has helped us to upsize our lives!
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