Preparing for full time RV life

We are now about 6 weeks away from moving into our RV full time!

How does someone prepare to move from a 1600 square foot house (with a garage) into an approximately 250 square foot RV? For starters, we have been purging like crazy around our house! We are selling, donating, & consolidating a LOT of stuff, and then storing the rest.


It’s truly amazing (and not really in a good way) how much stuff we tend to collect and how little of it we actually use or love. So this is a perfect time for us to “pass it on” and bless someone else!  The 3 of us had a closet full of clothes, but we all tend to wear our favorites over and over. We pulled out all the items that we will likely never wear again and ended up with 4 trash bags full of clothes and shoes to give away.

Next, we tackled the kitchen! I am a lover of coffee and have been collecting coffee cups for years – usually from places we go on vacation or other fun places. I keep telling myself it’s good to have lots of cups for when we have company, but honestly, I couldn’t fit that many people in my house anyway. Hubby and I both tend to go back and forth between a couple of our favorite coffee mugs and the rest just sit in the cabinet taking up space. So out they went!! We kept our favorites – some with a special meaning to us and my Fiesta cups because I love the fun colors and they go with my small collection of Fiesta plates (that will also get stored for a little while) that have been gifts from my Mom. We purged a lot of randomness & gadgets from our kitchen that were taking up space but not getting used, and were able to give many, many things away to other military families. It’s actually fun to get to bless someone else like that, and WAY better than spending all day holding a yard sale just to make $20.

We made a big difference by consolidating our CDs and DVDs by putting all the discs into a large capacity zippered CD holder and throwing away all the cases. Those plastic cases take up a lot of room!! I filled up an entire plastic tote with just the cases, but all the CDs/DVDs fit into a case that will easily fit in a closet or on a shelf.

We also purged our “memory boxes”.  15 years of marriage and 11 years of having a child means LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of cards – birthday cards, anniversary cards, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc.  Rob and I came to an agreement that we were both ok getting rid of 90% of them without getting offended.  We know we love each other, and the chances of us going back to re-read most of them isn’t likely.  So we each picked a small stack of the really special ones – a few notes from family members, extra special notes we wrote to each other, or a few super sweet homemade cards from our daughter – and we let the rest go.  No guilt!

I have big plans to work the same magic on our photos. What prints we have in boxes have already been purged, but oh the many photos I have on my computer!! Yes, they are all backed up (I’ve learned that lesson the hard way!). The problem is, we aren’t enjoying them as much as we should because they are all digital. So my plan is to get some photo books printed of our favorites, highlights from each year, etc. In the process, many need to be deleted. The problem with digital photos is it’s too easy to take 10 shots of the same thing trying to get the best photo, but then the extra 9 never get deleted. That will be a project to tackle after the move.

We do have a small list of items that we have sold or will be selling before we move. Things that will give us a little pocket money to get some needed items for the RV. But mostly, we decided to give stuff away. We’ve always been extra blessed when we needed things and in the spirit of being thankful, we wanted to do the same for others.


After all the donating, consolidating and selling – we will be putting the rest our stuff in storage.

What are we storing?

* Sentimental things that we know for sure we want to keep – A tote of memory items for each of us

* Things that we will need if/when we move back into a house or into a bigger RV and that would be hard/expensive to replace

* Things that won’t it in the RV but that we will want access to. For example, we’ll store our off-season clothes in the storage unit and swap them out as the seasons change. We’ll also keep a box or 2 of holiday/seasonal items and decorations and see what we actually use this first year. I’m sure those will get purged again as we see what we end up using in our new home. We’ll also store some of our daughter’s toys & books that she’s not bringing so that she can rotate them if she wants. For the most part, her main books will come from our weekly trips to the library anyway since she reads so much, but we are storing a few boxes worth of her favorites or ones she wants to keep for her kids one day.

What other preparations are going on?

We’ve made reservations at the RV park where we will be living. We’re actually really excited about this place. Hubby will be closer to work, and we’ll be closer to our favorite library and grocery store. It’s the little things, sometimes! It’s got a beautiful water view, lots of ducks for Emily to feed, and a little store where she can have fun spending her money on snacks. She’s even asked if she can earn bags of duck food for doing well in school!

We’re also preparing the RV for us to live in it full time by making a few modifications. I’ll go into more detail in another post, but so far we’ve painted part of Emily’s area, replaced the master mattress, knocked out some false walls to increase storage, and we’re giving our fridge colorful, magnetic front panels! I’ll also be making curtains to replace the brown ones for Emily’s bunk area and for ours to brighten up the place.

Next, I need to work on purging my sewing supplies and deciding what I’m taking with me. I’ll be taking my sewing/embroidery machine with me so I can continue to do my crafty projects, but with limited space, I’ll have to be very organized and try to only have supplies on hand for the projects I’m currently working on!

We’re making progress! Stay tuned!

One thought on “Preparing for full time RV life

  1. It’s quite the adventure, no? We did the same thing about 2 years ago and have been living in our RV full time ever since! Good luck on scaling down and getting into the RV 🙂

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