Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Neverending Story - Purging

I spent over 18 months purging our stuff in preparation for our new life on the road. Many of the things I kept through one purge didn't make it through the next - or the next. So certainly by the time we finished our last yard sale, and the final pieces were picked up by Freecycle members, there was nothing left but the absolute essentials! 

Moving into the 2-bedroom apartment the last few days has been an excellent reality check. No bathroom drawers, no linen closet, smaller kitchen, tiny garage for the bikes and tools, etc. Although much bigger than the RV will be, we still have more stuff than space! 

It's not the furniture and small appliances either. Not the TV's and the big barbecue. Not the extra dishes and flatware and large serving bowls for "company". Those we brought with us knowing we would get rid of them at the end of our time here.

The stuff of drawers and cupboards is the culprit. But I didn't bring a dresser when we moved, and downsized to a small plastic piece with three drawers, so it's not clothes. We only have one extra set of sheets and a couple extra towels and no more tablecloths, so it's not linens. 

The stuff of kitchen and bathroom drawers and cupboards is definitely the culprit! If I have a bottle of "all-purpose" cleaner then how do I also have at least six more "cleaners"? We don't drink wine so why the space-sucking opener that is only used for corks? I can't use "boy" razors and shaving cream? 

What is particularly troublesome about this ongoing stuff vs space battle is that we have several "RV" boxes in the tiny garage - what the hell is in those?

So the purging continues even as I'm unpacking the things that made it through the last year and a half. We have six months here and I can't wait to see what we unload during that time, and what we think will actually fit in the motorhome when it's time for that final move.


I like this story better!


27 comments:

  1. You crack me up! The purging is truly the unbelievable part. We had no problems fitting things in the 5er. We really did a surprising job of that. But I know we can get rid of some stuff from the basement. (Really, Steve, do we need the 4 ft sluice box?) When we get back to CA in May, some biggies barely used will get unloaded. (golf clubs that haven't been used once in nearly 6 mos?) My husbands take is, "Well, there was room, so why get rid of it?" :-) Like you, cleansers, I have spray bleach and windex. What else do you need for the inside? At least you started early and still have more time. I think you'll be quite surprisingly relaxed when it's time to move in your RV.

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    1. Love the "well, there was room...."! I'm hoping this transition will turn out to be a plus for our final downsizing to the rig :-)

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  2. You're doing it in steps. When we started out we stored some stuff with our daughter and also got a storage shed. It was easier to put all the "maybes" in that storage shed than made a decision. It took a couple years after that to get it down even more. However, we still have a shed and I still have boxes. What can I say?

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    1. We put some stuff in our old trunks in my son's storage unit so I know what you mean. Some things I just wasn't ready to completely let go yet. We'll see in a year or more.....

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  3. Depending on how large your MH will be, you might be surprised how much space you have. We have lots of room and I haven't even filled ever space in four and half years! People who look in our basement cabinets find it hard to believe we are fulltimers. Our theory...if we don't use it, why carry it! We don't carry the "just in case" items. We have found that if we need something. we go buy it then. Why take up space with items you may never use. Also, you'll find you need very little in the clothing area. Every day is casual. Our main attire is workout/hiking clothing. But my best friend in our MH is my washer/dryer. I would be lost if I didn't have it.

    Good luck with your final purge. But wait to do more til you get your future home and see how much space you have.

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    1. Looking at the bathroom in the two rigs we're considering, I think you're definitely right! There is better storage than in the apartment. I'm hoping to avoid as many "just in case"s as possible so I'm really glad to hear that getting it when you need it is working for you!!

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  4. I agree with Pam, the rig you choose will determine how much you can take. I'm on such a budget that I didn't want to get rid of anything I might need and then have to buy it again. Thus in our 35' we have only a little bit of room to store anything else. So that keeps us from buying anything. Nothing can come in until something goes out. LOL. I was actually surprised by how many clothes I needed. I don't mean dress anything - just every level of layer known. I've even worn my Alaska heavy duty hoodie. Get that rig and then you can really start planning.

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    1. Good idea to wait and see for sure. We've been doing the "something out before something in" for a year now and it really helps us to be sure we "need" something before buying it! It is very empowering to walk out of stores without getting anything :-) I am always colder than Bill, so I'm sure I'll have several layers as well!!

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  5. I hear ya on the purging never ending - I look at my apartment now and think I have too much stuff, yet I've been purging ever since I moved in three years ago!! Sounds like things are going well, if not super busy for you!

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    1. Yep, things are definitely moving along well! Good to hear from you Terri - hope you're staying warm up in New England!

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  6. Your so close to fulltiming. I'm very excited for you. :) Good Job!

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    1. Thanks Janet! We're finally feeling like we're getting close :-)

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  7. I just spent the past few days purging Scoopy! We didn't have her filled up, yet I still found so many things we don't need! The good news is that we have a place to store everything here at the ranch, so I can always pick it up later if I decide I need it, or I can swap things out. I have loads of empty spaces in Scoopy and it feels so good! Congrats on selling and moving forward! Can't wait until you finally hit the road!

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    1. It's funny how empty space makes us feel good - like we've accomplished something big! I love it!

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  8. I KNOW! If you think you purged enough, you've got to think again! It is amazing how long it takes to truly get rid of EVERYTHING extra! Though, I will say, we have plenty of room in our 5th wheel for everything we need...and we even still have a LOT of clothes.

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    1. I suppose after taking decades to accumulate and all the room for storing it makes some sense, but it's the "re-purging" the same stuff that I kept two months ago that is so weird for me :-) We don't have a lot of clothes now, but I know we'll want some "different" clothes for activities on the road....so we'll see.

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  9. Not only that, but "boy" razors are far cheaper than "girl" razors. And are exactly the same, except for the colour.

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    1. As are most boy things! And the shaving cream works the same too......except it doesn't have that groovy vanilla-ginger-cookie smell that one wants for their underarms :-)

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  10. You should definitely have your rig weighed when you are all moved in. LOL I love reading about your preparation for the road. I probably should do some purging myself. Our rule is that if you being something in, you have to take something out.

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    1. I thought the same thing when I saw the tools we're bringing. And the cast iron pans. We have the same rule in the house, but have also started considering the weight of something before buying - and looking for a lighter alternative when we can. After Christmas we'll be working on the light alternative of ourselves as well :-)

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  11. Funny, we still have a "stuff" drawer and I am regularly purging it. One thing, we could have brought more kitchen cookware than we did, and I have been waiting for our plates to break so I can buy new ones, but they just won't! HeHe :)

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    1. Of course not! They'll likely last forever :-)

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  12. I'm doing a little purging myself. Alex left quite a few knick-knacks when he moved out. I'm boxing them up and putting them in the car with me and Rocky when we drive out. Still have some of Jessica's things here too. And she left a year before Alex...

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    1. Yep! I have shipped seven boxes of Jeff's stuff to him in Seattle. Just today I was going through the boxes of photos and will have another one to send him soon :-) It is weird not having the boys' ornaments on the tree this year because they now have them.

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    2. Sounds like it's time to buy a couple of new ornaments that'll be special to you and Bill :-)

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  13. The purging never ends! I'm always reevaluating what we've brought along in our travels, and anything that isn't being used gets dropped off at Goodwill. It's fun and freeing! Unlike most full timers, we've been in a VERY small rig (21' Bigfoot) but we've found we've had plenty of room for everything we want and need. It's kind of amazing, given that we have kayak and bike gear, a fully equipped kitchen (we love to cook), and three weeks of clothing for all climates (layering is key, of course). Have fun continuing the process of simplifying! You'll enjoy figuring out where to put everything when you get your new home on wheels.

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    1. I figure now it's just part of my lifestyle and I'm okay with that :-) I really wanted a 30' rig but Bill was not having it - I would love to make it in 21' - you must be able to go everywhere!!

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