How did I prepare for the downsize?
I really did not prepare. HAHA! I have always been a “oh it will work out” fly by the seat of my pants, last-minute kinda person. Not that this has not worked out because it has – but let me help you prepare! When you are deciding what to take and what not to take make piles – bring, store, sell, trash. Once you have done that cut your bring pile in half. I would have personally cut my storage pile in half as well. (hindsight is 20/20 – our storage unit cost is minimal, but it will take a huge purge once we settle down again). As far as the ‘bring’ pile, you will quickly learn what you need and what you don’t. It’s amazing how condensing your belongings into a tiny space allows you to see literally almost everything you own at one time. I have purged since going full-time and I am currently in the process of purging again. I had boxes labeled for the movers that I wanted placed in the front of the storage unit, so I could easily access and trade out things as needed (sadly not all of them made it to the front of storage, but I tried). I had decided on a toy rotation system with bins that I would trade out every 2-3 weeks.
None of that has happened. Why?!
Less IS More.
I condensed the boys toys down from 6 bins to just 2 that I could easily fit both under the bench seat in the back. I have gone to storage a handful of times – each one leaving with stuff to GIVE AWAY or with stuff from the RV to put into storage #byejunk.
The less is more mindset is really great with kids too. I’ll be the first to tell you that it is still a process for me – we still have too much kid stuff. I feel like I am emotionally attached to some of it, and other aspects I am still trying to decide if some things get used enough to constitute a permanent spot in the sacred toy room/bedroom/garage. It is really stinking hard to downsize from a house to an RV. I am not going to lie. In the same breath, though, it is so incredibly freeing and worth every last bit of stress we have endured since we started this process in March. Each day I learn more about myself, what things drive me nuts, what makes me happy. We are going to The Minimalist speak in November and I am so excited to go and soak up their advice and see what I walk away with.
I just don’t get it. How can you live in an RV?
I know. It is really strange and different. I get it. But for us, it totally works and is a really fun adventure (now we are just praying that God guides in a direction so that we can hit the road and see this beautiful country). Don’t get me wrong, there are aspects that
we I miss about a house, ahem, my bathtub. Really at this point that is all I really miss. Oh, and my pantry. My house pantry was like house of its own. I really do miss that space, especially as the boys are eating more – I miss that storage to bulk buy. Other than that, life in an RV works. It is was you make it and we have made it a home.
Here is a quick tour of our home and how we do it. When you first walk into our home you walk straight into our kitchen and living room – a two in one multi-functional space. 😉
From the picture above you can see our loft space, the pantry (black stacked cabinets), and entry in garage area aka playroom, bedroom, etc. The red, white and blue banner I switch out with the seasons. I love it. It is such an easy way for me to add a homey and fun touch!
Kitchen space. You can see our entry here and the steps you see lead to our bathroom/master bedroom. I use the storage above the couch for my crock-pot, baking pans, pyrex, etc. The one of the far right is my kid/craft/art cabinet. The big box on the counter top? Ice maker. Best. Investment. Ever. If you love ice, especially the best chewing and eating ice, buy one.
Baby gate is up in this picture. This was one of my must-haves when we decided to go full-time. I needed my space when I was cooking.
A fireplace? Yes. I love it. You can turn it on to look pretty or you can actually use it – it puts off some amazing heat. I took the baby gate off in this picture, but normally we have the area blocked off so the kids can’t get into kitchen area. That is a must for me – space is tight and I don’t want little hands grabbing the hot stove or opening the fridge 74584720 times a day. The storage above the TV we use for big pantry items – cereal, baking goods, and alcohol – because yes.
This, this is our deluxe bathroom suite. An infinity sink with storage underneath, large walk in shower with removable shower head, and plenty of storage.
Shower. I miss my tub.
Master room. There is a king bed in here – we are both tall so it was a must for us. We upgraded the mattress to memory foam. I highly recommend ditching the mattresses that come with your RV and upgrading. Our closet is behind the sliding mirror. We each have a side. I am still working on perfecting my wardrobe to a few key versatile pieces.
We installed a washer and dryer right before we went full-time. I knew with 2 small kids it was a must for me and I have no regrets. So far it has been worth every penny!. We did get a couple of area rugs for the carpeted area of our rig to help preserve the carpet. RV grade carpet is very thin and we immediately noticed wear after only a few weeks of going full-time.
Our garage/play room/bedroom. I love this space. L O V E it. It is so versatile and fun!. We area actually in the process of remodeling as I write this, so I will post updates once we are done!
Bed folds up to couch during the day! The growth ruler came from our home and I knew it was something that had to come into the camper with us. The boys love jumping up and seeing if they are growing big and tall. We had the curtains custom-made (thanks to our super sweet old next door neighbor for the help! she has mad sewing skills!) for the windows – originally the RV came with the metal blinds in those windows and it was so going over well with boys. I also wanted something to make area completely dark for nap times, movies, etc.
We installed this amour for the boys clothes and it works great! They each have their own side. The storage shelves came with the RV and I use them as bookcases. We love books in this family, and I loved having a built-in spot for them!
Boys half bath in the back! We love this feature so we can keep kids in the kid zone and have some of our own space!
This our home, come visit!