Everything has been breaking lately. We purposely went to see our mechanic before leaving Central Texas, and pretty much the second after, the issues started. I won’t go into all of them now, but you can watch us talk about them with a sense of humor on our Facebook Live video.
One of the things that broke during our last drive was our wardrobe rod. The only support, a wooden piece in the middle with four screws, came loose and all our clothes fell down. Those of you who know Eric isn’t handy will be so proud to learn that he fixed the closet all by himself!
Through the somewhat arduous process, he said, “There’s too much weight on this rod” about 10 times. Finally I told him it was okay–that we would take clothes off the rod and everything would be fine. I had been wanting to get rid of clothes anyway, so this was the only nudge I needed.
I gave away more clothes than Eric, but there were two suit jackets he had a hard time parting with, including one made of 100 percent camel hair. I don’t think he’s worn it since we started RVing. After a while, it becomes hard to justify keeping certain things, you know?
These images of empty hangers reminded me of early 2014, when we were cleaning out our home in Austin before we started fulltime RVing. That walk-in closet I had once been sooooo excited about seemed cavernous as we got rid of the possessions inside.
Some of you know that we go through our RV every six months–the basement and inside–to find things we don’t need anymore. If we haven’t used an item in a year, it’s pretty much an automatic donation. But we look at every item and seriously evaluate whether it’s worth keeping. Three and a half years into this lifestyle, you’d be astonished at how much we get rid of every time.
–> Keep reading: “How to Liquidate Your Possessions for RV Life”
Since we have much less than we once did, we’ve learned to be selective. We’ve learned to buy things we really want or need, rather than buying to fill space. As I cleaned out my closet this time, I found myself asking how I felt when I wore each piece of clothing. If the answer wasn’t “comfortable” or “happy,” then I didn’t need to keep it. (I didn’t follow this rule perfectly because the size of the donation pile was getting scary, but I plan on another round soon.)
I’m sharing all this for those who are considering RVing, or who are new to the lifestyle, so that you know it’s a process. You don’t have to get rid of everything at once. You don’t have to pretend the process is easy. Many of us spend our lives earning money to buy things, and the cause –> effect is tough to unlearn. Not to mention that’s it’s painfully hard to get rid of things no one values as much as you do. I get it.
Just remember why you’re doing it. Trust me, throwing off the weight feels good.
I’m in the process now of putting just what I think I need into a 25ft travel trailer for 3 months on the road (my first long trip). I quickly ran out of space and had to start letting things go. My ultimate goal toward minimalism is to have everything I own fit into the travel trailer and my 4dr Ford F150 with a covered bed. It’s a daunting task. Some things I keep just for the beauty of it like a large collection of restored antique fishing rods and tackle boxes… there is no place to put these. Torn about what to do with them.
All the best to you during the process, @thomasdean:disqus. I’ve never known anyone to try this before, but I wonder whether there’s a local museum or civic organization who would place your rods and boxes on display until you want to reclaim them?
Thats a good idea I will see about. After today I think I will get a mini storage that has climate control.
It made a huge difference when we changed out our plastic hangers for the (knock-off) brand of the huggable hangers. They’re very thin and covered w/ a velvet layer that keeps clothes on the hangers even as you bounce and jiggle down the road. It made a huge difference in the width our clothes took up in our shared closet. I highly suggest them. Amazon and Costco have knock-off brands.
That’s a great tip for those with limited closet space! We have more space than we need.