Whether you’re doing some spring cleaning, getting the rig ready for its first trip of the season, or simply stuck inside due to stay-at-home orders, minimizing the stuff in your RV is never a bad idea.
After all, we all have weight limits we need to abide by in order to travel safely, and too much stuff will add to our weight, quickly causing us to go over those limits. On top of that, RVs are small in terms of living spaces, and a lot of stuff means a lot of clutter, something that makes a space feel much less relaxing.
The problem? Many people become overwhelmed when trying to minimize their things. They don’t know where to begin or what to get rid of, so instead, they continue to cram things into their closets and cabinets until nothing fits anymore.
Fortunately, there are ways to minimize your belongings without feeling overwhelmed. Anytime I need to purge things, I use the steps below to make sure I’m getting rid of everything I can.
1. One spot at a time
Instead of thinking of the RV as a whole, or even an entire room, break things down and take the purging process one cabinet, drawer, or storage bay at a time. Pull everything out and sort it out by what you’d like to do with it. There should be a “keep” pile, a “donation” pile, a “trash” pile, and a “sell” pile.
2. Ask the right questions
As you sort through belongings, you’re bound to come across things you aren’t sure about. In order to determine whether you should keep an item, ask yourself the following:
- Do I use this item often, and is it necessary?
- Is there another item in my RV I could just as easily use instead?
Generally, if you don’t use an item often, or use it only for tasks that could be accomplished with another item in the rig, you can go ahead and get rid of it. You almost certainly won’t regret it, and new things can always be purchased if you truly need them.
3. Consider borrowing
If you don’t use a particular item often but you do need it from time to time, it might be worthwhile to consider getting rid of the item and renting or borrowing from a neighbor when you need it again. This is especially important when it comes to bulky or heavy items.
4. Sell or donate?
When you get to something you should get rid of, consider its worth. Is it worth selling this item, or not worth the hassle? Ultimately, only you can decide what’s worth selling and what should be donated instead.
5. Take photos and repurpose
Sentimental items are tricky. If you have special items that serve a purpose, holding onto them is perfectly okay. A select few smaller items that don’t really serve a purpose can be okay to keep around as well.
That said, you certainly don’t want a huge collection of sentimental items gathering dust and taking up precious space in your tiny home. This is where taking photos and repurposing can come into play.
Often, simply taking a photo of a picture your kid drew, or that letter your grandma wrote, and saving those things to the cloud is just as good as saving the actual items.
Some people also find ways to repurpose sentimental items, giving them a job. For instance, a person might make a quilt for their bed out of shirts from past events.
6. Sell what you can
As mentioned above, you always have the option of selling items you get rid of. In some cases, knowing you’re going to make a bit of dough can be just the motivation you need to start going through things.
7. Create a capsule wardrobe
For many, clothes are the type of item that seems to pile up the most quickly. Unfortunately, a closet stuffed full of clothes is really heavy, meaning if you have a ton of clothing on board, your rig might actually be overweight.
To solve this problem, consider creating a capsule wardrobe. This kind of wardrobe ensures that all of your clothes can be mixed and matched, allowing you to own just a few key pieces that make up lots of different outfits. Learn more about capsule wardrobes here.
8. Go for multifunctional items
Another thing we mentioned above is that you might have more than one tool that will work for a single job. The opposite is true too: you might have a single tool that works for multiple jobs. This is the kind of tool you should be looking for.
If you’re cleaning and come across two items that’ll accomplish the same task and one is multifunctional while the other is single-purpose, it almost always makes sense to hold onto the multifunctional one. We also recommend keeping this in mind when shopping for new items for your RV.
Purging doesn’t have to be an overwhelming or miserable process. Set aside a full day, put on some music, follow these steps, and you’ll probably be done with the task—not to mention the owner of a much lighter RV—before you know it!