Tuesday, June 6, 2023


Important lessons learned from RVing apply to other parts of life too

We are on the cusp of not being full-time RVers anymore. We will still RV, just not full-time. I am realizing just how much we learned on this journey over the last six years, particularly about all the stuff we carried, and couldn’t carry, in our RV.

Keep it light

Through the years of RVing and the last years full-timing, in particular, the one lesson I learned is to pack light and get rid of stuff. The saying goes “One thing in means one thing out.” As we start to fill a dwelling again with all the necessary stuff of a stuck-to-the-ground house, I am impressed with how ingrained “keep it light” is. Every year in the RV we pull everything out and if we aren’t using it, well, out it goes. Or at least that is the idea… Here is how we get rid of the extra weight when the RV is packing on the pounds.

Love it or lose it

We were lucky to have a whole house of stuff from my parents’ lives to start this new journey with (read about that here). But, again, my RV life lessons come to the rescue with this question on every single item—do I love it? No? OK, then get rid of it. Let someone else enjoy (and dust) it. The garage is now full of stuff awaiting a garage sale.

Less is more

98 years of inherited stuff comes with a lot of decorative items and a lot of knick-knacks. It also came with three bookcases and three more floor-to-ceiling display shelves. The temptation to fill them was fleet, although I did succumb to the birdhouse collection that will remain on the porch. The rest was culled and space became my friend again. After all, what was I going to do with 50-plus baskets and why did my mother keep all of them?

If one is good, ten is better…NOT

This is a lesson I evidently have learned well already: Going through the house’s kitchen, which is small by today’s standards but five times bigger than my RV’s compact one, I found multiple serving spoons, pancake turners, three sets of dishes, three full sets of copper bottomed saucepans and shelves of glasses and cups. I culled through those, too. I did have to go “shopping” in the garage though. When you have double ovens, tossing out all the cookie sheets was not a good idea. But empty drawers and shelves are a sign of pride.

Gathering the essentials

For all the things in the garage and house, we are finding it is still lacking in a number of essentials, particularly around tools and cleaning. That mop was good 30 years ago, but not so much now. A plastic scrub bucket literally cracked when I picked it up.

Some of these tools are also from a bygone era—I believe my dad may have inherited them from his dad. That would make some of them more than 100 years old! I sadly remember our organized tool room in our old house where we had every single possible tool needed for home renovation and maintenance. Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Ace have once again become our hangout. I swear I know every single light fixture hanging from their racks!

Again, gather less. Get just what we need. Unfortunately, though, that doesn’t always work out. Does anybody need a steam wallpaper remover?

Stuff is an anchor

We kept almost all the furniture but bought a couch, loveseat and chair. The couch and loveseat are miserably heavy and being a well-trained RVer I had to look up the weight—260 pounds just for the couch!

We now have a house full of furniture that will not fit in the RV and that we can’t even move ourselves. As my sister optimistically put it, we are now “anchored.” And while she meant it in the best possible way, being anchored is not what I have been aspiring to. Stuff can be an anchor. So, I will keep it light and look the other way whenever I see a neighborhood estate sale sign pop up.


Nanci Dixon
Nanci Dixon
Nanci Dixon has been a full-time RVer living “The Dream” for the last six years and an avid RVer for decades more! She works and travels across the country in a 40’ motorhome with her husband. Having been a professional food photographer for many years, she enjoys snapping photos of food, landscapes and an occasional person. They winter in Arizona and love boondocking in the desert. They also enjoy work camping in a regional park. Most of all, she loves to travel.


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Lori G
28 days ago

Let us know when & where the garage sale is. I never met a basket I didn’t like 😉

1 year ago

My philosophy has always been, unless it is important, if you haven’t used it for a year get rid of it. That includes just about everything but tools. We’ve been married almost 50 years and all of my clothes etc. fit in one closet. Even with my tools I will go through them and discard multiples or older tools that may function but have been replaced with more up to date models. My DW is the opposite, so we balance out!

Neal Davis
1 year ago

All true and great advice. My mother is now 90 tears of age. In the last 14 months she buried her husband and grandson (his father died 36 years ago). One reaction is that she is gradually emptying her house so I won’t have so much to do when she, too, dies. The downside to her clearing is that she is sending more than half of it home with me after my daily visit with her. Consequently our garage is slowly filling with occassional emptying by donating to a local thrift shop. So, yes, avoid clutter, but be careful about how you do it. 😉🙂

Leslie P
1 year ago

It’s always a lot of hard work to go through stuff. But especially when you’ve already done this in your own old house! Yearly we do the same thing but since moving into a truck camper, it’s extra anything goes! Except for my shoes! Tough decisions for me when I had to pick out my shoes! So, we are shoe heavy. Oh well.

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