By Neil Seidler, CPA, CMA
Today I’m going to talk a little about becoming a full-time RVer – specifically about packing up and selling your home to become full-time RVers. Although we’ve been what I call part-time full-timers for quite a while, we finally decided to sell our sticks-and-bricks home. It’s been a long few months of having garage sales to sell off the things we don’t want to keep, packing up the things that we do want to keep that will go into storage, and deciding what things are in each category. My insight and advice to anyone beginning the process is as follows.
It takes longer than you think to downsize
1. The process of downsizing to become a full-time RVer will take longer than you first think it will. When we went back to Texas to pack up the house, we thought a couple of garage sales, a bunch of plastic storage bins, and two or three weeks was all it would take. Boy, were we off. The process took us more than two months of going at it every day from early morning to well into the evening – they were long days.
2. Deciding what to keep and put into storage and what to dispose of will be harder than you think. We had 30 years’ worth of “stuff” to deal with, most of which we still had because they had memories attached to them. Deciding to part with some of it was difficult. On top of that, because we already spend a lot of time in our motorhome, we have everything we need in there, from clothes, to dishes and kitchen utensils and gadgets, to tools. We really didn’t need three more garlic presses, or four more sets of baking pans, or another three pairs of pants, even if they were like new.
Garage sales are hard work
3. When it comes to garage sales, everyone wants a better deal, and you need to restock daily. You’re basically running your own little retail store. At our first garage sale we sold a lot of the “good stuff” in the first couple of hours and then had to try to fill in the holes as we went along. The next weekend we had more items ready to go. People come back day after day, so having new things out is important.
4. Donating items to a charity or to your church may be a good way to get rid of some items. They can give you a receipt that you can use as a charitable donation on your tax return, and you’re helping out a good cause that helps people in your community that are in need.
Remember that “stuff” is just stuff
5. “Stuff” is just stuff and can usually be replaced fairly easily. Our friends here in the RV resort sold their home a few years ago to become full-time RVers. They put absolutely everything, including furniture, dishes, pots and pans, trinkets, etc., into storage as they planned that one day they would buy another home and could use all of it again. Now, almost four years later, they’ve decided that there are a few things that are valuable or are family heirlooms that they want to keep. However, for the most part, with what they have paid in storage charges they could have replaced everything else and had new things in their new home.
That’s a few things to be aware of or to consider. Do you have other suggestions for downsizing to become a full-time RVer? Please leave your comments below.
We welcome your questions and inquiries. If you have tax-related questions, or any other questions that we may be able to address, please email us or comment below and we’ll try to answer them in a future article.
If you need assistance with your tax filings or other accounting matters please feel free to contact me. I’m happy to help. You can email me at Neil@profitprocpa.com. My business website is ProfitPro Accounting and Tax, or call my office at (702) 754-1338.
We present this material for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on, for tax, accounting or legal advice. Therefore, readers should consult their own tax, accounting and legal advisors to discuss their own personal matters.
Read Neil’s most recent post: Tax credit for solar panels on an RV?
Note: This article was previously published in January 2020.