Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Who Needs All This Stuff?

That's what I'm asking myself almost every day. How did I accumulate so much stuff and manage to cram it all into a one bedroom apartment?

My latest obsession is my goal to hit the road in an RV in approximately two years when I retire from my job as a paralegal.  Note, I only said my paralegal job. On the road I intend to write full-time, increasing my hours at the computer.  I envision myself cranking out novels and short stories while surrounded by nature and fresh air instead of traffic noise and gasoline fumes.

When I first decided to write mystery novels many years ago, I did my research. I knew I wanted to write a series about a female protagonist and that I wanted to write something quirky and funny. I bought dozens of mystery novels by women about women who had won awards or were very popular. I devoured them all and in true trained paralegal fashion, completed a pro/con chart on each one. When I was done, I knew what I wanted to write and, more importantly, what I did not want to write. Then I set off on my writing journey.

When I discovered my dairy allergy, I researched dairy alternatives and plant-based eating. And that was the birth of my becoming a half-assed vegan.

I'm doing the same with my goal of becoming a full-time RVer.

In other words, I'm researching my ass off about everything having to do with the lifestyle from the different classes, floor plans and features of RVs, along servicing the different parts of a home on wheels, how to get mail while on the road, insurance, phone and internet connection, etc. This led me to joining some Facebook groups about RVing and finally deciding that the RV for me was the Winnebago Travato 59K.

But this is only the beginning. Now I'm starting my downsizing - choosing which items I need and don't need on the road and separating them into an RV-Yes pile and an RV-No pile. Considering the storage limitations in a camper van, the RV-No pile is growing by leaps and bounds.

I've been told by RVers that whatever I think I'll need on the road is probably twice as much as I really do need. So I'm sure there will be waves of culling over the next few years as I whittle my belongings down to a small pile of necessities, and even some culling after I'm in the van.

Sample of RV-No Pile:

My small collection of designer handbags.
My nativity collection.
Most artwork, originals and prints.
Most of my clothing and shoes
My heavy stoneware dishes and most of my cookware.
All of my crystal stemware, everyday glassware, and fancy serving/entertaining dishes
Vases and other cute but unnecessary knickknacks and collectibles
Candles and candleholders
Two big containers of Christmas decorations
Two non-working TVs
Two non-working computers
All furniture

And that's just the stuff I can think of...

I've already filled lots of boxes and bags and that's just with extra clothing! And most of my books have been given to libraries, with the rest of them soon heading that way. Records, CDs and tapes will be sold to a second-hand record shop.

FYI - I do NOT want a storage unit, so don't even suggest that. I need to MINIMIZE, not annex.

Living in an apartment in the middle of Los Angeles makes it impossible to have a "yard sale." I might just have to pack it all up and have someone haul it away. A few items, like the nativities and crystal, I might be able to sell on Ebay.

Hmmm, maybe I can have a virtual yard sale on Facebook??!! Is that possible? Has anyone tried that?

Then there are the things I will not give up no matter what: my Ninja food processor being at the top of the list. My vegan cookbooks. Some artwork. I've already measured one of the only walls in the RV and am happy that one of my favorite prints will fit there!

Yes, I realize that I'm going to be living in a van, one fender bender away from homeless, but there is no need to be uncivilized about it.


Debbie Carney said...

I think what your planning on doing is wonderful and freeing. I would LOVE to be able to do the same thing.
At least you are thinking of all the important things, I know of some people that just did it without a good plan.

I know you said about 2 yrs out yet, but I wish you tons of luck and happiness

Ann Fer said...

Yep you can do a virtual garage sale. In the past I have posted pictures of things I wanted to get rid of, and had friends and family have snapped things up. Granted I did free for the hauling, but same could happen for selling. Your only problem could be fan friends around country and shipping and such. Ann F

Catsongea said...

Hi Sue, I am sure you have read a lot of these, but one of the other authors I read just did the deed about a month ago - sold her home and moved into an rv, here is her blog - http://sarahwynde.com/2016/08/a-tale-of-two-bridges/ I think it has worked in terms of writing or so she says. She also has a special food diet which makes the travel more challenging. A big challenge for her seems to be access to the internet at a reasonable speed and sometimes any access at all.

Mark Baker said...

When you are done, you're coming over to help me cull out stuff, right?

Anonymous said...

"Ninja food processor ... My vegan cookbooks" - yes, yes! great decision!

Sarah Wynde said...

I'm using my great-grandmother's china. I've already broken one piece, but getting rid of the good stuff in order to use buy cheap stuff didn't make any sense to me. Better that I break it all, I figured, rather than give it away. And it's worked remarkably well, although I do feel a little silly sometimes when I'm sitting at a picnic table with my china and cloth napkins. :) I use bits of shelf liner between the pieces to keep them from rattling when I'm driving.

Also, hi, Cat!

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Thanks for all the great posts! Mark, you have a long wait on that! Sarah, my stoneware dishes are very heavy, as is my glassware, that's why I'm getting rid of it all and replacing it with lighter stuff, and it's bulkier to store. I'll go with something from Corelle. I refuse to use paper plates or plastic. Love the idea of camping with china!