For me, purging is hard to do. Sentimentality, guilt, need, disorganization, and laziness all cause the postponement of getting rid of “stuff” that is taking up precious space.
I had no idea just how much stuff I had in my RV until I began emptying it with the intention of selling the RV.
Now that I have emptied the inside, I have started procrastinating emptying the outside compartments because I still have not found a home for the contents of the boxes of items I’ve already removed. Admittedly, also have come to the realization that I am downsizing to camp in my van and tent, so I cannot have the luxury of taking everything but my kitchen sink with me on future trips.
There is great advice on purging, but then again, there’s great advice on diet, but anyone who knows me, or my clothing size can tell I do not stick to a plan for exceptionally long! I will attribute that to adult attention deficit disorder – at least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
I’m going to share the advice I have found on purging, because I know it is sound advice and I am intending to follow it myself. At least that’s my plan, but then, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, so if anyone follows me there – stop in and say hello! It all comes down to a couple of questions. Do I use it regularly? Is there something else that could easily be used instead? Is it worth selling or do you know someone who might use it? Do I feel good wearing these clothes? If the answer is no, donate it or trash it!
Let go of the guilt…
We have all been gifted or inherited items we really have no emotional attachment to and really do not want. We hang on to them because we feel bad getting rid of something someone gave us. Take those god-awful things out of the do not unpack ever box and toss them. If you feel you must, take a picture of them first and file it under guilt and toss it up to the cloud. Then put the box on the curb, sell it or donate it. Trust me, it is exhilarating!
While you are ridding yourself of unwanted things, you will find things you do not want to let go of. There’s that cute picture your child drew, that lovely poem granny wrote or the item that’s been in the family you cannot seem to get rid of but do not have a strong emotional attachment to it. It is not that we need the physical item, but we want to cherish the feelings or memory that item conjures up. Photograph them and file them under sentimental. Offer the drawing to your grandchild and give the family items to another family member who might cherish them. If no one wants them, sell them, or donate them.
Choose multi-use items
Do you have an addiction to kitchen gadgets as I do? Get rid of items you really don’t need and never use. Yes, I am talking that “As seen on tv” egg genie, burger press and even that ridiculous pancake pan. Really, are we that incapable of flipping a pancake? While they may have seemed cool when they were purchased, how often have you really used it? Ask yourself if there is any other item in the house that can do the same task and be used for other purposes too? If the answer is yes, toss it, sell, it or donate it!
Create a capsule wardrobe
Clothing is the most difficult for me to purge. One of the great mysteries of the world of socks, is how so many mis mates can accumulate without finding the match until after all hope has diminished and you toss them in the trash. Suddenly another basket of mis mates begins to grow. Where they were hiding, I have not a clue!
When traveling, the key to not overloading your RV with unnecessary weight in the clothing department is by creating a capsule wardrobe which consists of a minimal number of items that can mix and match to fit all your needs.
Do this by choosing a neutral base color from the waist down. Open your closet and choose the color most commonly found. Make that your base color and choose tops that coordinate with that base color. Be sure to include a couple pairs of jeans. This is the time to get rid of any stained clothing, that contain those culinary homing pigeons. Toss worn clothes, clothes that no longer fit or are not comfortable to wear. If you have not worn them in the last year, chances are you will not need them. Don’t count on losing the extra pounds until you could fit into that size again, toss it. If you lose a dress size, you will want something new to show off your weight loss. Research your destination and weather forecast to and pack the proper type of clothing . A week’s clothing is a good place to start. You can always find a laundromat or hand wash some items when needed.
Did you find an inordinate amount of souvenir t-shirts? Re-purpose them by making a quilt. Then you could take it along on your journey and wrap yourself in the memories while sitting at the fire.
As for those photos you filed under sentimental, get some iron on transfer paper and transfer them onto a comforter or tablecloth or make them into greeting cards.
Sell it …
You can make a few extra dollars that could pay for gas on your next excursion. List lightly used clothes, home décor or small appliances for sale. Platforms such as facebookmarketplace, ebay, threadup, http://poshmark, offerup and craigs list are great places to start.
Purging does not have to be difficult or overwhelming. Put on some music and take it slow; one drawer or box at a time. You will feel much lighter and can hit the road without the baggage that was weighing you down. Whew! I feel lighter already!