So you are considering hitting the road, but how do you fit your entire life into a motorhome or 5th wheel? Here are some tips about downsizing!
When you are ready to start downsizing, set up a garage sale or put your items up for sale on eBay and Craigslist. Most people will begin using Craigslist to sell the bigger items like furniture and appliances. People inevitably want to negotiate, so we recommend starting a little high with your asking price.
Check out RV Wanderlust Blog for downsizing from an apartment!
Most major cities have a Freecycle.com, which is another good way to find your stuff a new home.
“We are downsizing from a nearly 3000 square feet home to prepare to move into a 400 square feet Toyhauler with our 6 yr old. We decided to downsize to save money so we can do the things we want to do. We are hoping to be out on the open road soon.
It is very liberating to get down to the minimal needs, but it is hard to part with things passed down in the family. Right now I am working on getting photo’s out of frames and into albums, decluttering (knick knacks & brick a brack) and deciding what furnishings we really need and what will fit.”
~Beth Smith (future FOTR)
Read “Downsizing your Home? How I went from a 2,000 Sq. Ft. House to an RV. by MICHELLE SCHROEDER-GARDNER of making sense of cents.
How much room does a person take up when sleeping, eating, watching TV and working? Think about it as you go about your daily business in your stick house. Look around you – how many of your things do you actually use everyday? Every week? Go through things every couple months and justify its existence.
“We sold what we could, but due to time constraints we ended up just storing a bunch of stuff.
It was a horrible decision. We are paying an outrageous storage fee for stuff we like but will not likely use for years to come.”
~Mandi Sanders (FOTR since 2006)
Newsweek article about Extreme Downsizing featuring Debbie and Jim Ward a Family on the Road.
“We were “getting rid of stuff” as part of a spiritual and emotional change, so storing it would have been counter-productive. We donated 5 moving trucks of stuff to the Salvation Army and Goodwill Donation Center. They both would pick up the loads with a couple of days of notice. We sold quite a bit on eBay and gave away or sold items to family and friends.
My parents were so uncomfortable with our giving away almost everything that we owned, that they built a storage building to keep all of the things that we gave to them. That was kind of funny. I think they spent more on the building than the stuff was worth. They just couldn’t stand to see us part with the stuff. Oh well, it’s theirs now!”
Tips for Selling Your Home
1) “Stage” your home. There are techniques to get your home to appeal to potential buyers. Watch the show “Sell This House” and see what they do. We watched this show all summer before we put our house up and I’m convinced the things we did really helped. Here are some examples: Clean and declutter. Take out extra furniture and put it in storage or a neighbors garage. Make it look rather bare inside.Take off window treatments to show more light. Cover an old sofa or chairs with a solid white sheet as a slipcover. Paint main living areas a warm neutral color (take out the guesswork of choosing colors by visiting a model home in your area and get the names of some colors). Get carpets cleaned. Put “clean” smelling (not fruity or spicy) air fresheners throughout the house. Replace any “dated” fixtures (again get some ideas from model homes). Fresh, white silicone caulk in the bathrooms make it look new and squeaky clean .Complete the spa-look in your bathroom with new (cheap!) white towels. Create curb appeal by keeping the grass manicured and place some pots of flowers around.
2) Do a thorough market analysis of your area. Don’t under price your home (especially if you’ve done all this work to get it ready to sell!!).Don’t be afraid to price it at or near the maximum price per square foot for your neighborhood.You can always negotiate.
3) Offer a selling “bonus”. Build into your price an amount of cash for the buyer to receive at closing (for a full-price offer, of course). A $500- $2000 decorating allowance is a nice incentive for a buyer in a seller’s market.
4) Hold an Open House on a weekend and be sure to advertise.
Keep Important Papers with you. Keep passports, birth certificates, health records for people and animals, with you so you will have them handy when you need them. Especially now that you need passports for travel to Mexico and Canada.