The Purge Continues… And Do We Bring This?

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As our departure date quickly approaches, the time has come to get rid of those items we are going to keep until the last minute. Such as, the recliners, dresser, and a few side tables (at this point anyway). Once everything is placed in the RV, we might have a few more things to purge.   

Determining what comes with us, what doesn’t, and what to put into storage, is where things get tricky. We have created lists of items to take by categorizing them into groups such as kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, living room, tools, and clothing. Questions continue to pop up and we need to answer them quickly so we don’t get bogged down in the minutiae.   

How many bowls, plates, and utensils do we really need? I think we only need 4 of each because we want to enjoy meals with other couples and this would allow us to do so. Also, we would have a backup set of dishes for ourselves in the event our first set of dishes were dirty and we are feeling too lazy to clean them.  #reallife   We have been implementing this process for the past year now and it has worked out well.   

I want to use the fine china as our dishes in the RV because we have been storing it for more than a decade without using it. Not only is our china beautiful but it would also make us feel extra fancy. I’ve never understood the point of storing something like china without ever using it. Unfortunately, I’ve been vetoed.  So, they will be put back into storage once again.  Who wouldn’t want to eat off of a plate this fancy?Beautiful China we could use while living in our RV full time on the road.

We have a complete stainless steel pot and pan set, one non-stick frying pan, a cast iron pan, and dutch oven.  We are leaning toward only be bringing the cookware that we currently use because the others are buried in the back of the cupboard collecting dust.  The cast iron could come in handy if we ever want to cook over a fire. Or, use the dutch oven instead of the convection oven/microwave.  I LOVE the non-stick pan as it is my go-to pan.  The unused cookware should probably go. However, I’m currently working on creating multiple recipes because I’ve committed to participating in developing a cookbook. The unused cookware could become helpful as I develop these recipes. More on that later.     

We cook stir fry quite often in an electric wok because it’s easy and delicious.  By bringing the wok we can also cook outside on a table and not have the smell of Asian food lingering in the RV for a couple days.  Our regular arsenal of appliances also includes a Vitamix blender and crock pot.  Although, I have heard other RVers specifically mention the Vitamix as something they took but never used. I’m hopeful this won’t happen to us as we treasure our Vitamix and crock pot.   

I must not forget about our trusty old coffee pot, it’s a stainless-steel percolator.  We purchased it about five years ago when we got tired of sending coffee pots to the landfill.  A $100 coffee pot should last more than a couple years but they didn’t last any longer than the $20 version (and we had both).  The only downfall of making coffee in a percolator is how long it takes. It takes approximately 20 minutes.  However, it could very well be the last coffee pot we own and we don’t have to send countless more cheap pieces of plastic garbage to the landfill.   

In the RV, I just finished reinforcing the floor in the bay that I’ve retitled my tool box bay.  This bay previously housed a 32-inch TV for the purpose of watching TV outside. It was mounted on a slide that had the ability to slide out.

Lower compartment of RV with a slide that a TV sat on previously before full time RV adventure.
Slide for TV (Forgot to take a picture before removing TV)
Reinforced the tool box bay floor to support the additional weight of tool box before living full time RV adventure.
Reinforced Floor with 1/4 inch aluminum sheet.


I have no intentions of going out into nature to watch TV.  So, I knew it had to go and it became the perfect spot to house my tool box.  Don’t get me wrong, we’ll be watching The Blacklist.  James Spader is an amazing actor, his character has such panache and charisma yet he’s still a deviant. We just won’t be watching it outside.   

The top half of my tool box will be going into this bay and it weighs a lot.  There was no way that slide would be able to hold that much weight.  Which is why we needed to reinforce the floor and remove the slide.  I can only bring about half of my tools so I’ve been moving all the specialty tools into the bottom box and moving all the tools I think we will need on the road.  Within the next week or two I should have the tool box secured to the new floor.  I have no doubt I’m leaving behind a tool that I will need in the future.   

I have dwindled my clothes down to the point that I will have plenty of left over space on my side of the bedroom storage.  I really didn’t have that much to begin with but I pared it down anyways.  Ace is doing great. He has a bed, his favorite toy in the world, and some bones.  We are helping Adrianne get there.  It’s a process people!  Give her some time. 

His and Hers closets showing our downsizing progress, left side of closet has far more than the right.
The left side is her pared down winter clothes. The right side is all my clothes.

We have been watching lots of videos and reading about how to organize your clothes in a RV.  There are some creative ways to do this, such as rolling up or folding shirts, pants, and scarves, then placing them on their end inside a container.  This is something that Adrianne has begun to implement for a large portion of her clothes.  I have moved all of my clothes onto hangers with the exception of socks and underwear.  Organizing my clothes this way will provide plenty of storage space for future stuff to collect or Adrianne’s excess clothes. 

As we are coming up on the tail end of this process, here are some lessons learned.  It is substantially more difficult (than originally anticipated) to get rid of so much of our stuff.   I feel as though it wasn’t the act of getting rid of the item itself, but rather making the decision to do so.  Our brains only have so much bandwidth in any given day and making those decisions about every individual item can become taxing on the mind.  There were multiple occasions that I felt overwhelmed after this constant stream of decisions needed to be made.  This is a great reminder to not collect so much stuff in the first place.   



*(Update on the filthy vermin attempting to occupy the RV) After a few weeks without seeing any signs of mice, I found every single trap, even the homemade trap had been tripped and had mice in them.  There weren’t signs that they had been there long, but they were in there.   I ended up purchasing more traps and bait.   

2 Replies to “The Purge Continues… And Do We Bring This?”

  1. Yeah, the cognitive load of the act of deciding while decluttering is huge. It’s like you have to fully conceive of the item at all points in the past (why you got it, how you’ve used it, etc) and all possible points in the future (all of the possible ways it could be used or the possible situations you might be in where it could help, how you would feel if you got into that situation but you [stupidly!] got rid of the item). And that for every single item. I think that’s why some of the decluttering rules of thumb are so helpful – they give you an alternative, less cognitive resource-consuming, way of deciding. Like, “Have I used this in the past year?” Or The Minimalists 20/20 rule – if you could reacquire the item in 20 minutes for $20 or less, then get rid of it. One I’ve found helpful specifically for kitchen stuff is “If I didn’t have this, what would I use or do instead?”
    Congrats on the Amazon Affiliates tag!

    1. I’ve been using the “have I used this in the past year?” but at the same time we were trying to anticipate a major change in lifestyle. Which (in the beginning) adds the additional question of “will this new lifestyle require us to use different items”. While some aspects of our lives will be drastically different, I (now) believe most of the day to day processes (cooking, cleaning, eating, etc.) will remain largely the same. I like the “if I didn’t have this, what would I use or do instead?”.

      Great to hear from you Sam!

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