Truck Camper In Canyon with "How To Downsize To Fit In Your RV" Overlaid

How to Downsize to Fit In Your RV

Let’s face it…we ALL collect junk.  That kitchen gadget your great-aunt Tilda gave you for Christmas 10 years ago that she asks about every year, that super cool “As Seen On TV” product that looked so amazing on the television, but wasn’t worth a penny when it came to doing what it was supposed to, and all those things that you “might” use someday are all in our junk collections.  WE ALL HAVE IT. Junk, junk, junk. Ugh.  I hate junk.

If you are planning on moving into a camper or RV, even part time, downsizing is a must.  100% you HAVE to do it.  Otherwise, you will end up resembling a show of “Hoarders: Buried Alive” which is disturbing and heartbreaking all that the same time.  It might be high quality, amazing finds, but crammed into an RV with thousands of other things, even the finest of items can start looking trashy

And THAT is a bad day. Not to mention it makes it hard to find things. So the purge begins.

Everyone has their area that gets out of control easily or the area of things that they just can’t let go of. I know several women that have wardrobes completely packed full that are as large as my entire bedroom. I’m not one of them. However, I have an affinity for keeping things that “might” someday have a purpose. Toilet paper rolls, shredded paper, plastic trays, the list can be endless….but the good news for me is that I have no emotional attachment to them. That lack of attachment makes purging much, much easier.

Step 1 – Remove the Emotional Attachment

So Step 1 is to do what you can to remove the emotional attachment that you have to “things”. They are just things. They don’t actually hold any emotional value. It is us as emotional humans that attach that value to objects. If you absolutely need that item to maintain a memory, take several pictures of the item, and store those pictures in several safe places. Then GET RID of the item, especially if its only purpose is a nostalgic one. Granted, I have a box with my father’s ashes that is still on top of my refrigerator, so my sway only goes so far. But overall, getting rid of junk gets easier when we can distance ourselves from that junk and view it objectively. When you can clearly determine whether or not you use something, or genuinely need something, without having to try and battle an emotional connection to the same object, the purge will go smoother.

Step 2 – Develop A Plan

Step 2 is to have a clear plan for where the purged object will go. Do you have a consignment shop nearby? Are you going to have a yard sale? Will your local charity take donations? It is important to do your research before you begin and have a clear plan for where your junk will go, and how it will be rehomed. Granted, a large roll-off dumpster would work just as well, but I don’t recommend it, as it is about as far from recycling as you can get. Get your plan in place, and your rehoming list ready, and if you live near someone who runs a resale shop you might get some change for it.

Step 3 – Move Objects to their “Going Away” Piles

Step 3 is to begin placing things in piles. We have enough space that we were able to designate rather large areas for each rehoming option. One was an area for a consignment shop, one area for donations, etc, etc. You get the picture. Sorry, it’s pretty scary, so I didn’t take a picture of our junk. Go through areas of the house one at a time and go through absolutely EVERY object. I’m talking don’t miss anything here. ESPECIALLY if you are going to be fulltime RVing. There just isn’t room, so you will need to meticulously question each object. Does it fulfill you in some way? Is it helpful enough to justify the space it takes up? Does it serve more than one purpose, or can you use it in nontraditional ways? These are all questions that you may go through in the purge process. If the answer is “Maybe”, then the answer is “Get rid of it!”

Wardrobes are the trickiest for most women, and I found that the capsule wardrobe concept is the easiest way to have a slim closet, but have almost limitless combinations.  Choose pieces that go with everything and a flattering, and sack the rest. The capsule wardrobe idea can be found across the internet and is working for so many women, especially those who are just in a tiny apartment in a city somewhere.  Therefore, isn’t it that much better suited to the RV lifestyle?

Then…..Get Rid Of It!!!!!!!

Alright, so hopefully by now you’ve got your plan for each pile mapped, that piles have grown, and you are ready to start getting rid of stuff and filling your RV. Great! But guess what…..chances are…you will need to do the whole process AGAIN at least two or three times before you pare down enough to fit yourself comfortably in your RV. Don’t be discouraged! We live in a commercial society that forces the ideas of purchasing junk on us constantly, and therefore we are continuously battling the junk bulge. Just keep purging away, and make sure everything you keep will further your adventures.

Happy Adventuring!

You can check out more tips for getting on the road from us on our blog at