Possessions-What to keep, sell, give away or discard

One of the hardest things about embracing the full time RV-ing life is to figure out what to do with your belongings. As we have been married over 50 years and I also have on many occasions sold stuff as a source of income, there is lots of stuff to decide upon.
I’m a sentimental person and hate to give up anything I find meaningful. That unfortunately encompasses a large amount of things.
I keep many physical photos since I have been around a long time and way before digital photos made this more feasible to store so many. Even though many photos are of poor quality they capture people we love and memories of a simpler time. At this point, I cannot imagine giving any up. I have made one concession and that is some may come out of their frames and placed in non-acetone sleeves so as not to harm the photos further. They then will be placed in sturdy loose leaf notebooks in order to not be so heavy and bulky. Even some of those frames seem wrong to give up as the photo deserves the display it has presently.
I am doing a similar notebook with regular inexpensive sleeves for my recipe collection. At this time they have ‘lived’ in a nice tin biscuit box that once belonged to my Nana and that will accompany us since it is important to me, but we will not likely have the space to display it so will be stored in the RV.
Our kids childhood papers and mementos of accomplishments will be another problem but, when we left in the past we tried to do some of that then and gave a few things to the kids that once were theirs. Some things are too sentimental to just throw out, but we may need to be more selective in what we hold on to.
My husband and I have always been collectors of many things. At this time, we are narrowing all of these items to one or two items from each collection. We are selling most leftovers, but may gift family members with some if they would enjoy them. It is hard to part with any of these items, but we would need a separate RV or trailer to contain all of them. We actually did that last time and found it very expensive, but we attended shows and flea markets to sell the merchandise several times a week. The last time, in the trailer besides merchandise to sell, was many more items we kept with us because of our refusal to get rid of them. This time we are planning on being a bit more ruthless in discarding things. As I start to pack things I want to keep, the pile is growing and a second or third additional appraisal may be required. This is one reason why I am starting quite early. I will need to hold one of many garage sales soon as I have no room to wait much longer. So in spite of cold temps it will happen in the next couple weeks.
We have definitely decided to not rent storage as we did last time. It adds another expense and it seems silly to pay to keep things you never get to use or even see.
We have not yet asked if any family members wish to buy or have anything. Unfortunately, we need the money to make this lifestyle change so the bigger things must be sold rather than given.
Anything we have left at the end will be donated to ARC or Goodwill. But I am starting early to decide on every items’ final disposal and try to turn some of it into cash to make the escape easier.
Part of our new life is to break with so many material possessions. They will have a much smaller role in a simpler life. We are going to try to embrace the ‘less is more’ philosophy. We will not get elaborate and the mistake of trying to hold onto kitchen things for which there was no space and eventually had to part with them anyway. There is no room for giant soup stock pots and oversized roasters that hold a 25 pound turkey. We will not be doing much entertaining and certainly not cooking in such large quantities. One other thing we wish to simplify is our meals. Keeping them simple while making them nourishing and hopefully learn to control portions better.
When deciding what to take with you ask these important questions. Is it valuable to you or irreplaceable? Those things should go if there is room. However, you must come to grips with the fact that every gift given you cannot be kept. Ask yourself if it is practical, I mean will you even use it? We will have little use for a smoke machine for a Haunted House or a garden fountain. Those things should be sold or given to the person who wants them. Ask, “Do we have room for it?” We have started to buy smaller sizes of things we now own, but won’t fit. For example, Foreman grills come in small and large sizes. We will use a smaller one. Ask yourself if you have a way to display or hang on the wall those precious collectibles. It is not much fun owning such things if you can never enjoy them. Also keep in mind the fact that your home is mobile and things need to be safely stored when on the move. Can you secure them and keep them safe?
These questions and more may help you to develop a reasonable way to decide what to take with you.
It would be fun to know the most unusual item you refused to give up in spite of your new lifestyle. Let us a comment.

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