It was quite the ordeal actually moving into the RV and fully emptying our sticks and bricks home. It might have actually qualified as one of the most difficult tasks in our lives to date! We definitely weren’t prepared for it! Even after spending time in the summer with a moving sale and donating items around the house, we had SOOO much work to do over 3 days. It felt like every time we got something done there was even more to conquer. The stress was unbelievable and somewhat took away from the fun of the transition to a new mobile life.
We honestly don’t think we had experienced that much stress and exhaustion over a 3 day period. It was physically exhausting with moving furniture and countless trips up and down stairs. It was mentally exhausting because we were ready to move on from our house to our new RV home. Beyond exhausted each night we would crash in our RV parked on the street in front of the house. We barely ate. Eating took a kitchen with water and utensils. We didn’t have any of that left in the house, but the RV didn’t have the water (we had winterized it in prep for cold temps). Somehow things made it into the RV and everything made it out of the house. The RV is not organized in any way, but our stuff is in there. We made it through to the other side and pushed ourselves even further by driving 500 miles each day to get to the Phoenix area quickly. We were ready to be somewhere and feel settled in the RV.
What are my suggestions and tips for making this easier for someone else?
- Prepare, prepare, prepare. Seriously, as soon as you know you are making a downsize, start selling, donating, trashing and going through everything. Start one room at a time and push through it. Don’t tell yourself you’ll have time later or next week. Do it then and now!
- Downsize everything to only what you’ll want to bring with you! Even if you feel like you’re living in an empty house, do it! I promise you’ll be happier when moving time arrives.
- Donate: If you don’t want to be stuck hauling everything to a donation center on your own, find a local organization that does pick-ups. We had several come to our home. However, make sure to book them WEEKS in advance and also make sure to book a larger space on a truck than you think you might need. We got lucky and found space on trucks just 2 weeks out. However, that’s not always the case.
- Get friends and family to help. They can help move, carry, organize. We chose to move during the week, so people were at work and couldn’t help. Move over a weekend or when people can help you out. It was so daunting with only the 2 of us. However, we did point out our success and accomplishments at the end of each day. It’s not like nothing was getting done. It’s more that there was TOO much to get done.
- Give yourself longer than you think you’ll need to move into the RV and vacate the house. We thought a day or 2 would be fine. Little did we know it would take longer and leave us thoroughly exhausted. Leave a week or 2 if you can. If you have help, maybe it can shorter. If you have completely downsized your home, then it should go quicker as well.
- Take the time to sit, eat, relax and feel good about what you accomplished that day. It was important that each night we were excited about everything we got done that day. You can use lists here, if that helps. I know it helped us to empty room by room and know that it was getting closer. It felt good to know we were making progress and there was an end in sight (even though at times it didn’t feel that way).
- Put your dogs in daycare or leave with a friend. We have 2 dogs (as most probably know) and we had them in day care one of the days we moved. It helped to not have to worry about them escaping as we left doors open. They also sense something is happening and were antsy. Helped them to have a fun day of play away from the chaos and helped us to not have to worry about them.
- Have a friend deliver you a meal or at the very least take the time to EAT. Everyone gets a lunch break, right? Make sure you take meal breaks. Suggest a friend or family member could use their lunch to bring you something to eat. We didn’t stop to eat every day and it wasn’t the best idea. It felt like we didn’t have the time to stop. That was a luxury and after a day and a half of doing that, we took the time to eat! We visited our favorite restaurant for breakfast one last time. We even took some time in the afternoon one day to get food. It got us out of the house, away from moving and the endless tasks and let us sit for a while. Feeling energized we were able to get back into working upon returning to the house.
Did I miss something? Let me know what worked for you, if you’ve been through this as well.