How to Downsize Your Stuff when Transitioning from a House to an RV?

Last Updated on July 5, 2023

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(SmallRV) 15 Things to Consider Before Moving into Your RV

Our lifestyle is constantly changing. These changes affect our fashion, tastes, and preferences in most spheres of life. I believe the younger generation is gradually changing their attitude towards owning homes and paying mortgages. Not just that you pay mortgages, but closing costs, taxes, HOA fees, insurance, maintenance (mowing the lawn, fixing the AC, etc), interest… it seems like it’s a never-ending story. This is why I choose the RV lifestyle. I love to just move whenever I want to and a new adventure is waiting for me all the time. Overall recreational vehicles are gaining increased popularity as an alternative to replace the large square feet houses. Especially if your work can be done remotely. I chose this lifestyle and I’ve never looked back. I’ve never experienced this type of freedom before in my life.

The process of transitioning from a large house into an RV is, however, can be challenging. The major challenge is how to downsize stuff from a house or apartment into a small  RV. Downsizing your belongings needs a careful approach. Over the years I moved so many times, with each move I got rid of things I didn’t need, so I did not have too much. Downsizing wasn’t too difficult for me. If you, however, have been living in the same house for many years, most likely you have lots of stuff to get rid of.


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So, here is some help on how to downsize your belongings to ease your transition from a house into an RV:

  • Plan about the transition early enough. Give yourself a couple of months.
  • Deciding what you may need while on the RV can be very challenging. It is advisable that you start making plans for the transition, think about the stuff you use each day. My one-year rule: if you haven’t touched something for over a year, you most likely won’t need it. You need to think about giving your landlord a notice that you are about to leave, or if you own your home, rent it out for extra income!
  • Take time to organize your belongings in three groups: the things you will need with you, things to donate, and stuff to sell. This will help greatly!
  • Choose the best RV suiting your needs. I have a class C RV and I have space for everything I need. Choosing the right RV requires a distinctive approach. There are plenty of RVs available in the market. You probably will change your RV after living in it for a while because living in it you will realize more what you really need for the long term. You need to take your time to choose the best recreational vehicle best suited to start with.

There are several ways to get rid of the stuff that might take some extra space:

  • a) Sell some items: selling your stuff before you are moving in the RV gives you some extra cash which you may be able to use.  Extra-large electronics, furniture, and other large stuff are most likely to earn you some extra cash.
  • b) Improvise some hacks to create more space: you will need to save some space by using simple hacks. There are plenty of storage options available for your cabinets and drawers. Organize it well. Don’t be afraid to use some creativity. 
  • c) Donate extra stuff: you may donate some stuff that you shall no longer need. 
  • d) A barter trade may come in handy: some stuff in your household is not easy to sell or it won’t worth it because you won’t ever get enough money for it. A barter trade for some stuff with friends, relatives, or even strangers is a better deal.
  • e) Use a Safety Deposit box to keep stuff safe: your important documents, certificates, etc. best kept secure. You can rent a safety deposit box to keep your documents and other important stuff safe. Keeping some important stuff in the safety deposit box keeps your stuff safe from car accidents or burglary too.
  • f) Rent a storage unit. If you don’t have friends or family who can store some stuff for you, you might need to rent a storage unit. I don’t really like the idea, because over time you will pay more for the storage than your stuff worth inside. I would advise you to do this if you are not sure how long you will live in your RV and planning to return to “normal” life. 


RV Insurance

A recreational vehicle operates like any other truck on the road but if you live in it full-time you will need special insurance. There are full-timers insurance available at Progressive. You may also insure some important belongings of yours too.

It is important to note that choosing the stuff you may or may not need should be guided by logic. Making a decision based on your emotions and sentimental attachments is likely to eat a lot of space. Make a decision based on the role each stuff plays in your life.


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