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Old 10-05-2009, 01:42 PM
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Default Full-timing: parting With the stuff

This is part of a continuing discussion of the aspects of going full time in an RV. In part one we examined the decision to go full time. If you haven't added to that discussion, please take time to tell your story. Likewise, add your thoughts about cleaning house as you went full time to this discussion.

Our story:

After we reached the decision to go full time, we faced a house full of stuff collected over a lifetime. Some of the items we had would go with us in the motor home. Most of the stuff would have to go somewhere else. Our choices were:

1) Store things we valued too much or thought would be useful in the future. The family photo albums and a huge collection of 35mm slides fit this category. We also stored some of our art collection, paintings, pictures and sculpture with special meaning to us. Then there was the ridiculous, I had more t-shirts than we could pack. So I saved them along with a box full of hats. I should have known these things multiply and I've never needed those old t-shirts!

2) Give our children first choice on any of the remaining items. TV's, stereo/CD player, surround sound system, chairs, tables, couch, a home gym set, table saws and an assortment of lawn and garden tools all went to our children. We had heirloom furniture passed down from my grandparents and an aunt that were given to specific children. Those items are still in the family.

3) We had a series of garage sales. Living in a metropolitan area, we had a wide audience for our stuff. Still, garage sales are what they are. Everyone is looking for a bargain. On the other hand, most of this stuff was what the kids had picked through so it wasn't that valuable! Only we thought it was valuable. We had collections of things that we parted with, we just couldn't store everything. With the garage sale, we listed all the furniture inside the house that was for sale and were able to sell almost all of it. I sold my motorcycle and pickup truck through ads in the newspaper.

4) We gave large quantities of clothing, books, other items to charities. I got rid of all my business suits!

5) We hauled one pickup load of absolute junk to the junk yard. That it was only one pickup load amazed me.

When we were all done, the items for storage were packed in boxes, marked carefully and taken to my son's basement where they stayed until his divorce. Then we put them in commercial storage for about two months while my daughter and her husband finished their home. We moved them to their basement where they have been ever since. We stop and visit them (our stored stuff) occasionally, dropping off this, picking up that. Someday when this adventure ends, we'll collect them and make them part of our new home. The total of the stored materials will fill a small U-Haul trailer.

Once in a while I get a twinge thinking about one thing or another that we sold or gave away thinking it might have been nice to keep that but in reality, it wasn't that important that I couldn't live without it. Once you get rid of the stuff and the house, you life becomes so much simpler. The travel it makes possible more than makes up for occasionally missing something.

We had the house on the market at a premium price and it had several offers that fell through before we got a buyer. We left town just before Thanksgiving 2001 even though the house hadn't sold. We returned in late December to sign the final papers on the house and then we were full timers for good!

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