A Smashing Time – RVing and Your Material Possessions
By Ann L DeSanti
People seem to love the notion of moving into a home on wheels. They love the idea of freedom, the adventure, the opportunities, the discoveries. They spend a lot of time wishing and sometimes they even put those wishes into action. Then comes the hard part. How to get rid of all those possessions. For some, it isn’t so difficult but for many, it can be a heart-wrenching process.
Don’t allow material things to stop you from pursuing a truly rewarding way of life that many experience but many more never do. There are always options. Maybe you can keep your home and all those ‘things’ while you travel for an allotted amount of time to actually see if this is the life for you. If not, your stick and brick home is waiting for you. If it is right, then more decisions have to be made. Going cold turkey is hard. Things that you cannot possibly get rid of can be given or left with children or other relatives or friends. Alternatively, your possessions can be left in storage. In time, much of what you felt you could once not do without now takes on much less importance to you.
From our own experience we did keep a storage facility for a couple of years. We rarely went back to it. Only if we happened to be in the area, and then only to pay the monthly bill if it was due at that time and to take a cursory glance at the cubicle’s contents. Otherwise our ‘stuff’ languished expensively for no real purpose. Eventually we made the decision to sell or give away what we had in storage and shed yet another shackle from our last life. We took a very few items and disposed of the rest.
Amongst the items we did choose to take were Bob’s collection of pre-war china teapots and his quirky group of old beer steins. I mention this more as a cautionary tale. The beer steins are still with us minus two of the group but of the lovely old teapots, only one (now chipped) example survived the many bumps along the road. We remember these with not (too) much regret but more for which state we lost that dainty floral Worcestershire pot or the time the cardboard storage box fell from its place on the couch bringing the life of the Staffordshire tea set to an end.
We do still have a grandmother wall clock. Testimony to its quality, as anything lesser would surely have ticked its last tock many miles ago, this particular clock survived being left on the wall as the slide-out on the RV had been moved in ready for travel. When the slide-out made contact with the clock, the latter flew off the wall, effectively redistributing its body parts.
We have started out with porcelain dinner sets, crystal wine glasses, and fine glass salad bowls. We have ended up with Corelle plates, pewter wine goblets, and wooden salad bowls. There really are some attractive, sensible, and necessary alternatives once you start looking. It sure beats the inevitable sound of clink, crack, smash which I can promise you will hear at some point!
If this all sounds like a Spartan existence, really it isn’t! You are just living in a more condensed way. Therefore you still have this or that just less of it! One wall clock, one table lamp, two sets of sheets, three or four books, not the whole library. Streamline.
Then there’s the wardrobe. Good news for women. Men generally seem much more pragmatic when it comes to the amount of clothing they need. So, even though you may begin your journey with half a wardrobe each, over time the female ‘half’ just gets a little bigger. At last count, I personally have nineteen pairs of shoes. A quite unnecessary amount for any life let alone this one. However, shoes are my weak point and with some creative organization, they fit well enough within the wardrobe for me to indulge my misguided passion.
Whatever your must-have is, there are ways of working around really having it all while still doing with less.