Living Large in a Small Space

When you hear someone say that they are ‘downsizing’, what comes to mind?

     Going from a 2-story house to a 1-story house?

     Moving into a 2 bedroom house from a 4 bedroom house?

     Switching from a house with a yard to an apartment?

How about leaving 2200 sq ft of living space and moving into 275 sq ft, give or take a few feet? Yes, you read it correctly.

In October 2015 we left our house, outbuildings, carport, and yard and started residing in our 5th wheel and we couldn’t be happier!

But it didn’t come without its own set of realizations and hysterical outcomes.

Prep Time

We knew for about 6 months that we were going to do this and started working on getting rid of as much as we could. We had a flea market booth so we just started taking in box after box of downsized collectibles. As I was thinning out our belongings, I was keeping the best linens, best dishes, best kitchen gadgets… the best of the best.

Do you have any idea how much can be accumulated after 15 years in the same house?

Of course, I had a special corner for those special items that I couldn’t live without, that is, my non-negotiables. My new decor theme for our new home on wheels has a nautical flair so I was collecting some new items also.

We did need to invest in a storage unit for much of our special items… scrapbooks, holiday decor, and a lot of what we wanted to keep. Everything is clearly marked and stacked in an 8×10 box.

So now it’s time for the big move and guess what?

It Won’t All Fit!

The 5th wheel was delivered and set up so we stacked all those totes and boxes outside. It wasn’t long after I started bringing them in one at a time when I realized… oops. We no longer need a service for 8 since there is only the two of us. Same with multiples of glasses, coffee cups, silverware, towels, you get the picture.

As we are moving in I’m still downsizing. Half of the kitchen linens… gone. Half of the kitchen utensils… don’t need. Half of the pots and pans… don’t fit.

Needless to say, we were stepping over boxes for days. Thank goodness it wasn’t rainy season since much of it was sitting outside. I was unpacking and repacking as I went. And don’t get me started on the first time I went to cook and found out most of my baking dishes didn’t fit in the RV oven. More was added to the ‘get rid of’ pile every single day.

Remember when I mentioned that I had special decor for our new environment? Yeah, most of that didn’t fit either.

Adjustments

When you live in a 5th wheel, everything is pint-sized compared to a house. I am the kind of person that believes everything should have a place. So finding a place for the things you need can sometimes be a challenge.

We still laugh about the first time we went grocery shopping. I realized that space was a precious commodity but hubby thought we needed everything supersized. There are only so many nooks and crannies you can cram non-needed items.

And every large item that you may want must serve more than one purpose. For example, I needed something to keep office supplies in but hmmm, what to do. I found a 4-drawer rolling cart (in the color that fit perfectly in our new digs) that doubles as an end table. Voila!

Did I hear someone ask, “what about the storage unit”? Well, that was downsized also. Holiday decor is at a minimum, the scrapbooks are being turned over to the family, and all that stuff we thought we couldn’t live without… guess what?… we can live without all that clutter.

How It’s Going Now

Well, it’s been a little over a year and we are still married. Seriously, we ponder over why we didn’t make this move after the kids left home.

We are adapting pretty well. We still have a tendency to over-accumulate but since it is such a small space we never keep the extras very long. As an added bonus, we have been cleaning out every 6 months of items we hadn’t used the previous 6 months.

Are we saving money? A lot!

Is it worth it? Heck yeah!

Would we do it again? Absolutely!

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