Okay, so we’re finally ready to go back to RV living, that after wasting thousands on an aborted cargo trailer conversion. I’m glancing around my office and realize that I’ve fallen, once again, into the junk trap.
Just sitting here I count two TV’s a laptop, cable box, DVD player, two external hard drives, a handful of specialty cameras, and an electric razor. The TV’s are not going. We have somehow managed to collect more TV’s than any other two people you know. But the rest of this junk is going and will take up precious space, and still more junk is going into the our storage unit, which is the above-mentioned cargo trailer.
We have some painful decisions ahead about what we keep and what we let go. For the record, we did not buy all the stuff we have. My aunt died and we inherited her house, which was completely furnished. We added our stuff to her stuff and accumulated still more over the next six years. Now we have a mess. Junk too valuable to throw away, not valuable enough to be worth selling, and in too great a quantity to store.
Besides, here’s what happens when you store your stuff. It sits in a storage unit and rots for years while you pay month after month for the storage space. When you finally do go back for it, you realize it would have been easier, and cheaper, to replace all that crap than keep it.
Every time I vow to stay out of the junk trap and every time I end up falling in. My standard joke about moving is garage sale, dumpster, Ikea. That’s supposed to demonstrate my independence from material possessions but, like a giant two-legged pack rat, I get comfortable in a nest and the accumulation begins.
Let The Clean Up Begin
So, here we go again. Whittling our junk down so it fits in the RV and storage unit. We cleaned out an amazing amount of junk before we set sail in a 5th wheel camper the first time and, when it came time to move down here, noticed we had accumulated a ton of crap while we were on the road! It just seems to happen of its own accord. Every flat space gets filled with junk that’s too valuable to toss and worthless to sell.
The Hard Question
Look around at your stuff and ask yourself when was the last time you used that thing or wore that article of clothing? My waterproof bags for kayaking, gotta keep those. But the answer is not as clear for an old belt and crappy old raincoat on the same set of hooks. I look at my clothes closet. If I threw away everything I didn’t wear I could pack it all in a single suitcase. In Florida you just don’t need that big of a wardrobe.
Be Happier Junk Free
Here’s a person who tried the 100 Thing Challenge and how it changed their buying habits. You don’t have to limit yourself to 100 things but there is ample research suggesting that you can’t spend your way to happiness. Fewer things means less to worry about. You can take the minimalist thing too far, even in a camper, van, or RV but overall, I think fewer is better when it comes to possessions.
Maybe these periodic junk cleansings aren’t such a bad thing.