Let us start this post with a question: if circumstances dictated you had to do it, could you downsize enough to live full time in an RV or travel trailer? Lots of people do it voluntarily just because they like the RV lifestyle. Others, albeit a small number of full-timers, have downsized to an RV because they felt they had no other choice financially.
At any rate, full-time RVers offer a plethora of decluttering life lessons the rest of us with stick and brick houses could learn from. If you are ever faced with the possibility that your home needs decluttering, imagine yourself living in an RV. Then ask yourself the following questions:
1. Do I need it?
One of the first questions we encourage clients to ask at the start of a decluttering job is whether or not they need their possessions. We encourage them to ask it in both a general and individual sense. Generally speaking, do they really need all of the stuff they own? Ask for specific items, are they things that are absolutely necessary?
Storage space in an RV is such that you really cannot afford to hold onto a lot of things you don’t really need. The tricky thing is figuring out just what your needs are. Needs and wants are two different things, but everyone’s needs are different. It takes careful consideration to figure it all out.
2. When did I last use it?
This next question is really a follow-up to the first one. We encourage clients to ask when the last time was that they used a particular possession. Why? Because how often you use something plays a role in determining whether or not you really need it. Perhaps it has been two or three months since a particular possession was used. You could make the case that it is still a necessity. But what if something hasn’t been used for more than a year?
With the exception of holiday decorations, there are few things that are used only once a year (or less) that could constitute a necessity. So if you haven’t used something in quite a while, perhaps you don’t really need it. Perhaps it is time to let it go.
3. How much do I value living space?
The third question full-time RVers have to constantly ask themselves is one of how valuable living space is. Even in the largest of motor homes, there isn’t nearly as much living space as you find in a single-family home. So RVers have to be very conscious of how they use the living space they do have.
Those of us in brick-and-mortar homes can learn a lesson here. Just because we have more living space does not necessarily mean we should fill it up with stuff. So, how valuable is living space to you? Some people like lots of wide-open space with plenty of room to move. Others like to feel cozy while surrounded with furniture and other possessions.
The three principles outlined here are not enough in and of themselves to prevent clutter. But they are a good starting point. If you find your house is already cluttered, asking and answering these questions could be the motivation you need to change things. Remember that My Divine Concierge is always here to help.