Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Getting Ready to Go Full-time

Since 2003 we have been traveling in our 5th-wheel trailer for five or more months a year. This fall, as we were returning to Colorado, we decided we would put our furniture and other stuff in storage, rent our house, and go on the road full-time for a couple of years. For the past few years we have felt it wasn't good stewardship of our largest asset to pay for it all year and only use it a few months. The current state of the stock market makes it an even better idea to use that asset to bring in income.

We returned to the house on November 4 and since then, except for the time we spent decorating for Christmas and celebrating the Christmas season, we have been packing boxes, sorting through files and trinkets and selling furniture and the other "stuff" we don't need. We are keeping family dining room and bedroom sets and our living room furniture. But we are trying to get rid of a lot of the rest.

We knew we had a lot of work ahead of us. But I guess I didn't realize how much time it would take. We have to work on the project every day. We will have a moving sale in about a week and a half. Our basement floor is covered with all sorts of things—mainly small things—we don't need any more and haven't used for years. We had a lot of clothes we hadn't worn since we retired. After sorting through them, we gave about 15 bags of clothing, three upholstered chairs, several lamps and probably 20 coffee cups to the Association of Retarded Citizens (ARC) Thrift Shop.

We have sold a futon, two printers and a scanner on Craigslist. We have sold furniture and silverware to antique dealers and have another antique dealer coming by Sunday to look at some old oak furniture we would like to sell. We hope to consign some other things. Then there is our 1993 Buick sedan we hope to sell.

Since 1975, when we moved from Boulder to Castle Rock, we have been carting around boxes of files and memorabilia—Boulder to Castle Rock to Oconomowoc to Granby to Grand Lake to Denver to Centennial. Finally we are going through those files. And, are you surprised?, we are throwing away most of it.

Most of this has not been too hard for me. For the past two years I have looked at all our "stuff" as an albatross, tying us down and demanding care and concern. Sometimes, I find it difficult—even impossible—to get rid of some things. Our son and his family are probably getting more than they wanted from our house. But on the whole, except that it is a lot of work, it hasn't been too hard.

It has been more difficult for John. He has always been a collector. If he found something he liked, he wanted two, just to be safe. He didn't want to throw anything away. He might need it some day. The last few years have made it more apparent to him he doesn't need it. But it was still hard to start giving things away or selling them. But the more he does that, the more he reports feeling liberated. Tonight he said, "Why should I be controlled by all this stuff?"

We hope to have movers put our furniture in storage and have the carpets cleaned before February 1, so renters can move in—if we find a renter by then. But since our son is handling the rental of the house, we want to be on our way to Arizona on or about Feb. 1. And as soon as we get somewhere warm, we will sit and do nothing for a few days to recover from all this work.

Don't let anyone tell you it easy to become a full-time RVer. Good, exciting, yes. Not easy.


  1. I feel for you. When I sold my house and went on the road was the most stressful time of my entire life. I even broke out in some kind of mysterious blisters. But it was definitely worth it. Just remember to breathe. :-)

  2. Thanks for your honest feedback on preparing to go fulltime. Although we still have a house, we have done some purging and cleaning in the last year when we were home. Yet, there is so much more to donate/sell/trash. Wish you the best of luck in your new adventure.