Friday, September 18, 2015

Stuff....should it go, or should it stay?

We went back to work after what was essentially 4 days off......technically we had three days off (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday), but if we get off at 1300 hours on Sunday, and don't go back to work until 1300 hours on Thursday that's four days no matter how you add it up.....frankly it felt like four days, too.  We had the 'bottom shift' and for a change we arrived at the Cape to light winds, partly cloudy skies and somewhat balmy temperatures.

In my blog the other day I posted a picture of a very old picture showing the layout of the lighthouse station, but taken from an angle I had not previously photographed.  In order to give proper perspective to the very old picture I took this panorama shot yesterday from the same vantage point......

.....we actually had over 160 visitors Wednesday which was to be expected with the more welcoming weather conditions.  And more visitors means time flies by because you are continually engaged in conversations with visitors.....that's how I like it.

Yesterday I left off our discussion about preparing for the full time RV life by posing the next question you should consider......."What do we do with all the 'stuff' we have accumulated over the decades?".....indeed, what do 'we' do?  Once we had decided we wanted to travel and live full time on the road in our RV the next logical step was to begin to reduce the amount of 'stuff' we had.  Most of the folks whose blogs I had been reading for a few years by this time had gone through this process, but after they became 'fulltimers'.  The process always seemed to take them 2-3 years, or more.  They would start out putting virtually all their 'stuff' into storage utilizing one to three storage units, and then each year when they would come back to visit their 'stuff' they would get rid of more and more until, ultimately, they had let go of everything.  Having the benefit of their experience to analyse I decided we should start to divest ourselves of our 'stuff' three years in advance of our moving into our RV.  By March of 2008 we had acquired our Newell, and knew what we had room for, and what we did not, so the process began with yard sales, and ended with giving away 'stuff as February 1st of 2011 came closer.   Even when we had moved into our Newell to spend a year at the county park I mentioned previously we still had a trailer full of 'stuff' for which we had not yet made decisions.  So, technically, it took us almost 4 years to make almost all the decisions about our 'stuff'.  The clear advantage for starting the process way before you hit the road is not spending money needlessly on storage units for years at a time after you hit the road.

As February 1st of 2012 drew closer I went to TLE and told her we had to deal with the trailer full of 'stuff' still left, or we would have to slide the car in sideways for it to fit.  We finally knuckled down to the task with about 10 days to go, and cleared the trailer out enough to insert the car (2002 T-Bird at the time).  At the time we had, in addition to the car, 2 road bikes, one mountain bike, one tandem bicycle, and two tadpole recumbent trikes.  We were also carrying a CampChef Tahoe 3 burner portable stove (with grill box), sleeping bags, and other things whose descriptions now elude me.  By the time we had been on the road for 5 months we removed the two tadpole trikes,the CampChef stove and grill box, the sleeping bags, and a few other things because we were not using them.  Since then we have divested ourselves of a few more things to the point now where we only carry the 'stuff' that gets used on a regular basis.

So, as you can see, in spite of our proactively beginning the winnowing process three years in advance it still took us 18 additional months after we moved into the Newell to finally get down to the essentials that work for our lifestyle.  Some might say we still have too much stuff, including the 26' enclosed car trailer that we pull thousands of miles per year.  Sure, for some, it is probably still too much, but what we have now is what makes us happy as we live our lives on the road in a 'tiny house'.

In my next installment we we'll talk about why we chose the type of RV we chose......thanks for stopping by!

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