The Art Of Downsizing Using My 1, 2, 3 Method

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The Art of Downsizing Using My 1, 2, 3 Method

The art of downsizing using my 1, 2, 3 method to go from a 1650 sq ft 3 bdr., 3 bath condo to a 425 sq ft RV.

Although this seems at first to be a very daunting task, it is possible. Using my 1, 2, 3 method of sorting makes it more manageable. Some decisions are necessary. Are you going to live in your RV forever? Or at some point will you be living in a stick built home again? If your RV isn’t going to be your forever home, how long do you plan to live in it? Is it cost effective to store your household furnishings for when you again live in a stick built house? Or would storage for your particular length of time be cost prohibitive?

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Image RV units, before moving into this try my 1, 2, 3 method of downsizing

Three Simple Piles

If it would be less expensive to replace items at a later date then you need to downsize with 3 divisions in mind…(1) Items to keep and move into the RV with you (2) items to give away or donate (3) items that are being trashed. That’s it. Three simple piles.

If you plan to store some of your items then you need to start downsizing with 4 divisions in mind…(1) Items to keep and move into the RV with you (2) items to give away or donate (3) items that are being trashed (4) items that are going to storage. Four simple piles.

Digitize Everything Possible

Digitizing everything possible eliminates a huge amount of necessary storage. Works of art that you want to save, family photos, family finance bookwork that must be retained. All can be scanned and kept digitally. Much of this can be done at home on your printer /scanner/copier or with a small photo scanner. .

image of photo scanner the art of downsizing using my 1, 2, 3 method

After you have completed digitizing everything possible and are ready to tackle the rest of the house, take one project at a time.

Closets and Bureau Drawers

Closets and Bureau Drawers – Pare down the amount of duplication you have. How many shirts/pants/dresses etc., will you actually be wearing and how many will fit in your RV closet?

Anything that doesn’t fit right, hasn’t been worn for more than a year or you just don’t like goes into the donate pile. Consider where you will be living and traveling. Will you need winter clothing? Or primarily summer clothing? Keep only what you will actually be using and can fit into your RV.

Bathroom(s) – How Many Do You Have?

Bathroom(s) – Again, get rid of duplication. Costco amounts of toilet paper  may work in your stick built home but your RV doesn’t have that kind of storage. Do an inventory of products actually being used by each family member. Keep only the personal care products that are needed and used regularly.

Keep one toilet brush  , one plunger, one of whatever cleaning product you use, enough towels/hand towels/wash cloths for each family member and a couple extras in case you have guests.


Kitchen – Most of our kitchens contain more of everything than we would ever use. Ruthless sorting is the name of the game here. Keep one set of dishes that will travel well. I found that my ceramic dishes made by my son traveled just fine and I haven’t broken one yet.

Evaluate how and where you plan to eat. Do you plan to actually cook meals in your RV? Or do you plan to eat only light meals in your RV and frequent restaurants for your main meal? How you plan to cook should dictate how much kitchen equipment you move with you into your RV.

We primarily cook and eat at home in our RV. Your list may look different than mine if you don’t plan to do much cooking. The items I kept have worked well for us for over two years now. I kept a set of mixing bowls, my KitchenAid Mixer, popcorn maker, coffee pot, one good set of pans, my cast iron skillets, small cookie sheets, one bread pan, one pie pan, one small cake pan, a set of nested storage containers, unbreakable glasses, one set of ceramic dinner plates, salad plates, cereal bowls, silverware, one each of items such as mixing spoon, whisks, can opener, etc., and my crockpot .

Living Room/Family Room

Living Room/Family Room – If you are storing furniture for future use take inventory and only store that which is worth paying storage fees. If something is old, broken down or needing to be replaced, don’t waste money paying storage for it. Trash it now. If you don’t plan to store any furnishings sort your furniture into two piles. (1) to be given to friends, family or donated or (2) to go to the trash.

Garage – Yikes!!!

Garage – That nightmare of “guy stuff.”  Sort all bottles/bags/boxes of lawn and house care chemicals. Research your town’s website to find how to dispose of toxic chemicals and follow their guidelines.

Next you will need to sort all tools and  remaining items into your three piles again…(1) Keep and move to the RV with you (2) give to family, friends or donate (3) trash.

There you have it. Your list may look a little different than mine depending upon the size of your RV, where you plan to live and travel, as well as the weather where you plan to be. Good Luck with your downsizing! It’s a little frightening at first but very liberating to have less “stuff” to care for.

Scroll to the bottom of the blog post page and leave your comments and your downsizing experiences. We love to hear from you.

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  1. Reply

    Excellent advice! We just down-sized to a smaller home and donated alot of stuff to Goodwill.Probably still have more stuff we should donate that just doesn’t work in our smaller space.

      • NoniKay
      • January 15, 2017

      Hi Sandi, glad you enjoyed the blog post. Like you, we donated so many items!! Amazing what we can all do without once we really do a hardcore inventory isn’t it? Hope your new smaller home works well for you.

    • Carol
    • February 20, 2017

    Great advice. I’ve started already and yes…..the dreaded man cave garage with three sets of tools plus every size screw and piece of rope that “might need that someday” gives me nightmares for sure. God bless um. ?❤️

      • NoniKay
      • February 20, 2017

      I can relate for sure! Every time I walked into or through the garage I was pretty sure we’d never get it done in time. We made it but there was SOOOOO much stuff!


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