These are the last spaces that we are going to cover in the Downsizing 101 Series. Hopefully, you started to clean out your closets as soon as you made the decision to downsize, but now we are going to take a closer look at them together. We covered clothing in our downsizing the bedroom post, so downsizing closets will include jackets, cleaning supplies and all of the other necessities of life that we like to hide behind closed doors. Let’s open those doors and clean out some closets!!!
OUR DOWNSIZING GROUND RULES:
#1 Think about the space that you are moving in to.
#2 You will need five designated spaces: keep, sell, donate, trash and RV. We will talk about how to deal with those piles in another post, so for now, focus on the task of sorting.
#3 In each room, we will start with the larger items and proceed to the smaller items.
#4 Look for multipurpose items. They will be a big asset in a smaller space or RV.
Jackets – As an RVer, I think it is safe to say that most of us are looking forward to spending more time in warmer climates. However, keep in mind that traveling around the country will expose you to weather changes and patterns that you are not accustomed to. Our country is so vast, and it is so many unexpected surprises awaiting you, and one of them will be the weather. In Pennsylvania, our weather is pretty stable and true to the seasons…Winter is too cold, Spring is warmer but cool at night, Summer is hot, and Fall is crisp. Our wardrobes include a little bit of everything to keep us prepared for the entire year. On the road, it is such a relief to not have a lot of big winter clothes with us. But, we have also learned that while we could pretty much guess the weather in PA during any given season, that is certainly not the same across the country. There are plenty of states that have drastic changes of weather within a few days. One of the things I love about Nebraska is the unpredictability of the weather. Or states like Utah (Chris’ favorite), where you have cool air mountains in the north, and the dry, hot desert in the south. Or when you are in Texas, and people share the common saying, “Don’t like the weather now, wait an hour!” That is where jackets come in. While you will want to downsize the amount of jackets or coats you have, keep in mind that having a few jackets can help to minimize the overall amount of clothing you keep as well. Just rid yourself of the duplicates. Start with just one lightweight and one heavy jacket.
Cleaning Supplies – If you have been sticking around our website a little, then you will quickly learn that we are dedicated to our wellness, and a huge part of that is making healthy choices for cleaners. We work way too hard at feeding our bodies what they need, providing our minds with wholesome challenges and guarding our hearts to throw it all away on poisoning ourselves with synthetic chemicals. Sound harsh? We take it that seriously. If you are putting in the effort to eat better, then you must limit your exposure to nasty chemicals. We ditched the synthetic chemicals years ago, and we also paired down our products to mainly one great all-purpose cleaner and few other natural ingredients to use when necessary. It is cheaper, healthier and simpler. Win-win-win. CLICK HERE FOR A DIY ALL PURPOSE CLEANER RECIPE AND MORE INFORMATION!
Laundry – Oh, you have a whole room/closet for that now? Well that, my friend, is a casualty of RVing. Most people will use the on-site laundry machines, but if you are interested, learn how we added a washer/dryer to our RV here. Regardless of which laundry machines you use, you will still need to consider space for storing the dirty laundry and the detergent. This is another area in which you can pair down your cleaners – we use vinegar for fabric softener allowing us to use a product that serves multiple purposes on the RV instead of just one. We also have not used dryer sheets, since we made the switch to chemical-free living years ago. Our clean laundry is scent-free. That is an adjustment at first, but now we prefer it.
Miscellany – As you go through your closets and storage areas, you will find all sorts of things that will be easy to downsize. But, you will also find items that maybe don’t serve a purpose for you anymore, but you are just not willing to let go of due to an emotional attachment or other reason. If you are really struggling, then be sure to read our article on the emotional side of downsizing. There may be items that you just need to make room for in your new space, and that is ok. If you feel the need to keep 100 things for the same emotional attachment, then that is probably not ok. Try to limit yourself to a few items and move on from the rest, using them to bless others.