How to Downsize for RV Living

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Starting the full time RV living journey can be an exciting and liberating experience. It allows for a simpler and more minimalist lifestyle, with the ability to travel and explore new places at your own pace. However, downsizing for RV living from a traditional home isn’t easy, believe me, I’ve tried it.

It’s difficult—yes, but never impossible. If there’s something I’d share about the entire process, it’s this: It may take a lot of time and effort, but the rewards are worth it. And, you’ll see that you don’t really need that much to live a happy and fulfilling life on the road.

Why Downsize for Full Time RV Living?

Small Motorhome RV

Before we delve into the how-to’s, let’s talk about why you should consider downsizing for RV living. The answer is simple: it allows you to focus on what truly matters. When living in a traditional home, we tend to accumulate unnecessary stuff and clutter. This can cause stress and take up valuable time and resources in maintaining them.

By downsizing, you’ll be forced to evaluate your possessions and prioritize only what’s essential for your new lifestyle. Consider that there are things you do not need while full time RV living. This process of purging not only helps declutter your physical space but also allows for a clearer and more intentional mindset. Keep in mind that after you purge and downsize, there are many must have RV accessories that you may need to pick up. 

Now, onto the main event – how to downsize for RV living. Here are some tips to guide you through the process.

Assess Your Needs

The first step to downsizing is to assess your needs. Take inventory of all your belongings and determine which ones are essential and which can be let go. Consider the size and weight of each item as well, as space and weight limitations in an RV are crucial factors to consider.

Keep vs. Let Go

When deciding whether to keep or let go of an item, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I use this regularly?
  • Is it necessary for my daily life or for RV living?
  • Can I live without it?
  • Does it have sentimental value? If so, can it be replaced with a more compact version or digitized?

Optimize Storage Space


RVs come in various sizes, and if you picked out the best RV for full time RV living then you’ll most likely have some storage space available to you. It’s important to make the most out of every inch of space you have. Here are some ways to optimize storage:

  • Utilize multifunctional furniture (i.e., a table that also serves as storage)
  • Use vertical space with shelves and hanging organizers
  • Invest in collapsible and stackable containers

Related post: RV Cabinet Storage Ideas

Sell Everything

I mean, everything. When we jumped into RVing full time, selling our stuff helped us gather extra money. Of course, this decision may not be for everyone, but it’s worth considering as it can significantly reduce your load and expenses.

If you’re wondering how to start? Well, Tony and I share how we became a full-time RV family and explain the process we went through when we started RV living full-time.

Options for Selling:

  • Online platforms such as eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and Craigslist
  • Yard or garage sale (we had an estate sale which allowed more people to come)
  • Consignment shops (for furniture and other larger items)
  • Donating to charity or giving away items to friends and family
  • Antique or vintage stores (for valuable items)

Donate or Give Away Items

Some items may not be worth selling but can still be in good condition. Consider donating them to a charity or giving them away to friends and family. Not only will it benefit others, but it also reduces the amount of stuff you need to downsize.

Digitize Important Documents

Living in an RV means limited physical storage space, so it’s best to digitize any necessary documents such as insurance papers, identification cards, and important records. This not only saves space but also ensures that you have access to these documents whenever needed.

Don’t Be Afraid to Let Go

Parting with possessions can be challenging, especially if they hold sentimental value or memories. But remember that downsizing for RV living is a conscious choice towards a simpler and more intentional lifestyle. Embrace the process and focus on the freedom and possibilities that come with downsizing.

Embrace Minimalism

RV living often means living with less, but it also gives you the opportunity to embrace minimalism as a lifestyle. Minimalism is not just about owning fewer possessions, it’s about intentionally choosing to live with only what you need and value. For me, I find minimalism one of the hidden benefits of RV living because it can be a liberating and fulfilling experience.

Stay Organized

With limited space, staying organized is crucial for RV living. Consider investing in storage solutions such as collapsible containers, hanging shelves, and under-bed storage bins. Keep everything in its designated place to maximize space and avoid clutter.

Related Post: Unique RV Closet Storage Space Ideas

Continuously Evaluate your Possessions

As you adapt to RV living, continuously evaluate your possessions and whether they serve a purpose or add value to your life. If not, consider letting them go and freeing up more space in your RV.

Get Creative with Storage

Maximize every inch of your RV by getting creative with storage solutions. For example, use command hooks for hanging utensils, install shelves above doorways, and utilize vertical space with stackable bins. Keeping your RV kitchen organized is helpful too.

Make Use of Multi-Functional Items

Camper clothes storage ideas

I share this tip all the time, when it comes to living in an RV, multi-functional items are your best friend. Look for furniture that doubles as storage space or turns into an RV desk, collapsible kitchen tools, and versatile clothing options.

Additional Tips for Downsizing:

  • Start early and give yourself plenty of time to go through your belongings
  • Create a system for decluttering, such as sorting items into categories (keep, sell, donate)
  • Be realistic about what you truly need and use daily
  • Consider renting a storage unit for items that you can’t part with but don’t have room for in your RV
  • Get creative with repurposing or multi-functional items to save space
  • Utilize digital storage for documents and photos to free up physical space


Downsizing for RV living may seem like a daunting task, but with the right mindset and approach, it can be an exciting and liberating experience. I’ve learned a lot about minimalism and living with less through my RV journey, and I hope these tips will help you in your downsizing process. Remember, it’s not about sacrificing or giving up things, but rather choosing to prioritize experiences and create a simpler, more intentional lifestyle. Happy downsizing!

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