Thursday, December 31, 2009

Two Cents on Stuff OR the Stuff Reduction Checklist

[ Updated with a little Google Form to capture ideas from people ]

First some disclosure - Sheri and I (as of Dec 2009) are NOT full time RV'ers. We take the travel trailer and we use it as our weekend home. Its like having a vacation home that moves. All that being said - we are practicing and trying out the idea of being full-timers without diving in all the way.

One issue with living in an RV is 'STUFF'.  I mean STUFF. All the STUFF you collect throughout life. Memorabilia. Things. Electronics. Books. How much STUFF do you need? I mean really?

Here is what we're doing...

Maybe you can think of this as a STUFF REDUCTION CHECKLIST!. In fact, I 'll store this as a checklist. I don't think I can HELP adding some philosophy to the article though.

* Books. We are giving them away where we can. We are selling them to "Half Price Books" where we can (A local Austin Texas bookchain). We are selling books on Amazon where possible. We will (soon) start transferring books we want to keep to something LIKE the Kindle.

* CD's. We rip them whenever we can. Much of our music is spiritual so we're going to give it away to church's. Did I mention that we back up our data.

* Photo's. We scan and send on to other family members. You'd be surprised how much space these things occupy.

* Paper. We scan all of the paperwork. Bills. Info we might need. All scanned. You can't keep records like this around. They take lots of space. We use an Epson Workforce 600 Printer. This is an OUTSTANDING printer/scanner that shares its data over its wireless networking capability. It is VERY fast to print and very fast to scan. I'm hearing LOTS of good about these. You have to have a good scanner to go paperless.

* Memorabilia. I have TWO children so much of this stuff can't be shared. So here is what we do : We photograph all of our stuff (blankets, old dresses, track medals, and much more) and we give it away or throw it away. We believe the PICTURES and the STORIES are better for the kids than the stuff. I'm reminded of James Dobson's story about how his high school tennis trophies were found in the trash. Also, you have to really examine what you NEED. You'll find that you NEED very little.

* Movies. This is pretty useless junk. Too big to rip really. And who watches movies over and over. I think we're leaning towards online streaming as the best way to get media. We're doing that now so it won't be new. We have a Mac Mini attached to DSL and it drives our TV. We have no other subscriptions. Movies take lots of space. But we'll probably give these away and not really keep any copies. We MAY also put them into DVD sleeves that are VERY compact.

* Clothes. We are reducing constantly based on what we wear. We do have plastic tubs and are practicing switching them out seasonally.

* Furniture. This is EASY. We'll sell it where possible. We're avoiding picking up such things. Most of this is built-in to a recreational vehicle (RV). Lighting is the same way.

* Washer/Dryer. We're planning on making an 'outdoor house' so a good washer and dryer (which we have) we'll put in the outdoor house. We'll talk about that more in future posts. So this we'll keep.

* Kids Bed/Room. Our idea here is to get a Toy Hauler, like the Cyclone 3950. It would have the electric beds and the garage for storage. The beds would allow us to use the space for dual use.

* Computers. Only laptops now. No desktops ever again. Only wireless connections. All media on one small media center PC (Mac Mini) with good backup (Apple Time Capsule)

Love to have other people's thoughts. Please post them.


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