Preparing to Move From House to Fulltime RV Living

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Well, by now you know we’ve been Preparing to Move, realizing we will be Living In a Camper, and figuring out just how Living in a Camper will work here.

Now you can’t just jump up and move. There are plans that have to be made, a house that will need to be sold, and of course, STUFF that needs to be dealt with.

Oh the stuff….so much! I mentioned in my last article that we would buy a trailer to put our things in, but the real decision to be made was what goes with us in the camper, what gets packed in the trailer, and what we can live without.

Instead of making it overwhelming, we starting packing in one room. I made a pile of things to sell, things for garbage, things for the camper, and things to pack. Even though I have all these cute little piles of things to go in the camper for now, I’m sure as I go along most of it will end up being packed away or sold. That’s why you should leave your boxes of camper things in the house as you are going along instead of taking them out to the camper and thinking that you will somehow find room for everything. It’s not going to happen!

Some other tips…if you plan on keeping your things with you (like we will be with the trailer) make sure everything is very well labeled. That way if you really need something you can get back into the box without too much trouble! There were several things I ended up packing away instead of keeping out that I may need down the road so I’m going to want to remember where I put those.

And as far as deciding what to keep out…we planned on at least 6 months’ worth of things. That means anything we thought we would need in the next 6 months we put in the box to put in the camper. (Office supplies that I didn’t want to buy, certain books, baby toys ect)

We went through our house taking one room at a time. Packing up all the boxes of things to go in the trailer and stacking them on one side wall in the room and getting rid of all the things we really didn’t need or won’t be using anymore (or that we didn’t want to store!) as we go along. This will make the actual move so much easier on us if we do all this packing and cleaning out ahead of time because all I will have to do is clean up the room a bit!

Catch up on our full series about Fulltime RV Living!

How to you pack and clean for moving? Do you have any kind of special system?


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  1. When we moved from wy to co and back again we had to use a unit. I labeled and numbered all the boxes and kept a notebook with the same numbers and content list. We were always able to find what we needed immediately.

  2. I have a blog site where I have written several entries about this topic, if you are interested. I write about lots of things: things that interest me or make me angry, homeschool, books I like, different things, but there are maybe fifteen or twenty posts on smaller living and scaling down and whatnot. I’d love to have you come over and read a few. I get very little traffic. lol

    ( http://therepresentatives.blogspot.com/ ) Sorry, I don’t know how to make it into a link. You’ll have to cut and paste it.

    We (me, my husband, two big boys and a medium sized dog) moved from the home we’d been in for eighteen years, and for a little over a year now, we have lived in a thirty-four food travel trailer. I have written a few posts on the preparations to move, the things I did that made it easier, or should have done. Then there are some on adjustments to living smaller and how to get your brain and your family’s brain around the “new normal”. There are a few on issues that are about RV’ specifically, and sure to be more. You could check the archives list on the right side if you are interested.

    Anyway, thanks. I enjoy your blog. I get your feed on my Google Reader. I’m so bummed that Google is going to shut the reader down! I’m not sure what to replace it with. Anyway, I get your feed on Facebook, too, so I’ll keep up.

    Be blessed. 🙂

    1. I am excited to check out your blog. With two kids and preliminary packing going on…I haven’t had time yet though 🙁 but if I may go ahead and ask what travel trailer you chose to live in full time? We live in the hot humid south. Will we be just too hot to do this? And are fifth wheels really that noisy? I am beginning to wonder whether we should really do this or not!

      1. I’m so sorry! I just saw this!
        We have an older Terry bumper tow. It’s not top of the line, nor was it the cheapest. It has two slides, and once the adjustment was made, we have been quite content with the space issues. We actually had a fifth person come stay WITH US for a year!!! AND we got another dog! LOL It is, ehm… *tight* to say the least, but it was doable. They are moving this weekend and I imagine we are going to feel like we have a really big house once they go!

        Our A/C keeps us cool enough in summer and our heat “could” keep us warm enough in winter if I wasn’t so stingy. We have to buy propane to run the furnace, but our electricity doesn’t cost us anything, so I use space heaters. I don’t think I’d do that with little kids, just because some nights it gets pretty cold and space heaters don’t warm tings as evenly. (We’re in the Ft. Worth, TX area.)

        The A/C does a good job except when the sun is dead on us in the worst parts of the summer. The kitchen heats up, cooking becomes a miserable job, and it takes til dark to cool back off. We fixed that (mostly) my situating it slightly differently and getting more shade cover. I learned to sit a crock pot on the porch and cook on the grill a lot to avoid heating the kitchen whenever I can..

        Personally, I’m one of those people who likes to be cooler rather than warmer, so I went and got a window A/C unit for the hottest hours of the day, and it did the trick. Some RV’s come with two units. I’m confident that would be plenty! Ours just isn’t one of those that comes that way.

        We’re on our third year in out RV, and I will NEVER go back to a “normal” house. We have decided we will probably build a cabin on our land eventually, but we’re perfectly content in here until… whenever. 🙂 Please, feel free to ask me anything. I don’t know everything, but I do have some experience. [email protected]

  3. I’m loving your RV transition writings. I have moved 8 times in the last 30 years. I don’t have a better system than you seem to, but I have learned a few things along the way. I hope they help.
    Label all sides of the boxes. You may not be in control of where they are placed. And be specific, if you can. Three months from now you may not remember what “Kitchen Stuff” means.
    Make sure all the boxes are light enough for you to move. Better to have more boxes than to have to find a man and two boys to move them.
    Don’t get too attached to the things you have, you might need to give them up. Memories are in your head not in the closet.
    When I get something new(ish), I give something away. Donating is a wonderful thing

    I look forward to reading more about your adventure.


  4. Thanks for letting us follow along with your journey! Sounds like you have a very organized approach.

  5. We did that. Sold our house and everything we owned with the exception of some books, clothes and kitchen items. Bought a 39′ 5th wheel and lived in that with our 3 children. When we moved out we had 4 children. It was fun and everyone enjoyed it.

  6. I have lived mostly in apartments for the last 35 years & they almost have a storgae locker. WHen I am prepping for a move, I start by organizing the locker & getting rid of anything we don’t really need anymore. Then I organize it to make room & start migrating stuff that we won’t need before the move. That way, if I am lucky & we are able to move some things in a bit early, before the movers, we can just empty out the locker a little at a time, using our car.

  7. Thank you for this. We may be moving to Japan in 35 days, we are at the mercy of the military and will need to downsize fast if our orders come through. In 10 years we’ve done 1overseas move and 2 stateside moves but this is our first move with 2 kids and all the stuff that comes with kids, and my first move with such short notice. I’ve been very overwhelmed but your system sounds very doable. 🙂

  8. To help us I actually moved the family into one room. This way anything that ended up in that room I knew would be needed in our RV. Next I had a list that I kept in the kitchen. Every item I used in a month I knew would go into the RV. It was neat to see what we actually used verses had. Super simple way to scale down.

  9. We are planning to move into a travel trailer with my hubby and move back to Pa. from NC to live on my sister ;s land to fix up her house as it is ruined state now, she passed away 3 yrs ago from cancer,we want to keep her dream and memories alive as a tribute to her life.

  10. How long before you plan to hit the road should you start downsizing/planning? I’m 10 months out and it seems like anything I do now would be silly being that we don’t leave for a while….

    1. We started planning about 6 months to a year out. There are some very good things you can do further out like begin downsizing and cleaning out and you will probably want to start thinking about what kind of rv you want to have.

  11. I have sold the house, moved to apartment and now on the last leg of moving into the RV full time. I will be retiring so that makes things a bit easier in that I do not need to keep work clothes. I will have one month of work left. I started about a two years out in downsizing getting rid of extra furniture ( ie guest room, office, etc) then as I was selling house, I continued to downsize and sell, donate. I made the move from the house to apartment, but still had a bunch to do, you certainly do not realize how much you have until you have to move it into a smaller space. I am looking forward to my journey.

  12. Reading all this is helping me with moving in a rv full time with my hubby and dog. I am so scared to not have everything I need or space to put stuff. We are going from a 3bed house to a 26f travel trailer ☹️Been so overwhelmed to get this all done in three weeks.

    1. You can do this! The prep work does feel overwhelming and it will take some time to get used to things but once you do you will wonder why you worried 🙂