Move-In Day

The big day finally arrived! We moved out of our sticks-and-bricks home, and into our 24′ Class C RV where we will live and travel full time.
Of course, we aren’t totally free of the house just yet. The sale does not close until Wednesday (three days away), but almost all of our worldly possessions have been sold, donated, gifted or sent to the landfill. And I can’t tell you just how freeing that feels!
We got up around 5AM this morning to get started on the big day. My brother, Steve, came by around 6:30 when he got off his shift at the hospital. He picked up our television to replace his TV which got fried by a lightning strike a couple of weeks ago. We were so glad that we were able to help them out, especially since they have been so helpful to us in getting the workshop cleared out and ready for closing. He also brought over a dozen fresh doughnuts, which just sweetened the deal!
We picked up Lizzy (our RV) from the storage yard around 7:45, filled her up with gas (35 gallons @ $83.75), brought her home and parked her at the end of the driveway. Then we started the process of moving our stuff out of the house and into the RV.
While Andy was working on loading up the outside basement storage area, I started with clothes and wardrobe items since those went in the rear overhead bins above the bed. It’s hard to believe that all my clothes now fit into such a small space. We’re using packing cubes to help keep things organized, but it will still take some time to get used to finding specific t-shirts and shorts amongst all the different packing cubes.
Next I started loading the overhead/over-cab area at the front of the RV. This was fairly straight-forward since we had already planned out this storage arrangement on our dining room floor. It was just a matter of picking up bins, carrying them to the RV and placing them in the same arrangement that we had configured in the dining room.
Then it was time to start on the real challenge, loading the kitchen and dining area. This was especially challenging for a couple of reasons. First of all, Andy and I eat primarily a plant-based diet, and we eat very little processed food, sticking mainly to fresh fruits and vegetables, beans and grains. Because of that, we have a lot of kitchen utensils, spices and gadgets that we feel are essential to our diet. The RV has very limited storage space in the kitchen area, so we had to get very creative and put a lot of things in the overhead space.
Just to give you an idea, we have two Instant Pots (3 qt and 6 qt), a Crock Pot, a Vitamix blender, a full-size Cuisinart food processor, a mini Cuisinart food processor, and a Ninja blender. When we were considering what things were essential to our livestyle and what we needed to downsize, we both agreed that a healthy diet was of utmost importance to us, and was something that we were unwilling to compromise on. So our RV (and the truck) will be carrying a lot of kitchen equipment, along with a lot of fresh produce, beans and grains.
In the middle of loading up the RV, we had more people come by to pick up furniture items. One lady had reserved one of the recliners when she came to our yard sale several weeks ago, and she picked it up today. Our next door neighbors (the good ones!) got one of the beds, and our other neighbors up the street picked up a cabinet and a pair of sawhorses that they purchased at the yard sale. It was good to get more of the stuff moved out of the house even while we were loading up Lizzy.
And it was so HOT today! I think the high temperature was around 93°, and of course it was humid, so that made it just a litte more miserable. We opened all the windows in the RV and turned on all the fans, which was a great idea until wasps started flying around inside. They even started building a next on the awning supports, so Andy had to get out the wasp spray to get rid of them.
We worked ourselves pretty hard until around 2:45 when we decided it was time to start winding down. Andy started up the generator and turned on the A/C inside the RV to let it start cooling down while we loaded a few more items. Around 3:30 we were ready to start the drive over to Tombigbee State Park where we’re staying this week.
Of course, the cats, Maggie and Molly knew exactly what was going on and decided it was a good time to hide under the bed. I had to get the vacuum cleaner after them to chase them back out into the hallway where we were able to corral them and get them into their carriers for the trip.
We got to the campground a little after 4PM and got set up pretty quickly. Then we both got a good shower, had a cold brew and then relaxed for the evening. When it came time for dinner, we were too tired to really put too much effort into it. We had decided not to stock the refigerator and freezer today because the unit was not cold enough after sitting in the hot sun without air conditioning all day. The only food we had on board was some canned beans, canned tomatoes and lots of dried beans, rice and other grains. So we mixed a can of black beans with a can of diced tomatoes, threw in some Mrs. Dash Southwest Seasoning and some other spices, and enjoyed a quick bean soup.
Tomorrow we’ll go back to the house to continue cleaning out what’s left. We’ll have to take a load to Goodwill and possibly a load to the dump. I’m going to put a lot of stuff in the garage to see if the neighbors need any of it (toaster, printer, etc.) We’ll clear out the refrigerator and freezer and bring some of that stuff to the RV, and we’ll also hit the grocery store for some fresh produce. Our goal is to have the house empty by the end of the day tomorrow (Monday).
On Tuesday we’ll go back and concentrate on cleaning–sweeping, mopping, cleaning the shower, etc.
And then on Wednesday, we close on the sale!
Thursday we plan to just relax and maybe do a little more organizing.
And then on Friday, we’ll pull out of here and head west toward Texas.
But tonight is our first night in the RV as full-timers, and I am just giddy I’m so excited! This is a day we have dreamed of for so long and it’s finally here!
Life is good!!

Three Days and Counting

Only three days left until we move into Lizzy, our 24′ Class C RV!

We have been so busy for the past few weeks that I haven’t had the time or the energy to write a blog post, but here we go. We are right on the verge of having all our non-essential possessions liquidated in some form or fashion, and we’ll soon find out if we have downsized enough to fit into the RV and the truck.

One of our bigger storage areas will be the overhead space, or cab-over space, in the RV. This space measures a whopping 32.5 square feet, is 25″ high at the front and 10-1/2″ high in the back. Additionally, there is a weight limit of 500 pounds in the overhead.


Our overhead, or cab-over, space in Lizzy

After we finally sold the dining room furniture, we used painter’s tape to mock up the overhead space on the dining room floor. Then we started filling in the space like a jigsaw puzzle, trying out different arrangements of storage bins and smaller items, always keeping in mind the height restrictions.


Planning our organizational strategy for the overhead

We’re still playing around with the bins and small appliances, but I think we almost have it figured out.

The house is just about empty of furniture now. We still have our two recliners and the TV, so we eat our meals from TV trays while we watch other RVers on YouTube. All my office furniture is gone, so I use a plastic folding table and a folding chair to hold my laptop and scanner. All the bedroom furniture is gone except for the bed frames and mattresses, so we have what’s left of our wardrobes stored in the bins and packing cubes that we’ll be using in the RV.


Our living room, which is also our dining room

One of the things that Andy was struggling with was how to purge his t-shirt collection. He had t-shirts from all our vacations, cruises, art festivals and interesting places that we’ve visited over the years. Since he had a birthday coming up, I suggested that we have a quilt made from some of his favorite shirts. I just happened to know someone who was a schoolmate of mine from Pine Grove, and she specializes in these t-shirt quilts. Long story short, she produced this beautiful quilt, preserving many of our favorite memories as well as providing a cozy wrap for those winter nights in the RV. Thanks, Pam!


T-shirt quilt from Andy’s favorite shirts

Yesterday my brother Steve brought over his huge trailer, and he and Andy worked all day to empty out the workshop. We had planned to haul a lot of the stuff to the dump and then just leave most of the shelving in place, mainly because we didn’t have the time to try and liquidate it properly. But Steve said he wanted all of it and that he could re-home everything, so he wound up taking two trailer loads of “stuff” home with him where he has ample storage space to sort it all out. We were so grateful for his help in getting the workshop cleared out, and for making it possible to keep all that stuff out of the landfill.

While the guys were working in the shop, I was taking care of chores in the house. I made a trip to the laundromat to wash two large quilts that are going with us. I also spent some time brain-storming a solution for our spice and herb collection. The cabinet where they will be stored is 13″ deep and about 14-1/2″ high. This was my preliminary arrangement with the large Tone’s canisters stored lying down in back in two rows (I actually labeled the bottom of the canisters), and the smaller spice bottles in a wire rack in front that can easily be moved out of the way. The entire grouping was about 17″ wide.


Preliminary organization idea for the spices

However, after thinking about it I realized that this would be a mess when everything moves around while we’re driving, so I got on Amazon and found a basket that measures 13″ by 17″ by 10″, the exact dimensions of this arrangement, and I’ll just put everything in that basket.

So, today is Thursday, and move-in day is Sunday. Still so much to do! It’s time to contact the utility companies and notify the post office of our forwarding address. We’ll do one final round of yard work (I like that word “final”!), and then deliver the lawn tools to my dad. I still have one piece of furniture and a few small things listed on Facebook Marketplace for sale, and I may list another item or two. We’ll need to make deliveries of donations to Goodwill, the local Gem and Mineral Society, and the Humane Society, as well as the landfill. I need to clean out the refrigerator and the pantry. We need to get the truck cleaned up and ready for loading.

And that’s just what I can think of off the top of my head, as I have not yet had my coffee this morning. So I guess I’d better get up and get to it.

Someone asked me yesterday if I was enjoying my retirement. Although this is my fourth week since I left the work force, it really hasn’t hit me yet. It has definitely been nice to be able to concentrate fully on this downsizing task, especially since the house sold so much faster than we anticipated, but I haven’t had any time to rest and relax. So as soon as we get to Livingston, Texas, I’m pretty sure we’re going to spend a few days just hanging out by the pool!

But for now, back to the grind, and that includes coffee!!


Sizing Up the RV

Andy and I spent some time in the RV this afternoon. Yeah, she’s actually parked in a storage lot with her cover over her, but we took advantage of some spare time on this cloudy, dreary day to start sizing her up for future organization ideas.

We took pictures of every drawer, cabinet and vertical space, and recorded the measurements of each. We even measured the inside of the refrigerator and freezer.

I’ve stored all the photos and measurements in my Evernote cloud account so I can access them from any of my devices. If I run across something that looks like it would be a good organizational option, I want to be able to refer to my notes to know right away if it will actually fit in its intended spot.

It was a good exercise to actually eyeball the insides of all our little cubbyholes, because we found where the wiring and plumbing might interfere with storage, but we also found places where we could reconfigure things a little bit to gain a few precious cubic inches.

I think I’ll just keep that tape measure in my purse from now on, in case something at the Dollar Tree catches my eye! And now I’ll start thinking of all my clothes and possessions in terms of cubic inches (not to mention weight, but that’s another subject).