Downsizing Efforts

Took a “break” to finish up scanning my final business documents. Beginning with 2016 documents, the scanning went much quicker as I had stopped using staples for the most part.  If you have done any heavy scanning, then you know STAPLES SUCK.

Karen has been going through a lifetime of photos and is about ready to start scanning those. A couple months ago she must have had a wild hair because she scattered then sorted paperwork all over the living room floor.

Here is a link to my December 2015 update post regarding going paperless. Yet another benefit of planning so early is having time to adjust our paper habits to include having a reason to convert to digital services for bills, banking, the part-time office job and more. I’ve also added a small external hard drive to our arsenal of computer appliances. It’s a very fast drive that connects to our tablets for mass storage of all our scanned documents, old and new photos.

Karen decided to move her desk from our study to the sunroom. The view out the window is a lot nicer as the trees have dropped their leaves, revealing the rolling hills beyond them. Should have done that years ago as it’s a nice space to work out of.  A side benefit was clearing more room in the study (our third bedroom) to make room for sorting through stuff.  There are pills of stuff out in the open in several other rooms. No big deal as long as we can walk around it 😊.

Click to Enlarge Photos

Started a few garage sales boxes and planning for maybe one sale next year.  I’ve also started posting more expensive items on Craigslist with more regularity. Maybe this winter we will learn how to eBay and Karen has used the local Facebook swap and shop page where she sold some purses. There are lots of benefits to taking years to plan for our mobile future. Among which is saving money by not buying anything that we can’t take on the road later.  And “trash day is Tuesday” so we often fill the bin weekly with what we can’t sell. Before all this we might have cleared some space only to fill it with junk stuff later.

I’ve also been sorting through older scanned or digital photos of views outside our home. We live on a flat hilltop where the views out back and front change dramatically with the seasons. I’m hoping to take one of our old photo binders, which was freed up by scanning photos, and fill it with outside landscaping photos for potential buyers of our home to see when touring the house. Our current plan is to put the house on the market the spring of 2019.

I’ll bet for you on the road, all this sounds familiar!  I’m working on a blog post regarding budgeting. I’d done some earlier estimating for the sake of financial planning. And know our first year on the road may be the most expensive. I’m hoping to bring together all the notes and such I’ve tracked down from other’s blogs and the great advice I’ve received over the past couple of years.  Figure I’ll come up with a first-year budget and then adjust it while on the road from then on.  I’m hoping you will get something out of the upcoming post on budgeting.

I’d also like to take a moment to thank you all for the comments on my last post regarding emotions. There was much advice passed along which I’m taking to heart. If you are not one to read the comments section, the ones from that post are worth it. I felt comfortable putting it out there because I consider you all friends. And being as honest as possible brings the issues as close to the root problem’s as possible so the advice really hits home.  Thank you again.

I’ve also been picking away at the 2017 list of things to do and decisions to make.  As we moved our takeoff date from 2023, to 2020 and then to 2019 I had to move a few decisions forward to earlier years.  Got to get busy with those items during this winter. We will let you know in 2019 if we plan to rent a storage unit or not.


Outdoorproject.com
is a website Karen found.  It contains a tremendous amount of information on outdoor journeys such as hikes, national parks and more which are included in its 6,152 adventures (and growing).

7 thoughts on “Downsizing Efforts

  1. Having that time is a huge benefit, Mark! We felt we needed the storage room for sanity’s sake…but three plus years out, we wonder how much of that stuff we will ever use. That’s after three years…and we have no plans of coming off the road anytime soon. We literally walked into ours in October, decided there was nothing we needed for the next year, and closed the door. Everything we need is with us. Since you have the time, I would identify what you plan on taking with you and weigh it….all the clothes, food, kitchen utensils, tools, lawn chairs, etc. Be generous; you can always pare it down later. You will be able to carry everything you really need and want…short of a bath tub. 🙂 Identify the items not going with you and ask “will I want it after 5 or 10 years of being stored?” I’ll bet that list of items you truly want is pretty small, and is mostly furniture. Maybe heirlooms can be given to family who will also treasure them…and you will get to see them when you visit. If you choose a storage room, go as small as possible, don’t stack boxes over two high (they collapse over time…get a metal shelf unit), and choose a storage company that gives you at least a 10% discount for paying yearly.

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    • Thanks for the ideas Jim. I’ll have to remember that one regarding using metal shelves and not stacking boxes more than two high. When I look around the house the pictures on the wall seem to be the most important to me. Karen has a lifetime collection of a couple different items that are important to her. The only furniture that is important is a table where the legs come off and a small step stool. So that’s no much. I’ll definitely make sure and get the 10% discount and if we go with a unit we are thinking 5×10 at the most. The 5×5 or something about that size, will not work.

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  2. Goodness! That brings back memories. It’s so much work to prepare. What took me the longest was converting old VHS tapes to digital–it took hours and hours, but I’m so glad I did it. You’re doing all the right things and you are not procrastinating, so things will fall into place when they need to. It’s just such a long, arduous and exhausting process. It IS worth it, though, so keep plugging along! Take care. Dawn

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  3. Reading this post certainly brought back memories of our preparation stages. We scanned all of our pictures and gave the originals to the kids to do what they wanted with them. I would recommend getting another external hard drive as a secondary back up in case one of them goes bad. Has not happened to us yet but you just never know!

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  4. The purge (AKA downsizing) has been a hit or miss thing, or rather a bumpy trail. I recently acquired a Samsung tablet and suddenly I’m in full ebay selling mode. This month alone over $1200 worth of my model trains bringing my 3 year total to $2700… a nice fund for future toys (LOL), and that little device is to blame for all of it… or should I say gets the credit. We don’t have smart phones (yet) but using them in this fashion should be just about as easy. Come on 2019!!! We’ll probably pull the trigger on the truck next year. Yeppers, it’s getting spooky… LOL. It’s clear you are moving faster timeline wise than we are. More power to you.
    I’d agree with Jim and Barb, 2 backup HDs or, better yet, 2 SSDs (still a bit pricey but more stable) are a great idea.

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    • Hi Brian,

      Not sure we are that much ahead of you on downsizing or not. Karen has been reading up on Ebay selling and I’d like to learn myself. Is it a difficult process? Also, what do you do for mailing items people purchase? We already have Pay Pal accounts at least.

      I’ve been doing my best to fill the trash can every week and always have something up for sale, although I skip weeks at times. Next winter is our big time for downsizing as we will are planning to put the house on the market the spring of 2019. Home sales are booming here in Kansas City. Saw a bunch of new ones being built as well.

      I was worried when the time came to “retire” the stock market had a chance of being in the toilet and home sales with it. Looks like smooth sailing ahead as it turns out. Lucky for us and everyone else making the move in the next couple of years – it would seem.

      I’ve been tempted to delay our take off date, just to rat hole a few more travel dollars. But am resisting the urge because we are not getting any younger. Karen and I are trying to decide how much to place in a “travel” budget as a beginning balance. Three months – six months? She says split the difference. Selling property would be a good way to get that rolling.

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