Life in Kansas City – Downsizing and Family Time

May and June have been busy months as we occupied our time with family and getting the homestead ready to sell.  For those already on the road I’m sure this will bring back memories. For those thinking about, or in the clutches of preparing for a life on the road, my advise is get started as soon as possible. I can’t imagine what it would be like to do this in less than a couple years.  Although the prize of freedom is quit large and certainly is a motivator.

Officially I’ve left our take off date as November 1, 2019. However we got to thinking; does it really make sense to leave as winter is starting? Especially as we want to see family in what would be colder climates before Karen and I crawl off into our winter hibernation in a deep southern state. That date of November 1 will more than likely be adjusted up a little.  Recently Karen and I have began talking at a very conceptual level about what we want to do the first couple months on the road. More on that later for sure.

For two years now, family has gotten together for a three night campout at Pomme de Terre State Park and Lake. Ninety degree weather each day was a bit hard to endure but we found ways to make it work. Such as building a tent city under the best shaded spots. I gave our tent to a nephew once the trip was over. No need for it next year as we will have our fifth wheel by then – and air conditioning!

Start of Tent City

Add on eating area. We also had three other spots full of tents and family.

Setting Jug Lines for Fishing

Ringo Likes the Water

Back at home I’ve been working to over-haul the front yard landscaping. Building curb appeal I’m hoping. Two years ago the front yard grass was re-seeded and this last spring I spent a lot of time controlling weeds to build the yard up.  I cut out all the overgrown bushes and tilled the planting beds. I’ve been driving by my favorite plant store waiting for plants to go on sale and finally scored a 50% off deal for a trunk load of replacement plants. We have 13 planting beds scattered through-out the property and along our wooded walking trail. Those are looking good as well. Most importantly, we have been spending time enjoying the place as much as possible.

I’ve also been painting on various sides of the house over the last couple years and have a contractor coming in to help with the two-story side. Karen has always taken photos around the property, especially when the flowers and trees are in bloom. A couple years ago I started adding to the collection in an attempt to capture the hills behind and in front of the home in photos. Our plan is to print off the best photos for an album which we are going to leave out for potential buyers to view. The scenery changes so much with each season that I’m thinking it would be a good idea to document it.

Hills out back with no leaves on trees.

Zoomed in view from the front yard.

And the purge continues. I gave myself a goal to complete four major tasks before purchasing our truck, preferably by around September. Well the first of four is done as the hot tub was carted off by it’s new owner last Friday.
We have a list of contractors to call, such as our alarm guy to move and repair some connections, carpet guys and such. Contractors should speed things up a bit.  The plan is to finish all the outside work before winter so we only have to spruce the yard up before the house goes on the market. Over this winter we are finishing up the inside stuff. Next month is our first of at least two garage sales and we have been selling off more expensive items on Craigslist.

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9 thoughts on “Life in Kansas City – Downsizing and Family Time

  1. We just launched about a week ago although we have been living in our RV since March while our house sold. Two thoughts about your post – First you re spot on with your timeline. We spent 2 years downsizing. For my wife it was a much more emotional experience, for me not quite as much but I still found I had to go through my things several times. Each pass I could get rid of a bit more. We did well though, we’ll only be storing 4 small tubs of things we couldn’t part with but don’t want to carry around. Everything else fits in the RV and we still have empty cabinets.

    Second, I think you are also following what I and some of my friends have seen in regards to retirement timing. Once we start down the path it’s hard not to pull in the date 🙂

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    • Thanks for the conformation Jerry. I’ve been working hard, when I can get time away from work, to get the outside of the home ready. Sometimes it feels like I’m procrastinating with selling off some of the bigger stuff, then when I do I discover it was easier than I thought. I assume eventually I’ll make a habit of it.

      Karen is a little slower on her end getting at stuff for downsizing. Not because she has a problem with getting rid of it; I think she just feels we have more time to do it as she is now retired.

      So far we are planning to keep a couple of tots with family which contain valuables. Then maybe a 5×10 storage unit to start off. Because I’m not a 100% sure if we will need something on the road or not and it will give us a chance to get used to the idea of parting with a few other items. No big deal as it is relatively inexpensive for such a small storage unit. Figure once we are on the road we will decide on if we keep the storage.

      I’ve not officially moved our date up for two reasons. First, I don’t want work knowing the exact date until it’s closer. Second, we have a lot of time to take off next year which effectively makes me nearly a part-time employee. With taking a lot of time off, there is no need to hurry into full timing.

      I’m heading over to check out your blog.

      Mark

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  2. Love your multi-year approach, Mark. We finished a basement, painted the upstairs and purged everything in about 8 months. Makes me tired just thinking about it!

    Our realtor suggested not replacing the carpet…just have it professionally cleaned. It was a 15 year old tan carpet that us and 3 golden retrievers had lived on. Our old neighbor told us a year later that the new owner never replaced it! So take that for what it’s worth.

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  3. It’s hard to believe time has passed so quickly and within a year or so you’ll be joining many of us on the road full-time. I’m really excited for you and Karen. You’ve had such a great plan and seem to be doing well with it. Before you know it, you’ll be putting the house on the market, and selecting that new (or new to you) rig and truck. Can’t wait to see what you end up purchasing!

    As noted by exploRVistas: we too left our carpet – it was 10 years old but in pretty good condition and the family that purchased our house are still using it. The indicated they wanted to replace the carpet with wood flooring of some type – and that certainly would be an individual preference on color and type so keep that in mind.

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  4. Carpet is just left in the bedrooms, already went to wood and tile a few years ago elsewhere. With the pets having lived here, might be best to switch out the carpet. Might leave it in the guest bedroom where the dogs were never allowed to enter. I know some people are sensitive to animals. Hoping to buy the truck around September this year. Then fifth wheel late winter or early spring. Put the house on the market soon after. Spend time using up comp time and vacation. Then move on down the road after retirement. Or something like that. I have a white board in my office with the number 571 on it. That’s the number of hours I have to be in the office at work in 2019!

    Cheri, I ‘ve been thinking about you and Dean since your last blog post. Hope he is doing better and keeping his spirits up. Hopefully it will not be long until he is at 100% and you guys are moving on with the journey. Hope you are doing well also. Our prayers are with you.

    Mark

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  5. Sounds like we may get on the road ahead of you a couple of months. The purge continues for us as well. Selling my model trains on eBay slowly but surely… still a ton go dispose of, but I’m really happy about what that stuff is fetching on eBay, it will really help with (if not fully pay for) the upgrades we intend have on the rig. Cindi continues to cut down on the inventory of her crafting supplies. Our carpet is mostly decent but we have some issues, so replacement is probable. I’d concur with what the others have said about getting advice from the realtor vis a vis carpet replacement or anything else especially this close to the end. We repaired the front porch and had a pro come in and rehab our lawns. I’d say we are about 95% ready to put the house on the market. The rest is cosmetic.

    We had one glitch in the plan… we had planned on ditching both cars for the truck, but one finally gave up the ghost and the repair wasn’t worth it anymore, so we bought a new Hyundai Elantra. We are weighing the idea of keeping it as scout and daily driver vehicle when we hit the road. We paid cash for it so any depreciation we might have balances against what we would have paid for continuing repairs and the 42+MPG is by far better than the 28MPG we were getting before… no substantial loss in our end equation to meet our goals.

    The race continues… LOL

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    • Hi Brain,

      Thanks for the update. Seems that extra car decision is not as much a financial decision based on what folks are saying about the cost will offset by truck operation savings. We like to ride together and look at the sites. Also, don’t want an extra engine or having to have a second parking spot. That could change much later. Seems like some get a second car after a few or more years on the road.

      Congrads on getting the house 95% ready. Hope to be in the same shape by late winter ourselves. Was it difficult to learn to sell on Ebay? I’m having good luck on Craigslist for larger stuff but wonder if collectables would do better on Ebay. Any thoughts on that?

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      • Ebay is pretty easy, plenty of YT videos to guide you. As for collectibles you have to know your market. Some things you might want to consider a different site like Etsy, e.g. Some collectibles, say Bradford Exchange dolls or other knickknacks and other such sources of collectible stuff are really hit and usually big miss. The word “collectible” is marketing hype… nothing more. We have used CL to unload appliances, and larger tools… and soon furniture. Shipping can get quite expensive for those anywhere else and the market tends to price in what it will bear including the shipping cost. So yeah, small higher value items can do really well on eBay, Etsy etc. Larger stuff (and also heavier) does better on LetGo or CL.

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