Downsizing for Van Life and Minimalist Living | Camper Van Life S1:E1

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08:33   |   May 03, 2017


Downsizing for Van Life and Minimalist Living | Camper Van Life S1:E1
Downsizing for Van Life and Minimalist Living | Camper Van Life S1:E1 thumb Downsizing for Van Life and Minimalist Living | Camper Van Life S1:E1 thumb Downsizing for Van Life and Minimalist Living | Camper Van Life S1:E1 thumb


  • This week, Kait and share our journey of minimizing for camper can life,
  • what we're looking forward to and some of our concerns.
  • My sister Gina stops by for a visit before we hit the road and shares her thoughts on our lifestyle.
  • I can't think of an exact moment when I said, "Oh, I could live in a camper van with my husband and our giant husky."
  • I think it's been a progression.
  • You know, it started with moving out of a three bedroom home that was 1,200 sqft into a
  • large RV that was about 250 sqft and realizing even in that amount of space I had too much stuff and there's room that we didn't need.
  • I started to realize we could live in something smaller and have access to so much more!
  • When Joe and Kait first told me that they were going to be downsizing, selling everything, moving into a RV, um, it did not surprise me.
  • After we sold the RV Kait, Leo and I have been living out of the house I grew up in for the past few months.
  • We have been minimizing more to get ready for the upcoming year.
  • We let go of things that we traveled with but never used.
  • Why did we bring a kettle bell?
  • Well it's ten pounds we don't need anymore.
  • [Kait] What's the hardest think you've had to give up?
  • I would say definitely the tools.
  • Most of those were my dad's tools and although I kept a good portion of them, looking back there are things I wish I would have kept.
  • Uh..but...we just didn't have room.
  • Even if we have enough room for everything we can't necessarily bring it all because we have a weight restriction.
  • In terms of what is essential to me that I need every single day, that wrench doesn't fit on the list.
  • Since we are moving into a space that is less than 120 sqft, we wanted to make sure everything we brought was essential.
  • I'm not concerned we won't be able to bring everything we want, but I am...I do have a concern that we won't be able to bring everything we need.
  • Because there is a difference between need and want.
  • But I think, for the most part, we should be able to have everything in the camper van we really absolutely need.
  • The advice I would give people looking to minimize are
  • Find the things that...I wouldn't even say matter most but are the most useful to you.
  • Is it multi-purpose?
  • Especially my REI pants because I can zip off the bottoms and turn them into shorts.
  • So then they are a pant and a short! [Kait] Multi-purpose. Multi-purpose.
  • My relationship with things has really evolved over the last two years.
  • If I were to go into a store and, let's say, look at a new jacket.
  • I look at that and say, "Can this jacket replace what I have?"
  • And will it serve more purposes than what I currently have?
  • So I no longer go into things saying, "Oh let me buy this jacket because I THINK this winter we might go some place cold so I'll need this."
  • Now I think, "Is this going to fill all of the roles I need it to regardless of what I am thinking in the future. It has to work today."
  • I love minimizing.
  • I'm having so much fun and re-evaluating everything I own almost on a monthly basis and figuring out
  • do I really need this and if not, I let it go.
  • [Joe] How do you think I have done with minimizing?
  • I think you've struggled with minimizing.
  • I know the tools were really hard for you.
  • Uh, but other things. I know you hold a lot more sentimental value.
  • Like a yearbook, if there's one page in the yearbook I want to keep, I'll just take a picture of it and throw the rest of the yearbook away.
  • But you kept your yearbooks because you might want to flip through them.
  • The more I think about it the easier it is to minimize.
  • So when you think about, like, I lived abroad for a year and all of the things lived with fit into one suitcase.
  • It was very easy.
  • And you realize what you really want and need in your life versus all of the crap you just have laying around.
  • I feel like everyone has a different level of what minimizing means for them, right?
  • And you and Kait have done a really good job of saying "This is all we need and we're OUT!" Right.
  • We're discovering the world.
  • For me, not needing a lot of stuff obviously makes you more flexible in terms of how much money you need to live, right?
  • Hence having more flexibility and freedom.
  • All of my belongings that I plan to bring for camper van life fits into a standard trash bag.
  • That includes jackets, coats, jeans, dresses under garments, socks everything fits inside that and
  • it is so freeing to know that I could just grab this trash bag and it's got everything I need and if, I don't know, I need to get our of Dodge, I just grab my trash bag and go.
  • The challenges of living in a small camper van
  • I mean, one...whether or not we can fit all of our stuff.
  • We're going to be right on top of each other 24/7.
  • I don't think Leo is going to have a problem but...
  • I'm thinking it's going to be interesting to see how we work with the dynamic of having to move
  • or break camp every time we go somewhere.
  • And what we do about our cassette toilet.
  • The big question mark for me is once we get moved into our camper van, is the cassette toilet situation.
  • I think that's on everyone's mind.
  • Some of the questions I have are, how easy it for them to dispose of their cassette toilet.
  • And does it give them the freedom they think it's going to?
  • So that's one.
  • I'm curious to see how long the cassette toilet is going to last us.
  • And how we're going to go about dumping it.
  • I think that's going to be interesting.
  • Especially since I've already committed to...sharing the duties
  • What are the quarters like, you know after they've been living in it for a while.
  • Cause now they don'e have any separation really no doors or anything.
  • I don't know if it's going to be as easy as they think it is.
  • I just can't wait to see all of the meals that Kait's able to concoct in that small kitchen.
  • So that's what I'm looking forward too.
  • And I can't wait to see them in a city, I think that will be really exciting.
  • And I'm wondering if they get any tickets.
  • [Joe] Leo! Time to move into the Hymer.
  • Next time, we take delivery of our Hymer Aktiv and get settled in.
  • What's up?
  • [Kait] You're going to laugh but read Geodiscobowl's comment on our new video.
  • [Joe] Ok. [Kait] On YouTube.
  • Uh let's see...Geodiscobowl..."A beautiful video, you officially crossed over, you are officially a story teller." Thank you.
  • "Rather than call you out on a typo in your new logo."
  • Three S's...what do you mean typo.
  • Is there really a typo?
  • [Kait laughing] I don't know how we missed it.
  • Did you look at it?
  • [Kait] Yeah I did, there is a typo.
  • [Kait] We worked on this for over a week and neither of us caught it.
  • That means we have to re-order business cards.
  • Cause I ordered them all last night or two nights ago.
  • [Kait] Well there's nothing we can... Laughing [Kait] There's nothing we can do about the video WOW!
  • We watched this video, I don't know how many times.
  • Went over the logo multiple times.
  • I made multiple versions of it.
  • And we misspelled our last name.
  • Thanks to our viewers for pointing that out.
  • [Kait] Thank you Geodiscobowl.
  • Alright, now I have to go through and change everything.
  • And we can't re-upload the video.
  • [Kait] Well we could but what's...I say we leave it.
  • It's a minor thing.
  • If you guys are watching and you want to see something funny, watch our first video and see the misspelling.
  • Alright, well I gotta get back to work and fix this stuff.

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Van Life Series

Welcome to our travel series about camper van life. We’re Joe and Kait of We’re the Russos. We travel full time in a conversion van and share our journey and what life is like living in a van.

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