Reevaluate what you really need for life in an RV
One of the most challenging aspects of cross-country travel, or living in an RV, is adjusting to the lack of space. Not only are you in close quarters with your loved ones, but you’re also packed in with all of your belongings. Tensions can rise if you don’t do it right. However, with a lot of organization, a little imagination, and packing with purpose, you can feel peaceful and well-prepared for your pleasure cruise.
Whether you’re a minimalist or not, you’re about to be. You really have no other choice unless you’re willing to take the Hoarders television show on the road. And you don’t want that.
Essentially, minimalism means that you:
· Omit needless things – don’t form unnecessary attachments. Make sure each item has a purpose, and preferably more than one purpose.
· Identify what’s essential – there are a lot of items in the world that make life more convenient, and you don’t need all of them. Focus on the tasks that are the most laborious or those you like the least and indulge in a few tools to streamline those processes.
· Purge often – Reevaluate what you have on board seasonally and donate anything you don’t use. Minimalists often abide by a one in, one out rule, meaning if you buy something new, you have to remove something to make space for it. This is ideal for RV living.
· Love what you have – When you do make purchases, make sure they bring you pleasure. Buy high quality items that you’re proud to own. You don’t have to live with the austerity of a monk, just make sure your priorities are in place.
What qualifies as a mess in a 1500 square foot house is far different than what makes a mess of a 110 square foot space. A few unwashed dishes create visual clutter and extra difficulty accessing other items you need. Also, you’ll regret leaving stuff lying around if you decide to get back on the road before you originally planned, for instance, if bad weather is closing in and you’re eager to get to your next destination.
· A place for everything – make sure each item has a specific home and is grouped with similar items. Use drawer organizers, hanging pockets, removable hooks, or storage containers to facilitate putting things away with ease.
· Mutual understanding – communication is also important. Whose job is it to wash the dishes? Who wipes the table and counters, and when? How often do you sweep and at what time of day? Create routines around simple chores to avoid mess and misunderstandings.
· Take a break – cooking can be the biggest culprit of mess-making. Plan nights for eating out, prepared meals, grilling outside, using a slow cooker, or taking advantage of the convenience of paper plates and disposable utensils. You deserve a night off.
Small space living requires a little ingenuity. Look at your available space and necessary items, and rethink regular usage to minimize what you can live with while maximizing comfort. Here are some small space living tips:
- Buy multiple-use items, such as 3-in-1 shampoo/conditioner/soap products.
- Invest in versatile clothing, such as pants that zip into shorts, or clothes made of quick dry material.
- Reconsider wasted space – attach magazine holders or reusable hooks to the inside of doors.
- Buy space-saving kitchen items, such as nesting bowls and measuring cups, pop up sponges, or collapsible colanders.
- Use wall-mounted magnet strips to store knives and scissors, or Velcro to keep remotes handy.
- Mason jars serve multiple purpose such as food storage, drinking glasses, candle holders, etc.
- Utilize bedside pocket caddies, seat back organizers, or shower curtain pockets hung on hooks.
- Flat under-bed storage containers stack neatly in the storage hold.
- A standing magazine file box can neatly organize paper plates, napkins, and placemats or foil, saran wrap, and wax paper.
- Use shoe organizers or hanging collapsible sweater shelves for extra storage
- Attach plastic storage pockets to the insides of cabinets with command strips/double sided tape
- An over-the-cabinet waste basket can save valuable cabinet space while serving an important purpose
Living in a small space isn’t difficult, as long as you don’t resist the necessary changes. Don’t take more than you’ll use, reevaluate your definition of need, and get innovative about organization. The purpose of travel is to enjoy new experiences and have fun doing it; you’re making sacrifices and more room for a good reason.