Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Learning to Live in a Tiny Home

I announced back in February I was taking time off from quilting and blogging and I still am, but today I went grocery shopping and what used to be a routine trip to Safeway after church on Sunday, has become quite a juggling feat!

My husband and I are no longer grandparents raising grandchildren in a 1900 SF home, we are grandparents living in a thirty four foot fifth wheel. (More on that when I can share)!)

I can tell you after spending 34 or more years cooking and shopping for a family of 4-13 depending on the day or time of the year, shopping and cooking for two is a challenge.

I went from a side by side fridge/freezer and stand alone freezer to a small freezer and fridge that doesn't hold very much. Our first trip to the grocery store and my husband kept telling me, not to buy so much.

 Oh the joy that day of cramming everything in the fridge and then opening the door to have it fall out. **Our next 5th wheel will have a double door fridge and freezer.**

When we first decided to get the 5th wheel we knew we would have to be very organized and we made the deal with each other that if we don't use something in six months, away it goes into storage.

We have large bins that have snap tight lids, so winter clothing and bedding go into those in the belly of the 5th wheel or under our bed with dryer sheets to keep all fresh.

We keep a mesh laundry hamper in the closet behind doors for my clothes, towels. Hubby has a place on his side of the bed for a second one for work clothes. My diabetes doctor gave me a nifty bag with a small closing pouch and that transports laundry soap, softener and quarters to the laundry mat on Fridays. Then we have an expandable quilted bag with handles to transport our clean and folded clothing back home in.
Mesh Hamper

I don't like laundry mats, but hubby goes with and we are in and out in out in just about an hour, plus, I don't have to carry everything in several trips.  Cost per month to do our laundry is between $40-$50 depending on if we have rugs or sheets that need washing.

We couldn't keep our beautiful wooden tall bed, so we placed it in storage. However, we did keep our memory foam queen mattress and it fit perfectly. The 5th wheel came with a king size horrible foam thing and we gave it away. 
Our bed...hubby calls it the Hollywood bed because I love pillows!

The area next to the bed that is raised and holds remotes, glasses, etc.
**One thing I would highly recommend is what is known as a 'walk around bed.' It allows you to stand up and walk around it to make the bed, get into the closet, open a window and ours has these nifty little built in shelves for our glasses and cell phones at night.
The walk around area next to the bed!

Trips to Costco revolve mainly around purchasing things like string cheese, graham crackers, bread, butter, peanut butter and other things I can bring home and then send the rest to my sons home.

I gave away, sold or stored many of my large pots, however the ones I kept are at our future daughter-in-laws, so yesterday I wanted to make Chili...I went over and borrowed my Chili pot!

We will be taking the wooden bed to a long time friends and he will keep it for our granddaughter who begged and cried for us to not give it away. So not wanting to be stuck with huge storage fee's, we are taking it to his home.

Propane. Well, after cooking with electricity for so many years, this is a re-learning experience and there needs to be tanks made with gauges because changing propane tanks in the middle of the night in pouring rain is not fun. **If you plan on being a 'Full Timer and living in one spot, I would recommend a large tank and a propane delivery service.**

Hot Water...luxury showers are now out as our hot water heater only holds 10 gallons, but I love the fact it is a full shower with lots of room and the water is always hot when I need it. **Do yourself a favor, purchase hot water pans in case you have a leak.** We have not, however friends have! 

There are things you will absolutely need if you plan on being a full-timer or at least I am finding I need:
1- An emergency fire ladder (Cost about $35 at Amazon). If you need to get out of a window in a hurry, you aren't going to want to jump!

2-A foldable stepping stool. Things are much taller in my 5th wheel than in my home. Having one that folds flat allows me to keep it hidden out of the way. (Cost about $17-$30 in most stores).

3-Hanging vacuum cleaner that operates on batteries or even better, purchase your RV with a built-in vacuum cleaner. I purchased a Dirt Devil small canister, but it is still to large to keep inside, so when I need it I have to open the belly of the RV. I have placed a Dyson V6 on my list as I have the perfect tiny space to hang it out of the way. (Cost $249 Walmart or $349 Costco with all the tools).

4-Dehumidifier and not a small one. If you are cooking, showering or live in great Pacific NW as we do, you will empty one of the large ones at least twice a day. These are NOT cheap (Walmart between $120 and $300). However, in the long run, you will be saving your RV from damage.
Our small office area, hubbies coffee maker, dehumidifier, dog kennel and fireplace.

5-Baskets, hanging shoe holders and bins! I love to stay organized. Our bathroom area is nice with a full shower, but small sink area.   
I keep a basket on the dresser area and it holds hair brushes, my make-up (what little I use), moisturizers, etc. I also use baskets to hold my books and stationary supplies in the cabinet.

Over the door shoe holder in our 'water closet,' area, holds deodorants, shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, toothbrush holders, hair gels and sprays, etc.

Shoe Holder in bathroom
In the great NW we live in hoodies, ours hang on over the door hooks on the water closet door!
Bins hold everything from extra cords, to first aid kits to spice packets. You can always find these at yard sales, second hand shops and on sale.
Medicine container and First Aid kit

I have a metal hanging basket that fits under my cabinet on my spice shelf that holds my medications and a drinking glass!

6- Scentsy warmers and melts or any warmer and melt that you choose to purchase. When you are living in a small area, with people and pets, (a Boxer, 2 adults and I cook), it gets smelly. 

As much as I love keeping my windows open to 'air out the place,' many days it is raining and not an option. I use the Renuzit solids, but hubby said they really don't help after a few days.

However, a warmer with your favorite melt sense would keep the place smelling fresh! **I am NOT a Scentsy representative but I do love their products!** I would just caution to NOT use a strong scent as you could overpower the place easily.

7-Hooks of various sizes. We have over the door coat rack/hooks for our coats and robes. Double metal hooks in the 'water closet,' for our towels, Command style hooks that hold our key chains, doggie bag holder, plastic bag holder, measuring cups, coffee cups, bathroom mirror, etc.
Hooks hold dog leashes above the door!

Hooks hold keys, plastic bags and doggie bags!

8-Spare parts...if it is plastic, immediately replace it with rust proof metal...
A-The T-plate that hooks your door to the RV when you want to use the screen or need to hold up your basement door. It was nice a few days ago, I had the door open and then WHAM!!! A high gusty wind picked up and the rotted plastic broke.

B-Bulbs. Most RV's operate on car type battery bulbs or LED's and these are not cheap if purchased through your local RV dealer. I recommend taking all bulb types to Walmart or Target and check prices, also a local hardware store or auto parts store may have them. If you do NOT have an immediate need, check Ebay and buy in bulk! We discovered when our fridge light went out, that the little car type bulbs were almost $12 at our local RV place. However, at Walmart in the auto parts section it was less than $4. 
 **Put them in a place you will be able to remember where they are when you need them. **Remember that folding stool from earlier? You will need an exterior ladder for the lights in your ceilings.

We have two pantries. I do my best to place things in containers and label them.
In the midst of trying to find perfection in organization

This slides in and out!

Lastly, for me, I must have my grands with me and there is no place to place picture frames, so I used an open space on the slider and double stick/poster tabs to put up family pics.

I hope this helps a bit!


Vicki said...

WOW! What a BIG change you have
made, but it seems you have a
good handle on things.
Good to see you here!

Quiltingranny said...

Yes Vicki, much larger, harder and heart breaking than I care to admit, but I believe in doing my best with what God has given me!