Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Fine tuning our tiny living space

We spent our day off (Monday) FINALLY getting reorganized. Let me know if this list gives you ideas or if you have a better solution than what I’ve come up with so far.

  • We consolidated things we already had in the trailer with like items we brought from home (like shampoo, dish washing liquid, etc, etc). Sure made a difference in finding items & not wasting space with duplicates.
  • We cleaned out small storage containers & filled them with items hastily placed in Wal-Mart shopping bags when we left our house.
  • We actually put our patio mat on the covered deck next to the trailer. Looks homier.
  • I rearranged items under the bed and actually broke out my sewing machine & stitched up a few rips in some clothing.
  • I moved our inside ‘trash’ (Wal-Mart) bag to only the hook to the right (instead of one of each side) of the door mirror so the bathroom door now opens completely without bumping into the pets water dispenser in the corner on the floor. I put an upside-down plastic lid under the water dispenser to keep any water from overflowing onto the carpet.
  • I found my microfiber cloths & the squeegee to clean/dry off the shower floor. Sure makes it simpler.
  • We moved the cat food dispenser from the sliding sink shelf to the top of the stove top next to a small tub of miscellaneous stuff that just barely fits inside the sink if needed.
  • Jeff put a clasp & lock on the back of the pickup shell since the door doesn’t lock anymore.
  • We packed the larger pots & pans we don’t expect to use for awhile into the pickup shell & stored the ones we want under the cook top inside the trailer.
  • We got two clear magazine display racks from Staples last winter to cut down on ‘counter clutter’. They hang on unused real estate on both sides of the upper cabinet door above the galley. So now Jeff puts his wallet, notepad, glasses, pamphlets, ink pens, etc in his bin, and I have an ink pen, note pad, hair brush, toothpaste, small bottle of mouthwash, & a couple of make up items in mine. Very, very handy & saves on steps into the bathroom.
  • I used some left-over shower curtain hooks on a tension rod up next to the ceiling from the closet wall to the microwave wall to temporarily hang up the clothes we’re wearing for the next day. They can slid from side to side for access or out of the way to go out the door.
  • In using the shower often now, I realized the (full size replacement) clear shower curtain can hang to the left of the over-the-door rod & in front of the shower head instead of to the right of the door. It can drip dry in the shower floor now instead around the toilet. I have a left-over shower caddy hanging on the shower head holding items that are only used during showering so I don’t otherwise need access to that area where the shower curtain lives. Oh, I’ve also been leaving the shower door open while showering because Jeff’s outside & it feels even more spacious.
  • We put a little plastic table next to the frig (we’re in a Liberty remember) that holds the DirecTV DVR with 19” flat screen TV on top (viewed from the back of the trailer). The bottom shelf holds 2 narrow plastic bins, one for Jeff’s cookbooks & one for my ‘mobile’ office supplies.
  • I used a little turn table under the coffee maker to catch the water that seems to escape from it (must have a leak somewhere). 
  • We have two tiny little strainers that fit the kitchen & bathroom sinks perfectly to catch food, junk, & whatever else doesn’t need to go into the gray tank.
  • I used one of those wooden, folding, criss-cross ‘cup holder’ thingies next to the drain pipe in the back of the toilet to hang my blow dryer & anything else small & light-weight on.
  • I moved the Command hooks around the back of the toilet to allow my shower curtain to extend toward the window more but still cover the toilet seat when showering. Now I can actually sit down to shave my legs but still keep everything beyond the shower floor dry.
  • I got all my cleaning/laundry supplies stashed behind the toilet on the floor which will stay dry even when I shower. 
  • I have two small tension rods running across the ledge under the bathroom sink to the toilet (raised above the shower floor) which hold bottles & items that don’t hurt to get wet.
  • I hung another tension rod on the wall even with the back of the toilet lid to hang a towel over it to create a “wall” to hid the stuff stored on the floor behind the toilet.
  • I hung a 3rd tension rod along the front side of the bathroom (below) the sink to hang hand towels on.
  • Unfortunately, the liter pan lives under the closet door, next to the main door, but I see it often to clean it & the cats have all the ‘head room’ they need while using it.

Things I’ve realized:

  • Leaving the King bed set up (sleeping back to front) in our Liberty puts the end of the bed close enough to sit down now to open the frig door & find whatever we’re looking for without having to bend over or squat down. Nice for the knees.
  • Microwave ovens make perfect bread boxes.
  • Frequently used silverware lives comfortably in a plastic cup (utensil end sticking up).
  • Cabinet doors make good places to put photos & calendars.
  • If you need visual space, don’t try to live vertically like we are.
  • My two rolls of toilet paper hanging from small bungee cords attached to the two wire shelves on the wall to the right of the toilet never unwind while traveling. Nor does the paper towels from the holder installed on the side of the stove hood (front to back).
  • The wire shelf over our heads above the back window continues to be extremely useful & well placed!
  • Love the LED light bulbs we got since we tend to leave the sink light on most of the time.
  • Tinted windows definitely cuts down on solar gain.
  • We can live simply & frugally but still be comfortable & have things conveniently placed!
  • We’re starting to get into a routine, & things are being put away after being used. No more accumulated clutter!!!
  • I don’t ever again have to worry about what did I forget when we start traveling!!!

Things yet to be figured out:

  • We need lights above the bathroom door mirror!
  • I want a light both above and inside the refrigerator!
  • The closet needs shelves & is completely loaded from floor to ceiling right now! It needs a light inside also.
  • Jeff still has to install the MaxxAir window vents!
  • I haven’t got my curtains secured the way I want yet.
  • We need a 12v plug on the outside of the trailer.


  1. It would appear you are well organized. I will drop in on your blog from time to time.

    Enjoy NC, gotta love that part of the country!

    (Google blogger will not let me comment under on some blogs unless I comment as anonymous. Go figure!

    Phyllis from www.theeastsheadwest.blogspot.com

  2. Wow, you sure seem to have things in order. If I ever get a Casita or similar trailer I'm definitely going to be checking with your lists.

  3. I am truly amazed at your organization. I think all of us FT RVers could learn from you. It just goes to show we have so much more than we really need. I am impressed.

  4. Love the microwave-as-breadbox idea! I've always thought the hardest thing about living in a small space is reamining uncluttered - we've lived in a 1400 sq. ft. house for 10 years and it's a daily challenge to stay organized.

    Sounds like you are having a grand time figuring all this out though!

  5. Thanks for all the comments. Makes my aching muscles feel better. Now you know what keeps me awake at night (briefly).

  6. You guys are living the dream. We're probably at least another year away from even thinking about ordering our own Casita. And it will be a 17' Liberty Deluxe, for sure. But we've been considering sleeping on the twin set up even though we've slept on a king at home for years.

    Looking forward to detail of your continuing adventures.


Comments must be approved, so if your comment is promoting some irrelevant website or makes no sense in English, don't waste your time. It will be marked as spam & deleted.