Sunday, February 26, 2012

New and Tweaked Habits

I’ve been noticing our new or revised behaviors for living in a very small space, and have overall been amazed at how little effort it really takes to have the same freedoms and enjoyment without needing a lot of room (those large, open areas which cost more to heat/cool, tow, & insure, result in higher taxes & vehicle licenses, and take longer & more effort to clean). Here’s my list of current adjustments:

  • A small bathroom (the other room in our home) provides a place to sit quietly & privately (on the toilet lid) for brushing teeth, reading, talking on the phone, putting on makeup, preparing dog’s food bowl, & putting on shoes or changing clothes (bring clean clothes inside first — dirty clothes go into the bag on wall behind toilet). The little sink also makes a nice spot to light a small candle for a little aroma & mood lighting.
  • Using an LED light band intended for wear on a baseball hat works great simply hanging around my neck for downward facing light to walk safely or illuminate anything in front of me. It even allows one to make a fresh pot of coffee without turning on a light & disturbing a sleeping partner.
  • The flattish-style suction hooks where the actual hooks turn/swivel (versus the style that latch onto a surface & have a stationary hook) hold more weight for their size, protrude less because they fold out of the way, & hold items more securely because of that ability to turn the hook.
  • You can get A LOT of exercise (both strength & flexibility) in a small space simply by squeezing into, out of, or past something & retrieving items stowed behind several other things. Making a bed with walls on three sides requires A LOT of effort, tugging, & lifting — I always seem to work up a sweat changing the sheets. And there’s the efforts required to find & remove, then replace or rearrange items under the bed (shoe crate, toaster oven, sewing machine, extra water container, etc).
  • There is no longer ANY WAY to ignore dirty dishes, magazines, groceries, mail, clothes, shoes, or anything else left sitting around on a horizontal surface (floor, bed, counter, or shelf). Everything must be stowed in it’s place pretty much immediately. . .or you can’t get in the door, move around inside, find anything, or get on the bed!
  • It’s hard to ignore each other and easier to be helpful. When we walk in the door on a cold day, one of us has to step into the galley area (often straddling the dog) in order for the other to get inside the door enough to shut it. Whoever is last inside, hangs up the coat/jacket of the other person. Whoever is closest to the coffee pot or the refrigerator, refills a coffee cup or retrieves something from the frig for the other. It’s just too much trouble to move out of the way for the other person to get to something you’re in front of!
  • Sitting on the edge of the bed is very handy for putting on/removing shoes and for getting things out of the frig which sits on the floor.
  • Fixing a meal in the galley is extremely easy by having to only turn around to retrieve items from the frig. I get tired out from all the walking required to cook something in a full-sized kitchen now!
  • Keeping items and paperwork stowed vertically & nearby requires only a simple reach usually to retrieve. However . . . it amazes & annoys me how often I can’t find something. Like really — how many places are there really to loose something? I’m still working on my filing system (LOL).
  • I’ve learned that all the items which might move, shift, or fly around inside a moving trailer — WILL DO SO — but, they ride very nicely on the bed. I keep crackers, bread, & other frequently used items in the narrow space behind the range, but they all fit well in a plastic sack sitting on the bed. The coffee maker rides in the sink. The TV is velcroed in place against the wall. We try to keep the floor space clear to access the frig & bathroom during stops in traveling, but things still seem to ride there.

I love living in our little egg, but I’m not so happy traveling for more than a couple of days at a time. Although breaking or sitting up camp is getting easier & simpler, it’s still irritating. I read somewhere about the 4-4-4 rule of fulltiming. That stands for traveling no more than 4 hours in a day, no more than 4 days in a row, or no more than 400 miles in a day. Sounds great, but Jeff being the old long-haul trucker that he is, doesn’t quite get his traveling fix until at least 2-3 hrs on the road. I don’t have a cute little set of numbers, but we’re thinking more like 6 hrs in a day (regardless of the number of miles) but only 2-3 consecutive travel days. That means less sitting up/breaking down efforts — & the cats really hate leaving the trailer to travel in their crates in the pickup. (If I don’t get them crated before I start sitting things on the bed, they KNOW & try to hide under the bed beyond my reach. They’ve each had to ride in the trailer for several hours at a time by themselves because I couldn’t catch them by the time we needed to hit the road.)

. . . still loving wheels under our bed!

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