Tiny Home Survival Mode

People often ask how we like living in an RV.

My initial, guttural reaction is BLUEAHHH BLAHHHHHHH BAD!

But then I say to myself “Self, these people don’t know what you live in. Don’t ruin the idea of tiny-home-living for them for the rest of their lives! They may have unrealized dreams of living small. Be kind. Be ever so kind.”

See, the thing is, living in this RV is tough. But it actually has absolutely nothing to do with the size (188 square feet). It has mostly to do with the design, storage, space-utilization, and decorative choices. Our little RV has character – or as my sister would phrase it, “a dump.”

See, I have this theory about people that designed RVs and campers in the late eighties. I think they were sitting in a room that had lead paint walls and asbestos in the floors. I think they were probably drinking large amounts of whiskey even though they took Tylenol that morning. And I think these things combined made them say – “Hey, fellas. You know what I think is gonna reallllly make these campers look good? MAUVE.”

Sigh.

Mauve.

No but really. You can see from pictures, this thing is designed poorly. There is carpet in it. I have a lot of personal problems with carpet, which should be relayed on other venues than this. There is literally one square foot of counter space. Let that one sink in for a while. Blending? Chopping? Anything more complicated than rice? Forget it. If you thought you wanted to try a low-carb diet, I heavily advise you not to ever move into a camper.

Granted, this RV is being borrowed. If this was ours, we would have done some major renovations, and I would have taken my mauve-anger out in a more acceptable manner, like ripping out cabinets.

Most tiny homes these days though, are absolutely gorgeous. And most people that buy RVs or campers have the time to renovate and update, rather than immediate 1000-mile-away-move-in and cry, because it’s not your tiny home so you can’t paint everything white and install hardwoods.

Design challenges aside, I thought I would compile a little list of ways Daniel and I have learned to navigate living in a small space. Because it does take time to get used to living in a smaller environment, rather than a traditional home. These lessons will definitely come in handy when we do this again one day.

Ways to not get a divorce when living small 

  1. No dirty dishes. Ever.
  2. In a normal home, it’s not a big deal to drop your shoes off by the door, keys on the table, purse tossed on the floor. When you live in 180 square feet? It’s a big deal. I’ve found to restore my own sanity, I have to tidy pretty constantly. Otherwise, Insane-Victoria comes out, which means I might throw something across the camper and screech “THERE IS STUFF EVERYWHEEEEEEEEEERE”. Poor Daniel has to cower in fear.
  3. As much as Daniel and I love to dance, when the dancing happens because two bodies are trying to squeeze through a tiny hallway, punches get thrown. We let each other exit the space before the other person tries to get in.
  4. Leave when you feel cramped. Since the RV is ugly, and I need my life to be pretty (since my soul is black sometimes), it really helps to just take a walk or go somewhere when I’m feeling unexplainably foul-hearted.
  5. You know how they say don’t fight when you’re hungry? I would say, don’t fight when you’re in a mauve RV. I think the color saps the positive energy out of the room.
  6. You have to have less stuff, because there is less place to put…stuff. It seems obvious, but when we first moved, I thought I had gotten rid of just about everything extraneous. But now, it comes down to questions like “do I need five winter blankets? or will three do?”. (Funny how this principle can’t apply to my shoe collection…)

So those things help us, now that we’ve learned them seven months down the road. Hope they come in handy for anyone who’s considering a change like this!

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