Let’s face it moving from an apartment or house into a nomadic life in a small vehicle is a big change. How can you prepare yourself for something like that? I am a big believer is lists so I made lists of the things that would be changed in my day to day living.
- minimal water
- smaller space
- downsizing stuff
- what will I need to take with me?
- how will the dogs handle the small space?
- grocery shopping for a small area
- food storage
Then I realized that the only way to truly be prepared would be to start practicing it right away and live small now. How you might ask? Well I started by downsizing my huge amount of stuff. I measured my bedroom and the space was similar to the space in Gerdie. What I wanted to keep I took to my bedroom in the house. I purchased plastic bins from the dollar store that would fit in Gerdie’s storage cupboards. I filled them with what I wanted to take with me. Yup, you are right I ran out of room and had to downsize it all again and again until I had only what would fit in my RV.
I had a small table that I put in the room that would be roughly the size of the table in Gerdie. It is now my workstation for my computer, my jewelry making space etc. I manage my day to day life in this room and only leave it to go outside, take the dogs out, the bathroom and cooking. I even had all my dishes and kitchen tools in there. This way the dogs get used to being in a smaller space with me all the time and I get used to less floor space. (The dogs always were with me anyway so I don’t think it was a huge adjustment for them.)
- I no longer had a place for my laundry basket so my dirty things had to stay in the same space. (A canvas bag in the closet)
- I cleared a small section on my huge kitchen counter by the stove and use it exclusively for my food prep. (Equivalent to the counter space in Gerdie)
- I do laundry once a week and created a small area in the basement to be like it would be in a laundromat. I stay with my laundry until it is done and have made a small basket of things I can do while I wait for laundry to be complete.
- I switched from my long leisurely showers daily to really short ones (once a week) where I turn the water off while I lather and back on to rinse. I sponge bath in between.
- I learned to wash my hair with 3 cups of water. Yup you can do it too.
- I put a leash on the dogs to leave the room and no longer just open the door and send them out into the backyard alone. (This they didn’t like so much at first but are getting used to.)
- I invested in baby wipes for quick clean ups and to freshen up
Now to groceries. I only buy fresh food that I can eat in a 3 days to a week and I no longer stock pile stuff that’s on sale. (Sometimes I can’t resist but I am very aware of my storage space) This will be easier when I have saved enough for solar as I will be able to run a fridge instead of a cooler. For a cooler I have a huge canning pot and for now I am freezing water bottles to keep it cool and have it wrapped in a huge towel. (Works pretty well and gave me a good excuse to save my canning pot) On a side note the fridge on Gerdie does not cool very well but the freezer works great so I will be able to continue in this way on the road once I have solar to run the fridge.
I have since moved into Gerdie (in my yard) and am living in her while doing renovations and saving in preparation for the road. I am really glad I did the months of living small first. It made living in the RV easier right away. It is still a learning curve and living in her while renovating is rough some days but it is all a part of my journey and I wouldn’t change it for the world.