There are a few things we miss about our sticks-and-bricks home. But, there’s also a few creative solutions we introduced while living in our motorhome that I don’t think we could live without again! Those items are things we’ll bring into any home we live in – whether it has wheels or a foundation. (Oooh, or maybe even roots! Like a tree house!)
While you might not be living in an RV full time, and you may have some room to spare, here are some of our favorite things.
Space savers and creative solutions
- A hanging vacuum. This has been priceless for a variety of reasons. We used to store our vacuum in a storage closet that shared the space with a linens, board games, and random dog toys. Every time I went to pull out the vacuum one of three things happened: I would angrily pull it out from it’s mess of clutter and hit the edge of the doorway damaging the paint, I would angrily pull the vacuum out and all of it’s clutter belongings and vacuum with a vengeance, or thirdly – become so frustrated with the amount of “stuff” in the closet that I would give up vacuuming entirely. Know what’s easier? Hanging the freaking vacuum on the wall. While I might not hang it visibly in a sticks-and-bricks home, I just might. It’s so easy to get to and I use it constantly because it’s incredibly simple to put back. If you have a place like a laundry room, you could hang it there and grab it whenever. I love it so much and I’ve never been let down by the sheer petite size of it. I’m in love with my hanging vacuum and I’m not afraid to say it. (This is basically what we have, but an older version.)
- A tea kettle that sits on the stove 90% of the day. We brought our coffee maker on the road. I haven’t used it once. Why? Space hog. It’s bulky, and it takes up so much counter space that I would have to put it away every time I used it. That means I would need a space not on the counter where I could always store it. So, I started using a French press that fits in a much smaller space. Every morning, I turn on the stove with my tea kettle, feed the dog, and get dressed – and in that 2-minute time, I have 3 cups of hot water. It’s faster than a microwave, and is pivotal when we don’t have hookups. I might have a coffee maker forever, but I’ve totally replaced how I drink coffee now and it’s so much easier! Space saving tea kettle for the win!
- Day Shades. These are spendier than the two things I just mentioned. Essentially what they are is a tightly woven screen that we pull down during the day when the sun is super hot or is glaring. We still get to see outside, but the glare on our computer screens when we’re working is minimal at most, and it helps so much with keeping the heat down. I always thought that once sun entered a house from a window, any indoor shades wouldn’t do much, but they definitely keep the place cooler. Additionally nobody can see in during normal daylight hours. I can run around in my swimsuit all day, and we get to watch all the cute dogs walk by.
- A drawer dishwasher. This is new to us since we’ve had our dishwasher less than 2 weeks, but we love it. Before you think, okay, this is rich people stuff, it’s not. We got ours on craigslist for 200 bucks, when they run about 800 brand new. So yes, if you buy one brand new, that’s expensive. Craigslist for the win. It’s easier to load, it’s smaller than a traditional dishwasher, and it uses 1.8 gallons of water per load. Have I mentioned it cleans better than any dishwasher I’ve had? The best part? I don’t have to bend down to fill the dishwasher; it slides right out like a drawer and is about a foot+ higher than any other dishwasher we’ve had. Also, you can put it wherever you want. Okay, within reason. I never knew I could love household appliances so much until we moved into a motorhome. (I cook a lot more meals that require more than 1 pot now that I’m not washing the dishes by hand.)
- Flexible shower hose. This has been great when we’re out boondocking because we can shower so much more quickly and use a lot less water. When the water is aimed directly at your dirty feet instead of 6 feet from them, they get cleaner faster. No need for weird-dances to wash off our feet. I can easily shower, wash and condition my hair, and use only 3 minutes of water; much of that is because that we have a flexible shower hose. And when we’re out on the sandy beach, nothing beats being able to step in to the shower full clothed to wash just my feet off. It’s pretty awesome. I think a ton of RVs come with flexible hoses – maybe all of them? But not a lot of houses on foundations do! Totally stealing this idea wherever we end up.
Simple solutions to small living
Living in a smaller space has forced us to evaluate how our space is used, but you can do that whether you live small or not. There’s a peace of mind that comes with simplicity. We aren’t minimalists. However, we own what we need and like, and we get to think creatively when solving a problem.
Got any space-savers or creative solutions that you can’t live without? Let us know!
Note: Runners-up include include squeeze bottles for oils and vinegars, a bed side humidifier, mini de-humidifiers, vacuum bags for seasonal clothing and quilts, a junk basket instead of a junk drawer, and built in bedside stands.