Tiny living can be tough. Even when camping.
You don’t plan to take tons of stuff with you, but there are things you need like pots and pans for instance. They can take up some room. How do you plan to store dishes or silverware? What about pantry items? Where do clothes go? When you live tiny, even for short periods of time you have to make the best use of all of the space available to you. In our trailer there are 3 of us in 120 square feet of space. That takes some thought in how to make it all work. Here are a few things we have done in the new trailer to maximize our storage and to make our lives a little easier.
1) Shoe and gear storage
We have 2 feet each, but seem to pack several pairs of shoes. Plus our floors seem to get really cold so we like to have a pair of slippers handy because we don’t wear shoes in any of our houses. I saw another Airstreamer had taken half of a shoe organizer and hung it on the inside of her screen. This made so much sense to me. I have done the same. She used safety pins to hold it on and I decided to use zip-ties (we are big zip-tie fans around here). We have dedicated one pocket to flashlights and the like, one pocket is for the dog bowls and leads and the other pockets are for our shoes. This was an inexpensive way to create storage in a spot that wasn’t really useful and we love it!
2) Knives, Scissors and Tongs
For years in my teardrop I kept my big knives in a drawer. This worked but was never a best practice I loved. One knife was way too long for the drawer and took up a bunch of room. I also had to be super careful not to just dig around in the drawer for fear of cutting myself. We had a bit of wall space that was empty and so I picked up a magnetic bar from Ikea that my knives can stick to and be ready to work with! I put it at an angle because being very type A I knew I was not going to get it to hang straight since I decided to hang it up with Command Velcro strips. I put it at a very obvious angle and it has worked out great. I keep 3 of my favorite and most used knives, a pair of kitchen scissors and my metal tongs right there. They have never fallen off while traveling either and for $9 I am not sure there is a better solution given the amount of kitchen space I have.
3) Around the Bed Storage
There are a few things I need to have around my bed – water, my book, my glasses, my eye mask, and my ear plugs. There are no shelves that have been convenient for us to install on our walls which is making things difficult for my husband too. At the foot of our bed I decided to hang a nice bar that different containers could hang from. I checked out Ikea again for options and went straight to their kitchen department since they have great storage. I found a nice black bar and some nice off-white containers – one holds my water bottle and the other is big enough for the rest of my stuff. To keep the containers from scratching the wall up with the vibration of travel and life I put some little felt pads on the back of them which nobody can see.I have found it super helpful and everything stays organized and ready for use!
4) Travel Cubes are a MUST!!
So, my husband likes to pack everything. He also likes to pack everything in large duffle bags. This doesn’t work when 3 of you have clothing to bring and only 2 small cabinets to put all of the items you need for 3-seasons (we live in the Northwest and we always pack 3 seasons of clothing…you have to!). Travel or packing cubes have been a complete life saver for us and I have sung their praises before (you can find that article here!). I am still singing their praises because they continue to do good work and I haven’t found anything that does the job better. We each have our own colors so we grab our own bags and they still fit in the cupboards in the new trailer.
5) Awning Pole
We have an awning which has been great! We have never had one before. The down side is it requires this pole to pull the cover out and to unlock one of the clips. I was struggling with this being in our closet – it was ALWAYS in the way or got stuck between the wall and the bottom shelf making it super hard to pull out. I realized it would fit right next to our door which is perfect since you have to take it outside to use and if you are out there and have your shoes on, you don’t have to track through the trailer to the closet to get it. I was trying to figure out how to secure it but keep the access easy and I realized I had an extra Command hook. I measured it out and stuck it on the wall and it has held up so far. This has really made that part of trailer life a bit easier as silly as that all sounds.
These are just a few of our latest tips in regards to staying organized. We will update as we figure out more!