How to Live in a Small Space (And Not Go CRAZY)

I would go CRAZY living in an RV!

This is actually a very common response when people find out we are living in small space. I am not going to say this was not a concern of mine as well. Time has shown after 3 downsizes and now currently living in a 31 foot Airstream, living in a small space can be challenging aside from it’s perks. If you are thinking about downsizing or making the leap to full-time RV living, here are some tips that have helped us transition along the way and not go CRAZY!

“A Place for Everything. Everything in It’s Place”
– Someone way more organized than me

A Place for Everything

Staying organized is KEY to living in a small space.  If you are an organized person, giving everything a place comes naturally. If you are more of a “free spirit” like myself, then assigning a place for each item is grueling at times.

More decisions for everything…Groceries have a place. Loose change. Shoes. Everything. It’s tough. But the bottom line is if items don’t have a home they start to take over your home. And that’s when the joy of living in a small space can quickly turn into a nightmare.

small space tiny home organization rv

Everything in It’s Place

When I use an item I find myself leaving it out or leaving my jacket on the couch and I think to myself I will do it later. I then remind myself (or my husband will give a nice reminder) that you are actually saving time by putting things away while you have your hands on it.

Although it seems like I’m saving time when I decide to toss that Jacket on the couch, one of three things happens.

  1. My toddler gets something on the jacket
  2. I pile something else on top of the jacket

Either option leaves me with still having to put away the jacket. The difference is I now have to either dig around to find the jacket or I have to clean apple sauce off of the jacket before I put it away.

rv organizing tiny space

Something In Something Out

Probably the hardest part of living small for me is the rule, “If you bring something in, then something has to go!”

Eliminating is tough and once we made the initial downsize, I thought I was done downsizing forever. Boy was I wrong.

The best way to organize is the eliminate

Organization and elimination is an ongoing process that has to be practiced. It’s a muscle that has to stay strong or you get to the point where you’re frustrated because your drawers don’t close anymore or you can’t find anything  because they’re shoved in the back of one of those drawers that don’t close anymore.

Don’t ask me how I know that.

Truly, the toughest part is continuing the process and having the discipline to let go of an item if you bring an item into your space.

The best place to start is before you make the purchase or take an item into your space. I have stood holding an item about to place it in the shopping cart and then I decided I did not LOVE it or there was not an item I was willing to part with it’s place. So back it goes. If I do LOVE it and in my mind I know an item it can replace and I am willing to make the swap, then the purchase is a go!

organizing tiny home

Use the Outdoors

No matter what we do and how much we keep things put away, a small space is a small space. There are many benefits to living small. Less to clean, maintain, and pay for are a few of our favorites, but in all honesty, sometimes it can feel overwhelming.

We all need to get outdoors.

Even when we lived in a sticks and bricks house, I still had the same feelings of needing to get out, but the only difference is that starts to happen faster. Spending a whole day inside the Airstream would not be our idea of fun.

We don’t “live” in our Airstream, we “live” outdoors and sleep in our Airstream.  

The Airstream is simply a vessel. The great outdoors is our living space and backyard. It opens up more space than we could ever ask for and it is more beautiful than we could have imagined. Using the outdoors for extra square footage is a wonderful way to living gain space.

We get the question a lot if we miss the space of our motorhome. We definitely miss the space. We miss the space of a house at times as well, but we love the tradeoff having less space gives us.

It is not about the space anymore, but what not having EXTRA space can do for our family.

Having less allows us to enjoy more life experiences, make memorable family memories, and have more time for the things we enjoy in life.

 

 

Author: Marissa

Hi, I’m Marissa! I’m a a nurse, wife, mother, and sister of 6 brothers and sisters. I love being outdoors, spending time with family, and traveling to new places. I hate to cook, but love to eat! Relationships mean the world to me and I am a huge softy.


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