Full-time RVing: Keeping the peace in a small space

Full-time RVing: Keeping the peace in a small space


By Russ and Tiña De Maris

I’m not sexist — and I don’t think the “better half” is either. Nevertheless, it seems that the male of the species comes in for a larger share of criticism, particularly in regard to “good nest-keeping.” It seems the habits of men are the basis for plenty of humor in sitcoms; in the full-time RV household these can become more than just a talking point, but extend to the femur of contention.

It’s been a bitter lesson for me as the man of the RV house to learn how to keep the other half happy. Something to do with living in a small space can make the failure to cart away or put away anything not in immediate use drive her up the wall. And as dense as I am, after a while a few magazines, a pair of shoes and an empty soda container can create a sense of “mess” that drives even me to distraction. If this can happen to folks with slide-outs, those of us who live in old-time non-sliders find the problem multiplied exponentially.

The advice of an old restaurant manager turned RVer struck a chord: “I always told my employees, ‘Never walk anywhere in here without something in your hand.’” Before heading forward to the bedroom, I now look around the rear living room to see what could be deposited there, or someplace along the way. It’s a simple case of put it away as you go.

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Of course, having “a place for everything” is critical to make all of this work. A professional organizer tells us, “The place you put something is best close to where you use the thing.” In the small confines of an RV that’s not always possible, but where you can, you’ll find it easier to put whatever it is back after use if it’s handy to you.

I like peace. Putting it away keeps the World War at bay.




2 thoughts on “Full-time RVing: Keeping the peace in a small space

  1. Mary Ihla

    This has been one of the few negatives of our recent 3-month experience of living in a motorhome. I was constantly harping at my husband to put things away WHERE THEY BELONG. I could tolerate his clutter and mess in our sticks-and-bricks, but not in such a confined space. There is, however, a positive side to living in a small space — when you misplace something, there are only a few places to look.

  2. Karen

    I read your laundry issue, but wanted to suggest another alternative, namely mini washing machines or even washer/dryer combos. The most common brand is Panda. Even the combos easily fit in a shower (they vary but approximately 25 w by 25 h by 15 deep and under 25 pounds. The washing machine can double as the laundry bag and they are so convenient the fact that one needs to do a load more often isn’t a problem.

    The only downside s the dryer just uses centrifugal force so either 1) the clothing needs another hour or so do be fully dry or 2) one can buy small dryers (like a bit plastic bag with a hair dryer like attachment).

    Only one warning, (leave your gray water outlet open. The one time I forgot that was the day after cooking curry which left me with an orange tinged shower basis.

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