Storage in a small, tiny little trailer is at a premium so keeping things that are never worn or seldom used is not really an option. What that means is that anything that isn’t worn regularly, isn’t used almost every day, or anything comes in a 50-pack from Costco, or is given as a well-meaning but space-consuming gift, has to be recycled, up-cycled, re-used, re-purposed, re-claimed, donated, raffled off, given away, or burned in a celebratory bonfire.
To get some sense of the size of the space I’m talking about, try this – go into the biggest room in your house, grab four books or other small things like trinkets or dirty dishes that are just lying around, and stand in one corner of the open floor space. Put a book, or one of those other things you grabbed on the way in, on the floor to mark the first corner of a rectangle that you’re going to measure off by taking some big strides around the room. Now, aiming yourself along one side of the open floor space, taking strides that are about three feet in length, pace off three of those big steps and then add about twelve more inches. Put another book or dirty dish down on the floor. Making a 90-degree turn, stride off two more big ones and lay another book or trinket down. You should now have three books (or other items) sitting on the floor in a roughly L-shaped configuration. Make another 90-degree turn and walk three big, huge strides, again adding twelve inches to this measurement, and set down another book, trinket, dirty dish, or candle-holder on the floor. Now look at, and contemplate, the space that’s enclosed by the four corners marked by the books/trinkets/dishes – this will be approximately 65 square feet. (Of course, if you want, you can always use a measuring tape to get a more accurate picture but I thought moving some books or dishes around would be more fun. If you want to use the tape, measure off a space that’s 10 feet wide by 6-1/2 feet long.)
If you’re still with me after walking around your living room taking big, huge strides, and looking kind of silly doing it, and you have a rectangle measured out on the floor with the corners designated by household items, picture this: the inside of my trailer is 65 square feet, including the kitchen, bathroom, living room, bedroom, dining room and all the storage space. ALL the storage space. As in, there is no other storage space available. My trailer would fit in the rectangle on your living room floor.
Ok, so the bedroom and dining room are the same space (the dining table converts into the bed) but you get the idea. There’s no place for that argyle sweater that my mom might have given me, no space for the cute little coffee cup someone thought would go well with the cushions that make into a bed. After three years of living in a small space, I’ve pretty much figured out what I need and what can go away or not come in at all. Even though this new-to-me trailer is about 85 square feet smaller than my last trailer, it has almost the same amount of storage space. Almost.
I have two plates, two glasses, two bowls, two cups, and two wine glasses, although I do have lots of forks and knives. You’re always invited over for a bite and/or a drink, but to make sure you have something to eat on and drink with, it’d probably be safer if you brought your own dishes. I don’t have very many clothes; I just wash the same ones over and over, and wear them over and over again. I don’t have extras of things, and if I do buy something, I know I’ll have to remove an equal-sized item from the trailer before I can take it inside. Pretty much everything has a job to do and has to know how to do it well. The best items are those that are able to perform more than one job function, kind of like a multi-tasker. Take that pillow case, for instance; it’s a covering for my pillow, but it can also be a laundry bag, a beach bag, a trick-or-treat bag, a scrubber, a mop, a market bag. And there you go – “other duties as assigned.”
So how about some extra storage? What about these fun little cardboard boxes from IKEA? They each have about a cubic foot and a half of extra storage space – not very big but maybe just enough for some socks, a couple of books, a few electronic cables, art supplies, or beads. They’re not super-sized but they sure are cute, aren’t they?
I think a purple ukelele would be a perfect addition to my little traveling home – it could provide music when it’s not providing decor. I just wonder what I have to take out in order to find a place for it…