(Two-thirds of the items I put in the storage unit for the rig are not in the rig today.)
There’s no doubt it was a guargantuan effort to downsize from a 2,700 square-foot house to a 34-foot long motorhome. On my one year anniversary I wrote about some of my favorite things for the rig. Those were the hits; these are the misses.
Printer (And Other Office Products)
I am not a workamper; I left my job in 2015, and I am not employed while I’m on the road. Why did I bring a printer and office products with me?
The printer took up valuable counterspace in the bedroom. (A jewelry box is there now.)
To be fair, ever since high school I have had some sort of home office. It was crucial to my schoolwork in college and law school, and in Atomic Abode I sometimes worked from home in a room dedicated to that purpose. It was hard for me to imagine a world where I would not need a three hole punch, paperclips, and stacks of Post-it notes.
I assumed the printer would be useful if I needed to print a ticket or entrance form, or to scan something to a doctor or accountant or the like. That’s true, on the very rare occasion when it arose. The rest of the time, the printer was the size of two large telephone books (even though it was one of the smallest units on the market), took up a lot of space, and due to its infrequent use and being jostled about, never worked when I needed it.
Today, if I need printing, faxing, or scanning, I go to the front desk of a grocery store, Staples, a FedEx office, or any other packaging/office store. Taking photos of documents and emailing them from my iPad or iPhone also works well.
Collapsible Salad Spinner
Do you shop at thrift stores? Ever notice how many salad spinners are there? That’s because a salad spinner is one of the most useless kitchen tools of all time. Wet clothes and records may need a spin, but green leafy vegetables do not.
Lettuce is 96 percent water. Sixty percent of the human body is water. I think I can manage a few droplets on my lettuce. If not, here’s a novel idea – I will pick the lettuce up and shake it over the sink.
And the kicker – did I pack the spinner that was in the back of my kitchen cabinet for 13 years? Oh no. I sold that one at the estate sale. I bought a new, different salad spinner for the rig. It was collapsible! I fell prey to the collapsible-things-for-the-RV market.
Party Plates (And Plates In General)
When I purchased Corelle dishes for the rig, I bought a service for 12. Yes, you read that right. In my mind I envisioned outdoor parties at the RV park, where paper plates were tres banal and guests were too forgetful to bring their own plate. On top of the Correlle service, I also kept various and sundry party plates, such as the small round type with a place for a wine glass. I packed 20 of those suckers.
Since embracing this lifestyle I have learned a handy phrase when discussing room in a coach:
“Cocktails for six, dinner for four, sleeps two.”
This is a motto to live by for full-time or frequent RVers who value their privacy, and their relationships with friends and family who visit. There will never, ever be a time where I am serving dinner to 12 people. I now have a service for six.
I won’t bore you with the incessant downsizing I do to the cabinet with the cocktail glasses in it. I will say that, when it comes to specific glassware, I refuse to give them up simply because I live in a small space. However, I have downsized to six of each, including copper Moscow Mule mugs, mint julep cups, martini glasses, rocks glasses, wine glasses, champagne glasses, coffee mugs, espresso demitasse cups, vintage plastic tiki god glasses, and the like, and on several occasions I have needed all six of a certain type of glass while entertaining. Remember the rule above – cocktails for six!
Not surprisingly, I packed too many linens initially. I am now quite happy with four towels, which double as beach towels; two sets of summer sheets (one for the guest bed, or I can throw one set on my bed while the other is in the wash); and one set of flannel sheets. The down comforter can be compressed in a vacuum bag and stowed in the warmer months, when I use a light blanket.
What about you? What did you pack initially that left you shaking your head and making a run to Goodwill later?