One thing is for sure when it comes to tiny house living, there MUST be a place for everything and everything MUST be in its place. We were acutely aware of this as we made preparations months ago for life on the road in the Cycle Source Mobile Command Center. Deciding that with space at a premium we would have to compartmentalize our needful things. At first, I thought for sure, this would be far more traumatic for Heather than I, but as it turns out it was equally intense for both. Its funny, how in life today we never really stop to think about what we actually need.
This situation provided all of that in bullet list fashion. Lets start with clothing. With a very limited amount of space to store clothing we determined that the most fair and useful choice would be the two 2×3 storage areas under the dinette benches, a his and hers as it were. In each, there would be two long bins (one for pants, one for shirts), and two small bins for socks and underwear, and oh yeah bras for her. Since these compartments are roughly 18 inches high it provided enough clothing storage for about two weeks before really needing to do laundry.
With quick work, we fashioned a piano hinge to the plywood cover and a small bungee to help keep it open while playing Tetris with our clothes bins. These are neat little tricks that you learn AFTER you smack yourself in the head with the lid, crack your fingers as the plywood crashes sending you swearing in front of God and everyone in the KOA on that particular night. But wait, lets talk about we figured out how these particular totes would fit in these spaces. Heather and I began with exact measurements of the area of each bench, with notebook and tape measure in hand we headed to the local Wal-Mart.
We began to layout every Sterilite container until we came up with the perfect combination but not before we had taken up the entire aisle and became “People of Walmart” for a few brief moments. As straights stared on in complete horror we scurried about the like two kids with Lego blocks all over the room. This prompted additional freaky behavior, since Heather is both completely fascinated by such containers of all shapes and sizes and wicked high up on the Amazon prime pyramid, within days UPS began to drop off boxes full of different size totes that would begin to replace open spaces of every cabinet in our tiny house. You know, I made fun of her at first but it was kind of cool to have a his and hers bathroom tote, a nuts/bolts and small tool tote. Not to mention, my jokes became less and less funny every time I asked where something was and she could tell me exactly which tote it was in.
4000 miles later, I can tell you that Sterilite Sally’s system is not only a fantastic way to keep track of things and where they live but also keeps loose objects from whacking you in the skull at 4am when you’re searching for that comforting snack after a long days work and before an all too brief slumber.
As our operation as a whole continued to gain experience we would add things as needed like a tool bag for general purpose tools, plastic milk crate to house the poop pipe parts and rubber gloves and hanging laundry bags to keep our dirty duds from becoming wall to wall carpeting. I even managed to whip up a little make shift practice station to keep up my chops on the road so I don’t let the guys in the band down.
Looking back over the process in which we came to all of this it seems slightly anal retentive and even a little odd, however having now successfully left an entire houseful of what we once thought were such important material possessions behind there is a purity that comes from only having what is required to survive. And lets face it, if it gets too bad we can always visit our extra stuff back home.
So that’s it for this episode of the Tiny House Chronicles, we are checking out from St. Louis and heading to Texas. The plan is to be in the Lone Star sate for about a month so stick around.