Friday, November 18, 2005


I wrote this in response to posts on Messies Talk,, and realized it follows pretty naturally after my "On The Road Again" post. Everyone here knows what it's like to be a triathlete, but hardly anyone knows what it's like to live full-time in a camper.

K writes(wecanmakethedifferencewearethedifference): I am soooo tired of doing laundry. I know I shouldn't post it, I dont
want anyone NOT doing their laundry...There is only two more loads on
the laundry room floor.butttt there is one in the dryer and one in the
wash, dh's work bibs,so there again its four loads and not just two.
My reply: Until my husband and I started living out of laundromats -- that is, while our family lived like a regular family in a house -- everyone over about the age of 7 or 8 did their own laundry. I taught them how to set the dials on the washer (always use the "cold wash" setting because kids can't be expected to sort colors) and dryer (warm, not hot), reminded them to check to see that the cat had not jumped into the dryer before they turned it on, and they were on their own. Each kid had a laundry basket in their room and if they needed clean clothes, they knew what to do. My husband also did his, or took his work uniforms to the cleaner's. Nowadays, though, we use laundromats, so I'm usually the one who does it. ~Sigh~
Which brings me to:
"butter_flysin2005" writes: Do you and anyone else live in their campers all the time? my sil wants
to do this in a few years. When a person is in the camper or a small
space it is hard work to keep room in it. I am constantly picking up
in it so there is room to move about.
Oh, yes. There are thousands of people who do what we do, living full-time in their RV, "Full-Timing," it's called. Check out,, and for starters. Unlike a lot of full-time RV'ers, we had not taken RV vacations or even used one before we decided to retire into one. We dreamed about it and searched the internet and RV shows for a couple years, bought one, took it for a couple weekend trips, sold our house to our son and waved bye-bye. We're a little young to be retired, early 50's, but my husband had been at his position with the State of Maryland Forest and Parks Service for 30 years, so we came by it honestly. I had been a nurse, but only for about 12 years, having spent most of our married life raising kids. I was 41 when I got my nursing degree. It wouldn't have earned me retirement, but maybe being a homemaker all those years did...
Geez, my husband's cell phone just rang, to the tune of "On The Road Again...."
And Andrea writes: I love hearing
your hikes and things, and wonder how you have much space or time
left over
to be really untidy?!
Believe me, it's not hard. When you have such a small living space, just living in it messes it up very fast. I have never gotten the hang of putting things away when I'm finished with them. Maybe because I don't know when I'm finished with them.... I may very well come back to them in just a little while and I want to be able to pick them right up.
I've gotten so much help from just one idea from "The Messies Manual":
"IF A JOB WILL TAKE LESS THAN 30 SECONDS, DO IT NOW." This means, like, putting away my biking or running shoes when I finish biking or running. Closing a cupboard door even though I'll be opening it again to put away whatever I got out. Washing my dinner plate. And silverware. Both my husband and I have a habit of leaving the dirty silverware in the sink and then there's no clean silverware, since we only keep a service for 4. Things like getting up off the sofa make a mess... the afghan is all scrunched up and the pillows are all over. But I may be going right back to the sofa, so I don't fix these things. But then things happen and I don't get back to the sofa, so the mess is just there. I think, as in a house, books, magazines, snack dishes, beverage containers, and odds and ends are the worst offenders. But a small mess in a little place looks like a big mess, especially if you stumble over it (my husband's shoes.... he thinks he's a Cleanie and I'm a Messie but he leaves his shoes right in the path from the living room to the front door and bedroom.) Most of these are normal messes that occur in houses as well as RV's, but in the RV, they're a lot more noticeable, and a lot more intrusive.
We have a lot of stuff... pets (toys, fur); computers (papers, receivers, gizmos); a piano (music books), small stringed instruments (music books and stands); I have long hair (barrettes, brushes, scrunchies, curling iron, which I put down to cool and then there it lies); my toiletries/cosmetics organizer overflows onto the sink counter; I change clothes a couple times a day (biking, running, hiking) and leave my "street clothes" out b/c I'll be putting them back on, except I decide to change into shorts instead of jeans and there lie the jeans on the bed for the rest of the day, because I have to move my guitar to access my jeans drawer. Or I leave out whatever activity's shoes, to let them air out, since I sweated a lot. And there they sit. But not in the main traffic pathways, like my husband's :-) Just out, making a mess.
Believe me, it doesn't take much time or space at all to make a mess!!
This post has gone on long enough. I am trying to analyze my situation and figure things out as I write it. And I do love this life. Except I was sorry to leave my job in the doctor's office. I still miss it.


nancytoby said...

Interesting stuff! I'm home now, and we had a great time - I might be able to talk my Steve into us buying an RV. I really liked the 24' self-propelled Winnebago that we rented twice - but maybe you've seen some other models in your travels we really should consider? Recommendations for us to look at???

PuddyRat said...

You've been spying on me!

Nevertheless, on Monday, I have two housekeepers coming in to help me clean up my mess and ready it for the holidays. Come Thanksgiving day, I'm hosting dinner for somewhere between 12 and 20 people. YIKES!

Iron Benny said...

Wow, I had no idea you were living in an RV full-time. That is neat that your husband retired from a natural resources agency. I too, work in natural resources. I am scheduled to retire at age 55. Gotta love the Government jobs.

Oldman said...

get post. it reminds me of when I lived on a sailboat in the Chesapeake and Delaware Bay. Cramped quarters, everything has to be stowed away, and if you don't like where you are you just up anchor and sail to somewhere else.