HOW TO LIVE TOGETHER IN A SMALL SPACE WITHOUT KILLING EACH OTHER
IT’S ALL EXCITEMENT AND JOY
When you first decide to go off and live in a Motor home, it’s all excitement and joy that you have this great mobile home and mobile life. You’re going to have a wonderful life being able to wander off for weekends and/or holidays without the extra expense of accommodation costs and restaurant food prices etc etc. You are going to be able to travel more because of all the money you save on these normal holiday expenses … what a great way to live! Right?
THEN YOU RUN OUT OF SPACE
Then… you buy the van… and all excited, you load it up with all the stuff you think you need until you run out of space! Very quickly I might add. Then the re-sort and cull starts, as do the disagreements, no let’s call them discussions, seeing as we’re talking about how to get along in this very little space that nothing fits in! Lol
When you live, eat, sleep and work in a 10ft x 6ft space 24/7, believe me killing each and/or throwing your toys out seems like a good option at times. But sanity prevailed … we’re still together and love our time in our small home… once we got some ground rules and a system in place.
GET A SYSTEM IN PLACE
Before we got our “system” in place there were many days where either Rich or myself would put our hands on our head and storm outside for some much-needed space so as not to explode. I have to say Rich got there quicker than I did … lol. He even had days when anything and everything that was on the floor or on a counter (there are not many of those so the one we had in those days was often crammed full of stuff) literally got thrown out the door because he got claustrophobic and couldn’t deal with the total lack of space.
ALONG CAME DIZZY, THE MOTORHOME?
This was when we first got Dizzy, the Motorhome. (the blingy, hugely impractical vehicle that we bought for a song) Now, when I say Motorhome, I use the term loosely. She was literally a vehicle with an MOT, a toilet and a bed.
Well, when I say a bed… it was a seating area with cushions that didn’t fit the space properly and with really badly made leatherette covers that slid around and crinkled up when you sat or lay on them! Not a good restful bed base.
The walls were covered in silver radiator insulation that had simply been stapled onto the walls. There were more staples than a stapled thing! Someone had obviously got a staple gun for Christmas, I think. We knew it was covering something but that’s another story… lol
There was also a cooker and sink that had very obviously been taken from a house or perhaps a skip and fitted into a space, again badly, and an Ikea cube storage system.
NO-ONE HAS YET BEEN CHARGED FOR MURDER
Anyway, I digress so back to how we made a plan and now cope and love our new home, and we’re still alive! No-one has yet been charged for murder! We had no option but to make it work somehow, even while fixing it up, as we had given up our home and had nothing else! Nothing like jumping in the deep end!
All the stress and frustration stems from space or lack of it, so here are some tips and ideas to stay alive, make a home in a very small space and live happily… or at least still like each other! Lol
7 TIPS TO STAY ALIVE AND STILL LIKE EACH OTHER
TIP #1. LIVE WITH LESS – live a minimalistic lifestyle. There is no space for decorations and extras, just in case! I had a real problem with this to start with but the constant need to re-arrange in order to get to something that you really do need, quickly put paid to the “just in case we might need it” mentality.
If it doesn’t have a practical daily use – YOU DON’T NEED IT! Space is more important. We clashed on what was important and actually needed in the beginning but all sorted now.
TIP #2. EACH HAVE YOUR OWN CHORES AND DO THEM ON YOUR OWN! – This applies to inside chores because this is where space is an issue and where tempers can flare because you get in each other’s way!
TIP #3. KEEP THE FLOOR SPACE CLEAR! – I can’t tell you how important this is to your sanity. Between cupboards (now that we actually have some) there is only about 2.5ft that forms your passage/kitchen/dressing area. This space is where you stand to cook and wash up, where the toilet & shower room door opens into and obviously also your walking space from the cab in front to the bedroom and seating area at the back. The bedroom and seating area are one space that doubles up depending on the time of day. It is also my office because I work from home.
TIP #4. THE 1 UP-1 DOWN SYSTEM – this solution came from the problem of floor space as described above. Rich came up with this brilliant idea that at no time were 2 people to be in the central floor space at any one time. So, we share the chores – well sort of lol. We each have chores eg. I do all the cooking unless I’m being spoiled on a weekend with breakfast in bed. Yay! So when I’m cooking, Rich does not come into that space. He will either sit in the “dining room” area (Hahaha – I like the sound of that.) or he will sit in the Lounge – read that as cab. The seats turn around which is great for extra space. Rich does all the washing up so when it’s that time, then I get to stop and relax in either the lounge or dining area/office/bedroom. I am not allowed to move! I have to say it has forced me to slow down somewhat, which is actually quite nice because I have always been a busy person.
TIP#5. LEARN TO BE MORE TOLERANT OF EACH OTHER! You got together with this significant other because you liked who they were, didn’t you? So, remember who they are and understand that it’s not them who has changed, it’s the circumstances. So, when your other half decides that he wants coffee and is going to make it now! Just when you had decided to clean the oven or sort the fridge… Remember that you like coffee too and he is quite happy to make you a cup as well, so take the time to sit down and chat with him over a cuppa.
The oven and fridge will still be waiting there for you later and you’ve had some unexpected quality time together.
TIP#6. HANG ON TO YOUR SENSE OF HUMOUR – when things get a little stressed or you are falling over each other in the confined space, find something funny in the situation. Make a joke about how you can’t keep away from each other, even though you have such a huge space to live in! (tongue in cheek of course) or how much he loves you that he just can’t keep away from you. The bottom line is there is always another way to say something so that you don’t upset the other person and start an argument.
TIP #7. REMEMBER WHY YOU MADE THIS DECISION! – When things get stressed, remember that this was your choice. In our case, it was to downsize so that we could work less, spend more time together and be able to travel together more often… So, don’t sweat the small stuff!