3 Cleaning Tips for Staying Sane in a Small Space

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Last year, Heath moved into a studio apartment on 6th street near his office in downtown Austin. When he moved in, we talked about how this small place would probably be our first home as a married couple. I gawked at its small size.

The bedroom/dining room/kitchen/living room combo amounted to about 300 square feet. The whole place felt cramped and dirty to me. It didn’t even have a laundry room! I couldn’t imagine living in a place so small and still keeping my sanity.

I suspect that our current motorhome offers about 225 square feet, max. And even less of that is walk-able.

These three tips for staying sane living in a small space when I live on the road with my newlywed husband:

tips for staying sane

1. Make the bed

Make the bed and do it first every day. I’ve heard this advice multiple times, mostly from my mother. Somehow, making your bed always opens the room. Plus, if you’re anything like me, every time you make the bed, you end up finding socks stuck in the bottom of your sheet.  There’s something about a freshly made bed that makes you feel accomplished. If you do no other cleaning, just do this.

tips for staying sane

2. Sweep

I love walking around barefoot, but when I can see and feel crumbs on my feet, it grosses me out a little. It makes the whole floor look grotesque.

Sweeping always makes the whole space feel cleaner, plus it cleans up a lot of the dust and dirt you don’t always see. I also find a lot of lost hair ties this way.

tips for staying sane

3. Have one place where you throw all of your “crap”

Somehow, we accumulate all of this stuff that doesn’t really have a place. For us, it’s hats, umbrellas,  sunglasses, and tote bags. We use all of these things at assorted times, but there is no place in the RV for them.

So we found a place to throw them. As ugly as this may look to you, it helps us because we know if something doesn’t have a place, you can find it here. (Plus, it’s above my eye level, so I never see it as an eye sore.) Find a bottom drawer, a small cabinet, and designate it as the place for all of that random stuff you can’t part with, but still need to keep.

tips for staying sane

If you’re like my mom, you may be wondering about washing the dishes or clearing off the counters. When you live in an RV, you can’t always do dishes. Dishes run you out of water quickly. Some days, like this morning, I have to live with a sink full of dishes. After three months, I’ve learned not to let it get to me, and wash them as soon as humanly possible. No one likes dirty dishes looming over them.

These three tips have helped keep my marriage fun and our fulltime RV life a little easier. If you have any helpful tips that keep you feeling sane, please share them in the comments below. I always appreciate advice!


2 Responses

  • I’ve seen some great tips about being conservative with water, but some of the best information seems to be Andy Baird’s tips on his Eureka Live website. (He has many great tips for RV life other than just “Doing the Dishes.”) I love reading about the travel (and life) adventure that you are on. I hope to start my own in the next few years.

  • Thanks for sharing your adventures! Two spray bottles work very well for minimal water dish time. One with diluted soapy water, one with just water for rinsing!

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