how we fit clothes in our small home

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I know I said I wasn’t going to write about storing stuff for a while. I do actually have other things I want to talk about, but we aren’t quite ready to share about our new power system since are still getting used to it, so I decided to go ahead with one other organization post I had an idea for ~ how we store clothes for six people in our camper.

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Big campers come with some cupboard space, not tons mind you, but enough to make things work. Before we moved in, Papa added a few shelves inside the taller cupboards in the bedrooms. I guess they were intended for hanging clothing, or maybe sliding suitcases inside, but we wanted normal shelves for clothing. Papa and I each have one cupboard in our room, his has two shelves offering a total of about 4 square feet, and mine has four shelves, but I am only using two for clothes right now, probably about 4 square feet as well. The other two shelves I use for holding personal projects and right now my doula bag.

The kids started out with one shelf each in the larger cupboard in their room. Each shelf has about 3 square feet I think. There are also two drawers underneath. When we realized we had a moisture problem at certain times of the year we experimented with keeping kids clothes in plastic totes in their beds, but they liked the idea of dumping the clothes out everywhere to use for holding themselves. Go figure. So the clothes went back into the cupboard, and we have to be careful about keeping the piles away from the back wall to prevent them from getting wet.

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Chickie doesn’t have a shelf in that cupboard, but even though she has figured out how to open her tote and dump clothes out, that hasn’t been significant of an issue enough to make us rethink storing her clothes there. I haven’t figured out what to do yet for when that time does come. And it will come!

 

Just as having a smaller fridge has forced us to reign in on extra food, having less space to store clothing has caused us to pay attention to what we keep. Out of season clothing, or sizes we save that the kids haven’t grown into yet are kept in the storage camper. This summer we plan to replace the storage camper with a more attractive shed near the greenhouse, but that’s another topic that we’ll share about later. For the clothes we keep in our camper, we figure that if we can’t fit all the clothes we have, then we have too many. It is far too easy to simply keep everything and then realize down the line that you have clothes on your shelf that you haven’t worn in months. If we find that is the case, we find those clothes a new home.

 

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Papa and I might have a total of ten complete outfits, with a few extra shirts. We often wear pants a couple times before washing them, which extends the life of our wardrobe between outings to the laundromat. And fewer outfits means less laundry. Our family of six makes an average of three heavy loads a week, with an extra every three weeks or so.

The kids might have more than ten complete outfits. Their clothes are smaller right now, so they can store more in the same amount of space that our ten take up. The tub on the top shelf you see below holds Pal’s socks and undies. The drawers below the cupboard hold Buddy and Girlie’s socks and undies. I also have two drawers below my clothes cupboard which I use for socks, undies, and handkerchiefs. Papa’s underthings are piled in his cupboard. I’ve never claimed to be the best homemaker. This will attest.

We did not start out with the amount of clothing we currently have when we first moved here. If you move into a smaller home you will no doubt have too much stuff to fit in your new space, but as you assess, reassess, and reassess again the belongings you have, you will begin to have a clearer idea of what is necessary, what is practical, and what you should find a new home for. Trial and error is the key.

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And that is how we fit clothes for six people in our camper. I’ve probably left out some useful ideas, so if you have any questions or thoughts, do share!

5 responses

  1. Oh I completely relate to this post. One thing that has helped me is if I bring something in the camper, something also has to go out. It is tough. Our camper is 26ft. How big is yours?

    • Mama says:

      We live by the same rule! It can be tough, but I also find it refreshing. I’m so glad I don’t have a house big enough to collect whatever thing I think is neat or might be useful because then I would have too much! Ours is 31′. My hubby and I wouldn’t have needed one quite so big if it weren’t for our little ones though :)

  2. My hat is off to you and your husband. With little ones you must exercise the gift of patience, especially in winter when they can’t get out to run and play. Our kids are grown. We use to have a big house and to be quite honest the only thing I miss is a hot bath now and then. It has been rather liberation coming out of the rat race. Bless you all. I am so glad our paths crossed. Hope you got my email. I look forward to talking with you more.

    • Mama says:

      Oh, our kids get outside! If it is above 20° they go out! lol But I agree, long showers are a special occasions when I get one! I did get your email, and will respond soon. I’ve been very busy with a client, but haven’t forgotten you!

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