Peace-keeping in small spaces an acquired skill for fulltimers



By Russ and Tiña De Maris

In case you hadn’t thought about it, there is a world of difference living with your spouse in a two-story suburban house with many rooms and moving into an RV with two rooms. I’m not sexist — and I don’t think the “better half” is either. Nevertheless, it seems that the male of the species comes in for a larger share of criticism, particularly in regard to “good nest-keeping.” It seems the habits of men are the basis for plenty of humor in sitcoms; in the full-time RV household these can become more than just a talking point, but extend to the femur of contention.

It’s been a bitter lesson for me as the man of the RV house to learn how to keep the other half happy. Something to do with living in a small space can make the failure to cart away or put away anything not in immediate use drive her up the wall. And as dense as I am, after a while a few magazines, a pair of shoes and an empty soda container can create a sense of “mess” that drives even me to distraction. If this can happen to folks with slide-outs, those of us who live in old-time non-sliders find the problem multiplied exponentially.

The advice of an old restaurant manager turned RVer struck a chord: “I always told my employees, ‘Never walk anywhere in here without something in your hand.’” Before heading forward to the bedroom, I now look around the rear living room to see what could be deposited there, or someplace along the way. It’s a simple case of put it away as you go.

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Of course, having “a place for everything” is critical to make all of this work. A professional organizer tells us, “The place you put something is best close to where you use the thing.” In the small confines of an RV that’s not always possible, but where you can, you’ll find it easier to put whatever it is back after use if it’s handy to you.

I like peace. Putting it away keeps the World War at bay.