Thursday, April 08, 2010




We are into our third straight day of rain but that's ok this time of year because it will really spur on the spring growth of buds, leaves, & flowers.  Good start for greening up all the grass as well.  Keeps the frog pond full of water & the bird baths overflowing so all is well in the front yard.  Lots of bird action out there already this year.


In Karen's blog today,  SMALL HOUSE-BIG BACK YARD,  she talks about RV storage bins & how they have them utilized.  She adds photos & captions showing how their motorhome's storage space is organized.  I have found that storage space & traveling is a good example of theory & practical applications.  The trick is in keeping your theory practical.  Coming from a 5th wheel to a motorhome we were overwhelmed by all the extra storage space available to us.  Seemed like acres & acres of room to lose every imaginable thing you could think of.  I could see right off the bat that the rig had a far bigger capacity for storing things than my brain did.  I knew there was no possible way I was going to ever remember where everything was. 


In my younger days I had worked for a few stores like Eatons & Sears in warehouse capacities so knew the importance of inventory, labeling, & organization.  Figured I would put that knowledge to use.

DSC_0015 First thing I did was to get some of those small sticky-back numbers & starting from the first bin on the passenger side I gave each bin a number from 1 to 13.  Thirteen was the bin closest to the front on the driver's side.  I then got myself a 3 ring binder & began recording everything I put into each bin.  I even inventoried the toolbox so I knew what was inside without having to open it.  I was pretty pleased with myself for being so orderly & my system worked flawlessly............ for about a week!!

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Everything looked well & good sitting at home in the driveway but within a week or two of traveling my whole inventory was pretty much upside down.  Didn't take me long to forget about making changes to the inventory book as I rearranged things.   Going from a nice neatly organized  stationary bin arrangement in the driveway to the reality of the road with it's many last minute overnight stops, weekly campsites, & monthly stays, it was inevitable I would forget to record the dozens & dozens of changes along the way.  I was already behind the 8 ball after the first week & despite my efforts at trying to update my changes I just fell further & further behind until I finally didn't even know where my inventory book was anymore.  So much for my logical theory!!



For full timers this isn't as great a problem because they live with their stuff each & every day but for us snow birders it's kinda difficult with that long 5 & 6 month dry stretch in between travels.  Just when I'm getting my head wrapped around to knowing where things are while traveling it's time to head home in the spring again.  Six months later when it's time to hit the road once more I'm lucky if I can remember where I've even left the motorhome!! 

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(click pics to enlarge)

And, one last thought about storage.  That first year with the motorhome we jammed anything & everything into the rig's bins we could think of.  And why did we do that?  Because the space was there & we felt we had to fill it with something.  I am still mentally inclined that way & have to keep telling myself, "no, you do not have to do that!!"   This past year heading south we probably had a good 25% of our storage space empty with nearly the same numbers !!back.   We're getting better:))

And what did Al have for supper really don't want to know........10-4!!



GROANER'S CORNER:((  Joe Smith started the day early having set his alarm clock (MADE IN JAPAN) for 6 a.m. While his coffee pot (MADE IN CHINA) was perking, he shaved with his electric razor (MADE IN HONG KONG). He put on a dress shirt (MADE IN SRI LANKA), designer jeans (MADE IN SINGAPORE) and tennis shoes (MADE IN KOREA).  After cooking his breakfast in his new electric skillet (MADE IN INDIA) he sat down with his calculator (MADE IN MEXICO) to see how much he could spend today. After setting his watch (MADE IN TAIWAN) to the radio (MADE IN INDIA) he got in his car (MADE IN GERMANY) and continued his search for a good paying AMERICAN JOB. At the end of yet another discouraging and fruitless day, Joe decided to relax for a while. He put on his sandals (MADE IN BRAZIL) poured himself a glass of wine (MADE IN FRANCE) and turned on his TV (MADE IN INDONESIA), and then wondered why he can't find a good paying job in.....AMERICA!!

Tourists see the world, travelers experience it.



The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...... AL.


  1. What to pack and how to pack it all is the biggest dilemma. When we were vacationing (not fulltiming) it seemed we'd never remember where we had things the time before and so everything was always being put in new places. We could never remember where things were. And we weren't even OLD then!!

  2. I had lots of storage in my 5th wheel, and can't imagine how much more you must have in the MH. I remembered where most things were stored just from living in it every day, but I've already lost my memory!

  3. I think we are going to understand what you are saying!!! We are unloading the trailermlike MAD,,,only to be leaving in 2 months. Its been 15 years since we had a house,,, I can see where your comin from,,,shore can....

  4. Ok Al I must tell you, we full time and can't remember where we put stuff all the time... We try to be organized but we fail terribly at it... When we first started we did pretty well but not anymore. Our problem is we just keep shoving stuff in them...

    And once again your pictures are the best I see anywhere by far! That red bird is really beautiful and you captured him so well.

    Have a great day my friend!

  5. When Ellie and I arrived home less than 2 weeks ago, one of the first things we did was remove many items that we thought we had to have on our maiden voyage in the motorhome. We were really amazed at all of the things we didn't need and do not plan to take along with us later this fall. Of course with this past winter season, we should have had more cold weather gear and less summer time articles.

  6. Al, every time we make a trip to Costco to fill our freezer, I make an inventory list of what we have. I tape it to the inside of a kitchen cabinet door. The Theory: cross things off as I use them. The Reality: I remember to cross off one or two... two weeks later I look at the list knowing that it is a rough estimate at best.

    Organization around here lasts about 3 days. Thank goodness we live in such a small space.

  7. Storage space and stuff - a forever problem, even in our former sticks and bricks! Always too much stuff, never enuf space!

    Your groaner's corner really brings forth a groan, not because it's terrible, but that it's terribly trus. I am researching for an article I'm trying to write about Made in America (and Canada) items for RVers, and finding lots of stuff. We do have to keep it in mind as we shop, eh?

  8. Your mystery bird is a purple finch. :)

  9. I'm glad we don't have as much storage in our 5'er as we might have in a MH - because we'd fill it up!! I pretty much take care of all the 'underneath storage' in our 5'er and Paulette gets all the room in the 5'er itself and it seems to work o.k. for us.

    Hope you've got that house all cleaned up for when Kelly get's home!!

  10. Thanks for the shout-out Al on my blog post.

    I think the more important part to staying organized is labeling each tote (i.e. diesel stuff, drain hoses, dog stuff, etc.) and putting things back into it each and every time. Both spouses have to agree what goes where and leave it that way. We have swapped tote sizes a few times from the smaller to the larger and vice versa depending on changing needs. We bought 8 of the larger totes and 4 of the smaller totes 3 years ago. By the time we hit the road full time we *should* have it all figured out.

    Inside the rig, I would say about 25% of our cabinets have very little or nothing in them.

    We are not *neat-niks* either, but do know if we want to break camp and get somewhere it takes a heck of a lot longer to put stuff all away if we leave it all over the place.

    We camp with some friends who haul out everything the first day, every available surface or space in and out of their camper is covered with bottles, dishes, food, supplies, gear etc. They spend almost all of Sunday putting it all away before they leave. ACK!

    Karen and Steve

  11. Judy and Emma are probably right. I could not decide...