Just how important is your own space, anyway? Seems to me, that, in a world full of billions of people, one would expect less space. While that might seem correct, it is most certainly not the case. I want to tell you the truth about something. If you are considering living in a small space with others, do not expect to have much space, at all.
I set my heart on moving our family out of a three bedroom trailer house into our 31′ RV. So, I did my homework. I watched hundreds of videos and spent hours upon hours reading blogs. Of course, they were all things about RV living. From my experience, this is probably going to be the most real blog post you will find on the subject. Most of all, because I personally did not come across anyone who shared this information.
Why wouldn’t anyone share this?!?! This is stuff that is really important to know, to be honest. Unfortunately, we learned it the hard way. Therefore, I am going to blow the doors off of the subject. FYI, this post is going to tell you the truth. The real truth, about privacy and living with other people, while having limited space to move around. So, here goes.
Common sense prevails here, of course, but let me tell you this. Most likely, it is nothing like what you may be thinking. Honestly, privacy is a precious commodity in tiny dwellings. If you live with others, in a cramped space, you probably know what I’m talking about. You are probably sitting there, remembering an embarrassing moment or two, and shaking your head. Maybe, you are even chuckling.
We live in an RV that is 7 1/2′ wide and 31′ long. Rear to the front, the layout of our RV is, as such. The bedroom is at the back of our coach. Then we have our bathroom, kitchen, and our living area. Then, are the front seats. Which, of course, is the driving area. There is very little room to move around the RV. We have furniture and personal belongings, which take up quite a bit of room. Lucky Bus is what we call our beloved 1988 Winnebago Itasca Suncruiser. Lucky for her, and us, my husband is very good at fixing things. Well, he is actually pretty good at fixing anything. Everyone calls him “MacGyver,” because he will find a way to fix, or improve, anything.
What is that smell
Our toilet is 1′ from our bed and approximately 3′ from our kitchen table. Our table folds down to make a bed. This is where our son sleeps. We have accordion doors on each side of our bathroom. One of our heat/AC units is on the ceiling in our bedroom. It blows away from our room, into the rest of the house. Our bodies make lots of different types of sounds. By the way, sometimes, those sounds are quite loud. Indeed, they tend to make 11-year-old boys laugh. Occasionally, those sounds are accompanied by smells. Sometimes, foul smells.
Let me explain something to you about living with a ceiling heat/AC unit at the rear of your home. The unit blows air through the bathroom and on into the rest of your house. However, in a small area, it takes less than one minute to fill your entire home with a smell. You are not in your car, after all. You cannot just roll down the window. Even if you open the door, you cannot get the smell out before it creeps into every nook and cranny. Consequently, smells will consume your space. Even when it is a nice day, and you have your door, windows, and ceiling vents open. And, they will be in no rush to escape.
By the same token, this applies to all smells, whether good or bad. I recommend not leaving dirty dishes very long on hot days or nights. I also suggest going easy on air fresheners, cleaning products, perfume, hair products, candles, incense, scented oils, etc. Start small and work your way up. Less is best. Trust me.
What is that sound
Smells are a big thing, however, there are more important things to think about. Let us go back to the subject of sounds for a moment. Generally speaking, two accordion doors do not block out very much sound. It is very important to remember that RV’s do not have standard house doors.
My bed is approximately 4′ from where my son sleeps. Unless you live alone or live only with a significant other, this applies to you. After all, you know that if you have a significant other, there will be sounds. Besides the sounds that bodies make in the bathroom, there are intimacy sounds to consider. If you are an intimate adult, that is.
If you live with others, you might think you will only be intimate when you are alone. Go ahead and try that. Let me know how it goes, please. Truthfully, that is not good, in any relationship. Why? Think about how often you are actually alone, together. Now, think about only being intimate that often. Does that sound like fun? I seriously doubt it. At home, you will need to be quiet, and even sneaky, at times. Occasionally, you will have to flip that switch at a moment’s notice, in order to have a “quickie.”
In fact, let me tell you something. If you do these things, it will be hot, fun, and exciting. You will find yourself seeking out those moments, and when you find them, they will be glorious. If you do not do these things, your relationship will suffer. You will be living in a small space with your roommate. Unfortunately, that is exactly what you will become.
Be mindful at all times
So, I have covered sounds and smells that bodies make, so far. As well as, intimate sounds. However, there are other things that you may want to keep private, as well. If you are like me and do your crying in the shower, others will hear you. Partners argue and have intense conversations with each other. Most generally, with an escalated tone of voice. Closed doors, of any type, do not keep that private. That is even more so when you live in a confined space.
You will want to be very careful of what you say, at all times. You do not want to demean your partner or any of the other people you live with. Most of all, children. It is so important because we are the caretakers of our children’s mind gardens. Be careful not to plant any unwanted seeds in their gardens. What we plant, will grow. Also, keep in mind that children repeat what they hear. When you are around, and when you are not around. You will want to remember that.
Mind your own business
When you live in an RV, there are literally windows everywhere. Sound travels through those windows, loudly. If you live in an RV park, you will likely have very close neighbors. Those neighbors will also have lots of windows for your sounds to travel through. If you do not want your neighbors to know your business, do not yell when you argue.
My husband and I try to sit at our table and discuss things together, rather than argue. If it is a subject that concerns our son, then we have him sit with us and talk, as well. I would be lying if I say that we do not argue, but we rarely ever do. Honestly, it is so much less stressful and hurtful to just sit down and discuss our problems. We get them out and make a plan together of how to deal with it. I highly suggest you try this. It will make your life so much better. That, I am sure of.
Oh, my eyes
Last, but certainly not least, is the issue of nudity. Yep, I said it. You will, at some point, see people in various degrees of undress. And vice versa, of course. If this had occurred to me, we would certainly have discussed with our son, as a family. I, personally, am not a modest person. Our son, however, is extremely modest, even with his father. Being his step-mother makes that a touchy situation for me. I am sure I do not need to elaborate on that. However, it does happen. No matter how careful you are, it happens.
If you are a modest person, I suggest you start working on that now. Especially, if you will share your tiny dwelling with any children. When it happens, how you react, will affect the child immensely. I found that out the hard way. We discussed it, as a family, so our son is doing a lot better with it. There is always the option of just dealing with it when it happens. Personally, I would not suggest it.
A little space, please
In any case, people are going to see, and hear, you in all sorts of personal ways. For me, that has been an extremely humbling experience. I am so lucky to be experiencing it with two amazing guys. As a result, my love grows more for them every single day that passes. All things considered, when it all boils down, who needs space? We all do. At least a little, anyway.
Nevertheless, my hope is that this post gives you an intimate look into small space living. Perhaps, that it is so real, you will walk away from it with your mind reeling. I love RV living. Living a few feet from people I love most, has opened my entire life to them. To be honest, that is a pretty good place to be. I don’t even miss all the space I used to have, at all. Well, maybe just a little.