Friday, May 29, 2015

5 Great Things About Camper Living - Initial Reactions

Chris has been here for more than 5 months, but I've only been here for a couple weeks. Still, it seems like a good time to jot down my ideas about what I like and dislike about the camper lifestyle so far. I'll post soon about the stuff I dislike, but figured I'd start out positive and sunny with the things that are actually really cool.

It's probably been going on longer, but I just feel like minimalism became this TREND in 2015. All over my facebook and the blogosphere, I'm tripping over posts about capsule closets and downsizing the house and cleaning out the garage. I like this movement because I have a fear of becoming a hoarder, but I also think it's silly because it really is only a trend. Well, I'm here to tell you that if minimalism is cool, our camper is James Dean or whomever is actually cool in this century (obviously, I have no idea. I think Angela Lansbury is cool). You just can't have a lot of stuff in one of these babies. Actually, we really do have a bit too much stuff, like the dog bed that is too big, or the space heaters that we can't use now but are an absolute necessity in the winter. But, for the most part, we're doing pretty well living with less stuff.

Of course, we don't really have less stuff. It's just all 6 hours away in our house (and the storage unit that we rented to put our futon and Christmas decorations and elliptical machine in because, apparently, people don't want to see those things when looking to buy your house). But we don't have all of those things on a daily basis and it's a good learning experience. I can kind of see what I really miss (our bed!) versus what I definitely don't need (the ten bottles of Bath and Body Works body spray that I never used and cluttered up my bathroom counter).

Our pups are here with us (of course!), so we do several walks each day with them. This little campground is small but quite hilly, so we go up and down hills every time. There's also just more walking in general: our mail comes in down at the general store, the fancy spacious showers and the laundry are up at the clubhouse, you have to walk to the dumpster every day because there's no room for a full-sized trash can. Just more walking all around, and I love it.

I mean...the camper is 200 square feet. And that's really over-selling it since much of that area has stuff taking up the space, like a bed, a couch, the table, the kitchen. So cleaning is easy-peasy. And there's no yard work! Someone else mowed our little yard today and we didn't even need to ask!

Also, there is no room for me to store tools, wood, paint etc, so I can't get myself into any DIY projects. Which means fewer projects to:
1. Get really excited about
2. Start
3. Get bored with
4. Feel stuck and resentful towards because it's taking up all my time
5. Finally finish while swearing that I'm selling all the tools and never doing another DIY project
7. Go back to #1 and repeat over and over....

For trying to save money, this lifestyle can't be beat. Once our house sells, we will get to completely ditch the:

  • Mortgage (still gotta pay rent, but it's a relative drop in the bucket)
  • Property tax
  • Water/garbage/sewer bill
  • Homeowners' insurance (our camper is insured, but the cost is a small fraction of our HOI)
  • Termite insurance (I have an irrational fear of termites, so we had preventative insurance just in case we ever got them, which we didn't)
  • Cable (but we do maintain our Netflix and Hulu Plus accounts)

Of course, the downside of all this saving is that, as with any renting situation, we're not gaining any equity in anything. Well, except our camper :-)

Since there's so little cleaning and maintenance to distract me, and no DIY projects, I can guiltlessly do things I like better than all of those, like reading, working on my blog, watching Bones...

I've already read a book, finished a book I was working on, started two more (here and here), and put up three (now four!) blog posts. I really think this is my favorite part of being here. Once I'm home from work, I just feel like I don't have as many responsibilities and it lets me do more stuff I enjoy. Plus, doing enjoyable, relaxing things is a nice distraction from the worry about having a house on the market, planning for a new one, etc.

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