Today marks three years since we moved out of our big house and into our 350 square foot RV. Yes, we are still married and still love each other. There is plenty of space for the two of us and Tom gives me some “alone time” most days. We enjoy sharing our small space.
You may be wondering at the second part of today’s title. What does dental floss have to do with being in the RV for three years?
When Tom and I had a house, it had three bathrooms. There were three people living there and we each got a bathroom. We kept our personal stuff in our personal bathroom and cleaned it when we thought it was dirty. (Okay, I cleaned them most of the time, but I have a lower tolerance level for gunky bathrooms.)
When we were moving out of the house, the bathrooms were one of the last areas I cleaned out. But when I cleaned them out, the amount of dental floss I found surprised me. I thought Tom and John were flossing daily, but it turns out they were mostly throwing the sample tins of dental floss from the dentist into the medicine chests in their bathrooms and ignoring them. So I consolidated all these little dental flosses into a small bin with a lid and stored it under the bathroom sink in the RV. For the last three years I flossed every day with dental floss from that bin.
The dental floss is gone. The bin is finally empty. I am on the last sample pack which means I will have to buy dental floss the next time we go to the drug store. For the first time in three years.
I tell you this story because it is symptomatic of moving from a big house to a small RV. We could never find a pen in the house, but when we were moving out I collected over 300 in a bin. We had more towels than we could use in a lifetime in the linen closet. I never wore half of the clothes in my closet. I had 20 recipe books but only used two.
This is one of the things I like best about living in the RV. After three years, we use all the stuff we have. We use it until it is used up or worn out. Then, and only then, do we replace it. We don’t spend much time at stores because there isn’t anyplace to put things we might buy. Tom and I don’t start any collections because there isn’t anyplace to put them. We have saved a lot of money by not buying things. The things we have are loved, practical, and used.
Living in the RV teaches us to be more thoughtful about what we buy and use. We are better stewards of our money and of the earth. Living in a smaller space gives us more room for each other and for sharing this adventurous life together.