Save space in tight quarters
DEAR SARA: We purchased a new camper this year and have been camping twice with it. Fun! However, we are climbing over our clothes and different items every time we go in it, and I can’t stand the clutter! How do you organize your clothing in limited space? Suitcases don’t seem to make sense to me, but all of our drawers aren’t enough room for all five of us. Our camper isn’t small; it’s a 26-footer. Help! — Vanessa, Montana
DEAR VANESSA: Try plastic totes. Some can fit under or at the end of the bed. Some clothing can be put in backpacks instead of suitcases. Then you can hang the backpacks. Maybe you can add shelves, a set of plastic drawers on wheels or stack totes in the closet to best utilize the space. You can hang shoe organizers on the doors. They can be used for shoes or personal-care items such as soap, toothpaste, shampoo, brushes, etc.
DEAR SARA: What veggies do you refrigerate? I got to thinking about this because they say not to refrigerate some veggies, but quite frankly in the South and in a trailer, you either refrigerate or they go bad in days. — qtkitty, e-mail
DEAR QTKITTY: I typically don’t refrigerate tomatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, potatoes, onions or garlic.
DEAR SARA: My husband and I just found out that we have an opportunity to save $300 a month on rent. Our best friend has a line on a house to rent. It’s a five-bedroom (three downstairs, two upstairs) house in a good neighborhood. He suggested that we move in with him. He would take the main-floor bedrooms, and we could take the upstairs for more privacy. It’s a great plan, and we’d be saving more money, but my only concern is the roommate thing. I’ve had three roommates during my marriage, and they haven’t worked out well. But we didn’t really know any of them, and we all shared a small space, which was tough. Now, with him, we’d be sharing a kitchen and a bathroom, but it’s not as if we don’t know him. He’s at our apartment every day anyway. Do we save $300 a month and get a roommate, or do I stick to my guns when I said I’d never live with another roommate again? — Rachel, Toronto
DEAR RACHEL: I would first look into the cost of the utilities to see whether there is going to be a difference that decreases your $300 forecasted savings. Will it cost you more in gas for driving? Is everyone on the lease? Sort out all the financial aspects such as food, phone, cable and utilities, too. I’d create a plan to be certain that your extra money actually is saved. You should have clear decisions made on housecleaning, laundry, overnight and long-term guests, pets, friends, parties and privacy.
With that said, I wouldn’t do it. Even though you are good friends and see each other daily, it’s still not the same as living full time together. You should stick to your guns and not live with another roommate again. You vowed that for a reason.
photo by Christopher Schmidt