Cooking in an RV Kitchen Part 3: What’s in My Kitchen Drawers

Cooking in an RV Kitchen Part 3: What’s in My Kitchen Drawers

I kept postponing this article because I kept feeling like I had more items to downsize in my kitchen. I downsized and organized last night and feel I can finally post about what I own. So here goes. 

This is my kitchen not staged but how it is right now. Crockpot has Black Eyed Peas and Collard Greens Soup, paintbrushs are drying, spaghetti squash seeds are in a bowl, a couple dishes in the sink and extra napkins on the counter. Welcome to my kitchen!

My kitchen has 5 drawers between the sink and stove. I am very grateful for this because my first RV only had two. This kitchen feels more like it belongs in an apartment than an RV and I absolutely love this kitchen. So what are in these drawers? Let’s take a peek!

  • Under the Sink “Drawer”
This “drawer” holds two cloth bags and some cheap bags for our garbage can. The plastic bags are only used if we run out of Walmart bags. The cloth bags store inside themselves. They are really cool!
  • Top Drawer
This silverware drawer is smaller than the rest since it is beside the sink. At the front there are scissors and two Sharpies because otherwise they get misplaced. The front slot holds a baby spoon, big spoon with holes, large fork for meats, and a syringe for medicine for the toddler. My silverware consists of 4 butter knives, 8 forks, 4 big spoons, and 8 spoons. The back slot hold my 3 favorite knives. I just downsized 6 last night that we never used. The back of the drawer has two lids for jars, a peeler, a julienne peeler, and a medicine cup for my oldest son.
  • Second Drawer 
This drawer had a major overhaul last night! I put in the donate pile a flat knife block, 6 knives, a pie cutter, a regular lighter, a bulb syringe, and a whisk. It amazes me the drawer closed! Now this drawer is organized and everything can be seen and is used. I have 2 long lighters, a can opener, 3 wooden utensils, 3 metal utensils, a potato masher, a baking spatula, a large knife, a bread knife, two straws, chop sticks, a small rolling pin, and measuring cups. The items located in the back are seldom used but kept because they are actually needed.
  • Third Drawer
This drawer is my towels, baggies, and foil drawer. The back pile is a towel and two circle towels to put under hot pots and pans. I am due to buy some new towels and wash rags because these are getting a bit rough. I usually buy new each tax season.
  • Bottom Drawer
This drawer holds my extra doTERRA products. It has sample boxes, the bowl has empty bottles I can use for making my own blends. I have sample bottles, coconut oil, and items for sale (bottles are in the basket).

I’ll glad I could give a tour of part of my kitchen. Follow my blog to see upcoming posts on the rest of my kitchen. What’s in your kitchen drawers? What are your favorite kitchen utensils?

Advertisements

Minimalism in an RV: A Woman’s Capsule Wardrobe 

Minimalism in an RV: A Woman’s Capsule Wardrobe 

I have always been a bit of a minimalist when it came to my closet. I only kept things I liked and used with only the occasional item that was seldom or never used. Since I got married, my side of the closet has always had half the amount of clothes as my husband’s side. Sometimes even less than that. My side of the closet has had significantly less clothes for a number of reasons:

  1. My weight has fluctuated since I first started having children. Over the years my size has gone up and down. My husband has only bumped up one size in the last ten years. I used to store the off sizes in a storage bin. Last year I ditched the extra sizes and just learned to accept where I was in weight.
  2. I don’t like to shop. I honestly think men have it way easier. Jeans and dressy pants, t-shirts and button ups or polos, and a few other things like belts, shoes, ties, sweaters, and suits can be found at almost any number of stores. They find their size and are done. Women, especially those that don’t wear jeans  and like skirts and dresses below the knee like myself, really have to hunt. Finding modest clothes is hard work and I would much rather have less than to have to hunt down more.
  3. I also wear my clothes out faster because I own fewer and often stain them. I haven’t quite mastered getting stains out of our clothes yet. Once my shirts get really stained or faded, I tend to get a new batch of shirts from the thrift store.

    My current waredrobe now makes me extremely satisfied and my only desire is a cardigan or jacket to go over my sleeveless dress. I have a simple and modest taste in clothes and buy items that are from thrift stores, most the time, but still higher quality. Here is my side of the closet minus one hoodie that was draped over the couch and missed the picture:

    My favorite colors to wear are reds, pinks, and purples.

    I counted my items and have a list to share with you. I own:

    5 Skirts

    • 1 Jean Skirt
    • 1 Grey Maxi Skirt
    • 1 Black and White Striped Skirt
    • 1 Black Cotton Skirt
    • 1 Black Dressy Skirt
    The grey skirt is mostly hiding under the black and white skirt in this picture.

    3 Dresses

    • 1 Sleeveless Black Dress
    • 1 3/4 Sleeve Black Dress
    • 1 Striped Dress with Belt
    I still need a jacket or cardigan to go over the sleeveless dress.

    6 Short Sleeve Shirts

    • Pink Floral Shirt
    • Dark Blue Shirt
    • Pink Polka Dot Collared Shirt
    • Blue Polka Dot Shirt
    • Purple “Home is Where You Park It” T-Shirt 
    • Blue “Fellowship Fun Day” T-Shirt
    I love wearing polka dots!

    6 Long Sleeve Shirts

    • Purple Striped Shirt
    • Red Shirt
    • Purple Shirt
    • Pink Shirt
    • Blue Shirt
    • Green Shirt
    Some of these solid colored shirts were about $7-8 at Walmart.

    4 Sweaters, Hoodies or Pullovers

    • Red Christmas Tree Turtleneck
    • Grey Zip-up Hoodie
    • Oversized Grey Pullover
    • Blue “USA” Hoodie (not pictured)
    The oversized pullover I have had for 10 years and seldomly wear it. Yet is so comfy that I refuse to part with it. It is great for fall campfire nights or over clothes when playing in the snow.

    If you are trying to build a capsule waredrobe, I would suggest:

    • Buying clothes you like (material, style, colors) and currently fit.
    • Trying to have some of your bottoms match at least a few of your tops. Not all your clothes need to be mix-matched but a few gives you some variety.
    • Having a few key items that just make you feel amazing.
    • Experimenting until you find your “look“.
    • Being you and not stressing over a certain “number” of clothes.

    Do you have a capsule waredrobe? What all do you own? Don’t forget to follow my journey. For more minimalism articles click here.

    Cooking in an RV Kitchen Part 2: My Spice Cabinet

    Cooking in an RV Kitchen Part 2: My Spice Cabinet

    When I tell people we live in an RV, most picture a small cramped space with a tiny kitchen. It almost always makes me want to laugh. Our kitchen is actually larger than some apartment kitchens and has more storage space than I can fill!

    I love to cook and we purposely picked an RV with a good sized kitchen space. I use a lot of spices in our meals and I refuse to downsize in this area of my life. I might be a minimalist but I don’t minimize on the things I love! 

    I have seen many RVers ask how to store spices and there are so many great ideas out there! We live a frugal life and ended up just using what we had. The RV we purchased had this corner cabinet with a lazy Susan already installed.

    This corner cabinet is actually above the sink and out of reach from the stove.

    Since my spices are out of reach from the stove, I decided to store them in a wide container. I place the whole container on the counter while I am cooking and have easy clean up when I am done. No more putting away spices one at a time!

    This container is so convenient!
    I also use a tiny container for Caraway Seeds, Pepper, and Ground Clove, which I hardly ever use but still like on hand.
    Other items in my pantry.
    I use Sea Salt or Himalayan Salt when I can find it.

    For those of you curious readers, here is a list of all the items in my pantry:

    Large Container

    • Sage
    • Oregano
    • Thyme
    • Basil
    • Garlic Powder
    • Curry Powder
    • Ground Cumin
    • Cayenne Pepper ×2
    • Bay Leaves
    • Rosemary
    • Ginger
    • Parsley Flakes
    • Chili Powder
    • Marjoram

    Small Container

    • Caraway Seeds
    • Pepper
    • Ground Clove

    Oils and Vinegars

    • Olive Oil 
    • Red Wine Vinegar
    • Balsamic Vinegar 
    • Rice Vinegar
    • Salad Vinegar

    Other Items

    • Sea Salt 
    • Better Than Bouillon Beef Base
    • Chicken Broth Base ×2
    • Raw Honey
    • Baking Powder
    • Active Yeast
    • Popcorn 
    • Strawberry Watermelon Drink Mix

    What do you have in your spice cabinet? How do you store your spices? Leave your comments below. Don’t forget to follow my blog to be keep up with future articles.

    Minimalism in an RV: Managing Your Personal Library

    Minimalism in an RV: Managing Your Personal Library

    This is part of the Minimalism series you can read here.

    Today I want to talk about minimizing and managing your personal library. When we first were downsizing to fit into an rv, I put ALL the books on the living room floor. I could not believe how many books we owned!

    This was when we first started purging. You can read about this season of my life here.

    At that time, we donated trunks and boxes of books to the local library. We did have a few magazines or workbooks that just had to be pitched. We put in the rv the books we wanted to read and shoved the rest in a storage tote to go through at a later date. 

    Yesterday I finally felt I was ready to go through the books. Time and distance gives us perspective on what is important to us. I was able to to let go of 1 1/2 Walmart size bags of books and pitch 3 coloring books that were finished up. I had went through my magazines last week and threw out 8 and gave away 3 good ones.

    I was excited today to have extra room in my reading cabinet to store small boxes of pictures. 

    Since we homeschool while living on the road (roadschooling), I like keeping books for my son to read. To keep reading exciting, we sometimes buy books at thrift stores and phase out old ones when we are done reading them. We also have traded books with fellow homeschooling RVers. This helps keep our bookshelves from overflowing like they use to. Some people like switching over to digital books but my family still prefers curling up with a good book.

    This is the games and my oldest son’s book cabinet. Some of my husband’s books are in the hard to reach middle section. Tall books are in the open middle cabinet.

    When downsizing your library, try to be honest with yourself about what you will actually read or use for refernce. You might only reference a book now and again but if it is a hard to find book and/or expensive, it is worth keeping. Some minimalist struggle with what to keep in their library. Only you can answer that question. What topics do you love and what stories are favorites that you want to return to? Keep those. 

    My husband went to Bible College for two years and likes to use these books and binders for reference. These books are stored in an extra cabinet in our bedroom.

    Keep up the hard work minimizing until you feel all the books on your shelves are favorites and great reference books. Try to analyze what’s in your library a couple times of year and replace if you feel the need to. There is no set rules on how big or small your library has to be. The point of minimalism is filling your life with what you love and use. So go on, enjoy those books!

    Now that we are downsized, I can’t wait to start reading some of these books! The section to the left is all Bible Studies. My family now has easy assess to these booklets for devotion time.

    Minimalism in an RV: Taming the Toy Clutter Beast

    Minimalism in an RV: Taming the Toy Clutter Beast

    “Minimalism in an RV: Taming the Toy Clutter Beast” is part 3 of a Minimizing series I started recently. You can read the rest of the series here. Today I want to talk about taming that wild beast many parents battle with daily-the toy clutter.

    “British research found that the average 10-year-old own 238 toys but plays with just 12 daily (The Telegraph).”

    I’ve joined different groups on Facebook, mostly RV ones but also The Minimalist Family, and I have seen the same question worded many ways: How do I downsize tbe amount of toys we own? Many parents are realizing that more toys just overwhelm children and take away from quality playtime. How can we tame the toy clutter beast and bring quality back into our children’s playtime? By minimizing! 

    Here are pointers that might help you on your minimizing journey towards freedom from the toy clutter beast:

    • Decide upon a certain space for toys. You might divide toys up into 3 categories such as: independent play, group games, and outdoor toys.
    • For independent play toys in an rv, it is best in the kids’ rooms so that the floor clutter is out of the main living area.
    • Some Travel Trailers are so small that there is no actual floor space and just bunk beds. In these situations I would suggest having a small storage container in the bottom of the closet, at the end of the bed (on the mattress if needed), or find some hanging storage solutions.
    Our boys actually have toys, puzzles, and cardboard books in 5 of these six drawers. Our fifth wheel actually feels quite spacious.
    • When downsizing their independent play toys, start by placing everything in a big pile in the middle of the room. 
    • If your children are old enough to help, have them go through toys and give input on what they love and what gets played with the least.
    • Bring along bags to discard any broken toys or use for donation toys.
    • I personally try to keep mostly gender neutral, used-over-many-years type toys. Blocks, toy cars, Little People figures, and others have worked well for my toddler and 8 year old boys. I also feel each kid should have 1-3 items that are specific to just them.
    The bottom drawers have diapers, toddler puzzles, and our 8 year old’s puzzles. 
    As you can see, most of these toys can be played with by either of our boys. The cardboard books are the toddler’s along with the blocks and rings. Our older boy has Legos in the closet.
    This is the bottom of their large closet. Even though we are minimalist, I still struggle with keeping things they don’t play with. The Little People barn and Mega Blocks never get played with. The Legos are in here so the toddler can’t get into them.
    • I feel group games are best stored near the dining table. This makes board games, cards, and other activities within easy reach when you are ready to play.
    This long cabinet stores our group games (left) and my older son’s reading books, plastic microscope, and crayons (right).
    • We downsized our board games drastically by being honest with what we actually played with and by condensing many of the classics to one smaller boxed set.
    This is our understorage compartment for outdoor toys. It could use some organizing but I’m the least strict in this area. Everything fits and that makes me happy enough!
    The storage compartment goes deeper on one side and fits my husband’s bat bag nicely.
    • My last pointer to tame the wild beast is to go through the kids’ toys about every 2-4 months. Make sure they are still playing with everything or if it is time for it to find a new home.

    Minimalism in an RV: Living Without a Desk

    Minimalism in an RV: Living Without a Desk

    “Minimalism in an RV” is a series I started recently discussing how minimalism, particularly in an RV, affects individuals and families. I have already talked about how minimalism in an RV forces us to deal with our personal problems. Today I want to talk about living without a desk or designated work space in an RV.

    Our computer is usually on the table, this bench dining seat, or on the back of the couch.

    Now there are some fulltime RVers that have created little desks in their traveling homes but most do not have the floor space to do so. We have a laptop and most the time we just use in at the dining table or in our laps while sitting on the couch or bed. We also have a printer that is plugged in and stored in the cabinet below our living room tv. I feel these two things are kept in very convenient locations.

    This printer stored in the cabinet below the tv works well for us.
    Our office supply cabinet needs some tidying up but having the smaller storage containers is helpful.

    Paperwork, office supplies, and homeschooling materials have been a bit trickier but we are learning to downsize and organize what we have. We bought an according file folder for our filed paperwork and big envelopes for old documents we need to keep. Office supplies are mostly in smaller storage containers and baskets in the cabinet above the tv. Our homeschooling material is all in a plastic crate on the floor.

    Our homeschooling crate works out great for us!

    I will admit that the storage options in RVs are challenging sometimes. We have plenty of it in ours but it takes some time getting used to in an RV when you become a fulltime family. Downsizing what you have to only what you need and truly want has helped us. I went through office supplies and narrowed down our pens, pencils, crayons, colored pencils, markers, and such to just the bare minimum before we moved in. We are not a crafty family, except my sewing hobby, so this was easy for me. I still feel paperwork is a constant struggle though.

    The toddler was constantly getting into the paperwork that was left out so we started storing it in this metal storage rack. We also use Command Hook clips to hang up papers.

    Have you had trouble with not having a desk in your RV? What are some organizing tips you have for an RV’s office space? I’d love to hear your thoughts.