We have too much stuff. Again.
That might seem odd considering how we live, but it’s true. It’s hard to stop collecting things or buying shiny objects, but when you have a small space, that “stuff”, and the space it takes up, is really amplified.
Two years ago when moved into the Airstream fulltime, we took the 100 Thing Challenge, and we’ve definitely tried to keep that pace (if we buy a new pair of shoes, one has to go), but as we moved to a climate with seasons, we needed to add more clothes, and we needed things like a generator, several umbrellas and more blankets.
Not to mention the snowshoe equipment.
I think we’re over the original list we wrote on March 4, 2011, but we’re excited to compare. We’re also doing an inventory of things we don’t really use that much, so we’re selling our bikes.
While the bikes are awesome and easily stowed, we just don’t really use them enough, and we can use that space in the truck for other things. Recently we also got rid of a few bags (we don’t really fly any longer so we certainly don’t need two suitcases and two carry-on size bags) which prompted me to make this list of What’s In and What’s Out.
- Pendleton Wood Blanket
- Microsoft Surface
- Dyson Hot/Cool
- Mini Prep Food Processor
- Snowshoe stuff
- Camping equipment
- 2 Bags
- Bikes (as soon as we can sell them)
- 7 Books that I’ve been keeping around but never look at
- Various kitchen pots and pans
Last weekend Chad and Emily came over to check out the Airstream. They’re thinking of buying one and they live in Bothell, so they asked if they might swing and talk about it for a bit, to see what its like. As I was showing Emily around, I opened one of the kitchen drawers and she said “You have a junk drawer!” Why, yes. Yes, I do.
Definitely not junk!
I’ve always had a junk drawer, and just because we live in 180sq ft does not mean I want to give it up. Everyone needs a place to store rubber bands and clips and tape and laundry quarters, and surprisingly the middle drawer in our kitchen can actually hold a lot! I took some inventory of it this week and trust me, we need all this.
Our holiday was pretty busy this year! Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were spent with Kevin and Laura in Portland (we stayed at the Jantzen RV Park – see our review here) then on the way back home we stopped for a night at the Washington Land Yacht Harbor in Olympia, WA.
If you’re unfamiliar with the WLYH, it’s a little community with (mostly) mobile homes and everyone who lives there must have an Airstream in order to buy property. There’s a wide range of housing types from 40 year old mobile homes with gravel drives, to newer units with extra large RV car ports and paved driveways. We also saw some vacant lots for sale and other spaces with just garages and workshops. (It was raining and dark — these photos aren’t the best, but you get the idea.)
It also has about 100 spots available for Airstreamers that need a place to stop for the night (that’s us above — there were only 2 other campers there, so we got to spread out a bit). The spots are gravel, and tightly packed as you can see, and not really level, so come prepared. For $18, I’m not complaining. It seems this is a hot spot for rallies — and with the giant assembly hall, it’s perfect for those events. It’s possible they also store Airstreams in this giant field on the property — honestly we only saw two people the day we were there, so we didn’t get to ask a lot of questions!
In March 2011 we wrote a Top 10 List, after having been in the Airstream for only a month. Over a year later, that list has changed a bit, so I thought I’d do a update!
1. Dyson Hand Vacuum
2. Sewing Machine
5. Microfiber Bath Towel
6. Ingrid’s crystal bowl
8. Black Diamond Latern
9. Collapsible Dish Rack
10. Simplehuman Automatic Soap Dispenser
2012 Top 10
1. Dyson Hand Vacuum — The Dyson keeps its top spot! I use it at least 6 days a week and it never gives me trouble. It’s cleans everything from dirt to sand to dog hair (lots of dog hair) and always does a great job. The attachments have allowed me to clean corners, upholstery and Fantastic Fans with no issues. If I lost it, I’d immediately go out and buy another.
2. Nook — The Nook moved up a spot for always being there when I need a good read. I’ve got about 50 books on it (thanks for those gift cards family members!) and although I don’t use it every day, the battery stays charged an incredibly long time so I always know wherever we are there’s a library right on my nightstand.
3. Electric Mattress Pad Heater — Along with the Dyson, this is another thing that, if lost, we’d just go buy another one at the nearest store. I can’t believe I didn’t know these existed, but now, we can’t imagine living in a front-bed Airstream without one. That storage space under the bed is great, but because its not fully insulated, the sheets get mighty cold in these Northwest winters. With the electric mattress pad, Deke can set his side to 3 for a little warmth and I can go up to 9. I never do, but I could if I wanted to!
4. Nespresso Coffee Maker– This is our 3rd coffee maker in a year, and the best so far. It’s incredibly compact, makes a perfect cup of coffee or espresso every time and there are 20 or so bean varieties we can choose from, all for 60-67 cents a cup. Is it a bit inconvenient to have to order pods from Nespresso? Yes, but if you order a lot, you’ll always have coffee! Oh, and although we love the smell of freshly ground coffee, we don’t miss the extra, messy appliance. We’ve come across many RVers that have this model and I think all of us are pretty happy with it.
5. Black Diamond Lantern/Snap-On Tools Flashlight — If I had to pick one of these, I’d go with the flashlight, but the lantern is pretty great too. The flashlight is the brightest thing I’ve ever seen, the battery lasts for hours and hours and it has a recharging station and extra battery so we never have to be without it. The lantern is bright (not as bright as the flashlight) and is really versatile — you can hang it up, hook it on to something, or put the legs up and sit it on a table. It’s also really lightweight where the flashlight is pretty heavy.
6. Sewing Machine — My Singer sewing machine has done a lot for us this year. It’s reupholstered the couch, made gifts for friends at Alumapalooza and is now in the process of helping crank out some new curtains. It’s a tank, but it fits under the bed and keeps me busy!
7. Stuff We Love — There are many things in the Airstream that don’t have a purpose. We still love having decorations and objects that make it a home for us.
8. Miracle Mat — We were in Costco one day and this woman was walking through a pan of mud and then walking over a little rug and then walking on white paper. By the time she hit the white paper, there was no mud left on her shoes. Sold.
9. Plastic Govino wine glasses — These glasses make me feel like I’m glamping. I don’t want to drink my wine out of a red Solo cup. And I’m really clumsy.
10. Mac Mini – We debated how much we really “needed” another computer when we first moved into the Airstream fulltime. We had two laptops and two iPhones after all! After filling our dinky laptop hard drives a few times trying to figure where all of our movies, pictures, and music should live, we decided that a central media warehouse was well worth it. Enter the Mac Mini. It is a powerhouse that stores and runs all of our movies, music, and games. Sure the mini is a little more expensive than other small home theater PCs, but it’s so well built, durable, and compact, not to mention it comes with Apple’s ease of use and reliability. It doesn’t have a DVD drive, but we don’t need physical media anymore anyway.
Removed from the list:
Microfiber Bath Towel — Our Eagle Creek microfiber bath towels just didn’t cut it.
Collapsible Dish Rack — This seemed like a good idea, but it wasn’t as convenient or as space saving as I’d imagined. Right now a dishtowel has taken its place and it works fine without taking up as much space.
Simple Human Soap Dispenser — The batteries dont last long and you need a screwdriver to change them.
Wellies — It’s obviously good to have a pair up here, but I didnt really use them at much. Maybe next year.
Microplaner — It’s good, and we use it all the time, its just not AMAZING.
Our first rally with our new WBCCI group was held at the Silver Spur RV Park in Silverton, OR a few weeks ago and it was so much fun! (I’m really behind on posts!!)
A lot of silver.
And some blue.
First, you might be wondering why we joined the Oregon WBCCI group and not the Washington group (or maybe you’re not really wondering that at all…). We know a few people in the Oregon group who we really like (Rhonda, and Laura and Kevin) and their rallies seemed to be in some interesting parks and not too far from Seattle, so it was a-go!
Silverton is 229 miles from where we’re parked in Fall City, WA, just on the southeast side of Portland. It has a nice downtown area, the Oregon Garden complete with the only Frank Lloyd Wright house open to the public in the Pacific Northwest,
It’s like being back in Oak Park!
and a brewery called 7 Brides.
Everyone planned to be outside, but we’re glad the lodge was there.
The Silver Spur park is nice — but as you can see in the photos, don’t go expecting privacy. It seems to be well maintained and they have a really nice lodge that we used for all the dinners.
The biggest fall.
Seventeen miles southeast of Silverton is Silver Falls State Park. The park has 10 waterfalls ranging in height from 27 ft to 177 ft with trails of different distances and difficulty.
Lots of moss.
The South Fall (above and below) trail actually goes behind the fall, so be prepared to get soaked!