Minimalism – Or How We Lived in 270 Square Feet with Five People for Six Months

Perhaps living in the camper is easy because we spend so little time there.

The US camper part of our trip is quickly coming to a close (although we have one camper month at the end of the Adventure Year, more about that later). Before we left, we paired down the stuff we were bringing to what was needed and could fit. While we have made a few purchases for the camper on the road – like a portable ladder to get onto the roof – we have not needed anything we stored. For six months. With three kids.

It has felt awesome to not have so much stuff… a smaller place to clean, less choice with clothes, and I am not tripping over an over-abundance of toys all the time like at home. (Although there are probably still 30 stuffies. We just can’t seem to get away from them).

How did we do it? Everything we brought has a purpose, and a place. We keep it picked up. We clean often (it doesn’t take long!). We grocery shop twice a week, instead of once a week at home, with a smaller fridge and cupboards. And, while we only have 270 sq feet indoors, there are fun outdoor spaces at every campground.

What do we miss from our regular-sized house? Counter space. A Costco pantry. The coat closet. My workout room.

Least used thing we brought? The guitars. Even on a year long vacation, we don’t have enough time to play them, go figure.

Most annoying thing about traveling in the camper? When something goes wrong, it takes three months to get a part. We could drive to the parts department anywhere in the USA way faster than they could ship it out. (This was almost attempted).

Most important thing I learned about traveling in a camper? When the salesperson said you couldn’t stay in the camper below freezing, he was not lying. We cut some parts of our trip short due to historic cold temperatures.

We cheated a bit for Thanksgiving and flew across the country to spend time with family and stayed in a two room hotel room. Wow, that felt spacious. It’s all about perspective.

The girls really wanted a chicken for the camper. Now THAT would be too much.
We got to do the feeding at the reptile house at the National Zoo. So cool. Reptiles don’t work in this camper.

Our Adventure Year wound up having a predictable pattern. National parks in the summer, cities in the Fall, and now we are on our southern portion. (We are still getting used to the South – we were putting groceries in the truck today, and I turn around and there is a man loading our bags of groceries into our truck. My first thought after three months of visiting cities was not, I admit, a helpful grocery store worker. )

We are doing the final planning stages of the international portion of our trip. Due to violent protests in Chile, our South American part will just be Peru – but we are planning some super fun things there (like my teaser?). Then onto Europe – Spain, UK, France, Switzerland, Italy and Greece before home. Our last month and a half will be beaches on both coasts.

Then back to our slightly-larger-than-270 sq foot house.

3 thoughts on “Minimalism – Or How We Lived in 270 Square Feet with Five People for Six Months

  1. I love hearing about your adventures. As I said before, if you go back on Rt 40; we are just one mile off of it …….Bermuda Run exit 180A. I’m sure the girls are having a great time Stay safe and warm. Marge

    Sent from my iPad

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    1. Good to hear from you! Unfortunately NC was one of the places that got cut way short due to cold – 25 degrees was a little crazy. I’d love to be able to bring the girls back as a separate trip and catch Great Smokey Mountains NP. We’re headed to Alabama now.

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  2. Hey Blake, just love your family adventure. I am constantly in awe. It will be interesting to see how this life-changing trip will influence your family’s lives. BTW, I sent Britney some of your information about living in a trailer. She plans to live in a modified truck camper full-time. Oh Boy…

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