We used to move into a new space and rush to make changes, adding to or taking away what we thought would make things better. Correcting mistakes further down the line that would end up costing us money and be, well just annoying.
So this time we didn't.
We bought our static caravan brand new, although at the time of purchase it was a two year old design and model (hence us getting a really good deal on it, including a years site fees thrown in). With this in mind we didn't want to change anything immediately so throughout our first year we used the van exactly as it came
I decided for once to take the time and learn to live in my new surroundings. And while Alan, like most men, would have been more than happy to leave it exactly as it was permanently, I spent my time watching how we moved around the space, cooked in the kitchen, relaxed in the living room etc. with a view to the changes we would make.
I took a mental note of how we used it, what fitted in with how we live, what we loved about it, what annoyed me ... but mostly I noted what would make life easier on a day to day basis.
This was the first change, or addition, that I thought was necessary and that we have just implemented.
The worktop on the left hand side of the cooker was crying out to be more cooking friendly. We don't eat many ready meals as we like to cook from scratch, and when you're cooking simple foods it's nice to have your ingredients and cooking implements to hand.
And a bit of space to use them.
So we made this.
Or rather I designed it and got the component parts, and Alan made sure it worked and would fit, taking measurements, cutting, trimming and painting wood.
Yes it's simply a piece of wood cut to size, edged with a nice trim then glued on top of a bought wooden cube, both of which were painted white with spray paint. At the other side ... sitting slightly further back to give maximum preparation room nearer the cooker ... the shelf rests on a simple little drawer unit which cost me £8 from Asda.
It may not seem much but raising some things off the worktop while still being able to utilise ALL the space beneath the shelf will make a world of difference.
The plan is that the toaster will sit underneath the shelf, being pulled out when in use, a jar of something will sit in the open cube and a few more jars of dried goods will be on top of the shelf, providing inspiration for meals and releasing storage space inside the cupboards.
At the moment I'm waiting for the glue to dry so I can't start arranging and rearranging ... there will be time to play very soon though 😀
Thank you 🙂Delete
How sensible of you, Sue, and what a great idea that shelf unit is. When we had our touring caravan (it was a big twin axle one with a large fixed bed) we did a few things to make life easier. We got lots of those cheap plastic open baskets you get in pound shops, in various different sizes, to keep inside drawers and cupboards...they held lots of fiddly things, tins, crockery, toiletries etc, kept it all tidy and stopped it sliding about when on the move (not that you'd have that problem!!). Husband took out the hanging rail from the wardrobe (we didn't really wear clothes that needed hanging up when we were away, it was all t-shirts, shorts and leggings/jeans) and put in several shelves instead, much more useful. He also put up towel rails, hooks and shelves. It's all about making the best use of the available space isn't it - as I'm sure you will too, Sue.ReplyDelete
One thing I did do last year was put up lots of sticky hooks in places we needed them. Even doing that made life so much better, this year it is all about refining things and making improvements inside the Van.Delete
It sounds like you and your husband did exactly the same 🙂
Love this idea!!ReplyDelete
It worked well :-)Delete
It looks like you are having a wonderful time sorting out your new abode Sue. I used to head off to my mum's caravan on my own whenever I could. I loved it and am definitely thinking about and saving up for a tourer.ReplyDelete
It's good fun although a bit tiring setting everything up for the year ahead, but I'm enjoying doggy walks in the rain with Suky every time it gets a bit confusing.Delete
You have plenty of time to enjoy the journey. Enjoy!Delete
That's a great idea, I may borrow it for my small kitchen.ReplyDelete
It is a nice simple, but very effective idea.Delete
Your van looks wonderful Sue - what a good idea you have had in the kitchen. "The Van" looks amazing Sue and you and Alan have made such a good job of the garden and outside space. Hope you will be very happy in your smaller life.ReplyDelete
It's working well. Thank you for your good wishes :-)Delete
What a wonderful use of space! I may have to copy this! i love this for under a microwave!!! Annster's DomainReplyDelete
When you've not got much space you do have to be inventive in how you use it.Delete
I love the fact that, though it's mainly intended to be your space, you and Alan have worked on it together just as you did on your “homestead”.ReplyDelete
It will be fun going from one to the other.
I love the shelf idea. We were like you and spent time assessing how our van worked best for us.
Often at the beginning of the camping season we would question everything before putting it back.
Each item had to earn its keep.
You will have fun.
I really do get what you are doing and think it's brilliant, especially the non conformity.
I'm having a mini rebellion of my own with society's expectations after being in a box for years.
We will always do things together, we bounce off each so well for ideas and capabilities. I've always been a bit non-conformist and a bit of a rebel, if you can't have a last go at freedom in your fifties when can you (in your sixties and seventies of course … you're never too old).Delete
I'm glad you've gotten out of your box too :-)
Sue, I like having cup hooks in the cupboards it freed up shelf space and those corner plastic 3 tier plate stands also made life easy. Making life simple and uncluttered. Looking forward to more photos, loving the extra shelving xxReplyDelete
Funnily enough I was thinking of hooks in the cupboard for the mugs to hang on, and although I used to have one of the corner plastic shelves for plates I gave it to my son. I may get another one or something similar for the crockery cupboard.Delete
I was going to have a complete kitchen re-fit in my house this year but then thought, do I really want to spend several thousand pounds on my kitchen, particularly as I'm now almost 63, retired and may well move to somewhere smaller in less than 10 years? So I decided to do nothing this year, make some notes about what I want in this kitchen and then just have a much cheaper re-tweak of the existing space next year. This shelf idea is brilliant and one I will definitely be adding to my notebook! Thanks so much for sharing. Savannah.ReplyDelete
That sounds like a brilliant plan. The longer you spend gathering ideas that will work for your space the better the end result will be 🙂Delete
Enjoying learning about your van!ReplyDelete
I'm glad you are :-)Delete