I adore systems. Ever since I was a small child I can remember having systems for doing things in my life. I had many stuffed animals that I loved and they were all lined up in my bed at night in order of importance. I think that was probably the beginning of my systemic way of managing my life.
The next big change in my life that necessitated a system was when my first husband and I lived on our three sailboats in San Diego in the early ’70’s. As they were all small spaces, there had to be a system for managing where to put things, otherwise it would be utter chaos. It was before the now-popular plastic containers of all sizes showed up, so I used cardboard boxes that I labelled to store things, and then I wrote a list of what was in each box. I also used soft duffle bags to keep our clothes in, and labelled them as well.
Fast-forward to the current situation of living on a motorhome full time (until we get our next boat of course!)—I am in the continual process of systemising all we have aboard. I have found it to be much like trimming the sails on a sailboat–there is always room for fine-tuning everything, and it seems like every day I learn a better way or system for making our life easier and more effective. I know this will continue for as long as we are on the move, which, one way or the other will be forever.
I love getting better and more streamlined at finding the systems that work for both of us. When Paul first moved off of James and hauled everything he owned onto the Hymer, along with the stuff that was mine and still on the boat, he repeatedly told me it was so full nothing much else would fit aboard.
When I first saw the motorhome I believed him, but we did somehow manage to stuff the remainder of my belongings onboard. Once we dragged everything out and began to go through it all, we were able to organise a lot better and each time I go through a new cabinet I come up with better ways to manage all we do have. And now that we have a growing pile of give-always we need to find a suitable thrift shop to give them a new home.
Here’s our latest system—I started a checklist of all the things we need to do, beginning at the front of the motorhome and ending with checks on the things outside. We go through this checklist every time before we set off, and it really does make a positive difference and gets us off to a good start for the days’ journey ahead.
To end—without a systematic way of managing everything we own, our life would be chaotic, and that is the last thing either of us want or need. There is a great blog entitled “The Minimalist” that I have been reading for quite some time, and I find it incredibly valuable for helping educate me on further ways to make our life easier. You might want to check it out, and let us know what you think!