Derick and I have been together for 5 1/2 years now – over 3 of those years were spent living on wheels. So our experience has definitely leveled up. Before we through ourselves at it, we didn’t have a clue what we were doing.
Here’s 5 tips on how we succeed at being traveling carpenters.
Down size – a lot
That’s the first step. Get rid basically all your furniture, some decorations, dishes, clothes, down size basically everything. You won’t believe how much stuff you don’t actually need. Now don’t overwhelm yourself, it can take a while before you get rid of EVERYTHING you don’t need. As you settle into your space you’ll figure out what can stay and what needs to go. As time goes by, you’ll be a pro minimalist if you aren’t already.
* You’ll want/need to maximize your storage and think outside the box when it comes to storing tools *
Master the art of Boon-docking
If you’re going to live on the road and/or move around, you’ll want to know how to find spots to crash over night. Now you can always do the classic Walmart parking but then there’s often truck and rest stops that are usually much more accommodating. Some with access to water and sanitation stations. I’ve found IOverlander app to be quite helpful when crossing Canada also, just driving around or looking at google maps and/or earth, you can find some empty/quiet roads where you often won’t be bothered.
Make yourself at home
Living in a small space can get uncomfortable real quick if you let it. After getting moody and going on the verge of becoming insane I decided to start changing things that made our motorhome feel like -home-. Replace things you don’t like, move things around until it feels right. Add shelves, change/add/remove lights. Get organization baskets. Get some art. Change the curtains. Add ferry lights. What ever makes you feel nice. Feeling good in your home can be a huge game changer on your mood and your make or break on wether tiny home living is for you.
Pro tip – thrift stores have everything to make tiny homes adorable and authentic.
Blogs, vlogs, Facebook pages. Read, watch, learns. About your black,grey and fresh water tanks. Do’s and do nots. What products you need, which ones you can no longer use. Learn to be septic safe. Learn to shower with less then 10 gallons of hot water – be water smart. Be propane smart. Always check your batteries. When sh** hits the fan, google. I swear you’ll find your answer somewhere.
It’s a a lot to process but you’ll eventually thank yourself for being prepared.
Last but not least- finding work
This is a frequent question I get. How do I find work and move around so much – super easy. There’s actually a few ways and it all depends on what you prefer.
Online resources – research job agencies and websites in the area you’d like to move in. Here in Canada; Craigslist, indeed and Kijiji. Facebook pages can be good way a well.
Get specific – look up companies in the area you’d like to live in. From there you can pick those that seem like the best fit for you, call or send an email saying you’re looking for a job. And yes -this actually works really well.
Drive around – especially when working in construction, you just need to find new job sites, drive around on them and stop where there’s work and or find trucks/signs that have company info on them.
Needless to say, this life style can be challenging, like many things, not for anyone. But when it is for you, it’s fun, exciting, educating, life changing. It’s an endless adventure that I highly recommend to anyone who thought of it – to give it a shot.