Squeezing a big traveling family (+ a big dog with her own paraphernalia) into less than 280 square feet is a challenge and requires thought as to storage. So I was utterly thrilled when Everette got the main shelving done under the upper bunk this week. Check out our skoolie closet space & shelving…
This is the main storage area inside of our skoolie besides the less-accessible spot underneath the master bed. I’m planning on this unit (underneath of Maret’s bunk) to eventually be more artistic with funky wooden boxes or crates along the hallway. The left side of it will be viewable at all times from the kitchen and part of the living room, along with direct exposure from the emergency door. The right side won’t be visible when the curtain for the hallway is drawn.
The bottom one is tall enough to hold our medium size Rubbermaid boxes along the outside wall of the bus; the middle shelf will hold our smaller ones. We’ve been traveling with these boxes for a decade as they stacked decently in the back of our van. I say ‘decently’ since the sides are tapered. That means there is wasted space when you try and butt them up against each other (vs a tight fit with straight sides). The handles are great for gripping to carry, but can get snagged or hooked up on each other in tight quarters. Anyways, they were money well spent way back…other than the fact they are plastic. I’d prefer life without plastic but I haven’t as yet found an acceptable and durable replacement.
So the two bottom shelves were built with specific heights in mind. The top shelf was whatever height was left over 🙂 I just wanted largest-to-smallest from the floor up…and my man did it for me. (I’m so blessed to have a talented and willing partner! Thanks, Everette.)
The Rubbermaids fit at the back of the shelf so we can have a box (or boxes) up to 12″ deep to line the front of the shelf for an appealing look. That’s the idea, anyways.
Currently we’re using what containers we already have on hand to organize, and I’m trying to declutter as I go along. Decluttering is a never-ending job. There’s always things we pick up or are given that we no longer need, or its past its prime, or its broken. That’s not the kind of energy we want lingering around us so we need to move it on out!
We have 2 laundry hampers of the same size which fit perfectly under Maret’s bunk at the end of our shelving unit so Everette put in a gable end to keep them snug. The hampers sit atop a shelf where we can store our laundry detergent (we travel with powders as they are easier to clean up after if there is any issue) and our extra laundry bag if we need it for hauling. Everything is stored in this one small space. This may or may not get a door, I’m not sure. It is in our hallway between all the bunk beds. This space also acts as our change room. Having the hampers central just made a lot of sense.
We don’t have a lot of long clothes to hang but the ones we do have I wanted a space to hang them. And so beside the main shelving unit is our family closet with a shelf on top…a perfect spot for hats, including Everette’s cowboy hat!
Framed in the Fridges
We bought two fridges. Apartment size fridges because a regular size wouldn’t fit through any of the doors. They were also too tall. With our big family who eats a lot of produce we know from experience that we like to have large space designated for the fridges; more so than laundry facilities!
We haven’t even started working on our backup energy system so we currently aren’t using the fridges. We can only use them when we are parked somewhere’s to plug in. But we bought them so we could get real specific with measurements for the things built around the fridges, and fitting things in tickety-boo. It’s all kind of like putting a puzzle together. You want a tight fit with no gaps, and working in one section often requires pre-work in another section.
We decided to lift the fridges up to sit on top of shelves, putting them at a more comfortable height to access. We couldn’t go too high with them because of the curved ceiling. When working with a bus conversion you’ll quickly learn that nothing is straight or level. So you’re always having to take into consideration sloping walls, curved ceilings, & warped metal.
Sorry, no pictures. Because frankly, we’ve got no kitchen!
That might surprise a lot of people. That this big family doesn’t have the kitchen as a priority.
Frankly we eat tons of salads and smoothies, and cook using the slow cooker, toaster oven and bbq. To start with all we really need is some flat surface for chopping things, and a place to keep the small appliances. We currently are using a cabin for our food prep while we’re converting the bus. But once we hit the road we envision preparing our meals mostly outside…much like we’ve done for years when living in rooftop tents and ground tents.
Besides, Everette and I have an idea we want for the kitchen, but haven’t funnelled the funds into that quite yet. But when we do we’ll let you see.
Well, that’s it for this week’s tour of Our Argo. Everette’s been doing a lot of cutting, staining and building this week, in addition to him doing all the support-work for the kids in sailing camp. I wonder what Our Argo is going to look like by next Sunday! Every week I’m amazed at all the work my creative husband has done. Aren’t you?
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