Home & Garden

Where do you put all the stuff?

Space inside our mini fridge is tight.
Space inside our mini fridge is tight. Submitted

A year ago my family of four took the plunge and purchased an old school bus to turn into a home. Our goals were simple: escape apartment living, have a place to call our own, and travel.

Currently the bus is livable but there is still work to be done in order to get it ready for traveling.

The main question we get asked is, “Where do you put everything?”

When we first decided to go tiny we thought, “no problem!” However, downsizing has proven to be a little more difficult than we first thought.

Currently our biggest challenge is grocery shopping. If you buy a basket full of stuff that needs to be put in the fridge and you own a mini fridge, you can bet dollars to donuts that you’re going to be stacking things on top of each other, shoving lettuce in the back corner, and cramming your crisper drawer to the brim.

No matter how little I buy at the local grocery store I always buy too much.

The other issue I’ve been running into is tiny grocery items cost more than regular-sized items. Example: we wanted to cook hot dogs and needed ketchup. Our refrigerator real estate is valuable so we can’t waste space on a big bottle. I went to purchase a little squeeze bottle and found that a small bottle of ketchup was $1.99 compared to $1.69 for a large bottle. Twice as much ketchup for 30 cents less? I don’t even know how this makes sense. My brain can’t compute.

This need for more space has seeped into other areas of our lives as well. The children’s toys have a tendency to multiply if left unattended. This has lead to another redesign of our bus. Fourth time’s the charm, right?

Since we’ve used much of our horizontal space, it’s time for us to start thinking vertically. Our next goal is to remove our half wall and move our “garage” (which was in the space behind the half wall) under our bed. The plan is to move our bed to the back door, and build a shelf on the back wall above the bed. We will also build shelves above the windows for the kids’ things.

This plan sounds all well and good but as past experiences have taught me, things rarely go as planned.

Next time on Redefining The American Dream: Will we finally have enough space? Will the children’s toys get out of hand? Will we find condiment solutions? All this and more. Same bus time, same bus column.

Steve Dassatti is a husband, father, film school graduate and now bus renovator. Despite his best efforts he has not lost his mind, or an appendage, yet. Follow his journey on Instagram @dassattishares.