*COUGH COUGH COUGH COUGH COUGH*
Oh, wait, not THAT kind of hack! What we mean by 'HACKS' are a 'cheap cheats or inexpensive remedies'; utilizing objects that are meant for other intended purposes. We've come up with some of our own ideas as well as sharing some others'. Our purpose of this blog piece is to help new (and seasoned) RVers and Campers by offering ideas to make their lifestyle easier on a dime (or less!). Please note, all but one of these photos are OURS; these are hacks we actually use OR have come up with.
So, here we go...
1) SILICA GEL PACKETS - You see these everywhere it seems. They are annoying yet genius in the same sentence. They come in almost anything that's packed in a box for shipping or packaging; new small appliances, electronics, etc. They have a purpose though; to keep moisture away. Just to name a few places where we put these little packets...cookware drawer, cutting board storage, herbs/spice containers, culinary seed storage, dry pet food containers, camera bag, cutlery and silverware drawers, handbags, luggage and totes, tea box, battery storage containers, razor storage, clothes and shoe storage, closets, tool boxes, fishing tackle boxes, gym bags, and more! Just throw them in where you don't want moisture! Though we've never tried it, we've read if your phone gets wet, throw a few packets into a zip-top bag with the phone and zip it tight for a few days.
DO NOT OPEN PACKETS! Keep out of reach of children and pets.
2) CORD WRAPS - We call them 'cord bendies'. We've seen these in stores that are sold 'as' a hardware/home item. However, we found them in the Dollar Tree in the hair care section for a just a buck a pack! When they wear out, just toss and buy a new pack because they're so inexpensive. They have a foam outer with wire inside. Wrap them around electrical cords, electronic cords, twisty tie for plastic bags, etc. They come 5-10 per bag in different gauges and lengths; although at the Dollar Tree, you might be limited.
3) TENSION CURTAIN RODS - Camping and RV stores sell these but they are pretty pricey. However, just go to your dollar or big box store and look in the curtain rod section. We install these in our cabinets and refrigerator on moving days; they can extend according to the lengths you need and have grippy rubber ends. Nothing like preventing a jar of salsa or a quart of milk flying out the door when you open the fridge, or opening a cabinet and getting hit in the face with whatever may be in there.
4) OUTDOOR PAPER TOWEL HOLDER - We can't take credit for this hack. We saw it on Pinterest but nonetheless, immediately started using it because its so cool! What are they? Simple garden flag holders. They have two prongs that stick in the ground near the picnic table or just outside your basement/storage compartments.
5) CRAFT STORAGE BOX - We have a bunch of these for storage purposes. We already had them from Lisa's former craft studio but you can find them in the crafting department of big box stores or in the beading or crafting section of your favorite craft or hobby store. We store everything from batteries, Command Strips and hooks, small hardware pieces, etc. We use our label maker to identify the contents on the ends and stack them in a cabinet.
6) GRIPPY RUBBER SHELF LINER - This is one of our favorites. We have these EVERYWHERE, though most of you can't even see. We cut small squares and put them between dishes, inside pots and pans to protect the cooking surface while in transit, in cabinets so things don't shift or slide around, under our Keurig, under DVD players and electronics inside cabinets, and underneath small indoor mats and rugs. We cut them the same shape as lamp or canister bottoms so they don't slide around on the counters. We even cut a small square to use for opening new jars of pickles. They also are great for putting under Krissie and Kandi's pet bed so it doesn't slide off the furniture when they jump up and down from it.
7) FIRST AID/COSMETIC PLASTIC DRAWER ORGANIZERS - We love these! We already had these from our former S&B house so we just brought them with us. They are lightweight and can be stacked; they have little feet that nestles them together. We have a few sets under the sink in the water closet/commode room that has all of our first aid supplies and one in the Captain's Cabin that has all of Lisa's cosmetics, nail care, travel size toiletries, etc. We put the above rubber shelf liner under them so they don't slide during travel. We use an expandable curtain rod 'vertically' to keep the drawers from opening while in transit.
8) CABINET HANDLED BASKETS - We admit, being prior military, we are so organized we are borderline compulsive. The first time we transitted, we opened a cabinet and had a bunch of stuff fall on our faces. We remedied that by buying tons of baskets. Lisa took measurements of each cabinet, stored them in her phone and carried a small sewing tape measure to have when she's shopping. We like baskets with handles for easy grabbing. If we need something out of the cabinet, we simply grab the whole basket without having to rifle through the cabinet. Nothing gets 'pushed in the back'. We use them in almost every cabinet in our Landmark; in the pantry we store chip bags and cracker boxes. In the living area, we store maps, books and guides, motorcycle wear and gear, office supplies, small gifts and souvenirs, and in the bedroom, we have them in our clothes closet that store ball caps, scarves, medical supplies, sandals, rolled t-shirts, etc. We found most of our baskets at Ross's Stores in graduated sizes; keeping them the same style for a cleaner and nicer appearance that we can show off when opening our cabinets.
9) CLEAR PLASTIC STORAGE BINS - When Lisa saw these in a Ross Store, she bought out the whole store because she knew she'd use them. We store our jars and small things in the refrigerator. In the food pantry, we store gravy and soup packets, dip mixes, small box items, oatmeal and hot cocoa packets and other small items. They keep everything orderly and easy to see the contents. We also keep our plastic food storage containers nicely arranged in one and easily grabbed from a high shelf. We've seen them in big box stores and home stores for double, even triple the price we found them at Ross's.
(Note: if you see something in Ross, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Home Goods, etc. buy it immediately as their stock is not regular.)
10) CLEAR LUCITE LAZY SUSAN - We had all of our small medicinal and prescription bottles on one of those tiered shelves in the medicine cabinet. After our first transit, Lisa opened the cabinet only to mutter words my mother shouldn't hear. Everything fell out into the sink and at her feet. She was miffed and set out to find a remedy that kept everything intact and not to have to rearrange everything every time we move. She found these at Bed, Bath & Beyond. Though pricey, they work beautifully and are worth their weight in gold.