The van is my home now, and with over 100 days on the road, I can say there are some definite ways I’ve turned my vansion into a home. In this extremely unpredictable and unconventional life choice, I’ve found ways to anchor myself and normalize. I’ve never been a big fan of routines or being conventional, but getting into some domestic daily habits has ensured that I’m all the more comfortable in my home on wheels.
Here are a few ways I keep it real wherever I land.
Morning Wash Up:
I brush my teeth, wash my face, change my clothes every morning. Yup, when I roll out of bed, I have a set program. Pee, walk the dog, make my bed and wash up. I do all this before I even think about coffee, breakfast or where to head to from my parking spot. I never thought making my bed every day would be rewarding, but when I get up and tidy up my bed, it makes the van feel more cozy. My bed really rocks, as it always has wherever I’ve lived. I splurged on a nice memory foam pad and pillow top, as well as new sheets and pillows when I got my whip. I strongly recommend a nice bed, however you have your set up. A good night’s sleep ensures a great driving day the next day.
Not having a shower doesn’t mean I have to stink, feel sticky and grow unwanted acne bits everywhere. Most big box stores and drug stores sell all sorts of fancier wipes, organic coconut, grapefruit, refreshing bamboo charcoal and I could go on. I splurge on packs of these and keep my van well stocked. My morning wipe down includes my entire body, as well as dry shampoo or even using some wipes in my hair. After my monkey bath, I change into clean underwear. Sometimes I am not necessarily parked in a spot where I feel totally safe to get full naked for as long as this process takes. On those mornings, I hit the important spots and change faster into fresh new clothes. Showers are findable, especially in truck stops and laundromats. When I do find one, I assure you, I take full advantage and go ham, using multiple scrubs, and my favorite pumice stone on my feet.
Having a dog means having to stop a few more times. Scoob makes sure I get out for some excersize too. We walk quite a bit, and if I can find a sweet park en route, I’ll do that. We don’t have to hike every day, but he’s gotta get out and get his long legs stretched often. Dog’s gotta go out, so he ensures I get a solid AM and afternoon longer walk in. Being out in the fresh air is so good for both of us.
Happy home, happy life.
I definitely think I clean up around here a lot more often. I sweep up the cabin every day, dust, clean the kitchen and make sure the living space is neat, clean and tidy. I hear stories about people complaining about smelly van life. Nope, we aren’t playin that.
In the AM before I take off, I clean my potty, the cat box, sweep and toss trash. None of that stuff is in here longer than 24 hours, unless we are camping further away from people. I still make that clean up and put it all in a garbage back outside the van to keep our home clean. I don’t skimp on cat litter and make sure to use a good quality one.
I also have some natural essential oil sprays I got from one of my favorite shops in Buena Vista, CO. I spritz them to keep the air smelling yummy in here and keep the calm good vibes. I do have some incense and sage, but don’t make a habit of burning stuff in the van too often. I have some yummy candles for nighttime as well.
Staying clean and tidy makes life in the van all the sweeter. It’s worth the effort starting out the day fresh, refreshed and in a clean pair of undies.
Vanlife, it’s not all glamorous vistas. Gotta take care of the whip, get oil changes on time and keep it cozy.