The contracting life is still pretty new to us, but we are gradually learning the ins and outs of this unique lifestyle. From everything we have seen, the majority of contractors are flying solo. If they have a partner, they usually stay at home, whether it is for lack of desire to join or for career stability.
We are so lucky that not only do we both love being able to constantly move, but that my field is quite mobile and allows me to work in most areas of the country and world. So while our contractor life is perhaps not the norm, we have still had to make a number of adjustments as we moved in to our “contractor crash pad.”
Before we left Bend, we did a serious downsize. Although many people are comfortable renting a moving van, our goal was to get our stuff so streamlined that we would always be able to move everything with just my Subaru Forester and Adam’s Toyota pickup. We still have a good deal of downsizing that we want to do before our next move.
Here is a glimpse at our contractor crash pad. Hopefully we can provide a good example of how items can be reused, repurposed, and utilized to their very best.
Keep in mind that this isn’t an apartment for the lover of design and decor. It is minimal, utilitarian, and made for function.
The Living Room
First up is our command center, i.e. living room. Since we decided not to bring our couch along, we had to find a creative way to utilize our living room space to its full potential. The table that takes up the majority of the room is actually a section of a climbing wall that we built (full DIY to come!) and couldn’t part with. Upon arriving in Denver, we bought two sawhorses from Home Depot to turn it in to a table.
The other sections are leaning against the wall for now, until we have a space where we can hang our wall again. We used these heavy duty boards as a platform for the bed and mattress during the move.
We use our table to work, to eat, and just generally as an all purpose space.
The chairs around the table were actually found in a donation area at our apartment complex! We were on the hunt for chairs and sure enough, there they were, waiting for us. We will likely sell them when we move, as they are a bit bulky to pack up.
The wall of backpacking gear used to hang on the wall of our garage in Bend. Since our backpacking stuff was definitely coming with us, bringing the boards along to hang our items was an easy and mobile storage solution.
The living room is really the only room where we have decor. The two large maps on the wall were found in a vintage shop in Bend and the framed dog pictures on the far wall came all the way back from a flea market Amsterdam with us. The tapestry that you will see on the wall separating the kitchen and living room came back from Ecuador with me a few years ago and is a wonderful way to hide the ugly breaker box. Bringing these few pieces of decor along was a nice and minimal way to bring a little sense of home in to our space.
We downsized a huge amount of kitchen stuff before we left and we are pretty close to having it down to a bare minimum. Essentially we have one set of dishes, glasses, and utensils. We have a Keurig (don’t worry, we use a refillable pod!), a toaster, and a blender, as well as a set of pots and pans.
Even though we both enjoy making and eating food at home, we are definitely not master chefs and didn’t need anything too over the top in our kitchen space.
The bedroom is the area where we still have the most work to do. Despite downsizing our clothes multiple times before we moved both to Bend AND Denver, we are still overflowing out of our closet. Part of the problem is that I previously had a dresser that we got rid of in the move, so everything that had been in the dresser is now homeless.
We have all our shoes, aside from the few everyday pairs, which are in the front coat closet, in slide out Tupperware containers under the bed. This helps keep some level of shoe organization (an area we struggle in) and keeps them out of sight.
Since the living room isn’t really a lounging space, we have the TV in the bedroom. This works out fine, since we normally watch movies or shows right before bed anyway. We moved using all large, reusable Tupperware containers, rather than boxes, and two of those are repurposed as a TV stand for the time being. It may not be beautiful or glamorous, but it does the job!
Though we have a handful of items in the bathroom and closets, that is really the majority of our space! We still have a little ways to go before we are where we want to be in terms of our quantity of stuff, but we are definitely on the right track for seamless moves in the future!