Finding Room for Hobbies

Finding Room for Hobbies

Steve and I are big believers in living healthy balanced lives. We eat well, exercise on a regular basis, prioritize our sleep,  and try to maintain healthy habits. While all of these things are important there is one area in our lives that we prioritize and that doesn’t get the same hype of mainstream media attention. Our hobbies. Steve is an avid photographer (as witnessed by and his Etsy page). Meanwhile I spread my leisure focus on a few areas: knitting, reading, and cooking. Why are these hobbies important?


Steve doing what he loves!

Reasons why hobbies are important

  1. Self Expression and Creativity. Hobbies give us the chance to be creative and think outside the box, as it were. Too often in our everyday lives we are on autopilot and pigeonholed into a certain way of thinking and doing. Having hobbies can force us outside that rigid domain and help us think creatively and openly, both in the sphere of the hobby itself but also in the outside world. In fact studies have shown that people who have hobbies often perform better at work because of their creative outlet. Once we stop working at the end of the year our hobbies will be some of our main focuses and hopefully we’ll grow to be even more creative.
  2. Flow. It’s becoming more and more apparent to both psychologists and the world in general that there is a creative state of flow which has been described as the most productive and creative state of mind in which to work. Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Ph.D. gave a TED talk in 2004 explaining the flow state, why it increases our happiness, and how to enter into it. It’s a interesting video! The main take aways are that to enter a flow state you need a challenge where you fully engross yourself but in a calm and happy manner. Sound like a hobby to anyone else?
  3. Relaxation. Hobbies should be challenging but they should also relax us (some of them more than others). Whether it’s relaxation after the fact or during, a hobby provides a way for us to focus on something enjoyable and let go of the stresses of life.
  4. Learning about ourselves and the outside world. As I discussed earlier this month I never want to stop learning new things. Hobbies give us the opportunity to continually learn and expand our horizons/skill sets.

Moving into a 200 sqft space we needed to deal with where the necessities of our hobbies were going to live. Now our hobbies don’t require lots of large equipment (thankfully) but we do have quite a bit we need to store and use. So I’m going to show you our current storage solutions for our hobby supplies (I’m going to skip cooking in this article since there will be plenty of future articles about the kitchen organization).

Photography Hobby Storage

Steve has 3 main areas where the majority of his photography equipment lives. His camera and lenses need to be in a location where they can be accessed quickly (though not on the dinette table where he originally was leaving them). So we set him up with a portion of one of our upper cabinets in the main room of the Airstream. Easy access!


We’ve decided to keep his tripod for the time being and it is a beast. Luckily it fits laying down under the bed. Not easy access but he doesn’t use it very often so that should be okay. If it ends up staying there and never getting used we will most likely sell it at some point.pic-5

Meanwhile the rest of his photography equipment lives in his photography backpack in our closet. It’s easy enough for him to get to things like his monopod, camera holster, or spare batteries this way.


Our library

Our library

I used to own many many many books. I am a chronic re-reader and can read some of my favorite books multiple times a year. I also constantly have library books and books I’ve borrowed from friends and family. So moving into the Airstream was going to be a challenge. What we decided was to keep our favorite few books and any books currently from the library or friends in the other side of the cabinet where we store Steve’s camera. This keeps me limited on the books I procure but gives enough space to keep important ones. To remedy the space issue I have a kindle which I now use to borrow whatever I can from the library. We also subscribe to kindle deals on amazon and try to buy things that we know we will read when they are discounted. Eventually when we hit the road and I have a lot more time to read we may sign up for Kindle Unlimited so I have an endless supply. I can read pretty quickly so we’re thinking it might be useful then!

The Stash: Yarn and Knitting Storage

Do you know a knitter? If so, then next section will come as no surprise. If not, then take my word for it that knitters LOVE collecting yarn. We call it our stash and it can grow to epic proportions. In our home our office closet was half office supplies, half yarn and knitting supplies. Now while I downsized my stash quite a bit, I plan to knit A LOT here in the Airstream including writing some patterns of my own. So we needed to find a solution to how to properly store all the yarn. I think what we came up with is genius! Take a look at the video below and let me know what you think!


So that’s our current setup for our hobbies. Everything has its place and everything we need is as accessible as we think we need it to be. Time will tell how we’ve done.

What hobbies do you enjoy? Has storage been an issue for you? Could you do your hobby in a 200 sqft space?

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  • Jack on April 21, 2016

    What about playing the piano (she) and the cello (me)? 🙂

    Well I guess that with a bit of compromise (ex: keyboard) it would still be possible. Could have been worse, she could have played the tuba and I the double-bass. It is a real concern, because we’d like to travel for several months in an RV a few years from now and ideally we could practice our instruments.

    • Courtney on April 21, 2016

      Hey Jack

      Yeah your hobbies will be a little more challenging to store then ours. Can’t stuff the cello down the back of the couch 😉 But I’m sure you’ll find a way. The keyboard is a great idea! I have my guitar in it’s case stashed against the wall in the bedroom which is working well so far. From what I’ve seen of RVers with a little creativity you can make anything work (and with you both being creative musical people I have no doubts!).

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