A Little Can Go a Long Way

RV living is a good reminder that a little can go a long way. It often takes a change in living situation to challenge the way you’ve always done things. The way you learned may not be the best, but it feels comfortable. Until it doesn’t.

I’m living in my RV right now. I do this periodically. I’m not an RVer who travels from park to park on weekends or even one who winters in Florida. But I do have an RV community that I call home with friends who live there permanently. Driving cross country to get to this second home presents many opportunities to get buy with less.


Due to a water supply issue, I bathed and washed dishes with only one gallon of water yesterday. I didn’t cook a full meal so there were no pots and pans. But I also didn’t use paper plates. With one gallon of water, I was able to clean my plates, cups, dishes, and coffee press, shampoo and rinse my hair, and take a sponge bath. I wasn’t limited to one gallon, but because of the circumstances I was motivated not to waste and that was all I needed.

One gallon. At my house, I would have used over 20 gallons to accomplish the same tasks. I would also have had an actual shower. That’s a huge difference to enjoy a shower. Is it worth it?

I’m not going to answer that. Each of us must decide on a given day where our priorities lie and make decisions in line with those and our values. My decision may be different than yours. That’s okay. My point is not that waste is inherently, always bad. It is that we can often improve the flow of our lives by examining our daily routine.

I know from watching people work, we often mindlessly perform tasks without first thinking through the process. This means we may never fully hit our stride or do things in the most efficient, effective way.

And even if we think through a process, it’s important to remain open to learning because we may not be able to anticipate the best way to navigate every possibility. Could there be a better way to peel an onion, rinse a plate, seal an envelope, remove a stain, dust the furniture, mop the floor, fix kids’ lunches, search the internet, mow the lawn, move things upstairs, or do the laundry?

There may be a faster, easier, less expensive or labor-intensive way to perform each of your everyday tasks. Added together this can save you significant time, reduce your stress level, and possibly save you money. The thing is, you won’t discover any of this unless you’re willing to approach things differently.

Sometimes it’s hard to get started. Then something changes and a gallon of water is all you have. A gallon of water and endless possibilities. Those can certainly go a long way.