Trailer Pick of the Day – A Few of My Favorite Things

Posted by Rebecca

A burlap throw pillow I am currently coveting, my new favorite shoes, a trailer-stamped parking stub, and a sweet card that I got from my sweet friend, Monica.

Rebecca Knabe


Oven Envy

Posted by Rebecca

A few weeks ago I threw a baby shower in the pink trailer.  I was able to cram 20 women, 3 toddlers and a way-too-big dog in my 450 square foot palace.  All went off virtually without a hitch – it was a little crowded, and my pup stole a muffin from one of the kids and a croissant from one of the ladies, but who’s counting.  It was a brunchy shower, so that meant I needed to bake a few things.  For which I had to buy a cookie sheet. 

How is it possible, you ask, that I did not have a cookie sheet before this party?  Well, I did.  It just didn’t fit in my oven.  So I had to buy a miniature one, typically marketed to smurfs.  You see, my trailer came complete with a built-in barbie-size oven.  And it kinda sucks. 

Other than the insulation situation, the oven is my biggest complaint about my home.  I don’t eat birds anymore, but if I did, I would not be able to cook a large chicken in my kitchen.  It wouldn’t fit. 

In addition to the dinky size, it has some quirks.  It’s a gas oven that requires lighting every time it’s used.  But the tube thingy (that’s what the professionals call it) that brings the gas into the oven corroded and fell apart.  So in order to light the oven I have to slide open the bottom warming drawer and hold the lighter up to the element.  Not a big deal, except the warming drawer doesn’t have knobs, which makes it tricky to open, and when it is being opened it lets out a high-pitched squeak that could shatter glass and bring dogs to tears.  Probably fixable with some WD-40 or something, but I’m afraid to start spraying stuff that may be flammable into that gas chamber for fear of blowing up my house.

Also, when I first got the trailer and we started ripping stuff out and cleaning the place up, the oven racks were put outside in order to be de-greased and de-germed, never to be seen again.  I don’t know if they were stolen, or accidentally taken to the dump.  But do you have any idea how difficult it is to find oven racks that will fit in a Hobbit’s oven?  My aunt was able to find a metal grate that fit the width.  It’s short on depth, but it will do.  And once my uncle bent the prongs that are along the edges, at least the rack sits flat without mimicking a teeter-totter. 

And so I have oven envy.  It does work, and I’m thankful for that.  And it heats the whole place up (kind of like a flame thrower), so on really cold nights it’s nice.  But I miss the days of casually flipping a switch or fitting a pizza in my oven without cutting it in half first.  Sigh.

Well, it’s a good thing I have a normal stove.  I don’t think I could take 2 high maintenance appliances in one kitchen.  I mean, everyone has to pop off the knob and turn off the burner with a wrench, right??  At least tell me you all have to do that.  I don’t think I could handle stove envy too….

Rebecca Knabe


Trailer Pick of the Day – Reno Ablaze

Posted by Rebecca

This has been a very bad fire season in Reno.  And it’s not even fire season. 

In mid-November a fire whisked through a southwest Reno residential community and destroyed 32 homes.  Yesterday a fire sparked in the southernmost area of Reno and engulfed 26 homes.  The fires combined have caused 2 deaths.

Emergency crews and firefighters worked through the night, some working as many as 24 hours straight.  As could only be expected, these disasters have saddened the community, but also give each of us an opportunity to reflect on what is really important, and a reminder to keep those important things (and ones) close to our hearts.

This photo was taken by Tim Dunn, courtesy of the Reno Gazette Journal’s website.

Rebecca Knabe

Fresh Ideas to Make Any Small Space Feel Larger

Posted by Rebecca

Here are 5 ideas to open up your tiny space and give it a fresh new look.  Sometimes even slight changes in a small area can amount to a brand new perspective.  Change is very, very good!

Fresh Ideas to Make Any Small Space Feel Larger

Thanks again, Apartment Therapy.  🙂

Rebecca Knabe

Trailer Pick of the Day – Rustic Sign

Posted by Rebecca

I spotted this sign recently in Reno.  This is quite a famous trailer park, actually.  Well, kinda.  The owners of this park also own the park where James and Tanille found their freebie fixer-upper.

But back to the sign….  I love this sign.  It’s rustic and kitschy and welcoming.  You might not think so, but I do.  And maybe it’s time to look at it in a different light….

Rebecca Knabe

Organize, Organize, Organize

Posted by Rebecca

One of the keys to loving a small space is making the most of your organizational skills.  Or, if you don’t have natural organizational skills, effectively stealing others’ ideas.  And that’s where we come in….

I found a great article today on MSN, by Martine Bury, that has some super ideas to incorporate into your life, whether you are living in 400 or 4,000 square feet:

1.  Be a ruthless curator.

• If you are a collector, visual vignettes are better displayed in odd numbers. And only display the items you truly love, otherwise the special items will get lost in the crowd. (Besides, all those knickknacks require one of my least favorite pastimes – dusting.)

• Keep similar pieces together, rather than scattering them about.

2.  Think like a chef.

• Store your most often-used items at eye level, and keep the rest either above, below, or behind.

• Place small items (such as spices) in a small box or plastic container to keep them together.  And get rid of any spices or condiments that are expired, stale, or flavorless.

• If you have extra wall space in your pantry or on the backside of cupboard doors, consider hanging hooks and a bulletin board for must-remember recipes.

3.  Get down to business.

• Go paperless and manage most of your finances with e-bills and online payments.

• Use a scanner to manage receipts, notes, photos, whatever.  This is a personal goal for me.  I have so many photo albums from my childhood through my early 30’s, until the digital age finally made its way into my life, that much of my closet and storage space is monopolized.  I plan to get a high quality scanner soon to digitally store all my old, beloved photos.  And for extra safety, I will store copies of my photo library in a virtual album like Flickr.

• Do your best to minimize your mail by cancelling unwanted magazine subscriptions, refusing junk mail, and contacting catalog companies to take your name off of mailing lists.

4.  Make a clothes call.  (This is my favorite, and something I try to do at least twice a year!)

• Get rid of unused, ill-fitting items. About this time last year, Tanille, Kara and I made an evening out of it by drinking wine and putting on a fashion show.  I left my sensitivity and they left their tact at the door, and they told me which of my clothes were unflattering, ugly and unfashionable.  Nearly half of my wardrobe was eliminated (who knew I was so unstylish).  But I felt so free and light at the end, and was able to return the favor to Tanille the following weekend. 

• Brighten up the space so you can see your clothes. Even if you don’t have a walk-in closet, you can make sure light adequately hits it from end to end.

• Make sure stacks of folded clothes are neatly separated and less than a foot tall.  Otherwise a recent purchase may get mistakenly shoved to the back, never to be found again.

• If you have ceilings higher than 7 feet (the standard for older trailers), place rods at various heights in order to maximize hanging space. A high bar at about eye level should do the trick for long garments. A lower bar at 42 inches works for shorter things.


5.  Take back the garage.  (Or the shed, or under the trailer, or wherever it is you store you stuff.)

• Much of your garage clutter is likely garbage.  Sort through it and get rid of the unused and unusable junk.

• Choose an organizing system that works for the space, whether it’s purchased shelving units or a custom-built setup.

• Place seasonal items and harmful chemicals and paint supplies on high shelves. Keep toys, gardening tools, and items you regularly need accessible.

• Set a date to complete unfinished projects (like that table you keep meaning to refinish), or discontinue the project and clear it out.  And be realistic.  You can always see if it’s worth it to have someone else finish the project.  Maybe your time is more valuable than your money right now.

You get the idea, but here is the full article.  Hopefully you’ve found something you can incorporate into your home.  I love these tips, and with the chilly/snowy/rainy weather, this is the perfect time of year to get some of these indoor projects done.

Happy organizing!!

Rebecca Knabe



Home Goals for 2012

Posted by Rebecca

For many folks a new year means new goals and a chance to become the best YOU ever; whether it’s swearing off cake and french fries, killing yourself at the gym, or finally, for once and for all, forgetting that your first boyfriend told you your neck was too wide and learning to love your (admittedly wide) neck anyway.

So we eat well for a week or two, we get to the gym a couple of times, and we attempt to awkwardly stretch and contort our necks, convinced that it looks longer and more slender that way.

But what about our home?  Maybe if we turned our focus from ourselves to where we lay our head, we would finally be happy.  Maybe if we had a place that we loved, and was comfortable, and was super stylish and the envy of everyone we know, everything would be perfect.  Or maybe what we really need to do is fix the things that are vital for our happiness for our well-being, and learn to accept the rest.  Besides, whether it’s us or our homes, the “rest” is probably not as bad as we think.

Thanks to Apartment Therapy, here are some great tips on learning to love your home in 2012:

– Prioritize your improvements.  You can’t do everything at once, so figure out what is most important to you.

– Get estimates and dream big for the long-term fixes, in order to make reachable goals. 

– Look for the positives.

– Focus on small and inexpensive improvements to make some impactful changes.

– Ignore the naysayers.

– Don’t compare yourself (or your house/apartment/trailer) to others.

– Don’t apologize for your home not being perfect.

– Remember that slow and steady wins the race – don’t kill yourself trying to get it all done.

– But, wait!  There is no finish line.  (Wouldn’t we be a little bored if our place was totally perfect already?)

Read the full article here, and resolve to find ways to love yourself and your home this year.  Maybe this will be the best year yet!

 Rebecca Knabe