Live in a Mobile Home Comfortably

Edited by Nerissa Avisado, Anonymous, Maria, Eng and 4 others

You must have heard of the Gypsies, those Roman people who used to live in traveling caravans consisting of horse-drawn carriages to deliver shows and entertainment across Europe. History says their way of life and living in traveling caravans was the source of inspiration for the travel trailers that became popular in 1930 through 1950. These in turn gave way to modern mobile homes.

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A modern mobile home has evolved to become more like a home than a trailer van in the recent years. It is still a mobile home in the sense that permanently attached on a chassis and it is legally required to travel and not stay fixed on a property. However, it is bigger so that it can be used as a permanent home, rather than as a temporary accommodation during holidays. It has also grown to have more powerful or stronger fittings to perform its mobile function - axles, wheels, trailer frames and tow-hitches.

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If your plan is to live here permanently to address rising costs of maintaining a regular home, it is possible and many have done that already. There are, however, constraints that you must deal with to be able to live in it comfortably. Among these concerns is the need to move about that poses a problem if you have school-aged kids. If you have a bigger family, a most basic concern would be space.

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Maximizing the Space in a Mobile Home

If you see a mobile home as your best option to survive the economic challenges of the time and not just as a romantic or adventure thing, maybe living in such a home is right for you. First, you must learn some ways to live in a mobile home comfortably.

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  1. 1
    Watch what you buy.
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    With very limited space, clutter is the bane of a comfortable life in a mobile home. Clutter can make the already small space seem much smaller and crowded. Buying stuff has to be consciously controlled, and that starts with the thoughtful buying of stuff.
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    1. Many mobile homeowners give up one item to bring in a new item. This ensures that there will be room for the new stuff.
    2. Before you go shopping, make an inventory of what's there, and then make a list of what you need.
    3. Purge your mobile home regularly to keep it clutter free. There are a lot of homeless people who can find a use for your extras.
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  2. 2
    Hoarding is a big no-no.
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    There are people who are natural hoarders. They buy things that come with freebies or are offered at rock bottom prices in discount stores, even when they have no immediate need for such items.
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    1. Stick to your shopping list. This will not only address hoarding and clutter; it can also save you money.
    2. Do not buy anything simply because of a freebie or a discount. Buy items based on their value and your family's need.
    3. Avoid impulse buying because of promos and coupons. Think twice about buying volumes to avail of special prices and discounts.
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  3. 3
    Be creative with flexible storage space.
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    The key to keeping a small space without clutter is having enough storage space. There are some creative solutions to hide your stuff when not in use.  
    1. Put up provisional divisions - curtains, sliding doors, roll-down shades blinds - to hide the things when idle. This can keep the small space airy and unobstructed.
    2. Utilize well-designed storage in small spaces - under the staircase, under the bed and sofa, kitchen cabinets built right up to the ceiling.
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  4. 4
    Learn and practice organization.
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    You can have fun choosing the right organizers from a vast array of options. Pick the ones that suits your interior and the kind of space you have in there. Here are more organizing ideas:  
    1. For items that need to stay dry, use durable and airtight bins that can stack tidily and transport easily.
    2. To organize clothes, use collapsible organizers to extend the closets. You can also use tension rods and hooks over the door to hang clothes on.
    3. In the kitchen, you can maximize the counter using portable shelves. Install drawer-organizers to keep things out of sight.
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  5. 5
    Be smart and sensible when picking basic furniture.
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    Know what you need and the proper dimensions.  
    1. It is important that the basic furniture you bring in there will fit well in the allocated space.
    2. Choose ones that can perform multiple functions �" a loft or bunk bed that has built-in desks, collapsible tables or dinette sets that come with easy-to-hide stools, furniture with hidden storage, and such.
    3. For shelves, look for those types that can hold organizers, like baskets, drawers and cupboards.
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Decorating Ideas for a Small Mobile Home

Living with limits is something you will need to know and come to terms with if you want to be comfortable in a mobile home. It has its benefits. It is cheaper to run and maintain, and you have world of scenic spaces to move to for a dramatic backdrop - the woods, coasts, along the banks of a river or lake, or in a semi-permanent park. The space may be very limited, but don't let that hinder your creativity.

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  1. 1
    Stick to decorating basics.
    The space is small, but the decorating rules do not change. You need to expand the space or at least try to create that illusion. Make the rooms flow to appear larger. Use the right colors and pick the right accent pieces to make the space come alive.
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  2. 2
    The color sets the mood of your home.
    When painting or splashing colors on your walls, ceiling and roof, be very careful as it can set the mood of your mobile home. If you want it to look spacious, romantic, Zen or Victorian, the paint has a lot to do with it.  
    1. Make an older mobile home more modern by painting the strips of molding in between the dark panels of the wallboard
    2. Don't leave out the ceiling. Give the ceiling a fresh coat of white paint to brighten the mood of the room and make it look fresh and unblemished.
    3. Create an illusion of space. White works best when you want to create the impression of expanse in space-challenged homes. Paints of a lighter shade may similarly achieve that illusion. Beige, cream or off white can even render softness to the tone of the paint.
    4. Paint the walls of the rooms depending on the theme and feel you want to evoke in each room. All you need is to apply a coat of primer and a semi-gloss finish afterwards to give the panel a rich look.
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  3. 3
    How do you want your walls done?
    If you dislike the wall panels that are dead giveaways of a manufactured home and prefer the warmth of a stick-built home, there are two ways to skirt this issue:  
    1. You can opt to take out the strips, smear joint compound, and texturize the entire wall before applying paint. You may even want to use paintable wallpaper to give your walls some character.
    2. You may also decide on painting the walls with a rich-hued paint that will overwhelm the space and make the strips of vinyl disappear into the background.
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  4. 4
    Give the floor a facelift.
    Who wants boring brown carpeting when ceramic, concrete and wood tiles can just light up the area? With the right area rugs, you can make your small mobile home cozy and warm. Throw rugs can uplift its level, but be very careful not to cause clutter.
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  5. 5
    Choose the right cabinets for your mobile home.
    To add lightness in your home, go for lightweight ones that suit your theme in light honey-colored or light oak tones. If you are tight on the budget, just retouch the old cabinets with a fresh a coat of white paint for a neat, chic look. Install new glass instead of the old doors for a touch of class.
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  6. 6
    Go for function and multiplicity of uses.
    To prevent clutter, pick your basic furnishings smartly. If too many small pieces can clutter your home, get less but larger pieces of furniture. Think also of buying furniture that can match your theme and those that have multiple functions. Plain upholstery and light curtains are preferable over printed upholstery and drapes.
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  7. 7
    Spice up the space sparingly.
    Accents are wonderful additions that can give a touch of class to your home. A mounted mirror on any empty wall never fails to create the illusion of space. Old pictures and mounted prints can render warmth and familiarity in a room. Some greens and colorful blooms can add life and the feel of home to a small space.
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Room to Room Decorating Tips and Tricks

  • Soften the look of your kitchen. Don't be stuck in a kitchen with massively built cupboards that is reminiscent of big homes. Make the kitchen light, soft, but functional. Use more glass than wood in the doors, re-stain or paint the cabinets using light colors, and change the hardware with modern, lighter looking knobs.
  • Make bathrooms spacious-looking. Small bathrooms can benefit in embracing a concept that is relaxing and with a monochromatic scheme. This means that the walls, ceiling, floor, furniture and amenities are in the same color, but different hues and tints. White cabinets, bright-colored towels and the right accents can give the bathroom a stylish finished look.
  • Relaxing and roomy bedrooms. Make the bedroom look larger by bringing in stuff that doesn't overwhelm the room. Pick lowered beds to create the illusion of height. Go for the minimalist design concept to free more space.

Questions and Answers

Decorating a mobile home on a tight budget?

What's good with mobile homes is that you have very small spaces which do not really require complicated furniture and accessories. It's best to choose a minimalist design and choose decorations which do not have very pointy or chunky edges as that will make the entire area too crowded. Also, avoid using fluffy curtains. You can also use a lot of recycled materials.

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How to decorate a small trailer so it doesn't look crowded?

Here are the following tips you should do to make your mobile home seem spacious:

  • change the paint- try white, warm reds/greens or simply apply a coat of primer and semi-gloss finish to the panels. Paint the ceiling too.
  • treat the floor- change the dull brown carpet and use wood or tile. Use rugs instead. Do not over-do the rugs.
  • Upholstery and Furnishing- do not put too much stuff. One big furniture is enough than putting a lot of small ones. For upholstery, choose plain colors over prints. Avoid using drapes or heavy curtains on Windows, choose lighter material like blinds to match the color or tint the Windows instead.
  • cabinets-look for cabinets that are lightweight and that will suit the color theme. If you want to keep your old ones, apply a coat or 2 of white paint. You can also change your cabinet doors with frosted or plain glass for a great look. Remove excess cabinets to de-clutter the kitchen as well.
  • bathroom-paint it in a bright color to make it look bigger and paint the cabinets white or faux marble contact paper. Use towels that are deep in color and put a small rug as well.
  • the indoor look- put up a mirror horizontally on any unoccupied wall to create the illusion of a bigger room, put old pictures on walls or put up prints to give a welcoming look. You can also add plants (hanging or on floor)

Avoid using very bulky furniture. Also, get rid of things that you do not really need. Being very organized is crucial as well. If you keep your things cluttered all the time, your entire space will definitely look crowded. Space is better maximized when the things that you use it for are kept accordingly. For example, if you have a bookshelf, keep the books there and avoid having them lounging around on the dining table or sofa, unless you are using them.

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Ways to live in old mobile home?

There are pros and cons to living at a mobile home. The list below will tell you what to expect when you live at a mobile home:

PROS:

  • low cost
  • no shared walls
  • you have a yard
  • you have specific location
  • you can have pets
  • no stratas
  • you own the mobile home
  • Low population density

CONS:

  • investment reasons (not that much)
  • harder to sell
  • mobile park issues (when owner decides to close)
  • renovating a mobile home (especially if yours because it is an old model)
  • the stereotyping
  • no standard size
  • no ownership of land
  • no garage or basement
  • lot rent payment
  • weather issues
  • plumbing

Knowing the list above, you can set your mind to what things you will have to deal with eventually and what things you do not need to worry about. Knowing all of them will make you know how to live and love your mobile home.

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Is there any place that donates carpet or flooring and paint?

Single wide mobile home is there any one in Melbourne FL that donates flooring carpet and paint

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Do you have any ideas for mobile home kitchen designs?

I need a design that will help me organize the tiny kitchen in my mobile kitchen.. I have tried: I have tried buying racks and plastic stacking shelves.. I think it was caused by: A lack of space in my mobile home kitchen seems to be causing clutter.

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Can I buy a land and put a mobile home on it? What do I need to know?

I want to buy a land and put a mobile home on it but not sure If I can do that in the city of Buffalo, NY. What about the plumbing thing? Do I have to contact the city to put in plumbing, utility things? What do I need to know? Please help. Thanks

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Categories : Interior Decorating

Recent edits by: Donna, Alma, Lynn

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