Dear Springfields: An Interview with Sarah Smith

These awesome questions come from from Sarah Smith – Sarah’s best friend since high school and a soon-to-be blushing bride.

1. As you’re going through this process.  How have you determined which items will live with you on the bus and which items get sent to storage?
It’s been a mix so far of guesswork and process of elimination because only certain items will fit through the door of the bus, so we realized pretty quick: couches – out, mattresses – out, etc.
As far as smaller things like clothes and kitchen items, we’ve rented a storage pod that is sitting in front of our house right now, so I have the advantage during these last few weeks of being able to pack up things that we don’t think we’ll need, actually put them into storage and then wait and see if we go looking for that item for some reason. It’s been rather handy.
The storage pod will also be on the land with us, so if we play our cards right, we can have some things accessible but not actually taking up room in the bus. It’s a pretty sweet gig.
2. Do you have any advice/insight on living with less?
Not yet, although I wish I did. Although, there are some things though that I’ve already packed up thinking “oh, yeah, I for sure want to keep THIS thing,” but now that it’s gone I find myself bothered by the fact that it’s out there taking up space at all. I think that in our situation it’s more likely that we will be getting rid of stuff when we UNpack it and realize that we saved all this junk that we never really missed or needed anyway.
But, honestly, it’s not like we’re truly downsizing like you see some people do who sell all their stuff to go travel the country and all that. We are preparing to build a home and so all of our choices are based on that and saving as much money as is humanly possible. So if we’re paying $150/mo on storage for a year vs. replacing all of our furniture, I think the storage wins out… it might be kind of a close call though.
3. Any killer organization tips and ideas you plan on implementing in the bus?
Um, yes… I’m sure there will be, but we haven’t really planned all that out yet. We have been so focused on just getting everything cleaned (and that ridiculous wallpaper off the walls) so we can paint and get the floors put in. But I do have a whole Pinterest board devoted to all those sorts of neat tips and tricks that I hope to implement once we get more settled.
4. How do the kids feel about living on the bus? (Maybe you can do a video interview with Lily?)
So far they seem very excited about the IDEA of living in the bus. They hadn’t been able to go in it before everything was sanitized, but yesterday they finally got to go on a little tour and they were thrilled about the second story and seeing where they were going to be sleeping. They got bunk beds right around Christmas time that will have to go into storage when we move, but I think the idea of sleeping in a giant “bunk bus” kind of makes up for that.
I’m pretty sure Finn just cares about being wherever his food supply is.
As for the video interview, we are still discussing what role we want our kids to play in this blog. Because it is such a public platform (even if there are only five people reading other than our moms) and our kids are so young, we’ve found that we’re rather leery of plastering their pictures and images for all to see. It has been suggested that we give Lily an opportunity to write out her thoughts and feelings about it in her own words, or to have a private section for only friends and family to access to see that side of things, so we’re working it out.
Although, I did tweet something cute Lily said yesterday.
5. You mentioned in your video tour that you’re current neighbors will be happy to see you and your bus chaos gone.. how will your new neighbors feel?
I don’t think I can speak for all of them, but from those we’ve spoken with it doesn’t seem that it will be a problem. The area that we’re moving to is semi-rural and pretty eclectic. That’s part of the reason that many people choose to live there is to be able to do things that you wouldn’t necessarily be given the go-ahead for in the city.
Also, the family who owned the land prior to us lived out there in a similar set-up for five years. To top it all off: soon after we bought our land we had the pleasant surprise of discovering that we were going to be living directly across from a family from my church, so if it comes down to a brawl, I’m hoping they’ll have our backs. It would be the Christian thing to do.
6. What kind of gas mileage do you get with that beast?
You know, the only time it’s been driven in the past ten years was when we picked up. It has a bad radiator and it took my dad and Noah 8 hours to get it the 90 miles home because they had to stop off every exit to let it cool down. Suffice to say, they were not paying attention to the mileage at that point. Sorry.
7. Noah seems like he’s all kinds of handy.. will he also be heavily involved in the building of your home?
I’m convinced that Noah can pretty much do anything – he’s pretty amazing. If it weren’t for time constraints (that silly 40-hour work week) I think he would want to build our house single-handedly. As it is, I believe he plans to do all the HVAC work, since that used to be his trade, and whatever else the contractor is comfortable letting him do.
Part of the benefit of having a contractor do the work is that it potentially saves time, thus decreasing the amount of time we will have on the construction portion of our loan and therefore lowering the amount of interest we will have to pay. So these are all things we need to weigh out when it comes to Noah’s participation in the construction.
8. Do you still have enough room for your best friend to come visit?  If so, is there enough room for a dance party?
Of course you can come visit and of course there will be room for dancing – we have roof access!
Would you like to have your questions featured on “Dear Springfields”? If so please click here or email them to sarahandnoah@littlebusontheprairie.com
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