Keeping Your House Clean
Keeping your house clean is really important for us, especially when our house is an 80-square-foot van. We especially don’t like to live in a mess, which is why cleaning is now part of our daily life. Of course, as our living space is small, we don’t usually take so much time- but it’s really good to do it every day.
Here we’ll share some of our tips and things you might need in order to live in a nice and clean van.
We have a double stove gas inside our Westfalia and we use it by cooking every day. Pot, pan, dishes and kitchenware. It’s really important to clean them (sometimes just after lunch or dinner) in order to have more space later for working or sleeping, and especially not having unpleasant smells surrounding you. We usually wash them directly in the sink, but foldable sinks are a really useful item if you prefer to wash them outside.
After cleaning the dishes, it’s also good to clean the stove of food residuals or coffee spills, so it’s already clean for the next use. It’s better to do small cleanings daily, rather than a long one a week. To do this you only need 2 small cleansers: one for the dishes (now on the market you can find bio-degradable ones that won’t affect the planet) and a main cleaner for the stove (for taking our grease and such).
We don’t usually cook things with so much grease and oil, but if you like that, then you should warm up some water in order to clean stuff, since it’ll be easier to deal with than cold water.
Also keep an eye on the roof above the kitchen, which needs to be cleaned from time to time. The steam and such goes up and becomes a bit dirty and sticky. It’s an easy operation, but then the van will look really pretty and clean. Easy peasy. Grin.
We have just behind the driver’s seat a plastic garbage container where we can put plastic bags. You’ll need one for sure, if you don’t want things and garbage to go around your van. I can say, we produce a plastic bag every day and a half. Unfortunately our van is too small to keep garbage separately, so our option is to put all together.
Pity, no? When the garbage is full we dump it in a big garbage container and start with a new one.
Inside the Van
We have a small broom and a dustpan that we use daily, in order to clean the floor. It depends on the weather and the location, but wow can our floor get so dirty. For example, when we parked for a week just near the Sahara Desert, we had to clean so often as a lot of sand gets in every time we walked in and out (and probably some sand is still there!).
It’s an easy job that requires 5 minutes or even less of your time, and then allows you to take off your shoes and be comfy in the van with a clean floor. You should also keep a rag for rainy days, when the floor gets wet or even if you spill some water on it.
Don’t forget, from time to time, on sunny days, it’ll be good to clean the spaces you don’t see, like the rear of the van and under the back seat. You need to move the stuff you have in the back and get it clean. Mold is an issue. You can do it in an ‘automatic cleaning ‘spot with a vacuum cleaner, to get a real spot-on job for just a few Euros.
Lastly, you should keep an eye on your storage space and what you put inside. It’ll depend on the weather. These spaces can get filled with black mold that could attach to your stuff inside. It’s good when you have the time and great weather outside to take things out- and to air them a bit- and clean the storage. Put your stuff in well-sealed plastic bags and arrange them inside the storage. We usually keep stuff that we don’t use so often in there, but it’s still important.
You might also want to keep clean the two front seats, since it’s really important to be able to drive in comfort and without things flying around, You can use an automatic clean place/vacuum cleaner because many vans have carpeted floors.
Outside the Van
The outside needs to be cleaned, you don’t want to get attention for a having a dirty van, and it’s better for you considering the place you choose to park. This is a pretty easy situation, either by choosing to clean yourself or going to a professional place.
Keep your van clean and nobody will hassle you for anything. Keep your windows clean, so you’ll be able to see outside the beautiful landscape you can find on your journey (and taking nice pictures as well). Ha.
Depending on where we travel and how much we travel, we do a main van clean up at least twice a year. That means we take everything (and I mean really everything out) from the van and we start from top to bottom.
It’s important to do this operation (that sometimes takes us several hours) in order to find uncleaned spots and most of all, to get rid of stuff you don’t need any more in your travels.
Living in a van- fulltime- means keeping things to a certain, minimal amount, since we really don’t have that much space. We are used to giving away stuff we don’t need any more, or trading them with people on the road.
For example, in Morocco, we traded an old GPS and a backpack for a beautiful handmade carpet. In Spain, I gave Furgoneteo a nice hat that was given to me two years ago in Norway- from Paul, a Lithuanian friend.
It’s nice to see objects continue their individual journeys and start a new life. And sometimes cleaning out your house- your van- is a new journey.