Catching Up & What’s Coming Up – Changes for Addicted To Teaching

May 9, 2023

May is always a hectic time of year for our family as we wrap up our son’s school year and complete state testing, as well as my own since I am a teacher. Even though I teach year round, many students are trying to finish before summer, while several are starting my course for either a summer activity or to play catch up for school before fall.

We are back at our home base this month to accomplish these tasks, some family business, and take care of doctor’s appointments since we will be traveling around until fall. Anytime we are at home base, it seems to be a busy time with seeing everyone and tackling projects while we have all the tools and helping hands.

Last week we added to the mix our nearly 16 year old doxie falling gravely ill from her kidney disease progressing, so we made the difficult decision to put her down while we were home. She is now laid to rest next to her sister, our doxie, Angel, that passed a few years ago, on the family property. It’s been an emotional week, and inspiration to write was even harder to come by.

I also started a YouTube channel for cooking in the RV since we are total foodies on a budget and my allergies are a battle, so that has been taking up time. I’ve only just started posting there, but I would love if you would subscribe to There Is Always Takeout.

Over the years, this blog that has evolved from purely teaching to all things life, which is prompting a change. My husband has a blog and website for our traveling family, so we have decided to join forces and combine blogs.

Over the next several days, we will be exporting blogs from Addicted to Teaching and importing them to Barnes On The Move since writing is more my thing and video is more his. This will allow us to work towards a common goal and share the load. I’d love if you’d take the time to click over to our travel page and subscribe and interact there! We are still going to keep our social media pages as well, so you can follow and interact there (details below).

So, you will see this page fade away from your inbox in the near future, but I will still be posting about Food on YouTube, TikTok & Instagram, and we will post about traveling and family on Facebook, TikTok & Instagram. I’d love if you would take the time to follow along on the new journey, but if you were only here for education, I certainly understand if you won’t be joining us there. I wish you all the best and thank you for your support on this blog over the years!

Like or comment below, and share with others to support the blog. I post weekly about teaching, traveling and family. Until next time, you can find us on Facebook, TikTok & Instagram @barnesonmove or follow our adventures at

Why We Ditched Our Beddy’s

April 25, 2023

If you have watched many YouTubers or started researching RV life, you have probably heard of Beddy’s. If you have not, they are a bedding set that has the bottom section that fits like a fitted sheet and the top zips onto it, similar to a sleeping bag, that has a flip out section for a drop sheet when sleeping.

They are amazingly convenient for making beds, especially in the awkward spaces of an RV. They are also a minimalist’s dream due to their simplicity and ease. Because so many raved about it, we spent the big bucks to purchase them, only to regret it.

The convenience of making the bed was all that the hype said it was. They zip quickly and seamlessly and the bed looks nicely made all day. They are deep pockets, which work great if you have a large mattress or add a topper for extra comfort, or your RV mattress is an odd size. For us, though, that is where the positives ended.

TEMPERATURE They are extremely hot to sleep under–a negative since we only RV in Florida year round. We chose the minky, which is their heavier version, but liked the feel of the material better than cotton. From researching, the cotton is supposed to be lighter and better for warmer climates, but the comforter itself is heavier than I like to sleep with in summer, and since we aren’t always on 50A hookup to run our bedroom AC, it meant we had to have an additional light sheet to sleep under, or kick them off entirely.

WASHING Due to their bulkiness, even if you are lucky enough to have an RV washer, these won’t fit in them. In fact, when we try to use a regular household washer and dryer, we still have to split them into 2 loads per set. Which meant for our 2 beds, we needed 4 loads, or had to go to the laundry mat for the larger washer and dryer. Depending on the laundromat, they wouldn’t always get completely dry, so that meant finding a way to hang them out to dry or spending extra on another dry cycle.

MAKING THE BUNKS RV bunks are an odd size. Even with the elastic fitted bottom section, they were still too big, making the wall side completely unusable. We did get the sheet clips that work like suspenders to attach them from the underside, but this means taking the mattress off the bed and flipping it around every time the bed needs made or torn apart for washing.

While we do love the Beddy’s in terms of comfort and simplicity, they just weren’t a good fit for our RV lifestyle, so have found themselves sealed in a vacuum bag until we have a house again or to pass on to a family member.

Since they are a substantial financial investment, be sure to think about temperatures where you will use them and how you will wash them before making a purchase. In a house where I could do laundry every day, I would absolutely have these, but they just weren’t a good fit for our RV lifestyle, traveling full time in Florida. If they were to come out with a lighter version for warmer climates (more coverlet than comforter), we’d be tempted to give them another try.

Like or comment below, and share with others to support the blog. I post weekly about teaching, traveling and family. Until next time, you can find us on Facebook, TikTok & Instagram @barnesonmove or follow our adventures at

What to Pack – RV Life

April 18, 2023

I’m in several RV life social media groups, so interact with people at all stages of their journey. One of the most frequent questions asked from those just starting out is “what do I need to pack in my RV?”

The answer is simple: whatever you will need in your daily life.

But the process isn’t so simple.

When we live in a sticks and bricks, we have room, and how much everything weighs doesn’t factor in when making decisions.

But in RV life, space and weight are crucial, so must be thought about. Anytime something can serve multiple purposes, it’s a winner. If a lighter option exists on something you use, it may be good to replace it.

It also depends on what size RV and how long you will be in it. Our packing list for our 16 foot travel trailer for a long weekend is quite different from our 39 foot 5th wheel that we now full time in.

Some of typical living spaces may not be in your RV, some may be combined with another space, so be sure to think about that. Sketching out your storage space and listing what you’ll keep where can be very helpful, and save you from purchasing a rig that may not work for you. Keep in mind, just because the space is big enough, doesn’t mean you should fill it!

So let’s run through the spaces of a typical home and RV and what to think about when deciding.

BEDROOM This is a pretty basic list since the bed and clothing storage come built in. You will need bedding, possibly 2 sets so you have a back up if you won’t have quick access to laundry. You’ll need clothing for the seasons and activities you will participate in. Think about where you will be staying and how often you will have access to a laundry facility to decide. Most of us have too many clothes and that is a lot of extra weight, but, since we do laundry weekly, our rule of thumb is 7-10 days worth of clothing items, plus workout gear, swimwear and sleepwear.

BATHROOM This is another area where it can be easy to have too much. You will need your basic toiletries, cosmetics, linens (plus an extra set, depending on laundry routine) for both bathing and swimming, and don’t forget about pets, if they get bathed. We also keep a few extra throw blankets and scatter rugs in here for cooler weather or messy feet.

KITCHEN This is the area most of us overdo things. While there are plenty of gadgets that do one thing really well, there are a surprising amount that can do more than one thing and eliminate utensils or special equipment. It comes down to what is important to you. Most don’t have a dishwasher, so we keep enough cups, plates and bowls for our family of 3 for 1 meal, plus utensils, as well as enough storage containers to serve from and hold leftovers to feed us all a meal–these are our guide. Should we have company, we use paper plates! I love cooking and baking, so we made room for a nesting mixing bowls, a hand mixer, instant pot, coffeepot, and cook with 2 cast iron pans and a boiler, plus we have a Blackstone grill since we have always loved grilling out. A few specialty utensils and our set is complete and has served us well for over a year.

LIVING ROOM/COMMON AREA This area will be used for movies and television watching, reading and board games or electronic games. We have a small cabinet that houses all of our entertainment–so we downsized our games to travel or card decks, and all of our DVDs fit into small books and stack with our small library of favorite books, as well. Our game system is small and compact, so doesn’t take up a lot of room.

We also keep a couple of throw blankets for cooler nights. Since our RV has only a 2 seater loveseat, we added a lightweight beanbag chair for extra seating, in addition to dining chairs, and it has worked perfectly without adding extra weight. We also added an area rug that makes it feel like home an is an added layer of insulation for keeping cool or warm in the RV.

OFFICE We all work from home and love arts and crafts, so we paired down to what we need. A laptop and mouse works well and fits into a small storage bag for travel days or heading to work at a café. We have a small box for stationery, markers, colored pencils, drawing books, coloring books and craft paper, as well as scissors and a ruler. This has proven to be ample to keep us entertained on rainy days, along with our books and games. We also keep extra flashlights and lanterns in here, and our charging cords for our electronics. We used a divided tackle box style that we can coil our cords into and store them when not in use.

GARAGE Our 5th wheel RV has a large garage, so we can hold a lot, just as you would a garage in a home. We store tools and equipment for basic repairs or work and RV hookups. For entertainment, we have our snorkeling gear, inflatable paddleboards, fishing poles and a tackle box, bike helmets, a tote of outdoor toys, and a stroller/trailer for our dogs. We also fit our rug, folding chairs, solo stove and dog fencing for enhancing our outdoor space when location and weather allow. Our bikes don’t fit in here, but they do fit on a bike rack on the back (that we ensured was RV rated!). We also like to hike, so keep a small hiking pack, hiking sticks, thermos’s and a soft lunch box, as well as rain gear and a couple other backpacks.

PORCH/PATIO Most campsites have an outdoor space, so we set ours up with the gear we store in our garage. Some RVs even come with fold out porch/patios, but you’ll still need to store things when it is folded away, but you can still create this outdoor space. We had a hammock when we started out, but it wasn’t quick to set up, so we have since put it in storage.

This will just get you started, and as you learn to make these decisions, you will figure out what works for you. Weight is always a factor, so pay attention to what you have. If you plan to spend more time “boondocking” or “off-grid” (a.k.a. not plugged in and completely self-reliant) then you will want less weight to allow for fresh water, and full black/grey tanks when driving (1 gallon of water is 8lbs so it can add up fast!)

A shake down trip, or a few, will be vital to “test drive” the lifestyle and see what you need. Depending on how often you go and where, it can vary. We are lucky enough to have a home base we stop through every few months, so we can swap things seasonally, but this isn’t an option for everyone.

You may keep stuff you end up not needing, and you may get rid of things you did actually need. It will happen. Often you can replace them, and there are always donation drop offs along your travels to get rid of things you won’t need.

Are there things I forgot to include? Comment below and let me know!

Like or comment below, and share with others to support the blog. I post weekly about teaching, traveling and family. Until next time, you can find us on Facebook, TikTok & Instagram @barnesonmove or follow our adventures at

How Minimalism Helped My Allergies and Asthma

March 21, 2023

I’m an accidental minimalist. In 2001, I was medically discharged from the military because I had asthma induced allergies and was allergic to, well, just about everything. Apparently, traveling to so many new places had jarred my immune system and tipped me over the edge–or that was how a doctor explained to me how a perfectly healthy person could be a disabled vet by 22.

Since my biggest allergies included grass, dust, mold, and fragrances, I had a huge battle trying to figure out how to live. I was on so many medications that my immune system was non-existent and the side effects were awful.

I watched decorating shows all the time and even went to EPCOT’s HGTV guest host talks to do the meet and greets with the stars to pick their brains. Nada. Still awaiting a call back from Genevieve Gorder when she has some ideas…about 10 years ago.

On a boredom Google sesh for how to decorate a home when allergic to the world, I stumbled across minimalism. The Konmari method was a hot trend and grabbed my attention. Sparking joy for me was breathing without reaction. I jumped in full swing to decluttering our overly stuffed home–who knew you didn’t have to keep everything? (My family connected across multi-generations and still lived with many practices learned during the depression–foil and ziplocks, as well as butter and cool whip containers were cleaned for future use).

Turns out the Konmari method wasn’t a success for me in the long run. While those leggings or long johns didn’t spark joy, wearing them in the cold did–and I didn’t have them. And I found I was just storing too much stuff better, but not downsizing enough. But, I started reading other books and following other bloggers and vloggers, and developed my own sense of minimalism that worked for my health and lifestyle, and blended with my family’s pack rat/always prepared nature. (Some of my favorites are Becoming Minimalist, Pick Up Limes, Dawn the Minimal Mom, Natalie Bennett, and Clean My Space).

While there was great resistance at first, eventually, everyone came around. Even my parents purged a lot and loved the freedom they found in it. The deep cleaning needed to keep me from getting sick didn’t take as long and could be done in a very short period of time without having to play tetris moving everything around as we cleaned each area.

Our success with it helped me get off many medications, improve my health, and even find our way into the RV life, affording us even more options for traveling and avoiding allergy triggers, but we are still working on figuring it all out.

While you may not have the health issues I do, minimalism can still be for you–and look totally different based on your needs and your life. So take the first step and start making room for life.

If you are already a minimalist (because, even if you are on the journey, you are one!), I’d love to hear what launched you on your journey!

Like or comment below, and share with others to support the blog. I post weekly about teaching, traveling and family. Until next time, you can find me on Tiktok @sonya.BOMSquadleader or our adventures at, Facebook & TikTok at @BarnesOnMove

My Daily Bucket List That Keeps Me Productive

December 16, 2022

A neatly made bed means I’ve done something today!

On this eve of winter break, my thoughts are turning to New Years and the resolutions and habits I want to change, start or stop. I like to use breaks as a chance to change these habits and establish routines for when I go back to work. One of the things I found is to have a daily bucket list of things that must get done every day, at some point.

This concept came about slowly and I’ve been doing it off and on for awhile, until I finally made it official last year as part of my new year. I have many of these as tasks on a checklist to help me.

Some are things that must get done, some are things I often avoid or don’t have to do daily, but have found it’s much quicker if I do. Some of them are weekly tasks, but I have a spot for them daily and just rotate what I do.

It doesn’t take long to get messy, but a few minutes each day can clear this off and make sure we don’t forget something that needs done.

This daily list includes the basic hygiene things like brushing teeth, taking medicines, getting dressed and brushing my hair. This also includes making my bed. But I also include things like clearing counters, washing the dishes, sweeping the floors, working out, taking the dogs out for walks, taking a nap and daily devotions and prayers. I rotate in other chores like paying bills, mopping, laundry, groceries and meal prep and decluttering that don’t need done daily but do need done regularly.

After awhile, they become automatic and I don’t always need a checklist, but it helps on those mopey days to still feel like I did something.

About a year and a half ago, I started incorporating this into work and created a task list for work items and it has made a huge difference, whether it is a busy or a slow day. I blogged about it in September of 2021, check it out here Using Your Inbox As a Task List to find out more.

It doesn’t matter if you are a teacher, corporate worker, stay at home parent, self-employed, entrepreneur, retired or a college student–routines help us be productive, which sets a positive tone for our lives. Finding a routine, however small, is beneficial. It also leads to productivity and accomplishing all the goals you set out for. Don’t be afraid to do this with children either, since it can help them become independent and take things off of your list. Start small with just one or two things, then check in with yourself once a week or month and see how it’s going and what tweaks you may need to make to improve the process.

I’d love to know more about your goals or resolutions, or trouble areas you struggle with. Like and comment here, of find me on Social Media! I’m on Instagram and TikTok, and you can follow our travel journey on Facebook and TikTok.

Like or comment below, and share with others to support the blog. I post weekly about teaching, traveling and family. Until next time, you can find me on Tiktok @sonya.BOMSquadleader , on Instagram at sonya_barnes_a2t , or our adventures at, Facebook & TikTok at @BarnesOnMove

Our Must Do’s While Traveling

December 7, 2022

Travelers have different approaches to how they plan what they will do on their excursions, however long or short they may be. I used to be a “squeeze it all in” kind of traveler, but found myself both exhausted and broke.

When we set out into the RV life, we heard one of the biggest mistakes was living like you were on vacation and doing the same thing long term, often ending the journey early. We decided we weren’t going to be those people.

We usually try to plan only one or two major things, and we only plan one thing a day. This allows us time to explore and not feel rushed.

But, more importantly, we have a set checklist for every place we go for what we plan to do. Our go-to activities for every stop are:

  • a geocache
  • a local brewery
  • a local restaurant
  • a nature trail, gardens, zoo, or state or national park

With this list in mind, we research online, talk to locals we know in advance or meet on site about what they like to do or recommend. This also saves us money since many of these things can be free or inexpensive with a little research.

We have Zoo passes that get us access to AZA zoos across the country.

In Florida, we have a Bok Tower Gardens membership that has reciprocity with many others as well.

We are working on geocaching in every state. If you don’t know what geocaching is, check it out at and get in on the fun!

We also collect stickers or bar coasters for our wall at every brewery and get to taste so many local flavors. Plus they make a great display on our wall (we do have to put the place and date on them since we are starting to forget where they all were).

We are working on visiting every state park in our home state of Florida, and all the National Parks in the US, although they will take us awhile! We have met some amazing people along the way and discovered things we would never have known about.

What are your go-to’s when traveling? I’d love to hear. Comment below or find me on social media!

Like or comment below, and share with others to support the blog. I post weekly about teaching, traveling and family. Until next time, you can find me on Tiktok @sonya.BOMSquadleader , on Instagram at sonya_barnes_a2t , or our adventures at, Facebook & TikTok at @BarnesOnMove

Dealing with Laundry in RV Life

November 2, 2022

The large capacity machines cost more, but fit a week of clothes for 3 into one machine, and a week of towels and bedclothes into a second machine

I have always hated doing laundry, which is ironic, since I love everything clean–especially clean sheets to sleep on.

I’ll admit, the night before laundry day in basic training was always my favorite since it meant real sleep instead of sleeping at attention so the bed could be made easily in the morning. But I think that is the only time I have looked forward to laundry day.

Fast forward to twenty-something years later, and I dread it. When we lived in our house, everyone had a laundry day, but I still handled the linens, household laundry like blankets and curtains (yay dust allergy!) and my own, as well as the little ones until they got big enough to do their own. I was honestly looking forward to RV life and not having to deal with laundry every day.

In the eight or so months we’ve lived in the RV (and I still can’t believe it’s been that long), we have toyed with turning the half bath into a laundry room, and sacrificing weight elsewhere. But in an RV, it usually means a combo washer/dryer and full hookups are needed. It also means daily laundry since loads are smaller. Or it’s one of those smaller machines and line drying—but more stuff to store away.

Since we move at least once a month, our methods may vary from those who don’t move around or move more frequently.

loading the laundry into the truck

In the long run, we opted to keep the bathroom, and last week we were sure glad when the master toilet broke and parts were nowhere nearby, so we had to wait a week.

That means we go to the laundry mat, or laundry room, if there is one where we are staying. This is super convenient if it isn’t busy and we can get a large capacity machine. We can get a week of laundry done for all 3 of us, plus linens, done in about an hour.

The downside is the price, and the method of payment. It can vary from a dollar or more a load for washing and for drying. Some places take quarters, some credit cards, some require a special card loaded with money that is non-refundable and requires a $5 deposit for the card that you’ll never get back.

We’ve also had machines that we load up, and go to pay (because if you pay before it starts without your clothes) only to find it charged us, but was broken, and the facility doesn’t handle refunds.

the shower is the best place for our laundry basket

This has taught us to research places and we usually opt for someplace outside the RV park. When possible, we will go when we need to do a grocery run and other errands.

Since we only RV in Florida right now, we haven’t been lucky enough to find the ones with parking big enough for the rig to do this chore on a travel day, but we have heard tales of this being a possibility in other areas, and I long for this!

For now, we will keep heading to the local laundry mat each week with our mounds of laundry and finishing quickly, leaving us the rest of the day to ourselves.

And trying to solve the conundrum of where to store the dirty laundry while waiting. I’ve been through four or five different methods. So far, the least invasive is a large basket in the shower that comes out when we need the shower.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get a rig with a laundry chute in the master down to the storage bay and there’s no way to modify that into ours. If that is something important for you, then it may be something you look for when you are RV shopping.

So, how do you laundry in the RV? Better yet, how do you store your dirty laundry in the RV? I need some inspiration!

Like or comment below, and share with others to support the blog. I post weekly about teaching, traveling and family. Until next time, you can find me on Tiktok @sonya.BOMSquadleader , on Instagram at sonya_barnes_a2t or our adventures at, Facebook & TikTok at @BarnesOnMove

Eliminating Micro-Decisions Improved My Daily Life

October 11, 2022

In a 24/7 fast-paced world, it can be a challenge to keep up with all of our demands, let alone slow down. But this was something I had to do for my mental health and for my family since the speed of life was just too fast.

I had ventured into the minimalism movement years ago as a way to help my allergies and get control of our clutter. But I kept hearing some of them mention micro-decisions and it resonated with me deeply.

Everyone is busy these days and, as an educator, I feel like that is quantified with the added responsibility of taking care of so many additional kids. Waking up in the morning and deciding what to wear and eat for myself and my kids, then locating my stuff that gets hauled back and forth was exhausting–not even including if I checked email or social media that morning, before even getting to work. I had decision fatigue by the time I got to work to truly start in on the day.

I started looking for ways to take decisions out of my day and make them in advance. Then I assigned times of day for specific tasks and I got away from multi-tasking in general, to focus on the moment and task at hand. I was amazed how, on the first day, it made an impact and I wasn’t as mentally exhausted. Over time, things got refined or have to change as life changes, but I have maintained this course for year and have noticed better focus, better outcomes, less fatigue and less stress.

So let me share some of the areas I focused on and what I did.

CLOTHING making decisions about what to wear can be overwhelming, so there are two ways to tackle this area. First, create a uniform so that you simply grab items from the categories and they all go together no matter what you grab. When I worked in the classroom, this was a polo shirt and cargo pants, along with a pair of good quality comfortable shoes. If you are fashion-oriented and the idea of a uniform doesn’t appeal to you, hang your clothing up as a full ensemble on one hanger and move them down the rack. I did this for a bit and, when I did laundry, the newly washed/recently worn items got hung up on the left and everything moved down to the right. This allowed me to grab what was next in line and get ready with little thought. And don’t forget jewelry–hang that necklace, bracelet or earrings in the same hanger (use a small bag or I have seen little racks to hang over the hanger.

GROOMING in this category, we simplified our soaps into what we could all agree on and that is all that is in the shower for us all. Likewise for shampoo, conditioner and lotion. I no longer wear make up, but when I did, I had my go to items in a quick grab bag and kept my stuff for special occasions in another location. This method has allowed us to buy in bulk, which also helps the budget.

MEALS Planning and prepping in advance is a huge time saver, and by sticking with a staple for the week allows you to buy in bulk and makes prep easy. If the idea of the same staple all week isn’t appealing, choose two and rotate. We tend to rotate chicken and beef, so it is in bulk and we freeze it so we can set it out that morning, or use the instant pot for prep from frozen. We also can brown a few pounds of ground beef or cook and dice up chicken ahead of time, then just combine that day for the meal. We pulled our favorite recipes from several cookbooks and compiled into one book to grab and plan from if we are feeling stumped. I also plan out a dessert or snacks for the week and can bake those in advance, too. Oh, and don’t forget to plan a leftover night, or portion the leftovers into containers for lunch to make another decision for yourself in advance!

TECHNOLOGY I have heard it said that by the time it is released to the public, the technology is already outdated. Since I live on a budget, we don’t even try to keep up with the latest technology. We buy the newest product for what we need, then keep it until it no longer works. We do this for smart home products, smart watches, phones, tablets, computers and TVs–and even for our vehicles. We keep them updated and cleaned, have them in protective covers as needed, and use them until they no longer work. So when the ad for the new smart phone comes out, I can appreciate it, and move on without it taking up mental clutter–or better yet, skip the ad or go get a snack!

EMAIL/SOCIAL MEDIA These areas are challenging because of their 24/7 accessibility, but there’s a few ways to combat them so they aren’t a distraction. First, turn off alerts on your devices–this will keep you from being drawn in. Next, resist the urge to boredom check–this is a rabbit hole that can be very distracting! If you need a break, go outside and walk around or stand up and stretch or do jumping jacks, drink some water, or call and check on a friend of family member directly. Next, designate times of day or days of the week you will check these and stick to it. If you are able to, put an autoreply on your email telling them you check email every morning and will respond to them at that time. If you are able to, eliminate how many email and social media accounts you have, as well. You can turn off direct messaging on most social media platforms. For email, you can use an auto-forwarding option or use Microsoft Outlook and link all your email accounts into the one so you have only one place to check, write and reply from. If that isn’t an option, create folders and rules and have your incoming mail sort into those, then you can set up a schedule to focus on a person or category.

WORK As a workaholic, this area was challenging for me, especially as a virtual teacher with students and families with highly varied schedules from early birds to night owls, and classes with locked in meet times. I can’t be on all the time and I cannot do all my tasks every single day in the time I have available. By creating a task list and assigning days, I can tackle what needs done that day and then move on to the next. A rule I have put in place is “there are no emergencies in Education” and I stick to it. I use Google Voice for my work communications with students and Teams and email for coworkers, and I check and respond them first thing in the morning and at the end of the day. I may do a midday check, but only respond if it is something I was waiting for or was on my to do list. I also use spreadsheets to download and color code my information to help me focus each day (future blog coming on that-I promise!). When I was in the classroom, I streamlined the supplies I used and would put all like items in one container to come out when needed (a crayon box, scissors, markers, glue sticks, etc. all had their own box and place in the cabinet).

ENTERTAINMENT/HOBBIES As someone who enjoys new experiences, this one was tough, especially when we moved into an RV. But by pairing down what we filled our spare time with, we cut down on clutter and distraction. For our kids, we only allow ONE extracurricular at a time. With school and church already, we want them to learn to do one thing well, and learn how to handle being bored. This has meant delays in doing activities for a season or more, and giving up something that was done to try something new. It also saves on the budget and our schedules, so it doesn’t cut into family dinners and force us into the fast food rut. We love to read, so try to borrow or use audiobooks when we can, or we buy used and donate when done. We have a space for our favorites we will read again. This way we have a quick glance to find something if we have some time to kill.

KITCHEN ITEMS New gadgets always sound great when they promise time saving, but they take up space! We simplified down to one go cup, one coffee cup, one plate, and one bowl each. For cooking and baking I have a nesting mixing bowl set and we have a boiler, frying pan, skillet, cookie sheet, casserole dish, muffin pan, instant pot and a grill–and yes, a stove, microwave and coffeepot. We have basic utensils to cook with–and we can make everything we want!

DECOR We keep this category simple and useful, too. We have enough seating for us plus a guest and enough blankets and pillows for us. I have a few family photos and wall items, a task lamp, and a few other functional items. We don’t have a done of items to clean or repair, and if it doesn’t get used, it doesn’t stay. I do minimal seasonal decor with a throw pillow and an item here or there, but it often gets donated or is consumable so I don’t have a ton to store. What few items I keep are someplace easy to reach and I won’t forget about. Plus, I don’t lose a day or weekend decorating, I can enjoy the season.

CHORES/CLEANING PRODUCTS With less stuff comes less to think about and time to deal with it. We have daily chores to do, but then we do a weekly chore once a week as well. We streamlined our cleaning products to things that serve more than one purpose so we don’t have to sort and search, or carry a lot around.

BUDGET With less stuff, comes less spending, by default. We are able to put our funds into things that are important, or purchase better quality products that last longer. It also means less line items on the budget, which makes bill paying simpler. Most of our bills are on autopay. I have a reward card for our consumables like food and gas that can vary, but I pay them off every pay day, and we have an emergency fund for unexpected expenses and for annual expenses that we put a little extra into savings for. Being conscientious of how we spend has allowed us to cut down to a single income household and live a traveling lifestyle years before we ever thought we would.

I know I didn’t cover every category, and I know these won’t all work for you. But cutting back in any one will help cut down the decisions you make and help streamline your thought process and your productivity.

Like or comment below, and share with others to support the blog. I post weekly about teaching, traveling and family. Until next time, you can find me on Tiktok @sonya.BOMSquadleader or follow our adventures at, Facebook & TikTok at @BarnesOnMove

Back to Normal is Too Busy

September 27, 2022

I have been a busy person since I started working. I have fleeting memories of perpetual boredom in my childhood, but since I started working as a volunteer at 15, I have none.

A few years ago I started teaching virtually and was able to eliminate some tasks, only to fill my time with things that I hadn’t been able to do.

During the early parts of the Covid-19 Pandemic, we finally got to slow down. People were home and easy to reach, so work lightened and family time extended. Life slowed down. There weren’t as many places to have to be or things to do.

As everything has gradually reopened and, this school year, everyone aimed for a fully opened return to “normal”, though, I have realized I am not a fan.

Six months ago, our family sold our home and downsized to living in an RV. No more homestead, pool, large house, multiple vehicles…life should have gotten a lot simpler. But it hasn’t.

Instead, life seems to be moving faster and requiring more. It is as though everyone around us is over-committing in an effort to play catch up, which has spread out our day and makes our work tasks start earlier and end later each day.

I find myself more exhausted and with less time to spend with my family, especially since I have worked in daily walks and reading time into my day for personal fulfillment. And that is with less than 200 square feet of living space and way fewer responsibilities.

It is very difficult to draw a line and not give in to the outrageous demands of the world around us, but I am realizing the importance of it.

If you are like me, let’s commit to ourselves–both present and future–to slow down, live more intentionally and set realistic boundaries. The world will continue on without us if we were to pass on, so I am sure it will if we slow down a bit, an maybe we will inspire others to do the same.

Like or comment below, and share with others to support the blog. I post weekly about teaching, traveling and family. Until next time, you can find me on Tiktok @sonya.BOMSquadleader or our adventures at, Facebook & TikTok at @BarnesOnMove

I Keep Hearing ‘You’re Living My Dream’ – What’s Stopping You?

July 8, 2022

In the few months we’ve been on this journey, I have heard that phrase more than once.

We had dreamed of traveling in an RV full-time, or most-time, for years. We had also dreamed of living elsewhere in Florida, but wasn’t sure where to go, based on weekends and day trips, and wanted to explore more and immerse ourselves in with locals until we found the perfect place. With the housing market booming in Florida and our family dynamic downsizing, it was a perfect time.

We sold our home and most of our belongings, paid off our debts, bought our rig and truck, and established a home base at a family member’s home to live at when we weren’t traveling. I was already a virtual teacher and our son a virtual student, so my husband just finished up work for his small business. I was already blogging here along with teaching, so I just added other aspects to the blog. He began establishing our social media spots and finding how to grow his photography hobby into a business.

In the beginning, it was flattering, since this was something we had dreamed of for so long and were finally getting to do. Now that we have settled into this life, the excitement isn’t quite as strong, but the appeal is still there.

Recently, we went to a campground we had very high hopes for but, alas, it was hot and there weren’t as many families and kids our son’s age to play with, nor were there parks and sites to go and see. After 2 nights, we made the decision to pack up early, cancel our reservation and go on to our next location early. We are nomads, after all. Nothing said we have to stay.

Daily life while traveling is the same as anywhere. There is work that must be done, chores and meals to keep up with, shopping and laundry to contend with. But in a smaller space, they don’t take as long and we are all a part of it, making it more a family event than a chore.

But the off time is when we really notice the joys. Some places we’ve stayed had lots of sites to visit. When we were close to the beach, we went to watch the full moon rise. Walks down by the river or at dusk to see the bats and owls are a favorite at our current location. Our next stop is in Dark Sky Area and on a new moon, so there will be lots of star gazing and using the telescope we’ve given valuable storage space to. Bike rides and campground activities are a fun way to pass the time, as well.

It’s not all smiles and good times. We still have things break, struggles to deal with and doctor’s visits or weather to work around. But because we focus on the value and not the negative, they are small blips.

So, our dream of traveling together, my dream of being a travel writer, and my husband’s dream of being a travel photographer have all morphed into the life we are living now. No, we aren’t traveling the country or the world. Yes, we go slower since we need to give our son a structured life and still maintain friendships and be available to our family. But there is so much to see and do in our home state and we are experiencing things we didn’t even know were here already.

If you have a dream, I encourage you to put pen to paper (or, as we did, a marker to a giant dry erase board we hung up to map and remind us–color coded, of course) and start planning. Then, set check in dates every month to see where you are and if you are on track or if things have changed. This was how we realized we could do this 10 years earlier than expected.

Start with these questions:

  • What do you want to do?
  • What do you need to do to get there?
  • What obstacles are keeping you from it now?
  • What can you start opting out of or saying no to, to help get you there quicker?
  • Can you adapt your dream and live a variation of it now while you transition?
  • How will you take care of life maintenance tasks that can’t be neglected?

Be sure to hold yourself accountable by sharing with someone, journaling, or starting a social media page to share your journey. You may be the next one inspiring someone to reach their goals and hearing that phrase “you’re living my dream!”

Comment below and tell me what your dream is. I’d love to hear and, if you are on social media, share your media and handle so we can follow along your journey!

Like or comment below and share with others to support the blog. I post twice a week about teaching, traveling and family. Until next time, you can find me on Twitter @AddictedtoTeac1 or on Tiktok: @sonya.BOMSquadleader. You can find more about our adventures on our our website at, Facebook, TikTok & Twitter: @BarnesOnMove . Support us and get more in depth and personal interactions at Patreon: Barnes On Move

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