Trailer Trashtastic

on a mission to live in & love our mobile home

My Trailer’s Not Trashy

with 25 comments

Welcome to my family’s home.

Yes, that is a single wide trailer.

We live in a rural area, and out here, there are no such things as apartment communities. We are surrounded by large plots of family land (that would be other people’s families), so houses for rent are very few and far between. This is an old farming community; many families reside on acreage that has been broken up as time has worn on and fewer people farm to make a living.

I grew up in the suburbs of a large city in a brick house. Moving into a trailer required some negotiation on my part. It’s clean and pretty- much more spacious than many apartments I’ve lived in. We have a nice yard.

I don’t share walls with strangers and never have to tell my children to soften their footsteps with worries of complaints from neighbors living below. My bathroom is huge, none of the windows are painted shut, and thank goodness there were hook ups for the washer/dryer. But, let’s be honest here: attached to living in a trailer there is a stigma. A stereotype. Sometimes it can be pretty accurate.

And I spent my childhood watching The Wizard of Oz. Storm Chasers, anyone? Have you ever seen what a tornado does to a mobile home? I’m pretty sure there is no yellow brick road at the end of that mess.

After searching, and driving, and investigating a ridiculous number of rental ads, moving into this trailer was decided upon. It is a decision I don’t regret. We love our home. It is cozy and quaint. We have enough space to move around, each of the four of us claiming our own little corners, and we have a nice common area to play a board game or share a meal.

Living in a trailer presents a certain set of logistical problems… problems that I have yet to find information lending itself to solve. There are a bazillion websites, magazines, and even entire stores dedicated to solving the issues of residing in small spaces. There are resources like Apartment Therapy and stores like Ikea that are devoted to the challenges of contained living. The spatial suggestions are helpful- every now and again I’ll find an idea that works. But I have yet to find anyone willing to admit they need help with things like this:

Why oh why would you permanantly paper the walls with THIS?

Or this:

Mmmmmm engraved particle board with very ugly handles!

And then there’s this:

Nail holes from every other previous tenant litter the walls and can’t be patched because of the fugly wallpaper.

Apparently mobile home decorators are very limited, because most of them embrace this bizarre mauve/country theme. Ours is complete with cornflower blue moulding.

I don’t think that we should have to sacrifice self or style just because our home is “mobile”.

And I got to thinking that we can’t be the only young family living in a rented mobile home that wishes our space was a little more reflective of who we are and what we love.

I can’t be the only one that cares, can I?

I’m going with no. But a quick internet search of decorating mobile homes yields approximately two articles that repeat themselves over and over via various links and forms. There are photos of a double wide mobile home that made it into several decorator magazines, and another woman that writes about half a paragraph on the interior of mobile homes, including exactly none photos.

Add to all of this the fact that Chad (my sweetheart) and I have a common goal: buy some land and build on it. And while building we will need a place to live. That temporary home will most likely be a mobile home (unless Chad builds us a treehouse first, or we sleep in the car). Which means that the problems we have here are going to follow us there. In fact this will probably be going on for quite awhile.

Here is where we will post our trailer trashtastic solutions and hopelessly solicit yours. Do you live in a mobile home?

Have you tackled weird wall seams or splackled flimsy wall board or had success covering horrendous wallpaper?

Is your shower impossibly small?

Do you have bizarre bundles of grass engraved into your cupboards?

We want to hear from you!


Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

March 26, 2012 at 2:53 pm

25 Responses

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  1. […] Cast and CrewMy Trailer’s Not Trashy […]

  2. […] I would love it if you would take a minute to click the links, stop by and meet The Cast and Crew, or learn about why My Trailer’s Not Trashy. […]

  3. Heather, you and Chad are so smart to pay as little as possible on rent while working toward purchasing! You live in a gorgeous area with perfect open run around acreage for your boys. Of course I have empathy for the decor, ahhhh, remember my blue cabinets?! Looking forward to seeing the creative side of you 🙂


    April 14, 2012 at 6:00 am

    • Your blue cabinets were super special, Sandra 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to stop here and visit me— gold badge for being my first follower!!! We have a goal- we’re working toward it, and in the spirit of staying positive about things I decided to try and make our quaint living space just a bit more liveable. Any ideas you have we would surely appreciate & thanks so much for the support!

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      April 14, 2012 at 3:25 pm

  4. I love our parallels! I will post, or email you photos on the beauty of painting paneling, and textured wall board; you can do it!! You can also fill in “bizarre bundles of grass engraved into your cupboards” with joint compound, and create a flat, paintable surface.

    Jenn Roy Sharkey

    April 14, 2012 at 9:32 am

    • I knew you would have my back on this, Jenn! I’m totally excited about this little venture- it makes me feel like the whole house is an art project. I would love to see photos of how you have made your house a home– I was hoping you would wanna share a few things. Filling in the weirdy wheat on the cupboards is on my list of things to do- I just wanna do it right. I also have to get permission, which here will be part of the documentation process. We rent from a really nice retired couple, but I find that sometimes that can lend to them worrying about change… then again it might not. We will see!

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      April 14, 2012 at 3:19 pm

      • I have found that with most landlords, if you’re willing to make improvements, and absorb some, if not all of the cost, they’re usually pretty cool about it. Start small, let them see that you mean no harm, and you’re well on your way. Your cabinets would be the perfect place to start. Joint compound, or even wood filler would do the trick. Drawer pulls, and cabinet handles can be picked up fairly inexpensively, especially if you can find an overstock store.

        Jenn Roy Sharkey

        April 14, 2012 at 6:43 pm

  5. P.S. If you go to my page & into my pics, in the mobile uploads is a pic of my newly painted living room. I remember I sent you pics when I first moved in, it was paneling Hell. Now it’s bright, clean, and airy.

    Jenn Roy Sharkey

    April 14, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    • oh super! Like I said– I’m way excited. Give me some time to establish some readers here (I have exactly one follower right now lol) and then maybe find a minute for guest blogging? And if you’ve no time for that just gimme permission to feature some of your photos and ideas? I am keeping the faith that we cannot be the only two people affected by this problem 🙂

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      April 14, 2012 at 6:53 pm

  6. […] So that was TEN. Ten things about me. Plus last week I told you my secret. Sufficient? I sure hope so, because I’m really ready to get back to […]

  7. […] job. He works in a welding shop that turns out gigantic creations that are bigger than our house (er… trailer) He’s a big guy and routinely lifts things all day that should probably require a forklift. […]

  8. […] my question to YOU, Mister Local Restaurant, is this: If I can pull this off in my teensy trailer kitchen what are you doing over […]

  9. […] interested in mobile home living/decorating/solutions, or maybe you’d just like to laugh at my wallpaper? Anyway… I’ve got a few cool projects set to go up in the next week or […]

  10. […] You can read all about our decision to live in and love our mobile home HERE. […]

  11. […] interested in mobile home living/decorating/solutions, or maybe you’d just like to laugh at my wallpaper? Anyway… I’ve got a few cool projects set to go up in the next week or […]

    » Strawberry Muffins

    October 14, 2012 at 2:32 pm

  12. This pretty much sums up the horrible time ive had finding single wide solutions. Me and my bf are taking over a 1999 trailer on his parents property. Thankfully the woman who lived in it took wonderful care. No matter how much care, it seems, you just cant stop uneven flooring , bad cabinets, and the wind howling over the roof. But! With easy feaux wood laminate flooring, fresh paint, and knicknacks.. Im determind to love this place until we buy/build. Besides… Im only 25 and he’s 23.. so we have plenty time.


    March 19, 2013 at 2:06 am

    • You’re right! You DO have time! And actually, I’m super sorry I haven’t been very timely with ANYTHING on this blog. I write at Sugar Dish Me 5 days a week and when I set up Trailer Trashtastic I aimed to get this place right- and I could very affordably- but spending the cash in a place that the landlords don’t much care about and would never dream of reimbursing us for has been a point of contention for me. We have made some improvements– paint, the chalkboard communication wall in the kitchen, bargain, shopping, curtains (window treatments make a WORLD of difference!), etc, but I’ve really hesitated to do more because I think we are pretty close to moving. If I were in your situation I’d totally be happy to spend the money! I’d love to see your improvements and minor fixer-upper ideas! Reader solutions are more than welcome here!!

      Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

      March 19, 2013 at 2:23 am

  13. I found your blog while searching the internet for my own issues with my single wide. We have removed our wall seams and filled them with spackle. Using bull’s eye primer first we then just painted our walls. they look amazing. We have a few spots in our home where the seams are screwed on providing access to the water heater and showers. Hope you find the solutions you are looking for 🙂

    Anika Reynolds

    May 24, 2013 at 6:36 pm

  14. […] my question to YOU, Mister Local Restaurant, is this: If I can pull this off in my teensy trailer kitchen what are you doing over […]

  15. […] I bought second hand ten years ago. If you all have been here for awhile you’ll remember that we live in a little shoebox in my version of nowhere while we save to buy a house. The only standard-sized burner on my stove […]

  16. Hi! Well, thank goodness for you, been going crazy trying to handle a huge downsize to a single wide, 2br with 2 teens (boy and girl). Been here 2 weeks, only got the living room and 1 bedroom painted, had NO idea how much primer/paint the lovely brown paneling would take. Planning on turning old porch into a bedroom for the girl, and taking out the huge garden tub and dividing the bath into 2 baths….anyone else tried this?

    Wendy Peterson

    August 3, 2013 at 1:27 am

    • Wow Wendy!! That sounds like quite the project!! We have been fortunate to have tow good sized full baths here. I do have a garden tub in the master bath but our bathroom is really just one huge piece of wasted space. I don’t understand why mobile home has to = ugly– I think most of these manufactured home companies need to seriously update their interior design! I have a really great friend that bought a single wide and it was COVERED in paneling. She’s been there for several years now and has definitely made it work. Her house is fresh and clean and cozy and really adorable. I am so consumed with my other blog (it’s a full time job) that I have been really bad about updating here. But please feel free to use this as a forum for sharing & asking questions– I’d really love to know how your projects turn out!! Thanks so much Wendy!

      Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

      August 3, 2013 at 11:29 am

  17. I LOVE this! I thought it was hysterical you wrote “fugly wallpaper”!!! What a hoot! You should see pics of my place! It’s 32 years old. My dad owns the property and previous owner of the trailer moved out into a nice home. I’ve caught 7 mice…I have stray cats that fight underneath the trailer…dad said he’s going to burn it to the ground when I move out! BUT….it’s a place to call home with me and my mini pot belly pig after my ex cheated on me.

    Lori West

    November 22, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    • Awww thanks Lori! OMG — the cats. There were cats under here when I moved in. Also mice — you get that out in the country — but I got a cat (indoor!) and I never saw another mouse again. Home is home — it is what you make it. I really wish I’d had the time/financing to keep this blog up and post a few more projects. Living in/decorating/updating a mobile home really needs a place on the internet!!!
      Say hey to the pot bellied piggie for me and just say no to dirtbag exes!!!

      Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

      November 23, 2013 at 12:14 am

  18. I live in a single wide myself. I have plastered walls which I love and huge windows which let in lots of light. All who enter can’t believe it’s a trailer!!


    February 21, 2014 at 5:30 pm

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