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I’ve always considered Stef to be an “id-driven” person. This requires some explanation.

Way back in high school, I had a brief “Intro to Psychology” class with Mr. Tworek. The one thing I remember the most from that class was Freud’s model of the psyche and Mr. Tworek’s definitions of its three parts, the id, the ego, and the super ego.

The id, so the definition went, was the instinctual part of your behavior.  If you were thirsty, for example, the id would drive you to consume mass quantities of the first liquid you could find. Booze, paint thinner, gutter runoff, whatever.

Id thirsty. Must drink. (Salt Lake…)

The super ego was the holier-than-thou part of your psyche. In the thirst example, the super ego would encourage you to drink pure mountain spring water, sustainably sourced, blessed by your favorite clergy, and probably not from anywhere west of the Rockies since consuming that water would have a negative impact on the water rights of users further down the Colorado River basin.

(The super ego is a super buzzkill.)

Finally, the ego is the rational part of your psyche (my favorite).  It gets to play mediator between the two and find a reasonable middle ground that gets you some water, and doesn’t kill you or anyone else in the process.

So now back to Stef.

Cutest girl at the Dusseldorf show…

I think Stef lets a little more “id” bubble through to the surface than most of us.  Or at least, that’s the only way I can understand some of her behavior.  Stef’s the type who uses a butter knife as a screwdriver, and who chops vegetables on the counter without a cutting board.  But it’s probably easiest to show you what I mean with a picture.  Today, Stef went to the store. She bought cat food, onions, oatmeal, salsa, and eggs. This is how these items were put in the pantry.


We don’t actually use these items together, mind you.  This is – literally – the first spot Stef saw when she opened the pantry.  The first available spot is good enough… so her work is done!  She assumes that there are gnomes who take care of the details.

Now, I’ll freely admit, I would go too far the other way.  I’d arrange the salsas by expiration date, and I’d remove the oatmeal packets from their box so it all takes up less space.  I’d also double check that all the items were where the labels on the shelves said they should be.  At least I would check that if Stef hadn’t removed all the labels I put on the shelves…

“OK.  But what does all this have to do with RVs?”

Good question!  You see, packing the RV for a trip requires lots and lots of trips in and out carrying stuff to the rig.  Being an id-driven person, Stef makes these trips using the first available container, bag, or receptacle she can find.  This drives me absolutely nuts.

That’s one of the six bins I use for sorting dirty laundry. There’s a loaf of bread in there. Probably on the bottom.

She’s done this for years!  And it’s driven me batty for years!  I’ve tried everything I can think of to get her to stop, but it’s never worked.  I’ve even offered to load things in the RV for her, but unless I am there with empty arms the exact second she decides to it’s time to load the RV, it’s all for naught.

Stef wrapped her clothes in that blanket to bring them out. That blanket more or less belongs to the cat…

This happens twice per trip: once on the way out, and once when we return home. But finally, FINALLY, I think I’ve hit on a way to thwart her misappropriation of receptacles forever.

Enter the Meori Outdoor Box


The folks from Meori sent us this box to review, and at first, I thought, “OK. It’s a box.” But after using it for a couple months now, I think it may have helped solve my problem with Stef’s loading and unloading. Here’s why:

1: It’s Collapsible

The box folds down to 12 3/4 x 10 3/4 x 2 inches, and snaps itself shut. This means we can actually keep it in the RV so it’s always there and available for us. If it’s there and available, there’s a good chance Stef will use it. And converting from storage mode to carry mode is a two second operation.

I do have to bring it inside the first time so Stef will start using it, but once she’s started, we’re golden.

2: It’s Water Resistant

Yep. The Meori Outdoor Box is water resistant. This means that whatever it is that needs to be carried, it goes in the box. Things from the freezer with frost on the outside; life jackets; damp rags. All of these get safe passage in the Meori Outdoor Box. The fabric is water-resistant, and the panels inside are plastic instead of paper, so dampness doesn’t phase it.

I can’t explain this, so I won’t try.  The cat cracks me up though.

3: It’s the right size

We got the “Large” size. It can hold about 8 gallons or 65 pounds. But those specs aren’t the big deal. What’s really important is that the box is “big enough” to hold whatever it is that Stef might be carrying, but small enough that it doesn’t get overloaded and the things on the bottom get crushed.  We’ve even used this box on the road instead of re-usable grocery bags!


This box really does live in our RV full-time now, right over the cab.  It’s been handy for loading and unloading the rig, and in some small way, it’s helping me keep my sanity. Stef likes the box too, and doesn’t understand the reverence I have for it. That’s part of the magic of being Stef, I suppose. The solution passes unnoticed just as easily as the problem. (Sometimes, I’m a little envious of that.)

No kidding. This is actually where the box lives.

If you’d like to get a Meori Outdoor Box for yourself, you can find out more about them at And of course, you can get them on Amazon, here: The Meori Outdoor Box.

Now, if I could just come up with some way to help her out packing her toiletries, maybe I could sleep at night.

Yes. That’s a year-old gallon Zip-Loc bag.  Ten minutes ago, there were frozen berries in it.