Last weekend we spent four nights in the van - we didn't actually go anywhere, as we were helping my parents move house, so we basically parked up in their front drive, hooked up to the electrical outlet in their garage, and used it to sleep in and have breakfast in - we showered, etc, in their downstairs bathroom, and pooled resources for meals other than breakfast.
Anyway, the point is, I made one or two mistakes getting ready to go, and wanted to document them so that I would remember why what I thought was a good idea turned out not to be!
Firstly, I packed my clothes into a bag that folds right down into its own pocket. Which seemed like a good idea, but meant there was nowhere to put dirty clothes once I'd worn them. A large cloth shopping bag or two works much better! And if you're showering elsewhere, you also need a shopping bag to carry your clothes, towel, etc, over to where you are showering. I think I'll also take a smaller bag to keep my socks in - they tend to roll all over the cupboard and then I can't find them.
Secondly, I forgot the thermos. Now, that mightn't seem a big deal, and it really isn't - but it is so very useful to put the end of the kettle in it, and to kickstart that early morning cup of tea that I, for one, can't do without! And especially if you're not turning on the hot water, as we didn't, you can keep what's left in the kettle for use in washing-up later.
Thirdly, when we go in October, we will really need to take hot-water bottles. Our duvets are lovely and warm, but one night I got very chilled before I went to bed - sitting by an open window in an inadequate cardigan will do that to a person - and it took me awhile to warm up, even with an extra blanket on for the first part of the night.
Fourthly, if you are not moving on that day, for heavens' sake be strict about tidying up, otherwise the living area very quickly becomes a mess! At least when you're touring you have to tidy up or things fall on the floor! Charging cables do need to be put in their bag, not left trailing over the table.
The camping saucepans really are far too thin, and far too old. I have bought a lidded frying pan, a sauté pan and a saucepan to use instead, which will join the tiny milk pan and tiny frying pan (one egg size), plus a saucepan my mother gave me, which I may discard....
And we need to buy a large bucket, in case we can't empty the grey water directly into the drain.
Edited to add: I also need to remember to take my bedside clock with me - it no longer functions as an alarm clock, but I have my phone to do that. Only, when you wake up in the night, it is good to be able to see what time it is without having to get out of bed and find the phone..... Also, pack a comb in one's beauty case - a hairbrush is grand, but you want a comb as well.