Is your RV beginning to feel cluttered? Many RVers go through this same issue. Having a small space can be hard to get and keep organized, but it is possible. All you have to do is use these steps to help declutter your RV and boost space for all your items.
Step 1: Purge the Surplus
Your first step to getting rid of the clutter is to get rid of the things you don’t use, or that can be done without. If one item has multiple uses, get rid of the other things that do the same jobs. Decide what you can live without. Do you have multiple size crockpots, or a fryer you hardly ever use? Get them out of the RV and use that space for things you’ll use more often. One way we like to purge all this stuff is to go room by room and haul everything out and put it in a pile. Look first for things you maybe didn’t even know you had, and other items you haven’t used in the last year. If you didn’t know you had it, or haven’t used it in a long period of time, chances are great that you don’t need it. Then when you have a pile left of just what you think you need, start putting it in piles of where it will go. Seeing that pile will allow you to evaluate if it will fit in that cabinet you planned to put it in. If not, take another look and see if there’s more you can do without or use the following information to help make it fit.
Step 2: Using Your Space Wisely
Once you’re down to the nitty gritty, it’s time to organize it not only so it will fit, but so that you can best get to it when you need it. These tips will help you go room by room and identify those wastes of space, and how to best use it up. Let’s get that RV ready to go!
The kitchen seems to be the bane of every RVers organizational endeavors. There’s so much that you need to jam into a very small space so it can get pretty tricky. This is one area you really have to maximize every inch of space that’s there. Much of the kitchen storage space is vertical, which can be a pain since stacking things on top of one another and expecting them to stay put while driving is kind of a joke. In order to use the vertical space, you need to add more shelving or supports where you can. Find things like wire racks that will turn one tall area into stacked compartments. You can also use spice racks and even hanging shoe organizers hung on the inside of cabinet or pantry doors to add in even more space.
Next comes the fridge. Here you want not only to use all the space, but make sure you’re storing things in the proper area of the fridge. Tension bars, clear storage bins, and more shelving will give you the ability to stack and separate things in areas that otherwise would just be wasted space above the things on the shelves. Check out stores like Bed Bath & Beyond to find storage containers that are perfect for the fridge.
The countertop, or what little you have of it, is the last place to hit. Most RVs are lacking in counter space and even those that seem to have a lot, still are never enough. This is one area that many people in a full size stick-and-brick home have trouble with as well. To maximize your counter space, find things that allow the counter, sink, and stove to pull double duty. These items include things like a range cover, sink covers, and dish drainers that sit in the sink as opposed to on the counter itself. The sink and range covers allow you to use that space as countertop when you’re not specifically using that item. You can even find covers for both that are cutting boards, which gives you yet a third use for the space. Finally, use the space in the oven, microwave, and dishwasher if you have one. You can stash pots & pans, coffee makers, and other bulky items that normally would sit on the counter in these areas when you’re not using them. This also helps to keep them from sliding off the countertop when you’re on the way down the road.
The same issues in the kitchen are generally found in the living area. Tall overhead cabinets that like to drop items on your head when you open them if you’ve stacked things inside them. Use things like small storage bins and those wire shelving units here. This allows you to use that vertical space without having to have the avalanche come down.
If you have a sleeper sofa, whether it has the drawer under it or not, you may have unrealized storage space there. As you go to pull out the bed, look to see if there is a voided space below the bed even when it’s closed up. If so, you can stash things like extra linens, pillows, and blankets here. That way you’re all set for when guests come to stay without having to take up much needed closet or cabinet space for those things somewhere else.
The bathroom is where you’ll generally find a lot of little things that need to be stored. Tweezers, cotton swabs, toothbrushes, and items like this can really cause clutter due to their size and inability to stack in one space. When you open up your medicine cabinet, there’s that darn vertical space again. Use that space with small plastic bins or even spice racks. Creating a place where you can stand these items up and keep them secure allows you to utilize more of that horizontal space for other things. You can also hang things on the inside of your medicine cabinet and vanity doors. Glue a magnetic strip to the inside of the medicine cabinet where you can stick those tweezers, nail clippers, and bobby pins and keep them off the shelves. Use small PVC or other tube like containers and mount them on the inside of the vanity where you can put your toothbrushes. This not only gets them out of the way it makes it harder for those bathroom germs to get to them. It’s a win-win!
Even if you have a large linen closet, you may be struggling to find enough space to fit all your towels and toiletries that are too large for the medicine cabinet. Here you can hang another shoe rack for bottles of shampoo, large medicine bottles, and items like curling irons. Then when it comes to shelf space, try rolling the towels instead of folding them flat. They get tighter when you roll them and then take up less space. The bonus is that if you can wedge enough in there, they keep each other in place when you’re headed down the road.
Still need more space? Use your shower! Even if your shower doesn’t have shelves in it, you can easily create space for storage within it. Just get yourself a tension rod and hang it along the wall of the shower. Then you can use curtain hooks to hang small plastic baskets for items like soaps, shampoo & conditioner, and even toys for the kids.
Having a tidy bedroom helps to get a better night’s sleep so this is one of the most important places to get organized. Start with those overhead cabinets and use the same tips that we used for the living room. Get those shelves and bins to maximize the vertical space.
Next up is the under bed storage. If you’re lucky enough to have this space, be thankful because it comes in very handy. This space is great for bulky items like laundry detergent, packages of toilet paper, and extra blankets. If you get some plastic storage totes you can organize things by room or activity. Use your laundry baskets to stash your laundry soap and fabric softener so all you have to do is grab out the baskets and go. If you don’t have an under bed storage area, take a look at what you’re working with to see if you can create it. There are kits out there that will give you the struts needed to lift up the mattress. Just make sure any modifications you make aren’t going to void your RV’s warranty.
Finally, let’s work on your wardrobe or closet area. If you have too much clothing for the space, try an alternative way to hang them. There are hangers out there that you can get, that allow you to hang multiple garments, and then drop it down so they’re layered on one another and take up less horizontal space. If you don’t have this, you can DIY it with soda can tabs around the neck of the hook and then hang another hanger off the tab.
Step 3: Keeping It Clutter Free
Now that your RV is nice and tidy, you need to devise a plan to keep it this way. The best way to do this is by having a cleaning schedule. For example, you could do one room a day, or maybe one task in each room per day. That way it’s only a few minutes per day that you have to spend as opposed to a whole day cleaning everything. If you’re full timing and you’re getting mail, open it right away, discard the junk, and get file folders for bills and other items you need to hang on to. Go as digital as possible to ensure you’re getting as little paper mail as possible. Otherwise that dreaded stack is sitting there on your counter, growing by the day, taking up needed space.
Do you have any organization tips you’d like to share with this MI RV dealer and our readers? Feel free to post them below. We love hearing from you!