A recreational vehicle, or RV for short, is the ultimate tiny-living space. While many may be dreaming of living year-round in an RV journeying from state to state, it is important to understand the truth that comes with that lifestyle, and what it means to downsize. When your home is only approximately 200 square feet, a well-organized camper makes the difference between serene living space and a pigsty on wheels. Whether you are a seasoned camper, or new to the experience, organizing such a small space is an ongoing project. Here are a few tips and tricks to keep your RV organized, clean, and comfortable wherever you may go.
Storage Bins Galore
To make the most use of space, consider using storage bins or wire baskets to store things in cabinets, under furniture, or on shelves. Doing so can help declutter unruly piles or be a great way to place extra or miscellaneous items. Labeling each bin keeps everything compartmentalized, in place, and accessible. Inside a closet, you can stack labeled storage bins, or have plastic drawers to act as a dresser to organize socks, undergarments, T-shirts, and other items. Plastic sets of big drawers or large totes work well in the basement space beneath the RV. You can store your hoses, fittings, gloves, and everything else that seems to roll around underneath. When it is time to pack up and go, these labeled totes save time by keeping everything you need in one place.
Campers have plenty of cabinets, but much of the space inside is wasted as there are no shelves. Adding an extra shelf or two can greatly increase cabinet space and make it easier to put things away. If you find yourself needing a little bit of extra room, consider an under-shelf basket. They are great for placing anything extra like canned foods, spices, towels, or even rolled-up clothing.
If you do not have a convenient nightstand by your bed to hold your cell phone, reading glasses, or laptop, you may have a cluttered mess right alongside your bed before you know it. A bedside caddy serves as a makeshift nightstand. Not only does it offer extra room, but it also encourages you to keep things separated and easily accessible. Wherever you may wind-down, a portable, caddy-style organizer can be picked up and taken with you to another room or even outside
Keep Things in Place
Your kitchen will rattle and rumble as you drive the open highways and bumpy roads, adding complexity to an already small space. Keeping everything in its place is another challenge. Curtain tension rods can be used to store flat items vertically and keep pans and dishes secure when the RV is moving. Cutlery trays and drawer organizers keep utensils and other loose items stable and compact. Consider using a mat-style shelf-liner if sliding is troublesome.
Hang High and Store Low
Make use of your entire wall space. Hang things up high, like hats, scarves, or ties, on hooks. Places down low, under the bed or the bottom of a closet, for instance, are perfect for storing shoes, vacuum-sealed bags of clothes or blankets, and thin totes of other bulky items. Hidden storage compartments that most RVs offer, like in the table or under the bed, are great for storing not everyday items that tend to cause clutter or be in the way.
A Clean Counter
You want to make sure that you have plenty of counter space in your RV. Avoid storing stuff on the counter itself, especially because when the RV is in motion, these items will need to be secured. Instead, find other ways of mounting things, such as on the underside of a cabinet or inside the cabinet doors. Moving things off the counter and into a different space will make your closed-in small space feel clean and open.
Junk Drawer No More
Do you know that drawer where you toss everything that does not seem to have a place? This type of cluttered mess is not efficient in an RV. Instead of throwing in all the oddball tools, tape, etcetera, organize them in a way that makes them easier to access. Maybe you need to create a tool bag, a craft tote, a coupon file, or a wire basket of desk items; the key is organizing from the get-go.
Less is More
Not having an abundance of something means using one or two items for a certain task for as long as you can. The goal is not to have nothing, but rather to have less of everything and eliminate the excess. You may no longer need ten plates and bowls, but only four to be practical. Less stuff means more space. When you are not cluttered with unnecessary items, and therefore have more space, there is literally more room for you to live and enjoy the camper life.
Whether it is a weekend getaway or a six-month road trip, an RV can quickly fill up with things. Learning how to organize everything, label, and simply live minimally, can help aide in enjoying a carefree, RV life on the road.