Organizing 101

I love to organize. I love when everything has a home and I don’t have to go digging through a panty to find what I’m looking for. So, when it was time to organize our RV, I was excited. I looked up ideas on Pinterest, read other blogs, and when the time came to start moving our 3 bedroom house into our new 33 foot RV, I become very overwhelmed.

You never realize how much stuff you have until you move. And when you move into a smaller place, then you really see how much stuff you have. I would look at what we had in the house and knew a bunch of stuff was going to have to go. The good news is that we did it and you can, too! Have faith as it can be done! Take a deep breath and remember, it’s just stuff and it doesn’t own you. You do not need to hit the road being 100% organized and ready because in reality, you will not be and it will just stress you out. Trust me, that’s from personal experience. Everyday do a little and it will get done.

1. The first step is to go through all the items in your home and decide what you really want to keep and what’s just taking up space. It’s amazing how much you accumulate. Do you really need 5 vases? 12 kitchen glasses? Make 4 piles:  keep, donate, sell, or trash.

2. Get storage cubes, baskets, or use whatever storage containers you have laying around.  Most items will have to go into some sort of storage container otherwise your items will move around too much while you’re driving and will get up on the floor or broken. It’s unlikely you will find any containers that fit perfectly in a cabinet or drawer. Do a quick measurements of cabinets and drawers and find something that will fit enough. We went to Ikea to get storage containers, Target for under the bed boxes, and Amazon for storage cubes. 

3. Your keep pile and storage containers are for the RV. Next step is to decide what you want to keep in the living space of the RV and what can go in the storage area underneath the RV, accessed outside. We call ours the basement. TIP: Items that you use every day or very frequently, go in the living space.

4. Start with one room at a time. Ask yourself these questions. What looks like it will fit in what drawer? What feels comfortable? If you don’t use something all the time but want it in the living space, put it up high. I have reorganized so many drawers so don’t worry about getting it perfect the first time.

5. Designate a place for everything. That way, you always know where the toaster is, your favorite sweatshirt, or keys. You are living in a small space so your living space will be less cluttered when there is a place for everything and you will not go crazy trying to remember where you put the Keurig.   

6. Use a label maker for the storage bins. I labeled both sides so no matter which way I looked at them (or which way they got put back), I could read the label and know exactly what is in there.

7. Tip the storage cubes on the side so when you open a cabinet, you can see what is in the cube. When you have the storage cubes standing up, you cannot see what’s in them and have to take them down each time. This will not only save you time but also your sanity. I got that idea from another blogger. Thank you!

Now everything is seen in the cube!
Now everything is seen in the cube!

Tips for organizing the bedroom:

  • RV designers have provided lots of hidden spaces for storage, so use them. I placed under- the- bed-boxes in the storage area under the bed.

    Under the bed storage
    Under the bed storage
  • This is a luggage tip, but it’s very helpful with a RV. Do not stack your clothes in a drawer, roll them. You get more clothes in a drawer and you can see everything in the drawer.
Rolled t-shirts equals more space!
Rolled t-shirts equals more space!
  • If you have the luxury of a clothes hanging bar in the closet, don’t fill it completely up with clothes. Why? Because then you cannot get to the back of the closet. Put clothes in storage bins to keep them from falling while driving.
  • Put shoes either on a shoe rack or a hanging rack.

Bathroom tips:

  • Since you cannot leave all the shower products sitting on the shelves while driving, try an organizer like this:  
    Shower organizer
    Shower organizer

                     

  • Use small storage containers without lids to organize in the vanity and linen cabinet.
    Vanity
    Vanity

    Linen closet
    Linen closet

Kitchen tips:

  • Hidden spaces can also be found in the kitchen—a drawer in the table and storage under the kitchen seats.
  • Use lightweight pantry dividers to declutter a pantry.
    An organized panty!
    An organized panty!

    Pantry dividers give you more room on each shelf
    Pantry dividers give you more room on each shelf
  • Speaking of pantry, items move when you are driving so be careful when you open that pantry door. I put larger heavier items in the front so they keep everything on the shelves from falling.
  • My biggest kitchen question when we were moving was what do we do with our kitchen plates and glasses? Keep our nice plates or get plastic? The good news is you can do whatever you want! We kept our regular plates, glasses, and mugs. The trick is how you keep them safe while driving.
  • On that note, here are a two ways to organize your plates. You can buy a plate organizer. Or, you can use shelf liner for keeping plates in place. That’s what we did. I used the shelve liner on the bottom of most kitchen cabinets and then cut out a circle pattern to put in between each plate and bowl. Those plates are not moving anywhere! See picture below: 4O2A0369
  • Drawer dividers work well for glasses and mugs. We lined the drawer with shelf liner and then cut the dividers. We got them from Ikea and were very inexpensive.4O2A0362
  • I traded in our bowls and measuring cups for nesting bowls that hold measuring cups and is also a colander. Saves a ton of space and they are super fun colors! Made by Joesph and Joseph.
  • Have a key holder near the door and learn to drop them there when you walk in the door. It’s so easy to misplace your keys so give them a home.
  • In the pantry, most new RV’s have a brim on the pantry shelf to help stop items from falling. If you do not have this, use a tension rod. Same for the fridge, look for these instead:Fridge
  • Brim in fridge
    Brim in fridge

    The brim keeps items in place. Use a tention rod if there is no brim.
    The brim keeps items in place. Use a tension rod if there is no brim.

Outside:

  • Have a designated spot for wheel chocks, hoses, electrical cords, etc. so when you get to your location, you are not looking around everywhere for the essential items you need to hook up. I also like to keep all those items together.
  • Have a space for the water hose as you do not want it next to the electrical cord for obvious reasons.
  • We are lucky to have a built-in dump hose storage spot. If you do not, I have seen other RVers build one.

    “Basement” storage

Other:

  • Go digital! There is no room to store 100 books or thousands of pictures. An e-reader is essential if you love reading and you can download free books from the library.
  • Using storage cubes on their side is my only tip for the family room.
  • Get a small vaccume. Ours is a dust buster and comes with a vaccume attachment.

This list is not all inclusive so share your favorite organizing ideas by writing in the comment section below!

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