The more you use your RV, the more stuff seems to accumulate, making your space feel cramped and stressful. Getting rid of that clutter in your RV is a matter of mindfulness, routine and organization.
Whether you’re a casual camper or you live full-time in your RV, busting clutter can feel like a full time job.
Here’s how to get rid of all that extra junk and reclaim your space.
Step 1: Take Inventory
Clutter creeps up on you because you accumulate things gradually without knowing what you already have. Thus, the first step towards conquering your clutter is taking a full inventory of all the stuff that lives in your RV.
It might seem daunting, but if you’re really committed to decluttering, you only have to do this once.
Write down every loose item in your RV, from the trash can to that pile of campground pamphlets you’ve got stuffed in the glove compartment.
Make a note of any spots in your RV that are particularly challenging to organize, such as the drawer where you keep utensils or the shower rack for toiletries in your bathroom. In this problem areas, you might want to consider using storage bins or organizers to help keep things tidy.
Step 2: Purge Extra Weight
Now that you know what you have, it should be easier to decide what you don’t need. Cross things off the inventory list as you move them out of your camper.
Get rid of anything that’s old or worn out. Toss unnecessary duplicate items. Remove anything that’s been sitting around for months on end without being used or noticed.
If your RV is still packed after all that, it’s time to decide what’s necessary and what’s only nice to have.
Just because you use an item sometimes doesn’t mean you need to have it in your RV. Ask yourself what’s more important: having that thing easily accessible in your RV, or having a comfortable space where you can relax?
Step 3: Everything In Its Place
Getting the clutter out of your RV is already a vast improvement. Take measures to maintain your newly organized travel trailer so that clutter creep doesn’t undo all your hard work.
Go back to your inventory list – for every loose item in your RV, you should also be able to choose a location where it stays when not in use.
Perhaps your broom and dustpan have a spot next to the fridge where they always hang. Camp chairs might always go in a specific storage compartment. The open box of tissues can belong in the center console, while spare paper goods are stored in a closet.
You don’t have to go so far as labeling cabinets and shelves…unless you’re into that sort of thing. Just know where everything goes, using your inventory list to make sure you haven’t overlooked anything that might end up getting left around because nobody is sure where it belongs.
From here, the one in, one out rule keeps your camper neat and tidy.
Every time you bring something into your RV, you must also remove one thing. Bought a new dish sponge? Throw out the old one. Got a compact trash can that attaches to a cabinet door? Great – get rid of your older, bulkier can. Even when the new item is not a replacement, the rule still applies. For example, if you decide to bring a board game to play with your family, you should remove some other entertainment item you don’t use as much.
It’s a simple rule to follow, but it’s easier said than done sometimes.
That’s why we recommend one extra step to keep your RV clutter-free:
Step 4: Seasonal Cleanup
At least twice each year, make a conscious effort to look at your RV with fresh eyes. What would you see if you were looking at the inside of your camper for the first time?
We grow blind to familiar surroundings. Even if you don’t need to go through this entire decluttering process again, do a quick cleanup at the beginning of each season. Clear out anything that doesn’t belong, and if you really do need that item, make sure it has a permanent place.
Habits are the secret to defeating clutter creep. Cultivate a few good habits, and you’ll never have to do a serious spring cleaning again.