As we move into a new year, it is natural for us to think of all that we’d like to accomplish in the following months. Getting organized always seems to be at the top of everyone’s list. We want to feel at home in our spaces while always knowing where we placed our keys at any given time. And while it may seem like living in an RV would make getting organized a little easier, that’s not always the case.
In an RV, you are faced with the stuff you own on a daily basis. With another set of holidays behind us, it can be overwhelming to face the new and old possessions we find around us and it can be difficult to get back to normal.
To start us off right in the new year, I’d like to go over some tips for organizing your RV.
1. The one thing in, one thing out rule
After any occasion where we accumulate more stuff, it can feel like too much to handle.
The rule of one thing in, one thing out keeps the living space in your RV balanced. The anxiety of having more stuff than you know what to do with fades away because you’ve set a condition in place, a rule to live by.
When you get something new, you have the agency to decide if it’s something useful you want to keep or not. If you want to keep that item, you simply find another item you don’t find as useful and give that item away.
One thing in, one thing out presents a stipulation for all things that come in and go out of your rig. The control is placed in your hands not the stuff around you.
In my own life, I’ve taken this a step further by choosing not to buy new items for an entire year (except for items like toothbrushes, of course)! While taking on this kind of challenge in your own life isn’t necessary for an organized RV, it is a fun way to challenge your buying habits.
2. Like with like
One of the easiest ways to stay organized in your rig is to keep like items with other like items.
What’s neat about this technique is that it differs from person to person. Think of how a supermarket is set up: not all condiments are with the condiments, some of them are in the Asian or Hispanic foods sections because when you cook you’re more likely to use those items with the other items on the shelf. It’s the store’s way of organizing their inventory as well.
Similarly, when you make a point to place items you use with other items you tend to use for similar purposes, this will keep you from searching every nook and cranny of the RV to find the one item you’re looking for.
3. Frequency and location of use
One strategy I always recommend to clients is to decide how often you use certain items. From there, you can create a tiered system that will help you get and stay organized.
For example, in our kitchen, the utensils we use the most often are in a container next to the stove. We have three small drawers for other kitchen items. So, the first drawer houses our silverware, which we use often, tools for the house are in the second drawer, and the third holds other random kitchen utensils we don’t use as frequently.
Not everyone uses the same utensils or tools in the same way. Deciding how frequently you use certain items and where you use those items will help you determine the best home for those items.
4. No duplicates
This is a biggie for staying organized and this method can be applied to all aspects of what you own.
Not having duplicates means that you use one certain item for one certain task and use it until it cannot be used any longer.
When we moved out of our apartment last year and into our RV, I didn’t realize how many duplicates we had. Numerous plates, bowls, silverware, utensils, shoes, jackets… I mean every category of “thing” we had at least two of.
Since we’ve pared down, we have two big plates, two small plates, two small bowls, one spatula, one whisk… you get the point.
There are many more strategies and techniques for staying organized in your RV, but utilizing the above list will help you start to be and feel more organized at home.
The goal isn’t to have nothing, the goal is to have less of everything and eliminating the excess. Less stuff means more space, both physically and mentally. When we have less stuff and more space, there is literally more room for you to live and enjoy your life.
If you live in an RV, how have you organized your space? What would you recommend to those looking to pare down?