Whether you live full-time, on the weekends or any time in between, you want to maximize the space available in your RV. While some rigs have many drawers and cabinets, most do not have as much as you want. No matter which you have, you still might find it hard to fit all your belongings and be able to find them later! With the right planning and a few smart purchases, you can easily stay organized and use your space efficiently.
Use Lost Space
As we start to place our belongings in the RV, it is natural to use the drawers and closets to their maximum. However, you can find hidden space by thinking creatively.
As you start, consider the larger items first. Most RV items are fairly immovable unless you are doing a total renovation. If you have the luxury of starting from scratch, play with various layouts to find the ideal set-up for how you plan to use your RV. Even if you aren’t doing a total rehaul, most RV furniture can be removed. Changing out a couch for chairs or the dinette for a table and chairs to open up more room.
Also, keep in mind the multiple surfaces in your RV. Hanging things up on walls and ceiling opens up floor space. Try different mount options for your HVAC system to get it out of the way. Or create a system to hang pots from a ceiling with hooks around the out-take fan. A knife rack near the stove or magnetic spice containers on the refrigerator can be handy and leave space elsewhere.
Hooks and shelves can be added to cabinets or doors to hang dish towels, trash cans and coats. Look at every surface of your RV to find hidden spots that can be used to make items handy but out of the way enough to allow you to really put items you prefer to be out of view away.
Insert Organizers and Storage Solutions
Now as you look at cabinets, drawers and closets, consider how to optimize the space by adding organizers and storage solutions. Organizers in a drawer can provide set places for items like silverware or bathroom items. Many of the standard silverware trays might not fit your drawers so think creatively. Rubber baskets can fit a variety of items and be placed in drawers. Silverware might be better set in a stand up holder and stored under the sink when in transit.
RV cabinets are often deep or high so hard to reach. Collapsable or cardboard boxes can be helpful in holding small items and keeping them from moving around when traveling. If you use boxes, consider labeling the boxes so you can easily find items. It is easy to forgot if you are using similar boxes and who wants to pull everything down.
You can also create more storage by adding a storage ottoman or hanging shelves in your closet depending on your needs. Ottomans can hold larger kitchen gadgets or papers and books.
Declutter As a Habit
Once you are on the road, continue to maximize your space by it clutter-free. As you travel and pick up souvenirs or brochures and campground information, clutter can quickly take over. Frequently clear your space. Establish a set place for frequently acquired and needed items like campground maps and information. Place items where they belong right away and only touch it once. If you cannot find a place where it belongs, consider if you really need it.
One good rule to live by is to never add something to the RV without getting rid of something. And the cardinal rule of RVing, make sure everything (or nearly everything) you have in the RV has multiple uses. An ottoman is also storage, the Instant Pot is also a slow cooker, the coat rack also holds reusable bags and hats.
Make it Secure
As you find new ways to use your space, remember to secure everything for the journey. Use hardy velcro or strong secures to keep things in place. Box up items placed on counters and store away during the drive.
You will be amazed at the room you can find when you get creative. RVing doesn’t mean you have to go without the things that bring you comfort. It just means you get to decide what is most important and leverage your imagination to make it work.
For more ideas on how to keep things secure for travel, check out this article and review this show on decluttering and organizing.