The RV life, for our family, is all about freedom and possibilities. We can go anywhere, do anything, at any time! Faith, Family, Fun is our motto. For me, it’s also about spontaneity, you know … winging it”. I’m neither an planner, nor an organizer. Dan is the thinker of the family. He tends to be more practical because he bears the majority of the responsibility of supporting and providing for our family of 14. Really, he’s amazing. We are so blessed to have such a strong man to lead our family on this incredible journey.
I am, however, a neat freak who insists on a clean and clutter free environment. I can’t function in mess. When the Today Show did the story on our family I laughed out loud when I read some of the comments questioning how clean our RV was, “surely it must be staged” When the Today Show did the story on our family I laughed out loud when I read some of the comments questioning how clean our RV was. Do the large majority of people live in pig sty’s? I can honestly say we don’t. How? How do we keep a 36’ RV clean and clutter-free with 14 inhabitants?
All this not-with-standing, we seem to have to learn everything the hard way … via trial and error. Suffice it to say our Full-Timer education has been from the School of Hard Knocks. Here is what we have learned in the last 15 months.
First, get rid of stuff! When we first started out in May 2012, we brought everything from kayaking gear to paintball gear to climbing gear to snowboarding gear. Literally everything but the kitchen sink. I’m not lying when I say we could barely move, we were so stuffed full of stuff. Since then we’ve paired down quite a bit. We had countless garage sales and dropped truckloads of stuff at our local thrift shops and churches!
Maximize closet space. Closet organizers for folded clothes, added curtain rods in the bathroom and swapped normal hangers for Lynx Stay-Put Hangers — brilliant!
Rent a Storage Unit. Given the size of our family and the amount of sporting gear we have and use seasonally, we rent a storage unit. Snowboards, dirt-bikes, paintball gear, rafts, climbing gear, etc. is in a storage unit, along with seasonal clothing and toys that the kids wanted to keep — these things were deemed necessary to maintain our quality of life and therefore very much worth hanging on to!
Use wall space. Our bathroom, bedroom, and hallway walls are adorned with hooks. Toiletry bags, sweatshirts, towels, kayaking gear (wet) snowboarding gear, medals, whatever, if it can be hung, it has been hung! Walls are golden in an RV!
Two words: Plastic Bins! We use them to store everything from tea to spices to crayons to school books! Then they are neatly packed away in the cabinets in the front of the RV. No more losing pencil sharpeners!!
Build out that which you don’t use! We never used our shower so Dan built a very functional pantry. The juicer, the blender, pots and pans, the crock pots and food are all stored in this space. Honestly, I don’t know how we functioned before having this space.
And, finally, I’m not a fan of baskets for miscellaneous stuff, I prefer to toss that which doesn’t have a home. However, we do have baskets and hammocks for our fruit over the sink and counter space. We’ve lost one too many watermelons when they fell off the counter.
The School of Hard-Knocks is still educating us in all thing storage, if you have any ideas, please don’t hesitate to enlighten us!!