Organized RV closet

Organizing Your RV with the KonMari Method
4 places in your rolling home to try out this unique technique.
By: Ann & Lin Bishop

Ann pointing to closet full of clothes

With less storage than a traditional home, RVs can bring new challenges when it comes to storing and organizing your belongings in them. When we went full time in our 2018 Winnebago Forza, we had quite a few moments of doubt. How would we manage to fit everything in this house on wheels? How would we organize all of our clothes, shoes, and paperwork - not to mention all of our workout equipment?

During our first year of full-timing, it seemed like every week Lin was reorganizing the drawers, cabinets, and storage compartments. She was constantly trying to find the ideal place for every item. If we hadn’t used it in three months or if we had duplicates, they went into a box to be donated to the nearest charity. But even after all of Lin’s hard work of simplifying and organizing, we still didn’t feel like we had made the best use of space. That is until one day we discovered the KonMari Method. 

Lin looking terrified at a closet full of unorganized clothes

The brilliantly simple method was created by organizing consultant and author of #1 New York Times bestselling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Maire Kondo. The idea is that if any physical items do not bring joy into your life, get rid of them. We know that is easier said than done, but when storage space in your RV is limited, everything you keep inside it should bring you joy!

Places to Implement the KonMari Method in your RV

Here are the top places in your RV the KonMari Method can help get and keep you organized. Plus, some of our personal tips!

1. Clothing

This was probably the hardest thing for us to consolidate and organize. Two women living full time in an RV together with all those clothes and shoes had to be impossible, right? Well, by using the KonMari Method, we’ve actually downsized our wardrobe immensely. In our Winnebago Forza, we each have about a three-foot-wide closet and two dresser drawers of the same width. Before KonMari, we also each had a large container of clothes and shoes under the bed. Now those two containers are gone, and our closets and drawers are a thing of beauty. 

Drawer full of clothes folded using the KonMari folding method

If the article of clothing didn’t spark joy (fit was wrong, hadn’t worn it in a couple of months, etc.) we donated it to charity. We also used the KonMari folding method for our dresser drawer items. With this method, you don’t have to dig to find a pair of shorts on the bottom of the pile. Now every item is stored front to back. Since it stands on its end, it gives you a clear view of what you have. And all those clothes and shoes that we donated to charity we haven’t once missed or wish we had kept.

2. Kitchen

How many spatulas does one really need in an RV? Turns out, one. Unless you are a gourmet chef, you probably only need one of every kitchen utensil or gadget. By going through our combined assortment of kitchenware: pots, pans, plates, etc. and asking ourselves if it sparked joy, we whittled it down to the necessities. And we still have more than we need! 

Kitchen drawer with foil and plastic wrap and towels folded using KonMari method

The other important KonMari factor is to group like items. And the kitchen is the best example of this. The foil and plastic wrap should be in the kitchen, not in the cabinet over the driver’s seat!

3. Paperwork/Photos/Books

Paperwork and years of old photos (back in the day when we printed photos) can take up so much room. In fact, we each had two large plastic file cabinets that we stored under our bed for about a year. We (ok mainly Lin) went through it all, deciding what could be scanned into “the cloud.” No longer did we need those two large file boxes. Important paperwork that we need on hand, such as our insurance papers, birth certificates, and passports are now kept in a fireproof file bag under our bed. 

Ann sitting on couch with two plastic containers full of paperwork in front of her

Books are probably the simplest thing to KonMari. This is because most books today are in either written or verbal electronic format. Kindle and Audible have replaced our stacks of books. There were, however, a few books that sparked so much joy that we couldn’t part ways with them. And besides, our bookshelves over our nightstand would have looked too empty!

Handing holding 2 paperback books in front of Forza

4. Quick Sweep at Night

One final tip: Every evening before we go to bed, we take two minutes to give the RV a quick sweep. It will make your morning less stressful. If any item is left out from the day, we put it back in its place. It’s usually our computers, jackets, shoes, or Lin’s reading glasses. Lin even went so far as to order color-coded reading glasses - one color for each area of the RV. So, when her blue pair is on the sofa, she knows that they really belong in the bedroom! 

Lin holding up two pairs of glasses while Wally sits on her lap

By incorporating the KonMari method into organizing your RV, you will have less clutter in your tiny home. And with less clutter comes less stress. And you may even discover that you have more storage space in your RV than you thought. And that, in itself, sparks joy!



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User commented on November 14, 2023 2:25 AM
Great advice. Thank you!