Storage is limited in an RV and the closets are no exception.
Unless you get one of those big, fancy RVs that cost more than my brick and mortar house, you don’t have a walk-in RV closet.
So like many other aspects of RV living, you’ll need to be ultra-organized to maintain your RV closets, even for a part-time RVer.
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Here’s what I’ve found that works and what doesn’t work in RV closet and clothes organization:
Simplify Your Wardrobe for the RV Closet
Tip 1: The biggest tip for RV closet organization, really any organization project, is to get rid of stuff.
If you are a part-timer like me, do you really need fancy clothes in your RV? If you are using the RV for tailgating then the definite answer is no.
Jeans and sweatshirts for the cold weather and shorts and t-shirts for the hot weather. No need for fancy dresses, so leave them at home.
Even if you get “dressed up” for your football games, you still are going on the more casual end of things. Unless I guess you have some official task on game day and then you aren’t probably RVing.
And like your normal wardrobe, the 80/20 rule still applies here: 80% of the things you wear are 20% of what you own. So think long and hard before you put it in the RV. Will you really wear this on your vacation?
Just because you have more room in an RV than in your luggage on the plane doesn’t mean you should throw your entire closet into the RV.
Remember, the more weight you add the more gas you have to use to haul it all around!
So you’ve narrowed down the clothes you are going to take with you. Now figure out which ones need to be hanging and which ones can be folded up.
Honestly, most of my tailgating clothes are thrown in a duffel bag that I live out of for the weekend. But sometimes I need to hang things up.
Tip 2: To save space, I use slim, no slip hangers in the RV closet.
The no-slip part is great so that you don’t end up with all your clothes in a pile at the bottom of your closet when you get to your destination.
Tip 3: Go ahead and get the suit type hangers so you can put both shirts and pants on the same hanger.
Save space and make each hanger an outfit. Each hanger can hold multiple things: pants/jeans, shirt, jacket or sweatshirt, and even accessories like necklaces or scarves can hang all on one hanger.
The closet is no exception to the multi-purpose tools. No reason to have separate pants and shirt hangers!
Tip 4: Another tip for your hanging clothes: cover your closet rod in Split Loom Tubing Wire Cover.
This light weight plastic cover has ridges that the hangers can sit in. These ridges mean that your hangers aren’t sliding up and down the rod each time you brake/accelerate.
The ridges on the wire covers keep the clothes from being so tightly packed and thus getting wrinkles! I mean, if you are going through the hassle of hanging clothes up, that’s why, right?
So Starter RV has limited closet space – one main closet immediately across from the fridge. This is where all my hanging clothes go.
But in the bedroom, there are some “closets” but they aren’t very useful. They are shorter so not great for a lot of my clothes and not as wide so they don’t hold a lot of hangers.
The space is so restricted just to get there (no slides in Starter RV) and I’m not a contortionist, it is hard to get clothes on hangers back there. I use these smaller spaces as additional folding clothes storage.
Tip 5: My first football season, I just threw clothes in here – it became one big black hole of random shirts and sweatshirts. Again, not very useful nor very organized.
Now, I have a hanging closet organizer in there.
I lose a little space to the organizer and behind it, but at least now I can find the clothes I am looking for! And without them ending up all over the bedroom. This means less dog hair on the clothes as well!
On another note, the “drawers” below these small “closets” are just about useless when it comes to storing clothes.
Instead, I use these for things like power adapters, tools, and other small RV and life necessities.
Tip 6: All spaces in an RV must be carefully thought out to maximize storage and efficiency. No wasted space! Not even the front or the back of a door!
Inside the main RV closet, I have a small hanging organizer that I keep things like spare flip-flops (who knows when you’ll have a blow out or those hiking boots hurt too much to wear anymore), socks, underwear, and what-not.
The outside of the main closet door also has a good size mirror that is easier to use than the ones in the bathroom!
Tip 7: The small bedroom “closets” also have over-the-door towel bars.
These are great for hanging clothes while getting ready or for something longer – you know, a dress or something that I will never wear.
Just know, anything hanging here is likely to get covered in dog hair. Thanks Burdell!
See Also: Tips for Tailgating with Dogs
Tip 8: Once again, you have to think about the after in an RV.
While some people have a washer and dryer in their RV, I did not have one in Starter RV. There is a washer and dryer in the new Tiffin 34PA.
But neither then nor now do I want to spend my limited time on a tailgate weekend doing laundry.
With the limited space in the bedroom area (remember, no slides for Starter RV), I can’t just throw the dirty clothes in a corner to pickup at the end of the weekend. But I did add a hook so that I could hang a dirty clothes mesh bag.
In the small confines of Starter RV, the unstructured bag worked well. In the Tiffin, now I typically use the pop-up style laundry bags. But I also have more room in the Tiffin RV, especially with the slides out.
No matter whether you go with the structured or unstructured laundry bags, laundry bags make it easy to take the dirty clothes into the house at the end of the weekend. I sure have missed this small little thing when I forget to put the bag back after the laundry is done.
Can’t Forget to Mention the Bathroom Hooks
Tip 9: While not strictly for RV closet organizing, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the accessory hooks in the bathroom shower stall. Why?
These are great for hanging bulky things like winter coats or wet things like bathing suits or jeans after a downpour.
As the wet things drip dry, the excess water can go right down the drain and not mess with your other clean and dry clothes.
The hooks hang on a second rod that goes through the middle of the shower stall (not the rod with the shower curtain on the outside of the stall).
How do you keep your clothes and RV closets organized?
Do you have more tips for RVers to keep their clothes and RV closets organized? Comment below with your recommendations.
Also, check out 20 RV Closet Organization Tools Under $20 to help continue your RV closet organization journey.
Next, find out how to keep your RV kitchen organized!
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Products Recommended Above:
Slim, No Slip Hangers
Split Loom Tubing Wire Cover
Hanging Closet Organizer – Shelves
Small Hanging Organizer
Over-the-Door Towel Bars
Dirty Clothes Mesh Bag
Pop-up Laundry Bags