7 Habits of people who always have a clean RV

Living in an RV it feels like a never ending battle to keep an organized and clean RV.

And when I look on Instagram and see all those gorgeously renovated RVs with their luxurious white interiors, it feels like I must be the most disorganized, dirty and style-less RVer ever!

But if I take a step back and stop comparing myself to other people (especially those with a beautifully curated Instagram account) then I realize I actually keep my RV pretty clean. My RV is welcoming (although teeny tiny) and things are generally in their place and the decor is pleasant enough to look at.

These are the simple habits / things that I do every day, to ensure that our RV is clean (without being obsessive!), tidy and comfortable.

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Habits of people who always have a clean RV

1. Take your shoes off at the door

We don’t allow shoes in our RV. We take them off and leave them in a spot right beside the door.

Since we’re in such a small space, this does mean that only one pair of shoes (each) is ever left out at one time. All others are put away in their box under their bed.

This is easy for us here in Australia, as we’re currently only wearing thongs/jandals/flip flops all day, every day.

2. Make your bed

I was never very good at this when we were living in a house. It was in a whole other room that I didn’t go into until the end of the day, so why bother?

Now that our bed is right there in our one living space, it makes a big difference if it’s not made. For something so simple as throwing the duvet over and smoothing it out, it sure does make a big difference to the overall look of our RV interior.

3. Don’t leave dishes overnight

Some RVers are lucky enough to have a dishwasher in their RV kitchen. For the rest of us, getting the dishes done each evening makes everything nice for when you start your morning the next day.

We’ve even adopted the habit of rinsing our coffee cups straight away too, anything to help keep things nice.

And it’s so easy to do.

4. Clean countertop surfaces

We try to keep our countertop clear of clutter. When you live in an RV, everything has to have a secure location anyway, as there’s no way you can keep things out on the counter while you travel.

With our very limited countertop space we need to keep the clutter off so that we have space when we cook. Part of that is making sure that the counters are wiped clean too.

5. Put clothes away

We don’t have a washer/dryer in our RV, so when we come back from the laundromat it can be very easy to just leave the basket of clean, folded clothes right where it lands beside the door. But I’ve found that clothes are our biggest nightmare, and putting them away straight away is one of those things that I have to make myself do, whether I feel like it or not.

Same goes with our clothes in the evening. Do you have that one chair (or spot on the floor) where clothes that you’ve worn once go to retire? They’re not dirty enough to put in the laundry, but they’ve been worn once so it feels weird to put it away with all my other clean clothes.

I’ve had to learn that if it’s not dirty enough to go in the wash then it has to be put away in the closet or drawers. And if that makes me feel icky then it’s obviously dirty enough to go in the laundry!

There is no in-between in our RV. It’s either clean (and put away), or dirty (and in the laundry).

6. Declutter / one-in, one-out

When we downsized from a house to an RV we did a huge de-clutter and purge. And as we’re now limited to a very small RV, it’s imperative that we don’t overfill it.

So we have adopted the one-in, one-out rule.

If we buy something new, something has to be removed from the RV.

I bought 2 new Corelle soup bowls, so the 3 mis-matched bowls were thrown.

I got given a new fitted sheet from my mother-in-law, so the threadbare one got thrown out .

I bought some more practical food storage containers, so a few of the impractical ones left the the kitchen.

This philosophy of one-in, one-out has really helped to curb any unnecessary spending and accumulation. It makes us stop and think about whether we REALLY need that item and whether it’s really that much better than the item it’s replacing.

7.Everything must have a place

I really should have made this the number one tip. Everything must have a place. A home. A secure spot where it can happily stay while we’re travelling down the road.

Our lifestyle actually makes keeping our RV clean and tidy, easier. Since we’re moving every week or so, everything gets put away into their little hidey hole, surfaces are all wiped off and we start off with a fresh slate when we get to our new campground.

What about you, what habits can you share with us about keeping your RV clean and tidy?

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Dinette inside an RV showing a coastal view out the window, with text overlay: 7 easy habits to keep your RV clean.

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  1. When folding my pants or shorts depending the season I fold them in half. Then choose 2 shirts to wear with them. Fold each one in half and lay them on top of the pants folding them all together in a three fold (two fold for shorts). It saves space and time in dressing. Makes it much easier to put them away. There has been times when I have put a couple pair of underwear and a bra on top of the shirts then folded everything up. Since I knew I was going to be real busy this helped with time management. When I unfold the pants I put the extra shirt and put it back in the drawer or shelf for the next day. This also saves on laundry to wear pants 2 times.

  2. As every day RVers we basically make these our daily goals! Except the one in & one out I really love this idea going to add this to my daily goals, the only problem is teaching this to my Husband! Lol

    1. Oh I hear ya, Sharon! Husbands (and I’m sure, kids) add a whole other level of complexity. 🙂

  3. I need help! Our RV is so cluttered we barely have room to walk. Closet is falling in to floor in bedroom. How many clothes do I need? Where do I store winter stuff? We have 40’ class a. Help

  4. Where would I even start when doing a declutter!? We have nice things that really shouldn’t be put in the trash bin, but also do not need to be in our camper.

    1. Hi Hailee,
      Decluttering is a process; I’m not the kind of person that can just do a full-on purge over a few days and be done with it. I take my time and get used to the idea of getting rid of stuff.
      I have a post that details how I de-cluttered and downsized into our RV; it may be helpful to you too. https://rvobsession.com/downsizing-to-an-rv
      But I wouldn’t necessarily throw out your nice things, selling them or giving them away is much more preferable to throwing them out. But certainly, if you don’t need (or want) them taking up space, you should move them out of your life. 🙂

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