”Okay, I’ll admit it. It’s difficult for me to get rid of clothes and shoes I no longer wear. Actually, it’s hard for me to even identify the clothes and shoes I haven’t worn for a while. But no more! I’ve come up with an idea for both challenges, identifying and disposing of things I no longer use. This is a surefire way to clear the RV closet clutter. Skeptical? Just read on…
Too much in too little
To be clear, I’m not talking about seasonal clothing and footwear. I usually keep off-season things in a separate plastic bin under the RV bed. It’s just easier for me that way.
No, what I plan to tackle is the problem of crowding. There are too many clothes on too many hangers hanging on too short a closet pole in my RV. Also, too many shoes schlepped into too small a space. The crowding makes it difficult to find things and I’m frustrated by the hassle. Perhaps you are, as well.
First step in organizing your RV’s closet
Because this problem has taken a while to pile up (literally), my solution will also be a long-term one. Here’s my first step. I’ll remove everything from the RV’s closet. (I know, I know! This is a pain, but hopefully worthwhile in the long run!) As I remove items, if I discover something that I instantly know I’ll never wear again, it goes either into the donate bag, trash, or recycle bin.
Here’s a caution about this first step: If the item is torn beyond redemption or scuffed beyond repair, throw it away. If you wouldn’t buy it at a resell shop, no one else probably will either. Be realistic. A plastic rain jacket with three out of four snaps broken off will not benefit anyone. Into the trash it goes! That sentimental fringed cowpoke shirt that you wore years ago to the rodeo may be too small for you now. If it’s in good condition, perhaps another buckaroo would love it. Put it in the donate pile.
Now the ingenious part
The trick to reducing RV closet clutter is in the way you put things back into your RV closet. Hang clothes hangers backward on the pole. That’s right, position the hung clothes so that the “end point” of the hanger faces you. You’ll still be able to peruse through your clothing. Removing the hanger may be a bit inconvenient but stay with me here. Do the same with all your shoes. Set them in the closet paired together with toes pointed outward.
When you’ve worn and laundered an item of clothing, replace it on the hanger with the “end point” of the hanger at the back side of the closet. (The opposite of how other items are hung.) Same with shoes. Put them back into your closet paired with heels facing outward. Do this each and every time you wear an item.
If you’re like most folks, you’ll soon notice that you tend to wear a few favorite items most of the time. Perhaps these items fit best, or you find them the most comfortable. Whatever.
Within six months, take a look in your RV’s closet once more with an eye on decluttering. You should notice at once the clothing items that are hung “backward.” These are the items that you’ve not worn. Same with shoes. The shoes with toes pointed outward are the ones you haven’t worn in six months!
Decisions are in plain sight, right before your eyes. Clothing that hasn’t moved since you placed them backwards on the closet pole six months ago needs to be donated, trashed, or recycled in some way. Same with shoes. If you simply must keep that one dressy dress with matching shoes in case you’re suddenly invited to a wedding or a funeral, that’s fine. (But really?) Limit yourself to only one such outfit. (And maybe it’s best to keep those items in your stix-n-brix home.)
RV closet organizing outcomes
I’ll let you know how this system works for me in about six months. I’m optimistically hopeful!
Do you have tips or tricks that keep you from overstuffing your closets? Let us know about your ideas in the comments, please.
Excellent idea, Gail! Thank you! We travel a lot, but well short of half-time. However, I see your idea helping us pack more efficiently. Thanks again!
Well, you’re welcome, Neal. I’m really hoping it works for me, too!
Another tip after pulling everything out of the closet is to put back the things you love first. As the closet/drawers/bins start getting full, stop adding more items and donate what is left. You’ll feel so much better when your items have breathing room and you can easily remove an item to wear.
Love your idea of putting favorites back first. Thanks for sharing!
Closet? I have 2 “boxes” about 12″ wide and use one for folded clothes I use frequently. The other one has maybe a dozen hanging items. Glad I’m single and don’t need to share. RVs need to focus on storage more.
Sounds like a really good idea/plan, should probably do in the Sticks and brick house also. I’m horrible about donating or trashing clothes and shoes I never wear. Please update us on how it goes, maybe this old dog can learn, my wife would be very happy.
When clothes are laundered I hang them on the right side of the closet, from time to time I go through those things on the left and remove what I haven’t worn. As for shoes I only have 3 pair, if I decide to bring different pair I will remove a pair. Our trailer is very small so keeping to the minimum has always been necessary.
Ten months of the year outfits; Short sleeve shirts, shorts, and sandals. What’s not to love?
It works great if you can remember when you actually did changes the hangers the first time. Maybe put a sticky note with the date on the inside of the closet door.