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Get the most out of your RV’s closet with these easy organizational hacks

It can be one of the smallest yet most important areas in your RV. Your closet. Whether you enjoy a “walk-in” (I use the term loosely) or a single cupboard, the closet is one place that often can be modified to maximize its functionality. Here are a few tips, products, and ideas to consider…

The first step in organizing your RV’s closet

Before you begin to add organizational items into your closet, you’ll want to take everything out. That’s right. Remove everything. Once you’ve lived in your RV during the sweltering summer heat or the freezing winter temps, you’ll discover that the RV closet is a major source of heat loss and heat buildup. All of your RV’s cupboards also share this commonality. Once you see how easily you can insulate these spaces, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it long ago.

We went to Home Depot and purchased two kinds of insulation: rigid foam insulation and a roll of double reflective insulation. We cut the rigid insulation to fit snugly against the flat closet walls. This insulation can be permanently installed by using screws, but we chose to let friction hold it in place for now. It’s worked well for us. We used the flexible roll of insulation for the curved, ceiling area in our closet. We used staples to install it. The product’s tabs made the process easy and fast.

RV closet storage tips

Now that you’ve insulated the closet walls, it’s time to consider ways to optimize its function.

  • Hanging storage: Many RV closets are narrow cupboards with a short closet rod at the top. If you pack mostly T-shirts, jeans, and shorts for camping, that closet rod isn’t going to help you much. Not unless you hang an organizer from the pole like this one. You might need to fold your T-shirts into thirds in order for them to fit and stack neatly, but this hack makes that small closet much more usable. This versatile item can be utilized in many ways. You can put clothing into the drawers or do what I did. I stacked clothes on the fabric “shelves” and used the “drawers” as storage bins elsewhere in the closet. You’ll note that there is additional storage space in the attached side pockets, too. They’re perfect for personal hygiene products like deodorant, hair clips and ties, and so much more.
  • Clothes hanger hack: If you put shirts or tops on hangers in your RV, you are probably familiar with how almost everything slips off the wire or plastic hangers as your RV travels down the road. To keep your hanging items on the hangers, simply wrap rubber bands over the hanger ends—one rubber band on each end. Spread each rubber band out to cover as much area as possible. The friction will help keep those clothes where they belong, no matter how many bumps your RV hits.
  • Dirty clothes hamper: Our current RV has a bigger closet than previous campers we’ve owned. So, at first, we got a traditional laundry basket and placed it on the closet floor. Then I found this hanging clothes hamper online. The reason I love this style? It hangs from the closet rod. Valuable closet floor space is now reserved for shoes, my sewing machine, and the stick vacuum. This unique hanging clothes bag has a wire rim that keeps the bag open for easy use. Both the rim and hanging hook can be removed. When removed I can pull the top drawstring closed and carry the bag to the campground laundry facility. The bag is made of heavy canvas fabric that so far has held up well to steady use.
  • Hanger extender: When first organizing our closet, I was frustrated. Our few hanging clothes were constantly in my way. I always had to push them to the side in order to access the shelves at the back of the closet. So, I looked for ways to lessen the number of hangers on the closet pole. I found these ingenious hooks and they work really well! You simply slip one over a hanger’s hook. The extender allows you to add a second article of clothing to the shirt that’s already on the hanger. By doubling and tripling the number of items hanging from one hanger, the back closet shelves are easily accessible. Hint: If you have access to soda can tabs, they can also work for hanging a few lightweight items.
  • Add a shelf (or two or three): My husband added shelves to previous RV closets we’ve owned. An extra shelf in a deep, narrow space really makes a substantial difference! You can find many styles and configurations online. I suggest that before you buy you actually gather together the items you plan to store on the shelf. You may discover that you need two rather than just one shelf addition.

How do you optimize your RV’s closet space? Share your ideas here or on my forum.

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Michael Theis
6 months ago

I use a clothes organizer that hangs from the pole, similar to the one Gail recommended. However the bottom of the unit hung about 1.5″ above the floor of the closet. When traveling, it would rock and roll and when I would open the closet door, socks and underwear had slid out of the compartments and ended up on the floor. I tried to limit the movement of the unit using Velcro strips but that did not work. What did work was screwing a scrap piece of 2 x 4 to the floor of the closet and then running a couple of screws (with washers) through the bottom of the organizer, into the 2 x 4. That solved the problem.

Eileen Brown
6 months ago

Gail, would you consider adding photos of your RV closet, along with the text? I would find it very helpful…much more than a stock photo of a clearly residential closet.

Donald N Wright
6 months ago

Perhaps if the closet doors were not solid, but more of a screen to moderate temperature and air flow?

Roger B
6 months ago

We removed the sliding mirror doors and hung curtains to help with air flow.

Bruce Byrd
6 months ago

Trick I learned from days of motorcycle traveling and packing in saddlebags is with TShirts and pants is rolling them instead of flat folds. I traveled a lot with work and got to be a contest to see how much I could get in a small carry on suitcase with air travel. Be surprised how well this helps.

PDN
6 months ago
Reply to  Bruce Byrd

My wife learned the rolled clothes tip when our son’s were in scouts.

Steve
6 months ago

Since most closets and cupboards are built against the existing outer walls, how can they be any worse at retaining or passing hot or cool temps than the whole unit. Insulating a closet will only eliminate a very small area of the temperature exchange. You need to insulate all the outer walls to do much good. I guess every little bit helps.

Tom
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve

I think that you don’t notice it as much in the rest of the RV. The heat gain (or loss) within the closet area is contained in that area when the door is kept closed. Once the closet door is opened, it becomes apparent how much of a heat/cool differential there actually is. While insulating this very small area, in relation to the entire interior wall surface in the RV, could block heat/cold from the outside, it may not really be worth the effort, overall.

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