Since its release on Netflix, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” has become a buzz in households across the country. The KonMari Method espouses downsizing clutter, keeping only those household items that spark joy, and efficiently organizing to save time and space. The great thing about the KonMari Method is that it can also be applied to how you clean and organize your RV.
First of all, you will want to deep clean your RV. This is most easily done by removing everything that is inside of the RV, including everything in drawers, cabinets and storage spaces. Keep like things together in stacks or in boxes, but remove them all from the RV. After all things have been removed, start by cleaning all surfaces, appliances, drawers, and shelves, starting from the ceiling of the RV and moving down. Finally, vacuum furniture and floors, and then mop. Voila, a clean palette to start from!
At this point, you’ve seen which cleaning products work best for you. Restock on everyday products for your RV and keep a list of what those products are so that they can be purchased and stored in your RV. Start with the cleaning products you just used. Add consumable items to this list as well, like toilet paper, paper towels, dish soap, shampoo, and cooking oil and spray.
Next up, go through the items that you removed from the RV, one by one. Does the item have utility or “spark joy” for you? Can it be replaced with something newer or more utilitarian? Is there another tool or item that would work better? Perhaps your spice rack needs an overhaul with newer, fresher herbs and spices. Maybe the dollar store set of holiday hand towels in the bathroom could be replaced with something a bit more luxurious. Donate the items that you no longer use or need in your RV and replace them with items that will be a joy to use on your travels.
Finally, organize for tidiness and efficiency. Washable plastic bins and trays are inexpensive and can help keep items separate in drawers and cabinets. Closet and pantry organizing systems can be installed to maximize useable space. Other RV organizing hacks can be found on the internet, like this article. Keep like items together and within reach for the spaces in your RV where they will be used.
We know what you’re thinking. Bringing the kids with you on an RV trip just seems more like a hassle than a good time. Let us assure you that is not true. Like any camping trip, there are going to be ups and downs. How many of the “downs” do you really commit to memory though in comparison to the “ups”? Chances are, not many. The truth of the matter is that bringing the kids along for the trip is actually a great idea for several reasons.
First and foremost, family time is at a premium when camping in an RV. Distractions are often at a minimum, or at the very least can be mindfully controlled. Electronics can be left out of the equation except for during the drive, when a little distraction is a good thing. After arriving at a destination however, the real fun begins. Expect a little crankiness and attitude at first, but watch how quickly it begins to settle.
Children are natural explorers and adventurers. Placed in the relative safety of a campground, they can experience some of that on their own, with a light watchful eye from parents and guardians. Many of the places you go may even have youth programs and sponsored educational activities like guided hikes, art and history presentations, wildlife viewing, or astronomy outings. Invest in the inquisitiveness, creativity, and independence of your children while they are young and they will grow to become healthy, happy adults. As an added bonus, they will likely meet other kids and develop great friendships.
RVing with your kids also means not only having full charge over meals, but also enlisting their help to prepare and serve them. You get to chose the menu instead of whatever might be available at the amusement park or arcade. S’mores and fresh baked chocolate chip cookies are always a treat at the end of a day along with some stories and jokes around the campfire, but you can opt to leave the corndogs and mac ‘n cheese out when preparing lunch.
Finally, camping with your children assures that they will get plenty of exercise and fresh air. They may get to try new things like kayaking, rock climbing, or mountain biking, and don’t forget all of the hiking too. With more and more stimulation from television and video games these days, it is important that kids also get enough exercise, sunshine, and fresh clean water and air.
One of the greatest joys of being on an RV excursion is how it brings us closer to the natural beauty of the world we live in. For some, that means simply going on a hike with a spectacular view as a destination. However, none of us are unfamiliar with the thrill of encountering wildlife along the way. Indeed, some of us camp for no reason other than to see spectacular wildlife in their natural habitat. By following some of these tips, you can make your wildlife viewing excursion even more successful.
The general rule of thumb for viewing wildlife is three-fold… be patient, be early, and be quiet. You will want to arrive at your viewing destination in the early morning, in most cases before dawn. Once there, you will need to find a comfortable place to be still and quiet. Don’t forget that wildlife often strive not to be found by predators, meaning they will remain hidden until things are quiet and peaceful. Waiting for that right moment can take a while, sometimes up to an hour. Do not give up! Wildlife viewing in itself can be like an act of meditation.
Come prepared with field guides so that you are able to identify the wildlife that you encounter, or anticipate natural habitat where specific wildlife might be found. Pay attention to edge spaces in particular, such as where forest gives way to meadow or a stream cuts through a canyon. Using binoculars or a telephoto lens on a camera is a good way to approach these habitats without being noticed by the local fauna.
Learn to interpret various animal signs, like tracks, markings, or droppings. These can lead you to areas where herd animals like bighorn sheep or bison congregate. Move slowly, quietly, and deliberately while tracking and keep an eye out for viewing areas where you can remain out of sight from approaching animals.
Many rules of etiquette also apply, like leaving pets at home so as not to ruin other wildlife viewers’ experience. Additionally, leave things that make noise behind, like cell phones and iPods. Some wildlife have such a keen sense of hearing that even headphones with music can scare them off. Respect private property and sensitive habitats, as setting foot in these areas can disrupt the natural habitat of the wildlife you are seeking.
Lastly, be sure to bring a journal to document your excursion and the wildlife you encounter. While a photo can sometimes be captured successfully (be sure your volume is turned off if using a cell phone), a journal entry is always effective for capturing how you felt in the moment.
What is Workamping? The term was coined in 1987 by Workamper News to describe anyone who works, volunteers, or runs a business while on the road camping in a tent or RV. Some would question why in the world someone would want to take a relaxing escape like camping and mix it with the one thing most of us are trying to get away from for a little while… the daily hustle of our jobs. The answer to the question is really quite simple though. Workamping gives you the freedom to make your getaway longer and more sustainable. You get a new environment to live, work, and play in whenever you want to change, and an income that makes it possible to stay on the road.
Workamping can take on many different forms, from internet based writing jobs to campsite hosting to a temporary work position at a store or restaurant in a small town for the summer. The possibilities are really quite endless. The one thing that the jobs often have in common is freedom of place: being able to visit and work from any place you’d like for as long as you’d like.
Workamping typically does not require a full-time 40 hours per week for work. If it did, you might find yourself working more than enjoying your new environment. Workamping is also probably not going to be a lucrative career choice to build a 401K and retirement benefits. What Workamping does offer is enough stable income to live modestly and comfortably. In many cases like campground hosting, benefits might include a free campsite for the duration of the work agreement.
What do you need to get setup? A really good way to get started is to ask yourself what things you are both good at and enjoy doing. If that is knitting for instance, perhaps your trip can coincide with well-attended craft shows along a route to several destinations you would like to see while traveling. If you have the benefit of family traveling with you, then a partner can drive while you do your knitting. If freelance writing is more your thing, search for jobs that have flexible deadlines based on number of items written and make sure that your campsites have wifi enabled service.
For more inspiration getting started with a new job on the road, check out Workamper News where you can sign up free for information on Workamping delivered right to your email inbox.