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How to Make Your RV Mattress the Most Comfortable Mattress Ever

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We’ve owned a couple of RVs. My parents had a pop-up then a small travel trailer (TT) when I was little. As an adult, camping and ATVing is a big part of my family’s life. We had a TT toy hauler and now a 5th wheel bunkhouse. We are now fulltime RVers, so comfortable beds are an absolute necessity. Is it possible to get comfortable beds in an RV? Many of the newer models are finally getting the hint. But, if you find yourself in an RV with the less-than-comfortable mattresses, there are some things you can do. If you’re fulltime RVers, consider keeping the mattresses from your house and putting them in the RV. Just take measurements of the space you have in the RV and compare them against the measurements of your house mattress to see if it will fit in the RV space. I did this in my boys’ bunkhouse. Their bunk holds a twin mattress size, so I just put in the beds from the house. I kept the RV mattress. It is so thin and flimsy that I attached it with safety pins to the top of the re…

DIY RV Fireplace Surround

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Walk through all the new RVs at any RV show and you’ll see gorgeous fireplaces with intricate stone surrounds. We had the fireplace already in our 5th wheel, but it didn’t have the beautiful stone surround. As a matter of fact, I often wondered why the space on each side of our fireplace wasn’t used for storage. I know that it was just unused space back there because I removed the fireplace one time in an effort to take a look at the shower hoses behind the fireplace. The fireplace, by the way, is nothing more than an electric/gas space heater built to look like a fireplace. So, if your RV doesn’t have a fireplace, you may be able to add one if you have the space and clearance to safely do so. One option was to install a door on each side and use the empty inside space as storage. But, I didn’t need more storage and love the look of a stone surround, so I went with the second option, which was to install a DIY stone surround. There’s a product called AirStone, which is plaster molde…

Organizing a Medicine Cabinet

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A medicine cabinet can be daunting to organize. But I’ve got two tips that will help you organize your medicine cabinet and never have to catch stuff before it falls out again.
Tip #1: Get some clear plastic organizers from Wal-Mart. They have compartments and drawers that make it easy to organize basic items such as toothpaste, deodorant, q-tips, razor blades, nail clippers, and such.
Tip #2: Use the space on the wall and on the back of the door. Chances are, there is plenty of wall space you are able to see. This is all wasted space. Use it. Buy clear spice racks at Lowes or Home Depot in the 3M Command Strip section. Use these racks to store medicines, essential oils, and things like that.

Makeup Storage in an RV/Small Space

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If it were up to me, I’d never put on makeup again. I feel perfectly comfortable without it, but admittedly, I do feel like I look better with it. I only wear minimal, but my makeup collection looks otherwise. I have more eyeshadows than I’ll ever use. I have so many bottles of mascara that they’ll likely go bad before I use them. I don’t even wear foundation, yet I’ve got several BB and CC creams. And I’ve never been able to find a concealer I’m totally satisfied with, so I’ve got several types in my storage. When we moved into our RV, I was determined to get my excessive makeup collection down to only what would fit in one small organizer. I got the organizer at Wal-Mart. It has three drawers, a lift-top storage area on top, and two unlidded compartments on top. I placed my brushes, mascara, and eyeliner in the two unlidded compartments on top because those are the things I need to access easily and frequently. In the lidded compartment, I have my concealer, powder, and blush. In …

Organizing a Small Refrigerator

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It’s not easy to organize a small fridge when you’re trying to feed a family of four, especially if you’re trying to eat healthy. An organized fridge will make it easier to store awkward items and also gives you a visual indicator when something’s missing so that you know what needs to be added to the next shopping list. I keep a master shopping list on a magnetic dry-erase board that I’ve attached to the outside of the fridge door. I can write items on the board and double-check the master list before going to the grocery store. The door of the fridge has shelves attached. Just move those up or down to the size you need. The door is the best place to store condiments, butter, canned goods, and if space allows, bigger items such as milk cartons or kool-aid pitchers. In the main fridge compartment, we store sodas on the shortened top shelf. On the next shelf, we keep sandwich meat tucked away in the back underneath the drip tray. This is where I also like to store prepackaged veggie s…

Organizing a Small Freezer

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Most 5th Wheels have what I call a 1/2 fridge. There's not a lot of space in there, so organization is a must when trying to feed a family of 4. I got sick of items falling out of the freezer everytime I opened the door. Stacking things on those shelves just wasn't working. When I took inventory of what was in the freezer, I realized that I could organize the items into three sections - breakfast items, meat items, and prepared foods. The other thing I needed space for were ice cubes, since we have an ice maker. So, I measured the length, height, and depth of the spaces and found these sturdy plastic organizer bins with handy handle cutouts. Their measurements, 8-inches square by 6-inches high, were a perfect match. Here's a 4-pack that will save you some money. This is how my freezer looks now and nothing falls out, ever.

Adding Greenery to the RV

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When it comes to plants, I’m not very good at keeping them alive. I tend to overwater them or neglect them until they die. So, I’m hoping I have better luck with these – air plants. They don’t need to be planted or watered. They get all their water from the air and only need sunshine. Well, it just so happens that the shower in our RV has a skylight over it, allowing in lots of sunlight. And the moisture from the shower is perfect for the air plants. I used some of my jewelry wire to make some cute spiral plant holders and hung them on Command Strip hooks. Aren’t they perfect? Now I just need more! Update: I got more! I went back to The Plant Man in San Diego's colorful and festive Old Town. He's had a run on all things Tillandsia lately and had to stock up on more from his grower. When we went back, he had some amazing air plants in stock, so I bought more than I should. But, they're oh so pretty. Here's what I've got now:

Closet Reorganization

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When we moved into the RV, I wanted to hang my boys’ clothes in their closets, but there were only shelves. So, I removed one of the shelves (before taking measurements) and then realized that a hanger wouldn’t fit in the closet. The edge stuck out and didn’t allow the door to shut. I reluctantly had to replace the shelf and use plastic storage bins instead.
It didn’t take long for my perfectly folded clothes and precisely arranged placement of the boys’ clothes inside the bins to become a wadded up, disorganized mess. Ugh! I had to find a way to hang those clothes. So, I measured the width of the closets and bought a 1-inch PVC pipe. I already had a PVC pipe cutter so I cut it to the lengths needed. I bought some closet rod holders and screwed these anchors into the closet side walls and hung the PVC pipe. Turns out, children’s hangers fit nicely and allow the doors to close. The problem I then ran into was that the clothes were dragging and getting wrinkled on the shelves (which I d…

Repurposing the Boys' Sitting Area

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After 6 months of living in our RV, I faced the fact that the sleeper sofa in the boys' bunkroom was only being used to pile stuff on. It was never sat on or slept on. It's only use was to hold stuff that either had nowhere else to go or no one who was inclined to put it where it belonged.
Before, with the sleeper sofa:
In case you didn't gather by my decorating and organizing pictures, I'm a little OCD. And by a little, I mean a lot. A couch with an ever-growing pile of junk on it just doesn't sit well with me. Add to that the tripping hazards created by the boys' gaming chairs in the middle of the room, and a 6-year-old who jumps constantly while playing Wii, shaking the entire RV, and I had had enough. Couch be gone!
During (sorry, I ALWAYS forget to take a Before picture):
Convincing my hubby to remove the couch was my biggest obstacle and took a few months. After that, it was just a matter of painting and rearranging to turn that space into a fully-function…

Organizing the Closet

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Our closet is located at the front end of our 5th wheel, which has a sloping wall. I looked at several different ways to organize this area. I bought the flat felt hangers that have tabs in the center so that you can stack them. I found them on clearance at Bed Bath & Beyond, so I bought more than enough. My plan was to hang three hangers per slot with them being stacked, but I decided that we don’t need that many clothes (it was a ton and weighed about that much, too), so I changed my mind and decided to only hang one hanger per slot and get rid of a LOT more clothes.
It was tough downsizing all of our clothes from our house’s walk-in closet to our RV closet. For my really nice, name brand or business clothing and shoes, I took them to a local upscale clothing consignment shop so that I’ll get some of my money back. I don’t like selling clothes in garage sales or online because you get pennies on the dollar for what you paid and it’s just too much hassle for too little cash. If …

Organizing the Kitchen

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Our RV kitchen drawers are long, narrow, and deep. With a width of only 8" to deal with, I quickly realized that it was going to be quite difficult to find a silverware organizer that would fit. I finally found a 7" organizer and bought two. Once they arrived and fit nicely in the bottom of the drawers, I couldn't help but wonder how to make use of all the height space. There is a company called InterDesign that sells a wide range of clear, heavy duty plastic containers for kitchens and bathrooms. These little caddies are an RVer's dream come true. I bought two that are 8" by 8". Then, I found some stick mount hooks at Wal-Mart and attached them to the sides of the caddies. Now, they slip right into the drawers, providing extra storage space. When I need to access something underneath, I simply lift up the caddy, get what I need, and put it back in.
On the front of the cabinet, under the sink, I had some blank space. I decided to attach some Dollar Store b…

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