15+ Clothes Storage & Closet Organization Ideas
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Ashley Mann spent three years living full time in a 38-foot, 5th-wheel RV with her husband Josiah and their cat, Kitty. Her favorite thing about RV life is the challenge of finding the perfect way to organize a space, and she loves seeing all the creative and clever ways people come up with to customize their RVs.
Fitting all of the clothes we need into the closet of a camper or motorhome can be tricky. Here are some RV organization ideas for different styles of closets to help maximize interior storage space.
How I organize clothes and save closet space in my RV
First, I'll start by showing you how I store my own clothes. I have a pretty good sized closet for an RV; it's the type with sliding mirrored doors. But we live in our RV full time in a four-season climate, and I still have to have professional clothes as well as everyday clothes and athletic clothes, so I have quite a bit to store.
Space Saving Hangers
One way I save space in our closet is by using these cascading hangers for sweaters and blouses, which allows them to take up much less horizontal space. After I had already bought mine, I found a DIY way to make them.
I also invested in some non-slip hangers with wire hooks. They stay on the cascading hangers better, take up less space than fatter plastic hangers, and clothes are less likely to fall off them when you're squishing them into a tight space (especially slinky shirts with a wider neck).
Belt and Tie Racks Used for Multiple Purposes
I have also found belt/tie racks really useful, not only for hanging belts, but also for hanging bags, cardigans, bras, and all my tank tops and camisoles. I got these belt rack hangers at Walmart. You can get them on Amazon, too, but they cost more.
Tie & Scarf Hangers
I ordered this tie hanger for my husband online, but I'll be honest – he normally just stuffs his ties onto his end of the closet shelf after he takes them off. 😂 (I posed these for the picture.)
These hangers would probably work well for lightweight scarves, too, if you're a scarf-wearing sort of person. That reminds me….I also picked up an actual scarf hanger exactly like these at Dollar Tree recently. It was summer when I bought it, and instead of hanging it up I ended up putting it in the storage area under the bed where I forgot about it.
Over-Door Storage Bins
These aren't in my closet, but they are an important part of my clothes organization strategy. In them I keep gloves, hats, yoga pants, swimsuits and my “unmentionables.” They are quite inexpensive on Amazon and come in a few different colors. Update: There have been some improvements on this product since I originally wrote this article, and I now prefer this version because it has pockets on the sides and holds its shape better.
Dirty Laundry Hamper
Last, since it's related to clothing, I thought I would share a photo of my laundry hamper. I like it because it's made from heavy-duty canvas, the metal frame is quite sturdy, and the bag can be removed from the frame and closed with a drawstring for carrying to a laundromat if needed. The hook it's hanging from is screwed into the wall, put there by our RV's previous owners. (I do have a plastic laundry hamper as well, visible in some of the photos above, but I use it for storage, not for laundry.)
Saving Space in Drawers
If your RV has drawers for clothing storage, one way to make better use of the space is to add dividers which allow the drawers to be filled to the top without becoming too messy.
You can do this by adding drawer dividers. Pictured below is a drawer I organized using bamboo drawer dividers, but you can buy plastic ones more inexpensively, or make your own out of wood or cardboard if you're crafty.
If you buy them, be sure to measure your drawer before ordering; I made the mistake of assuming any adjustable drawer dividers would work and ended up having to return a set of dividers that were too long. You'll also want to make sure they are tall enough to allow you to fill the drawer as full as you want; some are shorter to fit in kitchen drawers.
Box or Container Inside a Drawer
Another way to achieve the same thing is to put a container inside a drawer, as Australian RVers Allan and Emma suggest in their article about clothes storage ideas. Here's a set of drawer organizer containers that have smaller sections to help you be super organized, but you could also just use a cardboard box.
Clothing storage and organization ideas from other RVers
Shoe Organizers Used for Clothing
In the pictures below you can see how shoe organizers can be used to organize not only shoes but also clothes. Do you have a lot of pairs of leggings or other workout clothes? A hanging shoe organizer would be perfect for organizing those!
The owner of this RV put storage bins inside a shoe organizer to act as drawers.
You can also purchase hanging organizers with drawers already built in.
Drawers Added to Closets
One RV owner found that this cube organizer fit perfectly in her closet.
The wire drawers used in this RV closet were purchased at Ikea. Don't live near an Ikea? The Home Depot carries a similar product.
Plastic drawers can be used to organize the floor space underneath hanging clothes.
Shelves Added to Closets
This RV's owner found some wire shelves that were exactly the right dimensions to fit inside her deep, narrow closets.
Here is the same style of shelf used in another RV.
The owner of this RV installed wire closet shelves by hanging them with Command hooks. I would be a little worried about the sturdiness of the hooks, but these people haven't had any problems. Still, if I tried this I might use extra heavy duty adhesive hooks like these.
An expandable tension shelf would be another easy way to add a shelf to a cabinet or closet. There are many styles and widths available on Amazon.
Bins Hung with Tension Rods
This RV owner found a way to work with the angled back wall of her closet by hanging a plastic tub using tension rods. She says it has stayed put so far. A shower caddy mounted on the closet door adds extra storage for smaller items.
Ideas for RVers whose closets aren't big enough
No matter how organized you are, if your closets are too small, you may simply need to add more hanging clothes storage.
One way some RVers have done this is by turning their shower into a closet by hanging clothes from a shower rod spanning the top of the shower and using campground facilities for showering.
If you have enough floor space, an adjustable-height garment rack like the one below could be a good way to add additional clothing storage.
Utilizing Closet Doors for Storage
Shoe organizers can be cut to fit on the back of a closet door.
Using Wall Space for Hanging Clothes
If you are short on floor space but have plenty of wall space, you could mount a clothes rack like this one. (You'll just want to make sure to use several screws with wall anchors to help prevent the screws from coming out of the paneling and causing the whole thing to fall down.)
What if you don't have a closet in your RV?
Full-time RVer Carly didn't have a closet in her camper, so she removed the bunks and turned the space into a DIY closet! You can read all about her DIY RV closet project here!
For more ideas for organizing and storing things in a camper or motorhome, check out my RV organization resource page!
I have seriously always wondered how they do this. I guess it’s mainly just making do with the space you have!
Yep! And yet I can always seem to manage to find room for one more shirt….
Thanks for the tips! You should see how unorganized ours gets after two weeks of roadtripping with the kids. We will have try some of these.
Hope they help! 🙂
These are really great ideas that I can use in my duplex as well.
Awesome! Happy organizing! 🙂
i dont live in an RV but these tips were wonderful! i need to apply them to my own closet.. and maybe help my boyfriend out too haha.
Glad you found them useful! 🙂
Your organizational skills are goals! I think what you did can be emplemented anywhere really!
Thank you so much! I agree – living in an RV forces me to be organized, but organization is a good thing no matter where one lives!
My husband and I have lived in our RV fulltime for almost 10 years, and we each have a short double closet. The hardest part for me is mildew… we get condensation on the inside of the closet walls so the clothes get damp. Because of that, I can’t pack the closet too tightly in order to allow for air flow. I also hang Damprid hanging packets at each end of the rods, but still… it’s a constant battle. I can’t use any of the canvas or cloth organizers (or cardboard) because they’d be unusable before the end of one winter. (I mention this for those who are new to this lifestyle and might not be aware of condensation issues.) Lots of other great ideas will work for me though. Thanks!
That sounds frustrating; thanks for the heads up for people who battle moisture in their RVs to avoid fabric organizers!
Try damp rid hanging dehumidifier items. I use them all over our parked trailer to help with mustiness and mildew. They work.
Thank you for this suggestion! Believe it or not I have never had a problem with dampness in my RV, but I know that lots of people who do have this problem recommend these for the closet, and you can buy ones that hang from a closet rod.