As we say goodbye to spring and hello to summer with longer days and warmer temperatures, many of us are pulling out the shorts, t-shirts, sandals and other traditionally summer items. Twice a year, as I go from winter to summer and from summer back to winter clothes, I can’t help but wonder how other RVers handle seasonal clothing.
Today, I share what I do. Additionally, I want to offer a few tricks I’ve learned along the way. As always, it would be awesome for you to share your thoughts and experiences on the subject in the comments below. No doubt, there are more hacks related to managing seasonal clothing than I have thought of.
Seasonal Clothing in Sticks-and-Bricks
I don’t know about you but seasonal clothing was never anything I thought much about in pre RV life. For the most part, I had enough room in my sticks-and-bricks home that everything had a place in closets, cabinets and drawers.
For six months, I might not think about coats or sandals but they had a place. Over the off season, they would worm their way farther back in the closet until the weather changed and I’d pull them to the front again.
No big deal. But in RV life, there is rarely that luxury. So, what to do?
First, the Obvious…
You might be puzzled that this is even a thing in RV life. After all, isn’t RV life all about going where you want to go when you want to go there? And, therefore, why not simply travel in such a way that weather is consistently the weather that is most ideal for you?
That’s a fair question for sure. In that case, it’s unlikely you even need or have seasonal clothing. Or at least not much.
I wish I could say that’s how RV life has played out for me. And, while I fully recognize I control my own destinations, I have frequently been in weather much too cold for my liking followed by weather much too hot for my liking.
Following the weather is harder than it sounds. This is true if the RVer wants to visit family at a certain time or decides to workamp or to take a job at, say, Amazon. So, while I recognize this topic may not be relevant for everyone, it probably is to more people than you might imagine.
Seasonal Clothing Strategies
Like so much about RV life and living in small places in general, dealing with clothing is largely a matter of organization. It’s obvious and, yet, it cannot be stated enough. I have an upcoming post about creating more space in a small RV so watch for tips there too as the two topics go hand-in-hand. But today is about clothes specifically.
So, here are a few notes that can help.
First, know that winter clothing takes up more room than summer clothing. If you are switching out winter and summer bins (and keeping clothing you aren’t currently wearing in bins prevents you from using your precious RV space for items you won’t be wearing), a good strategy is to have less winter items so they take up a similar amount of space as your summer ones.
Second, use space saver bags. You know the ones? They are like giant zip lock bags where you roll out all the air, compressing the items. These work really well for things like coats and jackets that naturally have a lot of air. It used to be you needed a vacuum to suck the air out of these types of bags but I found some that don’t require a vacuum. You roll out the air. This is great for RVers as many don’t travel with a vacuum.
This next strategy is true for everything. Not just clothes. Make sure your storage bins are well labeled. It is worth the few minutes it takes. It’s such a pain when you are looking for one particular item and have to search through several bins to find it.
Fourth, if you follow any one of the many professional organizers out there, you know that if you haven’t worn an article of clothing in the past year, you should considering putting it in a donation bin. Even more true when you live in an RV. Recognize that space is precious and treat it as such. Don’t let clothes you aren’t wearing linger.
Find clothing that can serve in multiple ways. For example, a pair of pants that lets you unzipper the bottom half to make shorts could prove to be a solid year-round piece of clothing that functions in both warm and cool temperatures. Similarly, a jacket with a removable liner. Or a jacket where you can remove the sleeves to make a vest.
Other Seasonal Items
The topic of seasonal items really is bigger than just seasonal clothing. For me, it also includes bedding. In my case, I use a thicker comforter/blanket on my bed in cooler temperatures and a lighter blanket in warmer ones.
Now, you could argue that having blankets that are changed out with the season isn’t really on point since it involves carrying two rather than one. Meaning, the one not being used must be stored somewhere. That’s valid.
But, for me, I carry many extra blankets with me anyway. When I had pets, they used them. Plus, I love sitting outside whenever possible to work, to read, to watch the world pass by. Sometimes it can be just a few degrees too cold to do it comfortably and having a blanket to sit under can be the difference between sitting outside and not. In other words, I’m already carrying extra blankets so it is fine.
I keep the blankets I’m not currently using in a zippered bag in my van and I’m regularly taking different blankets in and out. My van has plenty of room so I don’t feel the need to compress them. But if space is that tight for you, compressing extra bedding is a good option.
Today’s post is a little short because the topic is so specific. But it will be a good companion piece to the next one which will be about finding and creating more space in your small RV.
What strategies do you employ for dealing with seasonal clothing? Share in the comments below.
Other Posts in the RV Life Series:
- RV Life and Grocery Shopping
- First 72 Hours of RV Life: Not for the Faint of Heart
- RV Life and 7 Ways to Dry a Bath Towel
- RV Life and Doing Laundry While Traveling
- The Physicality of RV Life
- RV Life and the Challenge of Shoes
- RV Life & the Pros and Cons of a Home Base
- 8 Things I Did Wrong on the Road to RV Life
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- JOYBOS Bathroom Trash Can with Lid
- NIVEA MEN Cool Body Wash with Icy Menthol, 3 Pack
- Norpro Checkerboard Cake Pan Set
- Suction Cup Hooks with Key Lock
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