In a post about the Pros of RV Living, Mike mentioned how easy it is to clean up the RV, and he is exactly right. However, it is as easy to turn the RV into a disaster area too! One grocery store run can turn the RV upside down. Bringing in a bunch of bags full of items takes time to open and put away…all within the confines of a small space. We have learned some techniques to keeping our RV from feeling overwhelmed with goods.
First of all, we pull things out of their boxes. Cereal goes into plastic cereal containers, sugar goes into a glass container, fruit snacks and granola bars go into specific plastic see through bins. (brought to you by Dollar Tree) It makes all of these food items easy to spot (for self reliant kids) and it’s easier to tell when food needs to be refilled (yes, we have had those mysterious empty boxes left in cabinets…must have been the dog.)
Secondly, we get rid of stale, expired food or food that has just gone bad as we’re putting up groceries. We don’t have much food go bad because we keep leftovers at eye level in our fridge…yes, it really helps! Rotating canned goods, etc in our cabinets helps us rarely have outdated food.
Thirdly, we have an “all hands on deck” policy. EVERYONE helps. (Well, except our dog, Buttons. She just refuses to help.) Family life is better when kids understand how much work mom and dad go through to shop, put away, and prepare food. Kids have much more appreciation for their parents when they realize how much work goes into daily actions.
Fourth, we don’t stop until the job is complete. Mike and I help direct Emma and Jensen with manageable tasks to keep the momentum going.
(Blurry…Emma and Jensen doing their nightly kitchen cleanup)
So, how do we keep up with cleaning our RV? I’m so glad that I asked…for you.
- Clorox wipes…or any type of quick cleaning cloth. I frequently use these types of wipes to clean up everything from the kitchen sink to toilets to dog drool…ugh, the worst.
- Conveniently placed cleaning supplies. Mike installed a paper towel holder on the inside of our kitchen cabinets which is in the middle of our rig. It’s easy for us and our kids to access the cleaning supplies which makes cleaning easier. (Of course, I understand that our kids are old enough to not need cleaning supplies to be kept put away.)
- Chores. Yep, I typed it…the word that kids hate. Chores! We have chores that we all do, daily and weekly. Mike and I have never had “set” things that we do. He and I both do dishes, sweep, vacuum, do laundry, etc. This is the same “all hands on deck” approach that we adhere to with the groceries. Guess what? When kids SEE mom and dad working side by side, they tend to follow and even want to help. Emma and Jensen have chores on a list that they keep in their room. They understand that Mike and I will not say “yes” to fun stuff until the work is done. (Don’t feel too sorry for them…it’s six things to do which include brushing their teeth and taking their vitamins. Rough, I know.) They also have a chore that they do on the same day each week…Tuesday is know as the “worst chore day” in our family. Jensen has to vacuum and Emma has to sweep…a 450 square foot camper. Yep, again, rough stuff.
- Consistency. Whether it’s sticking with the chore chart or putting the broom in the same place, we stay consistent. Other than laundry which we do at a laundry facility (usually in our campground), no chore takes very long. I say often to our kids “It’s going to take 2-5 minutes, tops.” and my mom’s favorite phrase, “Many hands make light work.” It’s true!