Dear Kathi,

My family just purchased a new RV and we love to go camping. Every time we want to go somewhere, we invariably forget things. With multiple people packing, important items often get left behind. Without making one person responsible for everything, how can we manage to be provisioned? PS After we put all this stuff in the RV, how do we keep it from falling around when we drive?

Ren, Cardiff


You can solve your provisioning challenge by creating a list. This list will itemize the food that you wish to have onboard for each trip. It will probably contain staples like olive oil, spaghetti noodles and sauce, butter, potatoes etc.

It is best to camp once as you create your master list. Once you analyze this list away from home, it will become clear what you need to include. After this, you are ready to type and print several copies to keep in your RV. Make sure to leave a few blank lines.

When you are underway, keep your master list visible. A spot on the refrigerator keeps it front and center. As you consume food that needs to be replenished, add a checkmark beside the item. Family members can also add forgotten snacks to this list.

If your RV is not going into a storage facility, DO NOT MOVE this list until you are ready to buy new provisions. Keep your list on the fridge for safekeeping. If your RV does go into storage, place this list in a file at home until the day you shop. It’s a great idea to restock as soon as you return so that you can leave on a whim if the spare time presents itself.
For bedding and towels, keep a collapsible hamper on board where you can toss soiled items. Don’t mix your clothes into this basket, they should have their own dirty clothes bag. Launder the bedding hamper items separately and take them immediately back to your RV. You don’t have to worry with unpacking at this point. A family member can make the bed and stow the towels once you are underway on your next adventure.

Speaking of stowing, it is best to place loose items in plastic boxes with lids that fit snugly inside each cabinet. When a door jars open because you take a bump or curve, the worst that will happen is the items within each bin will become jumbled. Bins also make it easy to clean the inside of your cabinets. There are so many plastics available that you should easily find a bin to fit within each space.


Kathi is a professional organizer, image consultant and event planner based in San Diego California.

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San Diego Professional Organizer