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Time For An Airstream Spring Cleaning

As Published In WBCCI Blue Beret Magazine
Time For An Airstream Spring Cleaning

There are some things you occasionally miss when living in an Airstream — a bathtub, a dishwasher, a really huge TV. But the trade-off is worth it when you consider all the hassles you don’t miss — like having to spend every Saturday cleaning!

A Quicker Clean

Ironically, my RV actually gets dirtier faster than my house ever did, even when I had exponentially more space. (I’m engaging in the same activities and generating at least as much filth as before — it just accumulates more quickly and noticeably in less than 200 square feet!) But I can still achieve the same (or higher) level of domestic hygiene with a smaller time investment.

Back in the old days, a “company’s-coining” deep clean took hours and left me too exhausted to enjoy my peeps — but now, I can do everything from floors to windows to sinks to toilet in under two hours. (Even when I’m a total pig and let the place go for a whole week, it’s still no big deal to transform my world from trashed to tidy in record time.) And I can accomplish a full-on spring cleaning in a single day (compared to the multiple weekends it used to require). The joys of the not-so-big house! So let’s take a look at my recommendations for a full-timing deep-clean plan.

While You Work

Open your windows and turn your ceiling fans so they’re blowing out as you work, to air out your little tin can. Throw in some laundry to wash while you work on the rest of the house — that way your clothes and bed sheets and towels will be done by the time you finish your other cleaning. If you have an old-school not-frost-free freezer like mine, leave the door open and allow a small space heater to blow inside and melt the icy build-up while you’re engaged in other activities — just be sure to place a few bowls and/or towels in the bottom to catch the drips.

Surface Issues

Start at the top, the same way you would in a house — if you wipe down your roof vents and the ceiling first (they get sticky after months of close-quarters indoor cooking) and something drips on the floor, you aren’t making a mess where you’ve already cleaned. Windows and mirrors are a snap if you use a vinegar-based cleaner and a microfiber cloth — no streaks and you can clean every bit of glass in your home in minutes. I like to give metal items (like my stovetop and stainless steel sink) an occasional once-over with a slightly abrasive cleaner (like Bar Keepers Friend) — to clean away baked-on grime.

Going A Little Deeper

After finishing with the shower, sinks, and toilet, empty your holding tanks then toss in some fresh deodorizer. Don’t forget to clean the oven (you really shouldn’t need anything more than a general disinfectant — I’ve never needed that seriously toxic oven cleaner for my teeny little cooker), then wipe down the inside of the microwave and fridge. Dust before you sweep and vacuum — and be sure to run a rag through the grooves in your curtain-slides. (You’d be amazed at how much stuff collects in those stupid little railings!)

Finishing Up

The last step indoors is to sweep, vacuum any rugs, and mop — if you have pets (like us), it’s also a good idea to vacuum any hair off the couch. I also like to do a good outdoor cleaning at the same time — that means sweeping the patio rug, cleaning any leaves off the awning, and wiping any obvious bird poops or other schmutz off the exterior of the trailer Next time, I’ll talk about some proactive steps you can take to keep the dust and dirt at bay in-between these larger efforts — but until then, happy spring cleaning!

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Copyright 2001

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Ramona Creel is an award-winning 15-year veteran organizer and member of the National Association Of Professional Organizers. As well as having birthed “The A-To-Z Of Getting Organized,” Ramona is also the author of “The Professional Organizer’s Bible: A Slightly Irreverent And Completely Unorthodox Guide For Turning Clutter Into A Career”—and the creator of more than 200 “quick-start” business tools and templates for use by productivity professionals. She writes seven different blogs, has worked with hundreds of clients, and has delivered scores of presentations on getting organized. Ramona resides on the roads of America as a full-time RVer—living and working in a 29-foot Airstream. Learn more at and

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