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Airstream Organization Tips

As Published In Airstream Live Riveted
Airstream Organization Tips

Last month, we shared some on-the-road organization tips to help our readers live the best adventure possible. To continue that trend, we’ve consulted with full-time Airstreamer Ramona Creel — also a veteran organizer/coach who lives and works and practices what she preaches about clutter in less-than-200 square feet. A couple times a month, she’ll be sharing tips and tricks for successful RV travel — today we’d love to introduce you to this Renaissance woman!

How long have you been part of the Airstream community?

I’ve been a devoted Airstreamer for nearly a decade now — and I adore it! But there are so many fabulous advantages to “living riveted,” it’s hard to pick a single superlative.

What’s the best thing about full-timing?

I love meeting the vast variety of interesting folks who’ve chosen to follow in Wally Byam’s tire tracks — because let’s be honest, Airstreamy-people truly are a cut above! I love the immediate sense of community that seems to exist no matter where I travel, belonging to a tribe that understands my wanderlust (and my desire for a rig other than your run-of-the-mill fiberglass recreational vehicle).

I love the openness with which newbies are welcomed to the fold — I love the generosity exhibited by veteran RVers when someone has a question or problem. And of course, I must admit enjoying the response I get from strangers when they find out that I live and work full-time in my hip funky little tin can — that mixture of awe and jealousy, as say, “I love Airstreams. I dream about getting one someday when I retire.” (That’s when I launch into my spiel about how you don’t have to wait to start living the dream.)

What is your dream Airstream?

I don’t have a particular year or model that I lust after, but the Professional Organizer in me would love to get a brand new shell and have it customized to my exact specifications — with storage spaces perfectly designed to hold my costuming paraphernalia, musical instruments, craft supplies, cooking implements, exercise equipment, and all the other “necessities” of life on the road. I’d also include sleeping ledges on every window, and a cat door that allows my furbabies to play the “let-me-out-now-let-me-back-in” game with their outdoor “kitty habitrail” (a set of mesh tubes and tents that I put on the porch, so they can enjoy the weather and terrorize the local squirrels).

What is the most common question about organization?

Folks who follow my travels (even just through Facebook) want to know where I hide all the costume stuff — they see how many changes of clothing I can manage at ComicCon or Mardi Gras or during Halloween (then tour my very tidy and clutter-free home, as I often let people do at rallies), and are shocked at how I ferret it all away.

In general, the biggie is “where do you put it all?” People don’t seem to realize that Airstreams come with more compartments than you could imagine — plenty of storage for everything you need in daily life (with an amazing assortment of hidey-holes everywhere you turn). However, the challenge is figuring out how to maximize those spaces to best suit YOUR belongings. I do both in-person and virtual RV-organizing assessments as part of my business, and the biggest complaint I address is folks claiming not to have enough room for everything — unfortunately, I find that a great many Airstreamers create a lot of wasted space in their rigs.

They don’t recognize the value of “vertical” storage (allowing that iconic curved roof we love so much to interfere with fully utilizing their top cabinets and closet shelves) — and they don’t “layer” to reach full capacity in deeper spaces (which means that maybe half of the available real estate is serving any practical purpose). They forget about “hidden” storage (for items they use less often) — and turn their drawers/cabinets/outside compartments into dumping grounds instead of “containerizing” items so they fit better. It’s just a matter of understanding some basic organizing principles — and nine times out of ten when I’m done with my clients, they actually have EXTRA empty storage space, waiting to be filled. There’s so much more folks could be doing with their RVs to make them more functional!

What is the most challenging thing about living in a small space?

Certainly there are many challenges — keeping your valuables safe as you bump and thump your way down America’s fine system of roads, deciding what to take with you on your travels and what to leave behind, making sure you’re not accumulating massive amounts of unnecessary clutter at each stop. But I find that avoiding “out of sight, out of mind” syndrome is the number one chaos-control measure folks in small spaces can employ to make their rolling living environments more livable.

So many RVers who hire me have are frustrated because they find themselves surrounded by stuff that’s left sitting out all the time. This happens partly because they’re not maximizing their storage space (see my previous comments) — but they’re usually also plagued by a bunch of “homeless” items that have never been assigned a proper home. Simply having a set spot where you know something lives (and a routine that encourages putting things away as soon as you’re done with them) can work wonders. I’m also a fan of easily-accessible-yet-camouflaged storage furniture to hide things you use all the time and don’t want to stick in a closet or cabinet — even when you live in a small space, there’s no reason for a pile of shoes by the front door or a stack of mail on the counter!

What great insight from Ramona to kick off our series of posts together! If you’d like her help creating order in your own rig, contact her!

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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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