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Old 09-19-2010, 08:29 AM   #1
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HELP - Montana Organizing

Hi Gals,
New here and preparing to retire and do some serious traveling.I'm curious if anyone out there living in their Monte has good organization skills and an efficient way to load their coach.
I find I am constantly moving and reorganizing and its driving me crazy, I can't find a thing. I generally keep the heavy stuff down low but I don't think I am efficient with anything else. We have a 3380 with the standard setup except we swapped the couch and recliners. I'm open to any suggestions. Thanks
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Old 09-19-2010, 09:01 AM   #2
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Great looking pups!

Lets be honest, for most of us, packing one of these homes on wheels, is well, a challenge.

I find that as my needs change, my organization changes. I also don't stick to the "normal" storage/organization theories. Books over the desk, nice, but, mmmmmmm, they are awful heavy, so, some books go up there, but, I also have my cross stitch stuff up there, not so heavy, but, needs a hunk of territory.

I also put stuff where it fits.

Can I always remember where I put things, well, nope, I cannot! Never have done it, but you could always take digital photos of each drawer, and cupboard and contents. Might help the memory.

One trick many of us do agree on, is stuff toilet paper and paper towels in "holes". Keeps stuff from rolling around, and does not weigh much, and mmmmm, we always seem to need those.

Also, remember there are stores just about everywhere you go, unless you plan on spending several weeks boondocking, you can grab what you run out of, or decide you just have to have.

Measure your cupboards, buy small plastic bins, to fit.

And, all that said, there are a few gals around here that have SUPER organization skills. I'll bet they don't have ONE pile of papers laying around in thier stick builts. I won't fess up publically about my paper organization/storage here at the stick. Nope, not going there!
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Old 09-19-2010, 09:56 AM   #3
bob n pam
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Don't be afraid to be creative with organization. Things you can and will do in the rig you would never think of in a house. Would you ever put an extra pillow on top of things in the top of a cabinet? Try it; it keeps things from bouncing around. I'm sure there are others with great suggestions that will come along soon. I've lived in a 5th wheel for so long now I just can't think of all the things I do that make it work. I'll keep thinking.
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Old 09-19-2010, 03:43 PM   #4
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We keep track of things that we didn't need and try to eliminate them the next year. Things that we forgot we either buy on the road or go without until we return home. After four years we are still making a lot of adjustments. I don't worry about where things are, my wife keeps track of that. If I can't find something I just ask her. Works for me.
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Old 09-19-2010, 04:21 PM   #5
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Hello and welcome!

I purchased clear plastic shoe box size at Wal-Mart & Target and put like things in or near where they are needed. I have had to throw away about 3/4 of the lids though as I mainly use them to keep things together and that I can pull down when needed. (If I had to count plastic boxes there would probably be 20+ shoe box size, and probably 5+ slightly larger where it will fit. That is probably most important... measure under kitchen sink and under bathroom. I have containers in back of these with other stuff in front of it.

I am not the tallest person either and have trouble with the 2nd shelf over the kitchen counter. I have cups and glasses in those and can pick the container up and have several choices in it!Consequently, the most unused but necessary at times are stored up high where a step stool or Hubby can reach.

One last thing... keep what you need if an emergency comes up that you can get to without opening slides. I keep meds & vitamins together in a cabinet in a storage container that is accessible in the entry. I also keep doggie stuff in entry way also.

Like Carol said, I do try to be aware of weight and where putting it. Books and heavy stuff opposite kitchen slide. Do not have a rear kitchen so that is not an issue with us.

ps and here I did not think I would have anything to contribute... and I have rattle on and on... sorry. Hope this helps. Make it your own!
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Old 09-19-2010, 07:22 PM   #6
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WOW, thank you so much. These are excellent suggestions. The plastic containers are great.
Keeping emergency things by the door,I didn't even consider. I was able to squeeze through in our old RV, but never thought about an emergency and the need to get to stuff fast.
Please ladies these are great, keep em coming. Very helpful for me, I am so worried about the prospect of being on the road for more than a week and not having "MY STUFF" that I am trying to get everything in the Monte. Great information sharing.
Thank you Mrs. CG, our furbabies are our loves.
Thank you
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Old 09-19-2010, 08:37 PM   #7
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"..... I am so worried about the prospect of being on the road for more than a week and not having "MY STUFF" that I am trying to get everything in the Monte."

We're fulltimers and spent all our time on the road. You are on the right track to surviving a whole week.....you asked the question. Welcome to the MOC Forum.

At Wal-Mart, you can find a standard clear plastic box built by Sterilite, #1774, the last ones we purchased were `$2.50 each. The dimensions are such that they fit perfectly stacked in all of our cabinets. In most places, they are stacked side-by-side.

For example, we have seven of them stacked under the bathroom sink with labels like "hair feet and nails stuff", or "tooth stuff" or "soap stuff".

On last count, we have over 20 being used in different locations; they just seem to be the perfect size for our needs.
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Old 09-20-2010, 02:51 AM   #8
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Another suggestion, staging area.

When we are packing for a trip, long or short, we have a staging area in the stick where we pile stuff up. As we think of things we want to take and that will not be needed, we put them in the staging area. I begin staging for winters away weeks ahead of time (I usually take research with me, that takes a while to colloct).

Another idea that has worked well, move into the unit a few days before departure. We don't do this in mid winter, but, works well if the weather is mild. As you live in it for a few days before you leave, you will discover you did not pack "X", and you can go retrieve it.

Of course, not having to pack the coffee pot each trip is one of the bestest things. Have one for the rig, one for the stick. Besides when one goes kapoot, you have a ready replacement!
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Old 09-21-2010, 06:09 PM   #9
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I use plastic boxes and some of those plastic bins to keep "stuff" organized--also label the end of the boxes, just have to remember to put them back so the label is facing me when I open the cupboard. I also use baskets to keep reading material, etc in. They set niceley in various places and when traveling ride on the chairs or sofa. I also keep a running list of things I need to replace or things I wich I had with me for the next trip.

Like Carol, I have a place that I put things that "go into the trailer" next time and start gathering up things before a long trip--I already have an order from my son for the trip in Dec "bring your sewing machine" so I will make up a plastic box of sewing things I know I will need, etc. when I get back from the rally.
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Old 10-06-2010, 05:24 AM   #10
Peg Jack
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We have recently become fulltimers and I have tried to be very organized. I found the Command pull strips (hooks) to be very helpful for my jewelry, purses, scarfs and such. In the cedar closet I put a bunch on the back wall. I also use many of them to hang in our "garage" storage compartment. Remembering where you put things isn't easy but always try to put things back where you got them. That's hard to get DH to do! I love new ideas.
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Old 10-22-2010, 06:35 PM   #11
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Like Pam, I've been doing this for so long, I don't really think about it anymore. However, in addition to the plastic boxes (I actually don't use too many of those), the white vinyl-covered wire shelves are quite useful in utilizing the many too-tall cabinets in these things ... and you can stack the plastic boxes on them too!

Storage organization is one of the many things I'm rather anal about and I like to have things as close to where I'll be using them as possible. And, it drives me insane when I can't find something ... these things are too bloody small to lose things in!

Even though Steve complains about all the pillows we have on our bed, they are quite handy on travel days for keeping things from moving around.

I love the challenge of finding room for our stuff ... I would love to go to your place and help you!
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Old 10-28-2010, 03:28 PM   #12
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Another thing to keep in mind is that over the axles is the place with the least bouncing in the rig. So that's a good place to put things you don't want to bounce a lot. In our 3400, that means just aft of the kitchen sink. We've gone 200 to 300 miles sometimes and a drinking glass next to the faucet has not moved. A few times it fell off but that's pretty rare.

Also, anything you put behind the axles will bounce more because it is "unsprung weight." Also, any weight you put behind the axles, reduces the pinweight on the bed of the truck. Anything forward of the axles adds to the pinweight. Most likely you'll not need to worry about that.

We run heavy but we try to live our life as close to the same as we did in our stationary home. So, if it's something we want to have with us, it goes with us. For example, I have some boxes full of nuts and bolts and miscellaneous hardware. It has come in handy several times.
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Old 10-28-2010, 06:16 PM   #13
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Someone mentioned the plastic coated shelves and placing boxes on them. We have them in most cabinets and DH has installed eye bolts and we use bungy cords to hold them on the shelves while on the road. Works great.
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Old 11-22-2010, 02:06 PM   #14
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I found some plastic boxes at Ikea that were inexpensive and fit well in the overhead cabinets.
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Old 09-26-2011, 05:45 AM   #15
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today is cloudy and chilly
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Old 10-22-2020, 08:15 AM   #16
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How do you organize the cavernous shelves in the pantry? I have a 3120.
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Old 10-22-2020, 02:34 PM   #17
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Maybe this simply takes some time and experience to figure out, but one thing you can do to eliminate some stuff to organize better, is to consider stocking your RV with items that serve multiple purposes, instead of stalking items that serve only a single purpose and then you need several items, instead of 1, that will serve several.

Case in point: You can purchase a hammer, a hatchet, meat cleaver. Or, look for a hatchet for splitting your firewood that also has a flat end that can be used as a hammer, and better yet, has a claw that can be used as a nail puller. You can also use the hatchet to whack your meats in half, instead of a meat cleaver.

Another idea. You purchase a pair of scissors for cutting paper and string. You you purchase metal cutting scissors for minor repairs on the camper, cutting wire and what not. You also purchase a pair of meat scissors. You now have 3 separate scissors. Why? Get the meat scissors and they can be used for everything listed here, paper, leather, string, wire, wood, meat, even bones. Now, you've eliminated some space.

Plastic tubs, as mentioned above. Use the tub when traveling to hold stuff from shifting around while in transit. Once at your destination, empty it, put it in the sink and use it for a wash tub. When leaving, dry it out, put the items back in for travel. It also serves as a bucket for hauling water, washing dishes outside, and if you were to get sick .... a barf-bag. One plastic container can do multiple things, thus eliminating having several containers designated for single purposes.

If you really think about it, probably about 1/4 of all the stuff you have outfitted your camper with can be eliminated when using tools and devices that can do multiple tasks.

Space is a real premium in an RV, and conjestion can get under your skin real fast. So, think in terms of multi-tasking items (especially when it comes to cookware), and you'll save your sanity.
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Old 10-22-2020, 03:30 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Pamc View Post
How do you organize the cavernous shelves in the pantry? I have a 3120.
We've added some wire shelves in the back to allow for double stacking of things and some trays on the floor that allow us to organize drink bottles. We also bought everything from salad spinner to mixing bowls that fold and stack so we can get the most out of our cabinet space and still have the things we want.
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