Clearing Out to Getting Out

We bought a new-to-us camper! This is something we have contemplated for a few years but never took the plunge. We finally decided it will be a great way to spend our summers, especially with me becoming a teacher! This is a great decision with my goal of wanting to get the family outdoors more often. Additionally, playing outdoors often does not require stuff. We have gotten a seasonal site at a nearby lake and spent this past weekend setting up and relaxing out there.

Nature is the best toy!

How does a camper fit in with my goal of decluttering? Due to the fact that a camper is something we were considering for a while, I always saved items that may one day be useful in the camper. With this goal of decluttering, if we had not gotten the camper this summer, I likely would have gotten rid of everything I had stored. Too much STUFF can drive a person nutty! Was it really the best idea to clutter my home waiting though, I am not sure.

I did not have to spend a bunch of money getting extra items which can be stored in the camper. Clearing them out of my cupboards will make decluttering those cupboards and closets much easier in the coming weeks. My linen closet, bathroom closet, kitchen cupboards, pantry, storage room and more have all gotten slightly less cluttered. I had lots of extra bedding, extra dishes, too many extra towels, an extra first aid kit and a cluttered pantry from saving up for a rainy day.

Packing for a family of five. The photo does not include outdoor gear or groceries.

One good find from our storage room was an unopened toaster oven. Two or three years ago for Christmas, we suggested a toaster oven for Christmas from our parents. The problem is that both Chad’s mom and my dad and step-mom bought us toaster ovens. We got rid of the old one that was no longer working well and ended up, of course, only using one. The other one made its way to the basement storage room where it was almost forgotten about. I use my toaster oven on a weekly basis for cooking chicken breasts, potato dishes, nachos and much more. The toaster item came in handy this past weekend for making toast and I am sure we will make lots of use out of it.

The other good find from our storage room was a boxed cutlery set we got for our wedding almost ten years ago. If you look at the first photo of this post you can see the toaster oven box with the brown storage boxed cutlery set on top. When we got married we were gifted 3 cutlery sets. Two were from close family members and the third was not. The third one was exchanged, one was used and one was stored (except for being pulled out for one Thanksgiving dinner). I am happy that I am finally able to use the set from my Auntie! My new philosophy may become “use it or lose it!”

With my new philosophy at the top of mind, I am researching how to keep my camper from becoming cluttered. Campanda Magazine lists 5 Easy Ways to Organize You RV. Bins and organizers are a great start, just think how annoying the cutlery drawer becomes if you do not have a cutlery tray? When my husband had to run back to the city this weekend he came back with a cutlery tray for this reason. He also purchased a bin for the water hose and his tools. The article also suggests Command Hooks and that is on our list to take the next trip. Another article I found is 12 Awesome RV Storage Ideas from The Wayward Home. They suggest collapsible strainers. That is actually an item I had saved in my storage room along with a collapsible bowl. If anyone has any advice on keeping my camper clutter-free, please comment below.

I think it may be a struggle for me to learn how to declutter and minimize. I just made use out of items I had stored years, lol. I am, however, determined to live with less stuff! Next blog post will be my closets, which was my original intent for this post.


6 thoughts on “Clearing Out to Getting Out

  1. Miss Hollinger says:

    I was waiting for you to post about your “de-cluttering” learning project as I was super interested to see how you would document it! You did a FANTASTIC job! You and your family looked like they had a fabulous May Long camping. Also, I am the exact same way I tend to put things I don’t use or I got gifted that I thought “one day” and put it where I can’t see it. Because my philosophy is, “out of sight, out of mind”. However, I like your new philosophy better! I can’t wait to see “before” and “after” photos of your closets. Personally, that is a task that is LONG over due in my household.
    Thanks for sharing


  2. sarahwright9860 says:

    It is great that you bought a camper. My family have been camping since I was four so we have picked up a few tips and tricks along the way. We have found that the best way to store clothes is using rubber maids because they are stackable and can easy be moved around. If you don’t use your oven I recommend using it for storage (we use ours as a bread box). Can’t wait to hear more about your cleaning and camping.


    • mablenkin says:

      Hi Sarah, great advice. I never thought of Rubbermaid bins for clothes, I do need to figure out something for the kids clothing! Bread in the oven is nice advice. I put my cookware in the oven but bread and buns take up more space so I like your idea better.


  3. bruceandersonblog says:

    Hi Mary-Anne,
    I really enjoyed your post. I appreciated the irony between using technology to discuss getting outside and ‘unplugging’. I love the idea. My young family is looking into camping so I will be keeping an eye on your adventures for future tips.


    Liked by 1 person

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