Creating an Office Area In Your RV

Making room for an office in our small RV takes a little creativity!

Making room for an office in our small RV takes a little creativity!

Where is a pen? Did you bring any scissors? Honey, do you have a paper clip? This is a typical conversation between Jim and me when we are on the road. Since we travel much of the year, we pack and organize our small RV space thoughtfully. The one area we struggle with is how keep office supplies organized. We conduct research and develop writing projects while we travel so keeping these items on hand is part and parcel to working on the road. 

Keeping office supplies organized in a small RV is a bit of a challenge!

Keeping office supplies organized in a small RV is a bit of a challenge!

I tried to organize one drawer in the RV for all the small office items but that proved a bit too confining for what we needed to bring along. Every time I needed a paper clip or a USB drive I had to dig through everything in the drawer to find it.

Drawer organizers didn't keep anything contained (when the RV makes a sharp turn the contents of every cabinet and drawer shift!). So, we began stashing items in several areas around the RV.  Pens in the dash cup holders, rubber bands around the spice jars. Finding the right office supply became a game of "I spy"!

We found ourselves missing our well-equipped and efficient office at home. So, how do we take that functionality along with us on the road and how can we keep it organized? 

While I was packing the Dopp kits for our latest trip, an idea began to form. I needed a container for the office supplies that could pack as easily as a Dopp kit but with more compartments. A box would be unwieldy in our small RV space and whatever we used had to close securely enough to contain all those pens, clips, and small items. I needed something soft, packable, and secure.

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A search on Google produced a few options. I loved the extra-large Dopp kits from Land's End but they really wouldn't be ideal for organizing all the small items. A zippered jewelry roll made a good candidate for organizing small pieces but didn't have enough right-sized pockets for all of our office stuff. The best candidate I found was a hang-up cosmetic organizer. 

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It was inexpensive enough to give it a try so I ordered it. In the meantime, I assembled the office supplies we typically bring along on our trips as well as a couple of accessories for the laptop like extra earbuds, USB storage sticks, and a calculator so I don't have to use the one on my phone (save the charge!). 

A few days later the organizer arrived and I began filling it with all the bits and pieces that are integral to a well-equipped desk. Surprisingly, the organizer worked perfectly!

The top row of pockets was just the right size for paperclips, rubber bands, and extra USB drives. The second row easily accommodated earbuds, velcro dots and squares, tape, glue and a mini stapler and staples. All of our pens, pencils, sharpies, and highlighters (great for mapping routes in the atlas) tucked neatly into the third-row pocket. And the two large pockets on the bottom stored a calculator, scissors, sticky notes and a notepad.

To keep everything in place, each pocket has a zippered closure. The whole thing folds up into a neat, flat package that stores in a shallow drawer. 

When I am ready to do bills, work on a project, or plan an itinerary, I hang up my new organizer from a wall hook, clip my "To Do" list to the top, and set up my laptop on the dinette table. Organized and efficient and all in one place! 

You may be thinking, "Ok, that's fine, but I don't need an office when I travel." Fair enough, even If you don't work on the road, maybe you enjoy crafting or painting, needlework or any hobby that has lots of small pieces and parts. Or perhaps you like to take along all those tiny fasteners, screws, electrical findings and small repair tools. A hanging organizer will keep a lot of small items in one place.

It is an inexpensive and handy way to keep things tidy in your RV while keeping them ready for your next activity. And it is packable even when it is filled!

You can find a handy little organizer like this at most big box stores, but if you want the one we are using, there is a link below to the product at Amazon.  Happy organizing!