(this is an excerpt from my book: The Spartan RV)
Clothes deserve a topic all by themselves.
Surprisingly, clothes are very, very heavy. They also take up a fair amount of room.
Clothes are also a big part of identifying who we are in the world. The neatness and cleanness of clothes also signal who we are to the world.
To be Spartan-like with clothes you must utilize balance. You should have just enough clothes, but not any more!
Are you surprised that clothes are heavy? Here is an experiment. Weigh yourself with a normal outfit and shoes, then weigh yourself naked. You’ll be very surprised at the difference. It could easily be as high as 5 pounds.
Multiply 5 pounds TIMES 40 outfits. That is 200 pounds of clothes! If your significant other has just as much clothes, now you have upwards of a 500 pound clothing weight inside of an RV. Remember, that some RVs might even have a carrying capacity of no more than 500 pounds.
You must watch the weight at all times. Especially if you are going to live in the RV full time.
I think the same rules should apply to clothes as they do to everything else, with some slight caveats.
* If it is casual clothing – you should wear it once every two weeks. I recommend having a 2 week supply of clothes before you need to launder clothes.
* You can wear your blue jeans more than one day so you don’t need a 1-to-1 blue jean to shirt mix.
* It is OK to a limited amount of special occasion clothing – perhaps 2 outfits for special occasions.
* Shoes – I’m sorry ladies – but you have to keep your shoe collection reasonable. I would shoot for 2 pairs of casual shoes, 2 pairs of bumping around sandals, a fitness shoe, and 2 pairs of nice shoes that can be worn with you 2 nice outfits and cross-over to some of the casual as well. That will give you plenty of choice without filling the RV up with shoes. Putting a shoe rack anywhere in an RV will affect your day to day living. Trust me I’ve done it.
* Husbands and Wives (or other similar co-habitation units) – Limit your TOTAL combined clothes collection to no more than what the closet can hold. If you have a full width closet that is the width of the RV then lets be realistic – let the lady have 60% of the space and you can take 40%. But under no circumstances should there be any clothes overflow except for the normal underwear, socks, and a small miscellaneous collection in a small set of drawers.
* If you have a travel trailer which has a right and left closet, there is no good way to give the lady more space. You’ll just have to each get one of them. (Hint to the ladies – a fifth wheel will serve you better if you have lots of clothes).
* Underneath the bed storage – Don’t fill it with clothes. The space is too juicy and if you’re not careful you’ll have lots of weight hidden under the bed.
The best “rule” I can give for keeping your RV Spartan-like in the clothing category is this – If you can’t fit it in your designated area for hanging clothes then you probably shouldn’t have it.