20 Awesome RV and Camper Organization Hacks To Simplify Your Life On The Road

We found that there are campervan organization hacks for virtually every aspect of van life and we’ve put together our best list for you in this post!

When you buy your campervan to start your van life, the first thing you want to do is pack it with all the things you need and take off on your big adventure.

But before you put a single thing inside the van, you should understand the importance of keeping your campervan organized. Not only will this help with your peace of mind, but also it will improve your safety while driving.

While we have lots of great information on creative RV storage ideas that you can read about here, we wanted to dedicate this post specifically to RV organization tips and hacks that will make the most of limited space in your RV.

Camper Organization Hacks That Will Simplify Your Van Life

Organization makes everything in your RV or campervan more valuable. Knowing that everything has a home and that you can quickly find whatever you are looking for without having to tear apart your storage compartments will make all the difference in a life on the road that is already full of logistics and planning.

Here are our RV organization hacks for a campervan, RV, or travel trailer to keep everything in place and looking good.

Write a list of everything you have in the Campervan

This is something many people do not do before they start throwing everything into various RV shelves and closets. Write a list of every item you have and where you have chosen to keep it so you know where you can find it when you need it.

This is not only one of the best RV organization ideas for keeping your camper organized, but also it is a good idea in case anything happens.

Whether you are involved in an accident, have a break-in, a freak storm or bad plumbing causes damage to the inside of your camper – knowing what you own and where it is will help you deal with your insurance company.

Promaster Katy kitchen stove 2

Get rid of what you will not need – Minimize

It should be quite obvious before you ever set out on the road that you will not have all of the extra storage space that you may be used to in your brick-and-mortar home. This applies to counter space, closet space, wall space and shelf space in your RV kitchen, bathroom and every room you may have.

While you may enjoy entertaining guests in your home, van living is different. You only need enough utensils for yourself and whomever you may be traveling with. Don’t carry a whole set.

And, similarly, you don’t need to have an extra change of linens for your bed or ugly sweaters that you wore once for the company Christmas party five years ago.

Think critically about whether you need every item you plan to pack. And don’t be surprised if you find that you still need to jettison things that you thought you needed along the way. Or if you end up having to buy something here or there that you didn’t realize you needed.

Some of our best purchases on the road have been items that maximize space by serving multiple purposes.

Related: Check out our top tips for making the most of your campervan storage space.

Give everything a home

Everything in your van should have a home. Unless it is a throw pillow for decoration, it doesn’t need to take up sofa or dinette space. And if you can stick it in a drawer or magnetic wall rack rather than taking up counter space, you are well on your way to being more organized.

If it doesn’t then find somewhere for it. This is where it lives and after you have used it, put it back where it lives.

In the beginning, you may not know where everything should go and the van will look messy all the time. But as soon as you start using things and putting them away, your van will look cleaner, more spacious and way tidier. 

Use wall space for storing and organizing.

Any spare wall can be used for storage space and organizing. Organise your hats on the wall by the door or your cooking utensils on the kitchen wall.

Think about the best way you can organise items in this space so they can be utilised. Make sure that the items are secured down for when you are moving and do not scratch your wall. 

Organise everything into smaller boxes or containers

One of the most common RV organization ideas is to use storage cubes, boxes and containers to help save RV storage space. This has been fantastic for us and we have done this in each of our RV cupboards to keep the counter space free.

We bought the felt bins as they have more flexibility in them and will fit into spots better. Fabric ones work great too. IKEA is a perfect place to start as the entire store caters to people who live in small spaces.

Organise each box so you know exactly what is in there. Slap a label on it or come up with a routine for knowing where everything is.

For example, all upper kitchen cabinets may contain kitchen and cooking utensils or be solely a place to store food while RV cabinets on the other side may have other items like camera or office gear, books or other items.

Tie Items down

Bungy cords will become your best friend on the road. Get some and you will be surprised how much you use them.

We have a few RV shelves in our van and knew things would fly off of them when we were driving. So we put bungee cords across to hold our items in.

Now there are no more items falling off the shelves and we don’t have to worry about anything spilling out of the cabinet doors when we stop driving for the day. 

More bench space the better

One of the best camper organization ideas is to clear everything off your benches. Do not have little things everywhere with no home.

This will make the campervan, motorhome or RV feel much tidier and more spacious. Plus it goes along with making sure that everything has a home when it’s time to drive to the next spot on your adventure.

Add shelves where possible to maximise 

Nobody living in a van or RV of any kind has the issue of having extra storage space. On the contrary, you may find that you have wasted space, which is the most frustrating thing, especially when you live in a small area.

Adding shelves in your campervan will give you so much more room for storage space. Shelves can store your clothes or kitchen items, or virtually anything you need to make room for.

You may not be able to put shelves on both sides of your campervan as you may not have space but at least you have them on one side. Make sure you maximize all your space including in your draws and cardboard. Add more shelves if you have to. 

Pull-down Shelving 

These can be great shelves for small spaces. Just think of it as an airplane’s overhead storage. Their cabin luggage storage shelves are pull-down, which gives you more space to walk around your motorhome, campervan or RV. You are able to organise items in each section and maximise the space. 

Hang things under the storage shelves

You can hang lite items under the cupboards with a nail or place a bungee cord there to hold small items. These are things that you use regularly and will be easy to access. Or invest in some hang baskets for fruits and vegetables or other knick knacks as part of your RV kitchen organization.

This is a great storage idea that will leave you with more counter space that can be used as prep space or simply left uncluttered.

An organised campervan
We organised Marlee so it was easy to start the day and take off quicker in the mornings.

Use the doors for storage

One of the best RV storage ideas that often gets overlooked when it comes time to save space is the use of your doors. This is any door. The back of the bathroom door, the kitchen sink doors, and the back door of the vehicle. Anywhere you can fit a storage hanger do it.

Being on the back of the doors hides your items and keeps things organised and tidy. Put it on your kitchen cupboard backdoors or the vehicle backdoors.

You can use command hooks to get the job done for storing things that can hang, such as jackets and bags. Attaching command hooks anywhere you have the extra space is one of the best RV organization ideas because they can easily be moved as you find the need.

Or invest in a shoe organizer that makes the most of vertical space by allowing you to store all sorts of items, from hanging containers to shoes or even to store food or other quick-grab items you use often but want to keep out of sight.

Dirty Shoe Storage

You do not want your dirty hiking shoes going in with your clean shoes and dirtying them. Have a separate storage space for your dirty shoes until you can clean them. Some people have what they call a quick drop zone by the door where dirty or wet items can be stored until they can be properly dried and cleaned.

Whether it is in a separate cabinet space or in a bag, just keep them away from your clean shoes and off your clean floor.  

Create A Cleaning Schedule

Who wants to do cleaning? Not me. This is the last thing I want to do when I am on the road.

But you do need a clean van so that creepy crawlies do not come in your van. Plus it will make you feel so much better to know that your tiny home on wheels is tidy when you come back from a long day of adventure.

Do clean up after yourself daily but maybe do one of those irregular jobs daily to help keep the van clean. Break down the cleaning duties. Every day do one chore and do a little bit per day. Your space is not large so it will not take you long at all. 

You may not need to vacuum every day. But consider sweeping every other day. And the fridge may not need to be cleaned every week. But don’t let too much time go between cleaning to keep the fridge tidy and clean.

Jarryd cleaning
Jarryd giving the van a spring clean

Use the “One In, One Out” Rule

This means if you buy something new for the van, then you need to take something out. This will make sure your campervan does not fill up with all your stuff.

We’ve had this rule throughout all of our travels when we have backpacked in over 70 countries in the past ten years. It helps keep your items down and means that you don’t have to find extra storage space somewhere.

Slide-out drawers 

We have found that slide-out drawers are amazing for storage. You can pull the whole drawer out and get to every space of the drawer.

We have slide-out drawers and cupboards and it is much easier getting that bottle at the back of the drawer than the cupboard. These are great RV organization ideas for virtually any cabinet space in your RV and are a space-saver when it comes to keeping items inside the drawers organised.

Organisation is key
Organisation is key. Having draws will make more space for you to store more items.

Shoe and Magazine Racks to organise your cupboards

One of the more simple RV organization ideas is to use traditional shoe and magazine racks to organize your cupboards and drawers. Use magazine racks and shoe racks to stack dry foods. It will maximise your cardboard space and keep everything organised. 

Use a Magnetic Strip under the storage shelves

One of the best space-saving RV kitchen organization ideas is to mount a magnetic strip or knife rack to any RV walls where you can hang things out of the way. This may be in the RV bathroom under the medicine cabinet or in the kitchen behind the kitchen sink where you can attach spice racks or knives to the walls.

Using the extra space of the RV walls in this manner allows you to hang and easily access items like keys or bottle openers as well.

Hidden table or Stow-Away Tables

One of the best RV organization ideas to save space is to have a stow-away table rather than a permanent table or dinette. We have seen a few people with the hidden table and they pull it out for their meal times or when they need a desk for working. 

This is great as you can place it away and pull it out only when you need it. This gives you more space to move around the already small space in the campervan.

Use the Ceiling

If you can hang things off your ceiling for more storage definitely do it. You can hang nets off the ceiling for clothing storage or light items.

But note that you do not put anything too heavy in these nets as it may rip off your roof. Keep it light. But know that command hooks work great in this regard as well.

Use the Roof

If you can use your roof for storage, this is a great way to store larger items that you do not use regularly. This may be camping chairs, a table or a kayak.

You can store extra water on the roof and it will not take up space inside your van. Or you could place a lockable storage box on the roof for smaller items and know that your items are safe if you are out for the day.

Use the RV shower

The simplest of all RV bathroom organization ideas is to use the shower to stow things that are best kept out of sight and that can be easily moved when it comes time to use the RV shower for what it was intended.

You can attach a command hook here or there to hang toiletries bags, wet clothes or a dirty clothes bag. Or store your cleaning supplies in your RV shower so that if they spill in the event of an accident they won’t ruin anything inside the RV.

Wrapping Up

There are RV organization tips as numerous as each kind of RV and RVer. Your floor plan and living space layout will determine which RV storage ideas make the most sense for you in your RV life.

We only touched on a handful of ideas that are common among most RV owners. So please be sure to let us know which organization ideas work best for you and which ones we can add to our post to help other readers out!

This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase a product we recommend using the links in this article, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. We promise to use this pocket money to buy lots of coffee and fuel for the campervan to keep us enjoying #VanLife for just a little longer. We appreciate your support, and only recommend products we know and trust. Thank you friends!

About the Author - Alesha and Jarryd - Van Life Theory

Hi! We're Alesha and Jarryd, the founders of Van Life Theory! We're currently travelling around Australia in our 2008 Mercedes Sprinter campervan and sharing our best experiences, stories, reviews and adventures as we go along. Make sure you follow along on our Instagram and YouTube!

Leave a comment

Disclaimer: Van Life Theory is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

© 2024 Van Life Theory | Privacy Policy