This is the second part of our blog about organizing your RV for stress-free camping and road tripping. In Part One, we talked about some online resources to get ideas from RVers who are RV lifestyle pros and who blog about their experiences. This week we’re going to look at two problem areas: kitchens and outside storage areas.
The primary challenge in a lot of RV kitchens is how to best utilize the precious amount of drawer and cupboard space. It’s important to keep in mind that your kitchen will be going down the road, so you can’t just think about how much will fit in your cabinets; you also have to consider how to get heavy items and breakables in the safest places. As we mentioned last week, adding organizational dividers and bins can go a long way toward protecting your breakable dinnerware and also toward getting as much use out of your deep RV cupboards as possible. Another trick is to line drawers and shelves with non-slip liners to keep things from sliding around when you’re on the road. For safety’s sake, a good practice is to put heavy things in lower cabinets, so that if they do spill out when you open the door, they won’t fall out on top of you. Stand in your kitchen and consider what are the must-haves, and plan for where they’ll go first. Then you can organize around them.
Think Outside the Box
One of the best tips we’ve heard from full-time RVers is to think outside the box when it comes to utilizing space. For instance, have you thought about how to use the inside of your kitchen cupboard doors? What about adding hooks for items that then won’t have to take up precious drawer space? If you don’t want to screw a hook into the wood, try suction cup hooks. A door-mounted kitchen garbage can is another way to utilize that otherwise useless space and give you more options.
A great way to store knives and scissors is on a wall-mounted magnet strip; they’re easy to cut to the right size and easy to install. Or how about adding pegboard to a kitchen wall or inside a cupboard door for hanging pots, pans and other useful items like tongs and a cheese grater?
Adding store-bought or homemade organizers to your kitchen is a relatively inexpensive and easy-to-do fix for RV space issues. Installing slide-out storage in unique places like under your dining table, gives you extra room for items like silverware and napkins. Depending on your RV, other items to consider might be a lightweight dinner plate cradle that will consolidate your dinnerware, or an under cabinet fruit and veggie hammock that will safely store your bananas and apples even on the bumpiest road, and still leave your counter space free. Think about your needs and how a little out-of-the-box creativity might solve your space issues.
Make the Most Use of Your Vertical Space
When you’re considering your RV kitchen, think about how to store things vertically whenever possible. We love an idea that we found on a blog called 10 Life Hacks for Keeping Your Kitchen Organized, from One Girl Many Plates. They used an inexpensive bakeware organizer in a cupboard to create shelves inside of shelves. By creating vertical storage, they were able to get more things in the cupboard. Similarly, if you put your drygoods in stacking bins, rather than keeping them in the original containers, you can label and stack them for both ease of use and maximum space saving. Another vertical fix is to purchase lightweight nesting bowls that include mixing bowls, a colander and measuring cups all in one handy unit that takes up minimal space.
Some RVs don’t offer enough exterior storage and others, especially fifth wheels and Class A motorhomes, have so many storage areas that it would be easy to overload your RV. Knowing what you’ve got and the best way to utilize it will go a long way toward taking the hassle out of getting things in and out when you’re ready to camp.
See-Through Plastic Bins Are Your Friend
Rather than piling your things loose in the storage areas, first pack as many things as possible in see-through plastic bins or well-marked storage boxes. Plastic bins have the advantage of protecting your property from damp weather or dirt, and in terms of storage, they also are extremely stackable, so you can make the best use out of every inch of space. Put them on a sliding tray like this example on Pinterest, and it’s easier still to keep everything you need organized and easily accessible.
Use the Walls and Ceilings of Your Storage Areas
Remember we said Pinterest was a great place to get ideas? That’s where we found this awesome tip: Put brackets on the empty walls or ceilings of your large exterior storage bins and you’ll have a perfect place to keep long items, cleaning supplies and tools. Those unused ceilings and walls are also great places to attach velcro straps to coil your hoses.
With a little thought and some creativity, you can get your RV organized so that you’re making the most of every available space. These simple tips help to ensure that your camping adventures and road trips will be the relaxing, fun experiences they’re meant to be. If you’re not sure how to install something, or you need repairs to help you get on your way, give us a call or drive on down to Guaranty RV.
Photo: Paul Townsend