Genius Camper Organization Accessories and Ideas from a Pro!
I don’t know about you, but I seriously struggle in the RV organization department, and am ALWAYS in search of camper organization tips and hacks to make better use of my small RV space.
I am too focused on having fun, or chasing kids, or just plain tired to really do any serious organizing!
And let’s be honest – it can be DAUNTING to find homes for all the little things we need to have a fun camping trip.
Luckily for me (and you now!) I happened to meet Barb through Instagram, and have since learned so much from her!
She has 6 grown kids, and was a certified professional organizer for FIVE YEARS – she owned her own business! She started RVing full-time in July of 2017 in Fred the Minnie Winnie and is sharing her best tips for RV organization today!
Your gonna get an awesome list of the best (and cheapest!) RV organization products as well as a bunch of actionable tips you can’t that’ll help you take your RV organization to the next level!
You can get a preview of some of the information below in this quick video I put together about some RV organization strategies we use!
Common RV organization questions
I asked Barb a couple of questions that I had, as well as some other popular organization problems that come up!
If you're looking to organize your RV or travel trailer, then it's important to make use of what little space you have through good organization habits! Check out the top 43 organizing products for your camper and tips from an expert (now full timer!)
RV Bathroom Organization Ideas
While it's hard to make a blanket statement about organization, since each RV layout is different, there are a couple of ways to really make use of the space you have!
Organizing tiny travel trailer bathrooms is sometimes the hardest area! Check out these RV bathroom organizing accessories I LOVE!
This bin is really nice looking, but also made out of plastic so won't be affected by any splashing water! It comes in 3 different sizes, and is a great catch all for items too big to fit under the counter!
These items might include large hair care items such as blow dryers and hair straighteners or even kids bath toys!
These clear organizers are perfect for the medicine cabinet!
A lot of campers don't have a full size cabinet above the sink, and this works really well to keep things contained and organized. You could additionally add velcro to the back of the containers so that they all don't spill out when you open it for the first time during set up at a new site!
If counterspace isn't an issue, but drawer space is, consider having a caddy like this to organize things! As always, stick some quality velcro on the bottom of it or just safely store it before driving!
Have a small "command center" to hang keys as well as keep brochures, maps etc!
Having a home for everything is the key to keeping organized, so don't junk up your countertops with keys (car keys, roof rack keys, ball hitch keys, camper keys ) and all your travel papers!
Keep important, often used keys on the hanger as well as any maps or brochures you refer to often (my husband and I often review the trails we want to hike the night before on the area maps... but tend to leave them on the table and they get destroyed by the kids!)
Keep cords and charging items organized (and off the counters!)
Cords are a quick way to junk up a nice clean counter - and when you only have one or two VERY small counters in small travel trailers, it's important to maximize every bit of organization and storage that you can!
This outlet organizer and shelf is perfect to contain cords, and put your phones on while they charge!
Keep electronic cords and small accessories organized (AKA... not in the "stuff" drawer getting tangled!)
Now a days, most people travel with ALOT of electronics - especially if you have kids and you do so for long periods of time!
Phones, tablets, computers, cameras... and it's REALLY easy to just throw them all in a drawer.
Then when it comes time to use them they are all tangled and hard to find!
I know we travel with a ton (I know.. it sounds contradictory because we're "camping") and I love how easy this makes to see everything you have (and not forget an important charger!)
RV Clothes + Closet Organization Ideas
Camper closets are often way deeper than a normal closet would be, so it's hard to make use of that space. I know ours ends up being a pile of kids clothes that I need to dig through every day to find what I need!
I only have one closet for all of our clothes - there are five of us!
A lot of people have room under their bed for storage. There is normally a light piece of plywood that the mattress sits on that can be easily lifted and accessed. This is great for bulkier items such as jackets and extra towels.
On extended trips, we like to put bulk non perishable food in here as well so we don't have to worry about stopping at the grocery store as often!
These bins are great in particular because they can be zip tied closed to ensure nothing is able to make their way into it and destroy your clothes or food.
Laundry Storage Ideas for the RV / Travel Trailer
Laundry storage is always a hot topic - we need something that's easy enough to use in the camper without taking up alot of space, but also durable enough to be able to carry to the laundromat!
Even better if it can collapse down!
We all know we could use a simple mesh bag, so here are some other options to explore for laundry storage while camping!
If you have an extra closet, or maybe a "useless" little spot in the camper, this style of laundry hamper might work for you too!
This might be helpful if you have a washer dryer in your camper and might prefer a more long term and visablly appealing solution to dirty laundry.
Don't worry though, this guy still folds flat! It also has a mesh top for ventilation (but prevents kids from throwing things in!) and a window so you can easily see how full it is!
RV Kitchen Organization Ideas
Barb - "I think everyone's problem spots might be different. For me, it's a lack of counter space in the kitchen. All I can leave out are the coffee maker (because hubby uses it constantly) and a metal canister with my most used cooking utensils in it.
Again, it depends on how you live. If you eat out a lot, you may not need counter space but you really need to take a step back and ask yourself what your goals are and how you use each "room" in your RV. I've just come to accept that this is one area of Fred that I wish were different but isn't. So we have an uneasy truce in this area!"
Overall, it's important to only keep what you really need on the counter! It also helps to have collapsible items as much as possible!
Being able to save that precious floor space in your camper is super helpful! With our current set up, we have to bungee cord our trashcan to the legs of the table in our RV... it takes up WAY too much space when we already have so much to store in there while traveling (bikes, grill, strollers, kid toys etc).
This collapsible trash can is perfect for popping up at camp, then removing the bag and collapsing it back down for travel!
Spatulas, whisks, large spoons, and tongs can all be hung near the stove on hooks. This makes use of normally unusable space (there is not much room between the stove and the wall, so there would not have been room to put a container there anyways) and keeps what counter space you have available!
I LOVE having all our larger kitchen tools hanging up on 3M Command Hooks instead of taking up valuable space in our TWO drawers! Command hooks of different sizes and shapes are a great RV organization accessory that can really do alot for what they're worth!
The perfect set up (I need to get a picture of ours!) for a travel trailer kitchen is to have the utensils hung on one side of the stove, and the spices in front (or above!)
I love these "spice grabbers" because they are just stick on (but very sturdy!) so no tools needed! They also prevent the spices from rattling and such against each other like a normal spice rack would do!
Use Velcro to keep what's needed on the counters in place!
This might be handy for salt and pepper, a "junk" bin (such as a very small container with keys, change, and other small things) and whatever else might move in transit. This isn't as important if you stay in one place for long periods of time, but if you are constantly moving, velcro can really reduce the amount of set up time needed!
We have a mason jar that has things like a checkbook, cash, scissors and pens that we like to keep on the counter right by the door for easy access that is secured by velcro!
If you boondock but still use the restroom in your camper, you might be familiar with having a portable tank you transfer the grey and black water to.
While normally you might pull it behind your car to dump it, it can be pretty darn helpful to store it behind your camper while not in use (such as when your trailer is in transit!)
We put ours in the back of our truck when we move campsites, but if we could store it on the back of the trailer I'd feel alot less nervous about the tank somehow failing and nasty water going everywhere!
Keep your plug, cord and chains organized with this easy to add jack attachment!
This just makes for a nice, clean look and helps to keep your break away cable away from ground moisture. The cover for the plug also helps keep dirt and moisture out to help stop corrosion (and trust me, you don't want to be at a Home Depot 9 o clock at night because your lights don't work.....)
Whether you use it with a bag as a trashcan or for overflow toy storage (it just looks neater to have all the toys put away when you leave camp!) this freaking awesome pop up bin is perfect for the job!
If you're the type of person who likes to have a clean barrier between your food and the picnic table, but HATE trying to deal with clips to keep it all down, then you might want to check out this FITTED table cloth!
It is reusuable, wipes clean easily, and even includes bench seat covers!
Part of camping life is driving, whether that's towing or driving the vehicle itself! That means it's super important to keep your car clean and tidy so you can find what you need easily (and have a more peaceful trip!)
It's fun to find a stick and cook marshmallows the old fashioned way, but if you are an avid camper, sometimes there are no good sticks (or any sticks at all!) to use.
These marshmallow roasting sticks are perfect for the job - they store small, can extend very far (so you can actually sit back and relax in your camp chair!) and they even rotate so you don't have to move the whole stick (we're glamping now folks!)
And, as someone with kids, I can appreciate the different colors so that each kiddo has their own - no more fighting over who had which roasting stick!
Actionable tips for organizing your RV!
Get an end goal in mind –
Do you hate that your closet is a pile of clothes (like mine?) Start there! Just do one section at a time so as not to be overwhelmed
ACTUALLY plan for a day or couple of hours to work on organizing your RV
– Don’t just wait for the next day you have time; that will never come! Instead, write it on your calendar, tell your spouse, and make a plan of it. If you are already mentally prepared for it, then it won’t be as bad or overwhelming. And if a day seems like a lot, commit to organizing one part of your RV, or just organizing for a certain amount of time such as 1 hour.
Things will look worse before they look better
– This isn’t as big of a deal if your camper is new, but if you’ve accumulated a lot of junk over time, things will get crazy before they get better! To really organize something, you have to take everything out, and only put back what you REALLY need
Get rid of duplicate items
– Unless you really need them, get rid of the 3rd whisk, 4th extra blanket, etc. I’m really bad about stockpiling blankets because I always fear a sudden ice age will come – or so you think based on the number of extra think blankets I bring!
Put your phone away!
– This isn’t from Barb, but in my personal experience, I get alot more done if I don’t have my phone easy to access. I usually start with good intentions, such as before I met Barb, looking for “Camper Organization Hacks” on Pinterest. However, I then go down the rabbit hole of related pins, and before I know it my hour slot I had to clean during kids naps is up and I’m left frustrated that I accomplished nothing!
Daily RV Organization Ideas?
Barb – As far as a daily routine, Brent and I joke that if you leave a jacket on the sofa and a cup on the counter the place looks “trashed” and it’s not that bad, but you know what I”m saying. You can’t leave a lot of stuff out without it looking cluttered so my advice is this:
Have a Home for Everything
This makes it easier to clean up since everyone knows where things go and they don’t pile up.
Spend 10 minutes in the Morning and 5 in the Evening Pick Up
– If you put things away in small amounts, you won’t end up with an overwhelming mess at the end of the day!
Do Dishes After Every Meal
Who wants to see that as soon as they walk in? I don’t want to walk in the door of Fred and stare at a bunch of dirty dishes! They might also attract bugs or mice if left sitting for too long!
If you have kids, make a game of cleaning
Barb suggests to set the timer for 30 minutes (although you may not need as much) and telling the kids to clean as much as they can in that time! You can even bribe them for some extra “encouragement!”
Label all containers, and include pictures for young kids!
This kind of goes with the 1st tip, but it really helps to put everything away if everyone knows exactly where each item belongs!
RV organization tips for families with babies and toddlers
For each child, keep daytime / bedtime clothes on a easy to access hook
– I have a hook with each kid that has their day and night clothes. In the mornings when I’m half alive, it makes it easier to change everyone into their “Adventure” clothes as I call them because they are ready to go on a hook by the door. At night, when everyone is exhausted and screaming, it’s super easy to grab their PJs (and swaddles!) and get them to bed without digging around looking for the things they need!
Hang an organizer on one side of the bathroom door to store diapers, medicines, toys etc
– We have one on the front of our bathroom door (the side that faces into the camper) that has all hygiene and medication related items for the kids. We also keep the bottom storage pocket for small toys that would otherwise get lost. It’s nice to have a space saving organizer with everything visible and easy to get to – quick diaper changes, a toy or two to give them in a pinch if we need to do something real quick
Keep a rag handy to wipe up sticky hands and surfaces
– With smores, peanut butter, syrup, and all the other goodies camping brings, it’s super easy to get the camper messy! Since they are so small, it doesn’t take much to make it look dirty. Keep a rag by the sink so that IMMEDIATELY after meals it’s easy to clean up!
Camping with kids? Check these out!
Find out exactly what to pack when camping with your baby here![Printable PDF 9 Page Checklist and Activity Planner Included!]
The7 best tipsI have for getting babies to sleep in your camper – I have twin babies, so you know I have all the deets!
I have a toddler too, and yes, it’s possible to get some sleep while RVing with toddlers as well! Check out how here!
After combing the Organized Kamper’s Instagram, I found a ton of small but handy items to make your RV life that much easier! If you want a full list of what she uses, check out the Product List here!
A Battery Organizer – Even at home, my battery drawer is a wreck. It’s combined with a random kitchen gadgets drawer, and all the batteries tend to fall out of the package so that I don’t ever know how many I actually have. Not only does this keep them contained, it’s also an easy way to keep track of what you’re running low on!
A handy coin-op laundry holder – Whenever it’s time to do laundry, it seems the first trip I ALWAYS forget either the coins or the laundry pack. Barb suggests just using one of these and throwing it in your bag! I seriously need this! I wasn’t able to find it on Amazon, but she said she found it at Target. You could alternatively put a bag of packs inside the bag of coins!
Instacrate Collapsible Storage – These are super handy for things that only need temporary storage, such as counter items or toys for the kids. This is such a space saver!
What stops people from being organized when it comes to tiny homes, RVs and travel trailers?
When I worked in Nashville, most of my clients were so overwhelmed that they didn’t know where to start and they certainly didn’t know what the end goal was other than some vague notion of things looking better.
Barb -The biggest two problems for people when they want to get organized is actually STARTING to do it and having an end goal.
Sometimes it was helpful just to talk them through what they wanted to use the space for, what was working in the room, what they hated about it, etc.
Interestingly enough, another issue was that they needed PERMISSION to get rid of things. If I would take their unwanted items to Goodwill, they felt much better about letting it go, knowing that someone else would use it.
I always told people things would look worse before they got better because to do a great job everything needs to leave the closet, cupboard, or whatever space you are working in. Then you sort like with like, pitch, or give away extras or things that are worn out or you don’t use, and then decide how to put them back.
What are your best RV organization hacks and tips?
So they’re you’ve got it, TONS of RV organization ideas to go from chaos to organization (or less chaos). Focus on maximizing your RV storage space so you can fit everything in your camper you need for an awesome family camping trip!
If you’ve got more RV organization tips that help you manage the chaos, please share them in the comments below. Happy camping!
Don’t forget to check out my other RV organization and maintenance articles!
Stacy Bressler is an avid outdoorswoman, wife, and mother of three who lives in Jackson, Wyoming. She loves all things camping and enjoys sharing helpful tips, fun activities and laughable learning experiences she finds along the way! Navigating the outdoor life through the lens of humor and positivity, she chronicles it all on her website "The Crazy Outdoor Mama"