Genius Camper Organization Accessories and Ideas from a Pro!
I don’t know about you, but I seriously struggle in the camper organization department, and am ALWAYS in search of camper tips and hacks to make better use of my small 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 camp trip.
Luckily for me (and you now!) I happened to meet Barb through the 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 camper life today!
You can get a preview of some of the information below in this quick video I put together about some camper organization strategies we use!
Common camper organization questions
I asked Barb a couple of questions that I had, as well as some other popular organization problems that come up!
Before we start, I want to mention that if you have a small budget, check out the RV items you should buy used here! It will save
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!
For a guide on how to fully organize your RV bathroom, click here!
3-Chamber Soap and Shower Dispenser
Save space storing bottles all together in your RV by putting them in this handy dispenser!
This dispenser has exactly what you need - a spot for shampoo, conditioner and soap!
No more spilled or cracked containers that leave a mess, and you don't have to take up valuable storage space in other bathroom organizers storing bulky bottles!
Bonus: You don't need any tools to install this, and it won't rust!
Hinge It Clutterbuster Four Bar Behind the Door Hanging Valet
I want to preface by saying ALWAYS measure first, because RVs are all very different than standard, and some smaller ones may not work with this.
However, if you can, take advantage of precious travel trailer bathroom space by utilizing the spot behind the bathroom door with this hinge towel holder to store and hang towels!
Wall Mount 3 Level Bathroom Towel Rack Holder
If for some reason the behind the door holder doesn't work, these wall mounted towel holders can work very well in an RV too!
Towels can be pretty bulky to store, so to be able to put them in their own spot can be helpful (and look nice!)
Hair Styling Station Organizer, Over The Cabinet Door
I'm not super into hairstyling, but many women I know are, and storing bulky items like special brushes, hairdryers and straighteners can be hard!
This is great for keeping them out of bins/horizontal space as well as keeping them easy to access!
Stackable Cosmetic Organizer Drawers
If you have any storage space below the sink, use clear containers to store any bathroom essentials. They are easy to see what's in them and stack nicely!
Alot of places do sell the metal slide out organizers for under the sink, but unfortunately, most RVs have much smaller spaces than standard, and are laid out differently as well!
Woven Plastic Storage Basket
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!
STORi Clear Plastic Vanity and Desk Drawer Organizers
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!
Mossio Hanging Toiletry Bag
Hang this up in your RV bathroom to add even more storage space!
We all know that travel trailer medicine cabinets are SMALL - and if you are a traveling family, it's likely everyone's things aren't going to fit in there!
We love using two of those travel toiletry bags to get more space - just use a command hook on the wall, and hang your bag there once you're parked!
I love that it can be zipped up, secured and put away during transit since typically it has alot of my small items that can get jostled around and messy while we're driving!
Mesh Shower Caddy, Quick Dry Shower Tote Bag
Don't forget a MESH shower caddy for use in campground showers!
We've been places where we knew we were going to stay long term, and DID NOT want to leave our hooks up, pack up and such just to dump our tanks.
So that meant that we would take showers at the provided campground shower rooms to save grey water tank space.
It's really convenient to have a non rusting, easily compressed and storable caddy in case you are in this situation!
I really like this one because you can even fit a rolled up towel in the middle of it!
RV Organization Tips for the Main Living Area.
There are the pain points (bathrooms, closets) but it's also important to keep your camper organized in general!
Here are some things you might not have thought about!
Entryway Storage Organizer Basket with 5 Hooks
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!)
This bin is literally for anything (as the name implies!) and, best of all, it is stored out of sight since this is a under shelf organizer!
Close it up for travel (or just when not in use) then open it up to get what you need!
This might be good for sunglasses, phones or other items (especially if you want something less visible than the command organizer I listed above!)
Ultimate Outlet Shelf
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!
Electronics Travel Cable Organizer
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!
IRIS 4-Drawer Rolling Storage Cart with Organizer Top
If you have limited drawer space, then you might think about converting one of your "closets" to a drawer set using something like this!
Remove the hanging rod, measure, and find the best set of drawers! I like using them for small things like undies and socks that might normally get mixed up in a big pile of clothes or a simple bin.
This particular set has an organizing tray on top even!
3 Shelf Hanging Sweater Organizer,
So if you DO choose to keep your hanging rod, using some sort of hanging organizer like this can really help keep things from getting too messy!
I personally use it to divide up everyones clothes (each kid has a section) but you could use it to organize your clothes in your RV closets many ways!
It's also nice to be able to bring it inside and pack all your clothes in your house so you can see what you have and not shuttle things back and forth!
Wonder Hanger Platinum, Space-Saving Closet Organizers, 4 Pack, Chrome
These cascading hangers are another option for making the most use out of your closet space!
Simply hang your clothes in each spot, then unhook one side of the "wonder hanger" so that it cascades down (and reduces the amount of hanger rod space it needs!)
12-Gallon Plastic Storage Box with Attached Lid (for mice free under bed storage)
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!
[Reinforced] Strong Mesh Pop-up Laundry Hamper,
Pop up hampers are perfect for RV use because they store flat, are lightweight, and often easy to carry to and from the laundromat!
I also love that this one has a side pocket so you can put your laundry things (detergent pod, dryer sheets, coin bag) in it while in use!
Collapsible Plastic Laundry Basket -
This style of laundry basket is super useful if you have little kids that might need a bath too!
While it's extra sturdy (since it's made of plastnic and not mesh), it also has no holes in it so you can fill it up for the kids to splash in when not in use!
Slim Laundry Hamper Basket w/ Clear Window
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!
13 Piece Mixing Bowl Set - Colorful Kitchen Bowls Colander Mesh Strainer with Handles Measuring Cups and Spoons
This is one of those things that might persuade me to actually buy new... there are some AWESOME nesting kitchen sets that would save a ton of space in tiny homes and campers!
A mixing pot, strainer, measuring cups and spoons all in one "footprint" in your pantry!
I also love having a separate kitchen set for the RV (that stays in there!) so I don't have to pack every time and take stuff from the kitchen at home!
Collapsible Travel Silicone Cup
I know everyone has their favroite coffee cup (my husband has one that says "Camping is In-tents" LOL) but they do take up alot of space, and tend to break really easy!
You could buy a cute tin one (there's alot!) or buy one of these nice silicone ones!
Just store it flat when not in use!
BONUS: If you hike or explore around, how often have you taken a cup of coffee to go, and then had to carefully store the empty cup in your pack?
This one can attach to the outside of your pack, and you don't have to worry about being gentle with it!
P.S. If you're interested in more camping coffee cups, I have a whole article and camping themed coffee cups here!
Collapsible Garbage Bag Holder
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!
Hanging Trash Bag Holder for Kitchen Scraps
If you like to prep food while at camp (and eat GOOODD!) clean up is way easier if you use this simple bag hanger that utilizes all those plastic grocery bags we seem to acquire in our travels!
Just wipe everything into the bag when you're done, then store the holder itself once you dispose of the bag!
Command Wire Hooks that holds 0.5 lb
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!
SimpleHouseware 30 Spice Gripper Clips Strips Cabinet Holder
Mount your spices on the wall or cabinet door!
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!
I also love that they are secure and won't
Iron Under Cabinet Mug Hanger
If you're a coffee lover or just want to store utensils in some vertical hanging space, these hooks are perfect!
There are no screws or adhesives - just slide it onto the shelf!
I also love that these hold up to 22 pounds. Many similar products are made pretty poorly, but this one has rave reviews!
Under Shelf Wrap Holder
I don't know about you, but our pantry only came with one shelf... so it was 2 or 3 feet tall in each section!
It's really hard to use vertical space without shelves, but if you find your space is just small enough to fit shelves, you could use this under shelf basket instead!
This under shelf basket is an easy storage solution for bags, as the picture shows... or snacks for the kids (little snack packages tend to get lost in our travel trailer pantry!)
VELCRO Brand - Sticky Back
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!
SAMMART Collapsible Dish Drainer with Drainer Board
Get a drying rack that can collapse!
We only use our drying rack at the end of the day during wind down time or after the kids go to sleep in our camper.
That means that it would be pretty wasteful to have a dish drying rack out at all times!
I also like that this rack comes with a drip tray so that you can put your dishes onto the rack and not worry about what they will drip onto!
Over the Sink Multipurpose Roll-Up Dish Rack
While this is of course useful for drying dishes in your trailer without using counterspace, I also find it helpful for having MORE counter space when doing food prep!
For example, I can put a plate of burgers on it while I'm getting veggies ready and still have plenty of prep space!
Perfect Tear Patented Wall Mount Paper Towel Holder
Mount your paper towels!
Though it may not seem like much room, they take up a bit of space, especially when you think about the fact that you have to have room to pull a paper towel off the holder!
We bought one that mounts under our cabinet area (we have a small cabinet for dishes above out counter) and it is convenient to use and out of the way!
Banana Bungee Hanger,
If you eat bananas, this is a MUST!
Not only is it way more attractive than your typical hanger, it also takes up way less counter space and can hold a TON of bananas!
People have tested this with over a dozen... and it still held!
It's also a super small product and takes up virtually no space!
Plastic Refrigerator or Freezer Food Storage Bins with Handles
Use tall clear bins that fit in your camper fridge to maximize storage space!
I love using these clear bins because you can easily see what's inside of them!.
I also love this idea because you can prep everything for your trip ahead of time by stocking the RV Fridge Bins and storing them in your home refrigerator until it's time to go.
Zip n Store!
Chronic snacking and meal planning families rejoice! This ziploc bag hanger and organizer saves precious shelf space and prevents those bags of meals or leftovers from becoming lost or forgotten!
This is also a GREAT way to plan out your meals for the next day (sandwiches, meats, veggies etc) and have them organized, easy to see, and not taking up shelf space!
If you're a parent, you'll ESPECIALLY love this because as we all know, kids are all about snacks! Now you can see everything clearly, and make meal planning for your trip that much easier!
Under Cabinet Knife Block
If you want to store your knives out of reach of kids, off the counter, and really out of sight (the kitchen area fills up fast!) then you might consider usin gan under cabinet knife block!
It comes in two sizes and mounts using only four screws! The knives are held in place by rare earth magnets which means they will stay secure!
Outside/Basement RV Organization and Storage
The inside is only half the battle - the storage compartments, basements and other areas are key to storing all that big stuff in a way that doesn't feel like a hassle when it comes to setting up!
These items will help increase your storage space outside your camper as well as organize all the compartments!
Camco Rhino Bumper Mount RV Tote Tank Carrier
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!
Mounted Cargo Carrier - Black
If you haven't already installed a hitch to the back of your camper (U-haul and other places do them... or a really handy friend!) then you need to for all that extra space!
Put a giant tote like this on the back of your camper so that the inside is usable and not junked up with stuff that can't be moved out until you get there!
Tongue Jack Trailer Towing Organizer
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.....)
Camco RV Equipment Storage Utility Bag with Identification Tags
This is a compact and neat way to store all of your RV hoses and cords, namely the fres hwater hose, grey water and any extra electrical cords you have!
It even comes with some handy tags so that you can quickly know what's in each bag!
Fitted tablecloth for picnic benches!
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!
Outdoor Folding Table with Storage Organizer
I don't know about you, but we love to cook outside (even though we definitely have a fully functional camper kitchen).
I hate when smells get stuck inside our trailer, so we tend to set up somewhere else at the campsite.
This is a great way to keep all your cook stuff organized and the food protected from flies (the covers zip on so that food stays safe from bugs after it's cooked!)
Collapsible Portable Multi Compartments Trunk Organizer
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!)
Campsuds Biodegradable Environmentally Safe All Purpose Cleaner
While you might not view this as an organizational item, it actually is one of the best!
This can replace your dishwash, laundry detergent and body wash while camping (acutally.. some people use it for their hair too!)
This is a concentrated bottle, so you will only need a few drops to get the job done.
This is more important for boondockers who need to conserve tank space and may opt to do dishes and showers outside and stay environmentally friendly!
Rotating + Telescoping Marshmallow Roasting Sticks
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 organization in your camper!
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
– 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 space, or 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!
Tips for RV living 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
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 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!]
- The 7 best tips I 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!
- Haven’t gone camping yet?
Wellget the kids pumped for getting outside with these 13 adorable camping picture books!
- How to keep kids occupied at the campground with these fun camp acitivites!
A few more camper organization products!
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!
InstacrateCollapsible 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.
I cover this topic (and many others) more thoroughly in the blog section of my website called “Organizing Your Kamper”
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