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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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”
- FUN Kids Nocturnal Desert Animals Unit Study [Printable PDF] - February 25, 2021
- Fun + Educational Pinecone Unit Study for Kids! - February 23, 2021
- What is Overlanding? Get Ready to Go Overland Camping! - February 22, 2021