Genius Camper Organization Ideas, Hacks and Accessories 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, owns the Organized Kamper, and is sharing her best tips for camper life today!
I also wanted to let you know that I am an Amazon Affiliate, and do get a small cut if you purchase anything through my links. But do know these are all awesome items and I’d never recommend junk!
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
Barb – 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!
For how I organized my tiny bathroom you can check out my article “Marking the Most of Tiny Spaces in Your RV Bathroom” here!
Camper Bathroom Organization Tips
Organizing tiny travel trailer bathrooms is sometimes the hardest area! Check out these RV bathroom organizing accessories I LOVE!
Hooks or a Plastic Shoe Holder on the Door
Besides shoes, it’s also great for toiletries or anything that’s small!
Hanging Shower Organizer in the Shower
These are great for hanging wet bathing suits and keeping the drips contained
Get a mountable shower dispenser to save space storing bottles in your RV
This dispenser has exactly what you need – a spot for shampoo, conditionaer 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!
Bathroom door hinge towel storage!
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, this is an amazing way to to take advantage of that space behind the door!
Clear Storage Containers Under the Sink
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!
Open Bins for Larger Items
I use the other side of the bottom cabinet area to store my blow dryer and hand mirror
Clear Drawer Organizers for the Medicine Cabinet
A lot of campers don’t have a
If you run out of space in your RV medicine/vanity cabinet, hang up a travel toiletry bag for more storage and organization space in the bathroom!
Hang up a travel toiletry bag in the RV bathroom to add more bathroom 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 your 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!
A Caddy for Everyday Items
Toothbrushes, hair brushes and more can go in this. It’s also easy to carry if you choose to use the campsite showers! (
Don’t forget a mesh shower caddy should you plan on using the 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’s 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!
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 etc) and all your travel papers!
Keep imporant, 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 organizatio 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
accessoires organized (AKA.. not in the “stuff” drawer get 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 Storage Ideas for Clothes?
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 (Stacy, The Crazy Outdoor Mama) only have one closet for all of our clothes – there are five of us! I was really excited about this answer, and I wasn’t disappointed!
Camper Closet and Clothes Organization Tips
Barb – I have a TON of drawers in my bedroom (one of the reasons I chose Fred) so I kept my closet as it is and we hang clothes in there. If
you don’t have a lot of drawers though, here are some tips for more storage space
Remove the hanging rod and use a set of plastic drawers!
You can either build shelves or buy a plastic unit with drawers. While the clothes may get more wrinkled this way, you can fit many more clothes in the closet!
Check under your bed for available storage to put larger bins of items such as extra jackets, linens
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.
Use Drawer Inserts to Further Organize Drawers
Small items like undies and socks get messy easy! These keep everything looking pretty! I have included a similar product as what Barb uses below available through Amazon (hers were purchased at The Container Store!)
If you do keep your hanging rod, get a hanging sweater organizer to keep clothes
seperated and accessable!
I can’t tell you how awesome this hanging organizer has been when it comes to quick changes! It’s great for items you use often such as day and night clothes, swim clothes etc!
Another option to organize your RV closet – cascading clothes hangers to save space!
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!”
RV Kitchen Accessories and Tips
On top of Barb’s advice to ONLY keep what you need on the counter, here are some additional good organizational practices to follow!
Utilize vertical storage as much as possible!
If you have to store things on the counter, make sure they are stackable.
Opt for nesting kitchen items whenever possible to save space!
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!
I love this one!
Get a collapsible coffee cup that is easy to store and break resistant!
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!
Get a collapsible trash can that c
an be stored flat when not in use (MAJOR space saver!)
Being able to save that precious floor space in your camper is super helpful! With our current set up, we have to bunjee 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).
Check out this trash can that stores flat!
Hang large utensils from command hooks
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!
Mount your spices on the wall or on the 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
Use under shelf baskets to make use of extra pantry space!
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!
Keep everything in your travel trailer or RV pantry secure with these tension bars!
I can’t TELL YOU the amount of times we finally got to our destination, all the kids need to go potty (and me!) and we open the camper door and see all the contens of our pantry all over the floor!
Keep everything tidy with these adjustable tension rods!
Use velcro to keep what’s needed on the counter 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!
Get a drying rack that fits in your sink
This is handy so that when the dishes are done, you can set the whole rack in the sink instead of using up table or counter space. It’s also helpful because all the drips will go there instead of having to use a rag or drying mat!
ONLY keep what you need on the counter
Just wanted to restate this info from Barb. Unless you are using the items every hour, or need to be able to access it quickly, it doesn’t need to be out. It’s much easier (and your camper stays neater) if you just take the 10-30 seconds to remove the item from the cupboard/pantry, then put it back when you’re done!
Get a paper towel holder than you can mount
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!
HUse tall clear bins that fit in your camper fridge to maximize storage space in the refrigerator
I love using the clear bins because you can easily see what’s inside of them! Alternatively, you could just tape together some cardboard boxes and label what’s inside!
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!
Get this Ziploc Bag Organizing accessory to make more space in those tiny
This is 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!
Get a grocery bag dispenser and mount it somewhere easy to access!
I LOVE grocery bags! I use them for everything! Dirty diapers, recycling, food scraps… however if they are all balled up in a bag and pushed to the back of the cabinet, I’m lazy and sometimes don’t – that’s why I love this beautiful dispenser!
You could also make a DIY grocery bag dispenser here !
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”