When you downsize from 1000+ sq.ft. to a 31ft. RV with two slides you lose A LOT of the space that you once had. Over the last year and 7 months in our RV, I've had to get creative with storage. So I wanted to share my RV storage ideas for your homestead items to show you that you don't have to compromise. You just have to be creative.
RV Storage Ideas for Your Homestead Items
Now, to be fair, I still have a good bit I could probably pair down in our RV, but I haven't been as diligent with it lately. Our cabinets get a little too full, books take up a little too much space, toys sometimes litter the kid's rooms and sometimes our blanket stash explodes from under the couch.
Ok, that may be a little exaggerated (especially that last part), but the idea still stands. We could pair down a little more and be more mindful of our keepsakes and what needs to go. Having 4 yoga blankets in our RV might be a bit much, but we tend to use them. We probably don't need allllll my books stuffed in cabinets, but come on, reading on an iPad just isn't the same as holding a book. We compromise on some things.
But, that's where different RV storage ideas come in handy!
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Things We've Done to Maximize Space
#1 Added Shelving In Cabinets
When we first moved into our camper it was crazy to see that there were no shelves in the cabinets or pantry. It baffled me to the point of just shaking my head. Initially, we stored our Swifer sweeper in our pantry because it was tall enough. But, I got tired of having absolutely nowhere to put canned goods.
So, rather than me complain about not having shelves in my pantry I went out and bought command hooks and asked my husband to cut shelves for me to lay in there. Now we have four shelves and can fit a good amount of things in our pantry.
It's going to give me plenty of space to store canned goods and canning equipment.
#2 Added Command Hooks to Walls
This has been the single most awesome thing we've done in our camper. We have roughly 12 Command Hooks in our kitchen alone. They hold coffee cups, lemons, measuring spoons, measuring cups, oven mitten, wooden ladle, lighter and a wire mesh strainer so far. We also use them under the sink to hang things that have handles like our strainer.
Since I like to cook from scratch, having space for my kitchen wares was really important to me. I don't have a LOT of stuff that I used to have, but what I do have is a good bit for living in an RV.
Other than the kitchen, we use Command Hooks in the bathroom for towels, my hair dryer, and straightener. And, then we use them in our bedroom and the kid's bedroom for things like jackets. Of course, the jackets are going to be put up for summer, so I'm not sure what we'll use them for now.
I'm sure we'll figure it out though!
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#3 Built Shelves for Under Our Kitchen Sink
This space was a complete wreck before we put shelving in there. There were pots and pans and bowls all in there looking like a mini tornado came through. It was such a pain to stack things nicely or keep them nice and neat. I'm sure it would have been easier if I made a rack for the pot and pan lids. I still plan on doing that on the doors though, so that will be organized soon.
After putting a shelf under the sink it looks so much better! Even without the lid storage rack. I'm so happy. It's the little things really. Now I can fit my InstaPot (that I need to replace), my water bath canner, tall stockpot and soon to be pressure canner under here.
My only issue with the shelf is that it's not currently notched to fit around our water lines for the sink. That might be a little confusing, but the short story is the shelf was initially a table desk for me while sitting on the couch. I just got tired of the area under the sink being so cluttered.
The husbeast said he's going to notch it soon… once he has time to breathe from work that is.
Related Post: How to Homestead in a Camper or Small Space
#4 Removed Our Microwave for Added Storage
Our microwave took a crap a few months after we moved into our RV and it sat in its cubby for about 5 months before we got tired of looking at it. Granted, if you ever need something to store bread in then a dead microwave is FABULOUS. It keeps bread fresh a super long time, but other than that it just took up valuable space.
One day, my husband decided to see what it looked like behind the microwave and to our surprise, it was a cubby space with an electrical plug. So, we removed the microwave and haven't looked back.
Now, we have tons of space in that area and I plan on putting a shelf or two in there as well. My only issue with the microwave space is that it's right above the oven/stove so it gets pretty hot up there. You have to be careful what you store and make sure that heat won't alter it chemically.
#5 Converting Under Beds to Storage Areas
This is a work in progress and right now we store some blankets that we used during winter under the beds, but that's going to change. Or shift at least.
We're going to be using it as storage for canned goods once we start canning this year. Which, I hope to start soon, but I need to get a pressure canner first. Note: That's going to be real soon.
I have a few ideas for how I want to structure under my husbands and my bed and my daughter's bed. Just a matter of getting it out of my head and onto paper so my husband can understand what I am trying to tell him. Apparently, I'm not good at explaining things haha.
I want either some drawers or shelves under my bed with the center space open kind of like if we were to walk between it. Not sure why yet, but that's what I'm visualizing.
Then, under my daughter's bed, I half visualize a square with cubbies built in for individual jars so they can't tip over and roll around. Though, I'm not sure exactly how many we'd be able to store under the bed if we do that. So, that's something we're thinking about.
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#6 Put Shelving in Closet Spaces
We found some wire/metal shelving at Lowes that we used for our closets and our son's closet that seem to work well right now. I wish it was a solid board that went all the way to the back of the closet for my husband's and my closet, but these have worked so far.
This has helped out a lot since our closets didn't have anything for us to hang clothes on, and the fact that we didn't really hang many of our clothes anyway. There's also the whole “our roof is weak” part to think about. So, shelving in the closets made the most sense for us.
I'm not complaining… too much at least.
#7 Organize Outside Storage Compartments
In the beginning, it was more of a “throw stuff in and close it” free for all. But slowly we've started to organize it so we're not knocking things over or digging around to find a specific tool we need. With the outside compartments not being really big, it was kind of tough, but we manage thankfully.
If you can organize by putting the bigger items in the back and layering it forward that's helpful. Then you're able to see everything in one glance without having to dig through all the things.
This is mostly where all our gardening things go and any power tools my husband has.
#8 Use Under Couch Space For “Other” Storage Stuff
Our “under the couch” space right now is kind of a space for things we don't use as often. So, for one item that's my sewing machine. I don't use it much, but I use it enough that I want to keep it in under the couch. There are a few other things under there too like mason jars, but not much.
Once we fix the couch to where it's one solid board that has a handle hole drilled out I'll likely store more things under it. Like canned goods and some foods that we buy from the store. It's just a big pain to get into right now.
#9 Tall Toy Basket
We use a laundry basket we bought from Target for the kid's toys. It's been one of the best investments kid toy wise. It's tall enough that all of their toys fit in it, but not too big that it takes up a lot of room. Keeping the space clear is what we're aiming for so it looks bigger in there.
Thankfully, they keep their room cleaner with the basket too.
There are also toys and books in an overhead compartment in their room too. I need to clean it out actually. They don't really use much in there so that's a great place to downsize some things and give to a church or place in town.
Get Creative With Your Space
Just because these are the ways I have found to store all my goodies, doesn't mean it has to be your way. Once you see your space and have lived in it a little bit you'll start to find places where things should go and you'll create your own storage ideas.
I at least hope this has given you some creative spark to get you going.
Happy Storage Building!
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