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Creative Van Life Storage Ideas to Maximize Your Small Space

Master your tiny space with these van life storage ideas – elevate your camper van experience with smart organization solutions!

The van life trend has swept the globe, with more people embracing the freedom and adventure of living in a small, mobile space.

But with limited square footage comes the challenge of storage. How do you keep everything organized, accessible, and clutter-free in such a tiny home?

Fear not, fellow van dwellers!

We’ve got you covered with a wealth of creative van life storage ideas to help you maximize every inch of your campervan and live comfortably on the road.

van life storage ideas cover

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Maximizing Storage in Your Camper

The key to making the most of your campervan’s storage space lies in three main strategies:

  • Utilizing vertical space,
  • Incorporating multifunctional furniture, and
  • Customizing cabinetry.

Combining these approaches allows you to create a functional and organized living space to make your van life experience more enjoyable and stress-free.

Vertical space is often overlooked but is a valuable resource in a small living area.

In the following sections, we’ll explore how you can make the most of your vertical space and other campervan storage hacks that will revolutionize your mobile home.

Innovative storage solutions for a compact van life lifestyle.

Utilize Vertical Space

When living in a campervan, every inch counts. That’s why using all available space, including vertical space, is important.

With vertical storage solutions, you can fit more items into your van with enough room to move around comfortably.

Additionally, vertical storage solutions will help keep your van organized and clutter-free, so you don’t have to worry about constantly tidying up or tripping over items on the floor.

There are many different options for utilizing vertical storage solutions in your campervan. 

Some of these include:

  • Installing shelves or hooks inside cabinets and cupboards,
  • Using magnetic strips to hold small items like knives and utensils,
  • Hanging baskets or mesh pouches from the ceiling,
  • Attaching suction cups to walls or windows,
  • Creating custom shelves or cabinets with drawers, and
  • Installing organizers such as a spice rack or shoe rack.

To maximize the vertical space in your campervan, consider adding overhead cabinets and storage cubes above the bed for items like books, plants, or knickknacks.

Storing items in overhead cabinets can free up valuable floor space, making your campervan feel more spacious and open.

Creative use of vertical space for storage in a converted van.

Safety Tips for Securing Items Stored Vertically While Driving

Ensure items in your campervan are secure before driving. This prevents shifting during transit and potential damage or injury.

Use straps or bungee cords for larger items like boxes or furniture. For smaller items like bottles, use Velcro strips. This keeps everything stable while on the move.

Additionally, ensure all doors are closed properly so nothing falls out while driving!

Multifunctional Furniture

Multifunctional furniture is a game-changer for van life, allowing you to save space and enhance storage capabilities.

Versatile pieces save space and provide multiple uses, making your campervan feel like a cozy, well-organized home on wheels.

Some benefits of multifunctional furniture for campervans include:

  • Space-saving: They help create more room by combining multiple functions into one piece.
  • Cost-effective: Investing in multifunctional furniture can save you money compared to buying several separate items.
  • Improved organization: These pieces can help maintain a tidy, clutter-free living space.
  • Enhanced comfort: Multifunctional furniture can make your campervan feel more homely and enjoyable.
A neatly organized van interior showing clever storage tricks.

Tips for Choosing Multifunctional Furniture for Your Campervan

  1. Assess your needs: Determine the essential functions you require in your campervan, such as sleeping, cooking, and storage.
  2. Measure your space: Accurately measure your campervan’s interior dimensions to ensure the furniture will fit seamlessly.
  3. Prioritize lightweight materials: Choose furniture made from lightweight materials like aluminum or composite wood to reduce overall vehicle weight.
  4. Opt for durable and easy-to-clean products: As your campervan will be subjected to constant use, choose furniture built to last and easily cleaned.
  5. Consider foldable or collapsible options: These types of furniture can be easily stored away when not in use, freeing up valuable space.

Common Multifunctional Furniture for Campervans

  1. Convertible sofa beds serve as seating during the day and transform into a bed at night.
  2. Folding tables: Ideal for dining or working, these tables can be folded away when not in use.
  3. Storage benches: Doubling as seating and storage, these benches can store bedding, clothing, or other items.
  4. Lift-top coffee tables: These tables feature a top that can be lifted to reveal hidden storage compartments or to create a makeshift desk.
  5. Murphy beds: These wall-mounted beds can be folded during the day, creating extra floor space.

Read more: Best folding tables for campervans, van life & RVing

Customized Cabinetry

Customized cabinetry involves building cabinets and drawers tailored to your needs, allowing you to maximize your storage.

They allow you to create tailored storage solutions that perfectly fit your campervan’s dimensions and cater to your specific needs.

Some creative ideas for custom storage units include:

  1. Overhead cabinets: Utilize the space above the bed or seating area for additional storage.
  2. Galley kitchen cabinets: Optimize the kitchen area with custom cabinets for cookware, utensils, and food storage.
  3. Floor-to-ceiling cabinets: Maximize vertical space by installing tall cabinets along the walls.
  4. Slide-out pantry: Create a slim, slide-out pantry for easy access to dry goods and spices.
  5. Rear storage cabinets: Make use of the space at the back of the van for storing larger items like camping gear.
  6. Fold-down table: Install a fold-down table attached to a cabinet for a multi-purpose surface.
  7. Under-seat storage: Create custom cabinets or drawers beneath bench seats for additional storage. Building storage shelves or drawers in your garage, using bins to organize items, and even installing a magnetic knife strip to safely store sharp knives.
Space-saving storage ideas for the minimalist van dweller.

Practical Advice & Tips

  1. Measure twice: Double-check your measurements before ordering custom cabinets to avoid costly mistakes.
  2. Avoid overloading cabinets: Be mindful of the weight capacity of your cabinets and avoid overloading them.
  3. Don’t forget your ventilation: Ensure proper ventilation around appliances like fridges or heaters to prevent overheating or damage.
  4. Consider ergonomics: Plan for cabinet height and depth for easy access and comfortable use.
  5. Prioritize safety: Opt for secure locking mechanisms to protect your belongings while driving.

By designing and building custom cabinetry, you’ll ensure that every inch of available space is used to keep your campervan neat, tidy, and organized.

Campervan Kitchen Storage Solutions

The kitchen is often the heart of any home, campervans included.

However, with limited space, storing all your cooking essentials can be challenging while maintaining a functional and organized cooking area.

Here are some campervan kitchen storage solutions to help you maximize your small space.

Collapsible Cookware & Dishware

Collapsible cookware and dishware are ingenious solutions for van life, where space-saving is paramount.

These innovative products are designed to fold or collapse into compact sizes when not in use, making them easy to store in your campervan without taking up valuable space.

Using collapsible pots, pans, bowls, cups, and even colanders, you can maintain a well-equipped kitchen without compromising storage or functionality.

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Additionally, these items are typically lightweight and durable, making them perfect for life on the road.

By incorporating collapsible cookware and dishware into your van life setup, you can enjoy the convenience of a fully functional kitchen while maximizing the limited space available in your mobile home.

Efficient use of under-bed storage in a van life setup.

Read more: Cooking on the Road – 10 RV Outdoor Kitchen Ideas You Can Try

Adjustable Shelving

Adjustable shelving is a versatile and space-saving solution for van life, allowing you to create customizable storage options that cater to your specific needs.

You can easily modify the height and arrangement of your storage spaces to accommodate items of various sizes, ensuring efficient use of available space in your campervan.

This flexibility makes reorganizing and adapting your storage simple as your requirements change over time without significant alterations or additional installations.

More Van Kitchen Storage Ideas

  1. Magnetic knife strips: Attach a magnetic strip to the wall or inside a cabinet door to store knives and other metal utensils safely and efficiently.
  2. Pegboard storage: Install a pegboard on a wall or inside a cabinet to hang pots, pans, and utensils, making them easily accessible.
  3. Slide-out pantry: Create a slim, slide-out pantry for storing dry goods, spices, and canned foods, allowing easy access while saving space.
  4. Under-sink storage: Utilize the space beneath the sink by installing pull-out drawers or shelves for storing cleaning supplies and other small items.
  5. Hanging fruit and vegetable baskets: Suspend wire or mesh baskets from the ceiling or under cabinets to store fresh produce while saving counter space.
  6. Over-the-cabinet door organizers: Attach storage racks or baskets to the inside cabinet doors to hold items like cutting boards, baking sheets, foil, and plastic wrap.
  7. Stackable containers and cookware: Invest in stackable food storage containers, pots, and pans to maximize your limited cabinet space.
  8. Wall-mounted spice racks: Install a spice rack on an empty wall or inside a cabinet door to keep your spices organized and easily accessible.
  9. Fold-down or pull-out countertops: Add additional work surfaces to your kitchen by installing fold-down or pull-out countertops that can be stowed away when not in use.

Embrace these campervan kitchen storage hacks for a neat and efficient setup. Maximize your limited space and enjoy a fully functional kitchen on wheels.

Read more: 17 Clever RV Kitchen Storage Ideas

Bedroom Storage Ideas for Van Life

Your bedroom is your sanctuary, a place to relax and recharge after a long day on the road.

To ensure your campervan bedroom is cozy and functional, it’s essential to implement smart storage solutions that keep clutter at bay and make the most of the available space.

In this section, we’ll explore various bedroom storage ideas to help you create a comfortable and organized sleeping area in your campervan.

Maximizing kitchen storage space in a small camper van.

Overhead Storage

Utilizing overhead storage in your campervan bedroom can help you maximize storage space and keep your essentials within easy reach.

Adding storage cubes above the bed or overhead cabinets can provide ample space for clothing, books, and personal belongings.

By taking advantage of overhead storage, you’ll be able to store more items without sacrificing floor space, creating a more spacious and organized bedroom environment.

Foldable furniture doubling as storage space in a van.

Bedside Organizers

Bedside organizers are a practical solution for keeping essential items within easy reach while you relax in bed.

Shelves, drawers, and hanging organizers can store items like books, phones, and glasses.

Incorporating bedside organizers into your campervan bedroom ensures your most-used items are always close at hand, making your bedtime routine more efficient and enjoyable.

Platform Bed Storage

A platform bed offers an excellent opportunity for additional storage in your campervan bedroom.

By constructing a permanent platform bed in the rear of the campervan, you can create a raised, fixed structure with ample storage space underneath.

This under-bed storage area can store items like clothing, adventure gear, and tools, helping you maximize space and maintain an organized and clutter-free bedroom.

More Bedroom Storage Ideas

  1. Under-bed rolling storage bins: Utilize the space beneath your bed by placing rolling storage bins for easy access to items without lifting the mattress.
  2. Fold-out or wall-mounted desks: Incorporate a fold-out or wall-mounted desk that can be stowed away when not in use, doubling as a workspace or vanity in your bedroom area.
  3. Hooks and hanging racks: Mount hooks or hanging racks on walls or doors to hang clothing, bags, or accessories, keeping them off the floor and within easy reach.
  4. Multifunctional furniture: Invest in pieces that serve multiple purposes, such as a storage bench that doubles as seating or a fold-out bed with integrated shelving.
  5. Bedside shelves or floating nightstands: Install small shelves or floating nightstands beside your bed to hold items like reading glasses, a phone charger, or a water bottle without taking up precious floor space.
  6. Storage headboard: Choose a headboard with built-in shelves or compartments to store books, electronics, or decorative items.
  7. Clothing and shoe organizers: Use hanging or stackable organizers to keep your clothes and shoes neatly arranged and easily accessible.
  8. Collapsible laundry baskets: Opt for foldable or collapsible laundry baskets that can be easily stored away when not in use, saving valuable space in your bedroom area.
Van life storage: Efficient use of overhead and wall spaces.

Bathroom & Toiletry Storage Tips

The bathroom may be the smallest space in your campervan, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be organized and functional.

With clever storage tips, you can keep your bathroom essentials neat and tidy while maximizing the limited space available.

Compact and functional van life storage solutions.

Shower Caddies

Shower caddies are a simple yet effective solution for organizing and storing bathroom essentials like shampoo, conditioner, and soap.

They can be hung over the shower head or door, making it easy to access your toiletries while keeping them off the floor and out of the way.

Wall-mounted Storage

Wall-mounted storage solutions can help you make the most of the limited wall space in your campervan bathroom.

Install soap, shampoo, and conditioner dispensers on the wall to save space and reduce clutter from bottles.

Shelves, hooks, and cabinets can store items like towels, toiletries, and cleaning supplies, keeping them organized and easily accessible.

Portable Toilet Storage

Portable toilet storage is an essential consideration for campervan owners, as it allows you to save space while ensuring that your portable toilet is securely stored and well-ventilated.

Some creative options for portable toilet storage include hidden shower boxes, which can also store cleaning supplies and toiletries.

Make-shift closet in a van showcasing creative storage.

More Van Life Bathroom Storage Ideas

  1. Hanging toiletry organizers: Store personal care items in hanging bags or caddies for easy access.
  2. Over-the-door racks: Use racks/hooks on bathroom doors for towels or robes without using wall space.
  3. Suction cup organizers: Attach baskets/shelves to walls or windows for small item storage.
  4. Magnetic storage: Mount magnetic strips/boards for metal items like tweezers or nail clippers.
  5. Stackable containers: Maximize vertical space with stackable bins or drawers for toiletries.
  6. Tension rod shelving: Create instant shelves in tight spaces with tension rods for essentials.
  7. Foldable laundry hampers: Save bathroom space with collapsible hampers that store easily.
  8. Under-sink storage: Add shelves, drawers, or baskets beneath the sink for supplies or toiletries.
  9. Toilet roll holders with storage: Choose holders with shelves/compartments for extra rolls or small items.
  10. Hooks/towel bars: Hang towels, washcloths, or loofahs on hooks/bars for easy reach and floor clearance.
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Living Area Storage Hacks

The living area is a central hub in your campervan, where you’ll relax, socialize, and enjoy your van life experience.

To ensure that your living area remains comfortable and inviting, use a few clever storage hacks to keep clutter at bay and make the most of the available space.

Doorway Storage Solutions

Doorway storage solutions, such as hanging organizers and hooks, are a great way to utilize the often-overlooked space in your campervan’s entryway.

These storage solutions can store items like shoes, jackets, and workout clothes, keeping them organized and easily accessible while freeing up space inside the van.

Read more: Creative space-saving storage ideas for RV campers

Under-seat Storage

Under-seat storage is an excellent way to maximize unused space in your campervan’s living area.

By incorporating storage compartments beneath seats, you can store items like clothing, tools, supplies, and electrical components, including batteries, while keeping them organized and out of sight.

This type of storage maximizes space and helps maintain a clean and clutter-free living environment.

Outdoor & Adventure Gear Storage

When living the van life, outdoor and adventure gear is often a crucial part of the experience.

However, storing this equipment in your campervan can be challenging due to its size and the need for easy access.

Here are some outdoor and adventure gear storage solutions to maximize your storage space and keep your gear secure and organized.

Roof Racks & Cargo Boxes

Roof racks and cargo boxes are popular for storing outdoor gear and equipment on your campervan.

They provide extra storage space, allowing you to bring more gear and equipment on your trips while freeing up space inside the van for passengers and other items.

Read more: How to build a DIY van roof rack

Garage Space Organization

Efficient garage organization in your campervan helps store adventure gear, like slide-out bike racks.

Using designated storage areas, vertical space, adjustable shelves, and custom cabinets maximizes garage storage.

Proper garage organization maintains a functional, clutter-free campervan, keeping gear ready for adventures.

Hidden storage compartments making van life more organized.

More Outdoor & Adventure Gear Storage Ideas

  1. Rear-mounted bike racks: Attach a rack to transport bikes without using interior storage.
  2. Foldable outdoor gear: Choose collapsible equipment for compact storage.
  3. Gear hammocks/cargo nets: Suspend them to store lightweight items like backpacks or clothing.
  4. Under-bed compartments: Use space beneath the bed for larger gear like tents or boots.
  5. Drawer systems: Install custom drawers for organizing smaller items like stoves or first aid kits.
  6. Bungee cords/carabiners: Secure items like poles or water bottles to walls or ceilings.
  7. Waterproof containers: Protect gear from moisture and keep van interior clean.
  8. Hanging shoe organizers: Repurpose them for small outdoor gear like gloves or headlamps.
  9. Toolboxes/tackle boxes: Store and organize fishing gear, tools, or repair items.
  10. Exterior compartments: Create lockboxes for dirty or bulky gear outside the living space.
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Read more: Best RV Bike Racks this year

Tips for Maintaining an Organized Campervan

Maintaining an organized campervan is crucial. It helps reduce stress and ensures that everything is easily accessible when needed.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. Create designated storage spaces. Assign specific areas for each category of items to maintain organization and avoid clutter.
  2. Label storage containers. Clearly label bins, drawers, or compartments to make it easy to locate items and returned to their proper place.
  3. Regularly declutter. Periodically go through your belongings and remove items that are no longer needed or used, freeing up valuable storage space.
  4. Use multifunctional furniture. Invest in furniture that serves multiple purposes.
  5. Maximize vertical space. Use wall and ceiling space by installing shelves, hooks, or hanging storage solutions .
  6. Keep frequently used items accessible. Store items you regularly use in easily accessible locations, such as front-facing shelves or hanging organizers.
  7. Establish routines. Develop daily routines for tidying up, putting away items, and cleaning to maintain a well-organized and clutter-free living space.
  8. Utilize collapsible or foldable items. Opt for collapsible cookware, dishware, or storage containers that can be compactly stored when not in use, conserving space.
  9. Pack items securely. Ensure all items are securely stored and fastened while driving to prevent shifting, damage, or disorganization during transit.
  10. Adopt a minimalist mindset. Embrace minimalism by only keeping essential items or bringing value to your life, reducing clutter, and simplifying your living space.
  11. Stay consistent. Commit to maintaining your organization system and regularly reassessing your storage needs to ensure your campervan remains an efficient and comfortable living space.

Get Started With More Van Life Inspiration

In Conclusion

Embracing van life doesn’t mean sacrificing organization and functionality.

By applying inventive storage solutions and organizational tips, you can optimize your campervan’s space. This creates a cozy, efficient, and enjoyable living area.

Maximizing vertical space, using multifunctional furniture, organizing your garage, and establishing routines are key strategies.

These approaches help maximize campervan storage and allow you to enjoy the freedom and adventure of van life.