As we hone in on buying a second-hand caravan (travel trailer) I’m getting more and more excited about organizing my RV kitchen cabinets and drawers.
I’m ever conscious of the weight factor in an RV, so when I’m talking about ‘organizing’ I’m not trying to fit the maximum amount of items into every cupboard and drawer. Rather, I’m trying to organize them in such a way that I can find the item that I want in the first place. And that I don’t have to move 12 things out of the way to get to the one thing that I want in the deep dark recesses of a cabinet.
And I’m not talking about the ‘Pinterest Perfect’ kitchen organization either. In a tiny RV kitchen you don’t have the space for rows of perfectly aligned and color co-ordinated storage containers. I’m sure it can be done, but it’s not my forte and in a small RV kitchen, it’s all about making the most of the space that you have, using every nook and cranny.
To add complexity to an already too small space… we’ve got the fact that your kitchen will rumble it’s way down wide open highways AND windy bumpy roads. Keeping everything in the spot that you allocate it is another fun challenge.
These are some of the ideas that I’d like to incorporate (if they make sense) in the caravan we buy. Maybe they’ll spark an idea for how you can best utilize the space in your RV kitchen too?
Don’t forget, you don’t necessarily have to buy things to organize your space. Use the tips below to give you ideas and use what you’ve already got, or fashion it from something second-hand. You don’t need fancy dividers when when a piece of wood will work just as well, and you don’t need expensive trays if you have a cardboard box that fits perfectly.
Check out these other articles on utilizing the storage space in your RV:
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Under Sink Cabinets
Let’s start with the space that is usually quite large, but also the most awkward to utilize. If your cabinet under the sink doesn’t already have built in shelves, you’ve either got to build some yourself, or get some adjustable shelves in there. I suspect that a basket system may work better to keep things contained during travel.
The most common way I’ve seen to organize overhead cabinets is with tubs/containers/boxes / baskets. But there are so many ideas you can steal and make your own.
Keeping similar items together:
Add drawers or stacking systems:
Normal Cabinets / Cupboards
Inside the door
If you’ve got light-ish items that you use all the time, you could find a way to hang them inside the cupboard door:
Drawers seem to be woefully lacking in caravans/travel trailers/RVs here in Australia. You’re lucky if you get one set of three drawers, so you’ll want to make the most of them.
The secret to drawers is…. no secret at all… it’s all about separation.
Cutlery Drawer Trays
This one goes without saying I guess. I mean, have you ever had a cutlery drawer without a tray or dividers? Total annoying nightmare.
I’ve always had the plastic fantastics, which are cheap and can be found in any discount store.
But I am very much looking forward to getting myself one of these bamboo drawer organizers that expand to fit your drawer!
Or adjustable, metal dividers like this:
If you have deep drawers, then individual dividers might be better. You can get them in plastic (which will likely be cheaper). They come in just one direction dividers:
Or ones that cross over each other (meaning you can organize your drawer even more, while providing some stability to the divider):
Those are some ideas for products you can buy to help you organize your kitchen. But if you’re after some ideas for using unique areas in your RV for storage, then you’ve got to check out Ashley’s book ‘Create Space from Thin Air’.
Keeping Things in Place
When it comes to making things stay put while you just concentrate on driving, half the work is done by filling the cupboard or drawer space so that items don’t have any room to move around.
But if you’ve still got some things that rattle around while you’re on the move, these may help to reduce that movement.
Drawer / Shelf Liner
You can use tension rods in cupboards or the fridge, to stop things falling out:
If you’ve got drawers, fridge or cabinet doors that like to open while you’re travelling, you can use baby safety locks to keep them shut.
These are the few ideas that make sense to me. You’ll know from your own hunting around on the internet that there are so many gizmos and gadgets that are sold to us as making your life easier. But in my opinion, nothing is as effective at getting your RV kitchen organized as just compartmentalizing everything so that you don’t end up with a massive pile in one corner of the cupboard (or worse, the floor because you forget to latch the cupboard properly before you set off.) :-O