Storage Solutions for the Camper
Living in a small space could be an exercise in frustration if the things living in that small space with you are allowed to run amok! I believe a happy camper is an organized camper and OK, I admit it, I have a thing for organizing. I’m kind of a bag lady. I love pouches, folders, boxes, totes, and tins. I don’t however, always stay organized. In fact, I do my most creative work in a flurry of disorganized chaos. But when the dust (and paint, and yarn, and fabric) settles, I find it soothing and satisfying to put things in order.
One of the easiest ways to organize is to contain. Consolidating like items and storing them together in a dedicated container makes finding and accessing them easy. I have been scouring the local houseware stores for just the right storage boxes to help me organize the stuff I’ll be bringing on my travels in Wild Thing. I measured the cabinets before my shopping trip so I was able to select containers that would not only fit in the space they were intended for, but also make the best use of that space. I try to use every inch of available storage real estate to it’s best advantage. The better I’m able to use the space, the more craft supplies I can pack! Rather than putting my stuff into storage containers and then trying to fit those containers into the available space, I’m purchasing containers that fit the space, then deciding what items will be stored in each container. This should help me use the space most efficiently.
I found some boxes at TJ Maxx that fit the upper cabinets in the dining area well. They are constructed of a sturdy wire frame covered in woven strips of nylon webbing. They have a hinged lid and are quite lightweight. Weight is an important consideration when packing a trailer since there are limits to the weight a camper can accommodate. I would rather that the bulk of the weight I add come from the items I’m bringing, not the container in which they will be stored.
After visiting three different TJ Maxx and HomeGoods stores in my area I was able to find enough of these boxes to use in the dining area cabinets as well as some of the same style, but a larger size for the two wardrobe cabinets. The boxes I used in the dining area measured 12″ x 10″ x 5.5. I placed 4 in the back cabinet and two in the driver side cabinet with room left over for books. In the passenger side dinette cabinet, I have an assortment of small boxes containing a variety of electronic equipment. If I can find more of the larger boxes I will use them here as well.
In the open wardrobe I used 1 large box (16″ x 14″ x 7) and 4 medium sized boxes (14″ x 12″ x 6.5″). I had one tipped on its side in this photo to show the easy way to place them in the cabinet. I also used two large boxes and a medium box in the wardrobe on the other side of the camper. These boxes were from Dwell Studio, Enchante Accessories, and Michael Graves. I found some of these boxes in the aisle containing storage solutions, but I also found some in the Kids section and in the laundry supply section.
The cabinet over the microwave is a nice large space but things stored there tended to migrate to the back and were difficult to retrieve. I found a storage bin in the Kids section of HomeGoods that was just the right size to store bulky items like my tablecloths, paper towels, and toilet paper rolls and still leaves space for other items to be stored in front.
Another consideration in the camper is keeping glass bottles from falling over and breaking as the camper bumps down the road. I found this nifty little storage box that has three compartments to safely store my jar of honey, oil, vinegar and a nip of libation! This box fits in the lower cabinet near the floor. Aren’t the flowers that Glen brought me beautiful? What a guy!
Another great find available at TJ Maxx or HomeGoods are the over-the-door towel rack and over-the-door storage basket. I have towel racks on both the pantry door and the cabinet under the sink. I placed the basket on the cabinet under the sink and use it to store my dish and hand soaps, sink scrubbers, sink strainer, and pot holders.
Things are coming along nicely and soon I’ll be packed, organized, and back on the road!