7 Clever Ideas for Organizing RV Cabinets
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Ashley Mann spent three years living full time in a 38-foot, 5th-wheel RV with her husband Josiah and their cat, Kitty. Her favorite thing about RV life is the challenge of finding the perfect way to organize a space, and she loves seeing all the creative and clever ways people come up with to customize their RVs.
One thing there never seems to be enough of in an RV is storage space. My RV kitchen cabinets are so full they would be at risk of an avalanche if I didn't keep them organized!
In this article, I'll share with you some of my favorite tips for organizing RV cabinets and adding extra storage to help you maximize the space you do have in your RV kitchen (or other areas of your RV).
1. Utilize RV cabinet doors as storage.
Hanging organizers on RV cabinet doors is my favorite way to add extra kitchen storage. Just be sure to measure before you buy! A few times I've purchased a storage caddy to hang on a cabinet door only to find it was too big for my RV kitchen cabinets and prevented the cabinet door from closing.
I love baskets like this one (which I spray painted gold) because they can be hung just about anywhere you need extra storage. I've seen RV owners hang them over shower walls and even from the trim along the top of a slide-out. I added a piece of removable acrylic mounting tape to the backs of the hooks on mine to provide extra cushioning to protect the wood, and to keep the basket from sliding around during travel. (Click here to read more ideas for securing items during travel.)
I also use a kitchen cabinet door for paper towel storage, although I don't recommend the one I bought because it moves around too much when I tear off a paper towel–this one seems way better.
More RV Kitchen Cabinet Door Organization
Here are some other nifty cabinet organizers used by RV organization genius Kathy Johnson to add storage in her kitchen cabinets.
Below I've listed the organizers she used (or something comparable when I couldn't find the same one), clockwise starting from top right:
- Paper grocery bag organizer
- Cabinet door rack
- White plastic sponge caddy
- Over cabinet towel bar hanging from sponge caddy (I think I would mount an adhesive towel bar below the sponge caddy instead.)
- Wrap & bag organizer
- Over cabinet door wire caddy
- Wrap & bag holder
You can also add cork tiles to the inside of a cabinet door as a way to hang items like the measuring cups and spoons, as shown in the photo below. Not only is this is a great way to organize RV cabinets, it also makes commonly used items handy to grab when you need them for cooking.
2. Don't waste the space at the top of a cabinet.
By hanging items from inside the top of a cabinet you can make sure no space goes unused.
One way to do that is by hanging a rack from the ceiling of the cabinet. This one was purchased at Dollar General; you could also use a wrap holder like this one. Or, you could cut the arms off this type of under cabinet organizer and hang it using mug hooks or heavy duty adhesive hooks. Here's a deeper type of stackable basket you could try using as well.
I figured out a way to hang pot lids from the roof of one of my kitchen cabinets by using tool hooks from Dollar Tree. I haven't been able to find these hooks anywhere else, but you could maybe do something similar by installing a beam of wood across the middle of the cabinet's ceiling and mounting U-style tool hooks on it.
I love this measuring cup holder, which Kathy's husband made for her using latching cup hooks.
He also made this rack for hanging mugs using the same hooks. You could try buying one, but Kathy said when they tried a store-bought mug rack they had trouble with the cups falling off on bumpy rides.
3. Use deli containers as food storage.
Do you have a cabinet in your camper that always seems to be overflowing with plastic food storage containers? You can cut down on the space requirement for food storage containers by choosing to use just one type. I chose to use plastic deli containers because they come in three different sizes yet all share the same lid. Also, I get them for free when I purchase food in bulk at health food stores or when I take home leftovers at certain restaurants. You can buy them cheaply online, too.
Here you can see how I used deli containers to organize dry goods this cabinet. They're perfect because they're stackable and lightweight. I labeled them using chalkboard labels and a chalk marker. The day I organized this cabinet I was too impatient to drive to the store looking for organizer baskets to hang on the inside of the cabinet door, so I made these out of cardboard covered with fabric. The original Command hooks fell down, so I stuck them back up with acrylic mounting tape (I use that stuff for everything!).
4. Install a slide out cabinet rack for hard-to-reach areas.
RV owner Debra Jones found it difficult to access items in the back of the cabinet under her stove, so she installed a Rev-a-Shelf pull-out rack to solve the problem. I love how she removed the cabinet door and attached it to the front of the wire basket using the Rev-a-Shelf door mount kit.
5. Use tension rods to hold things in place during travel.
You can even purchase wood grain tension rods to match the color of wood cabinets.
6. Store pans, baking sheets, and plates vertically.
The tiny cabinets in my camper aren't tall enough to do this, but I love the idea of using a rack like this one to store these items vertically to keep them separate during travel. This would also be a good idea for RV plate storage if you have plastic or melamine plates that don't break easily.
7. Add extra shelves to RV cabinets
It bothered me to have so much wasted space in the cabinet under my kitchen sink, so I added an extra shelf to be more efficient.
Wire shelves like these are a great way to organize tiny cabinets. You can buy them on Amazon, but they are usually cheaper at places like Dollar General.
I actually bought a bunch of those wire shelves for my own RV cabinets…but then I found another method for adding shelving to RV cabinets that's just as easy and would have been even cheaper since I have so many cabinets.
This method uses wood and mounting tape to create extra shelving, and I find it to be much sturdier than the wire racks, plus you don't have the problem of smaller items falling between the wires. You can read more about how I added extra shelving to the cabinet shown below in this blog post.
Another option is an expandable tension shelf, which can be purchased in many styles and widths.
For more RV kitchen ideas, check out these other blog posts I've written:
25 Storage Tips & Ideas for Organizing Tiny Kitchens
5 RV Pantry Cabinet Problems & Solutions
9 Space-Saving Spice Storage Ideas
Great ideas, you can not have enough cupboard space in an RV. Thanks for sharing.
You’re welcome, and I agree!
A tip on containers–square ones make more efficient use of space than round ones. I like Lock-n-Lock because even the square ones are truly airtight, watertight, and insect-tight.
Great advice for those needing to be even more space-efficient!
I enjoyed this article! Great ideas to help me think outside “the box.”
Glad to hear it! 🙂
It’s amazing how tiny details and organizing hacks can make the world of a difference in how a space is used. Great tips!
This post is amazing. I wish this blog existed when I started RVing!
I remember how hopeless I felt when I realized our kitchen only had one cabinet…. and it was very tall but thin. We actually removed the microwave and built a cabinet in it’s place for extra storage, but we also discovered the joy that is wire shelving!
It’s still a major challenge keeping things organized and it’s usually a mess, but I’m glad that I have a post like this to reference when I need to create more space for stuff.
Aw, thank you so much for the kind words! Actually I wish this blog had existed when I started RVing also, but the fact that it didn’t then is the reason it does now! 😀
Really good space-saving ideas that make good use of space that would otherwise be wasted. I don’t have an RV but I do plan to use some of these ideas in my home. One other idea that I have in my bathroom….. I hung a hanging shower caddy on the inside of the cupboard door. I store hairspray, special lotions, etc.
That is a good idea! Shower caddies can come in handy many places other than in the shower!