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Here are some of the best ideas I’ve found for organizing and utilizing storage space in the tiny kitchen of a camper, travel trailer, or motorhome.
Use wall space for storing and organizing.
Just about every empty wall in my RV is used for storage, like this wall of my kitchen, where I have a knife holder (a vintage one from a thrift store that I repainted; I’ve seen some similar ones for sale on Etsy) and a wire storage basket. I initially tried hanging the basket with three Command hooks, but since the items I keep in it are pretty heavy, it eventually it fell down, so I used screws instead.
My friend Brooke mounted this cute narrow spice rack (which she painted blue) on a wall in her travel trailer, along with a galvanized metal file organizer she uses as plate storage. I believe she purchased her spice rack secondhand, but here’s a similar style on Amazon.
The owners of the RV pictured below doubled their kitchen cupboard space by installing two kitchen cabinets purchased at a home supply store, which they stacked on top of each other and secured to the wall. Since they matched the oak color of their existing cabinets, can hardly tell they weren’t part of the original design!
One of my personal favorite uses of wall space is for spice storage. I made this magnetic spice storage wall in my RV, which I wrote about in a separate blog post. I also have another blog post where I shared lots of different spice storage ideas.
Look for other vertical spaces that can be turned into storage.
(If you read this website a lot, you may have already seen a few of these pictures before; scroll on past if you want, because there are a lot of other ideas farther on down the page!)
I purchased this rack to hang over a cabinet door, but it ended up being to wide, so I used screws to mount it over this panel which conceals our converter instead. If I hadn’t already purchased this one, I would have bought a wall mount style instead. This one can be installed either way.
Mug hooks and Command hooks are definitely an RV necessity. I used mug hooks to hang wire baskets from the end of a kitchen cabinet as a place to store fruit and root vegetables. (For more fruit and vegetable storage ideas, check out this blog post.)
This gap next to my microwave seemed like it should be used for something, so I stuck a couple of magnets to the side of my microwave and it became the perfect spot to store my pizza pan.
Even the refrigerator in my RV is used for storage. With the help of magnets such as these hooks, I am able to use it store all kinds of kitchen supplies. (If your fridge isn’t magnetic, you could use adhesive hooks in a similar fashion.) I got my magnetic hooks at Lowe’s, but I believe they are cheaper on Amazon.
Hang things under the cabinets.
First of all, I just love the wall decor in this kitchen. But also, I love how the owner of this motorhome hung her pots and pans and other kitchen items from the bottom of her cabinets.
I hung wine glasses from the bottom of one of my RV cabinets using a couple of racks like this one. We’ve only moved our RV once so far since I hung them, and unfortunately, I forgot to run a bungee cord across the end of the rack before we left so they wouldn’t slide off, and a few fell off and broke. But the ones that stayed on the rack did just fine with liquor bottle sleeves over them. (I use those sleeves to protect my actual liquor bottles and glassware as well.)
For RV owners who prefer to use paper plates, one of these paper plate dispensers mounted to the bottom of a cabinet could come in really handy.
A lot of people mount a magnetic knife strip on the wall of in their RV kitchens, but I’ll bet you could attach one to the bottom of a cabinet also, although you might have to buy shorter screws. I often suggest using acrylic tape for hanging things as an alternative to screws, but this is not something I would try that with. The last thing I would want would be for a bunch of knives to fall down on my hands while I was preparing dinner!
A wrap and bag holder like this one, which is designed to be mounted on a kitchen cabinet door, could just as easily be mounted to the bottom of a cabinet. You could even try using Command hooks or adhesive cable clips to hang it if you wanted, although I would probably choose mug hooks myself so that the height and angle could be adjusted as needed. You could also spray paint the rack to be whatever color you wanted.
Do you use a Keurig to make coffee in your RV? If so, under the cabinet can be a great place to store K cups.
This space saving “stuff” organizer (it’s literally called an “Anything Keeper” has a similar design, but can be used to store anything. It comes in either black or white, but of course it too could be spray painted to match your RV decor.
Here’s another under cabinet storage idea that I would love to try sometime. It’s a wooden drawer that’s actually meant to go under a computer, but I can imagine all kinds of uses for it. It’s unfinished wood, so it could be stained or painted to match cabinets, and could be mounted to the bottom of them using L brackets, acrylic mounting tape (it weighs less than 6 pounds), or countless other ways I’m sure. If you do this, please send me a picture!
The owners of this RV use the space under their kitchen cabinets as a place to store kitchen gadgets in their camper by hanging them from a utensil rack. These can be purchased in different lengths and you can even get an adhesive one, but be sure to measure the height of your space before buying one. I actually tried to make something similar myself using a tension rod and S hooks, and it was a total failure because 1) the S hooks were too long and made the utensils hung down too low, and 2) the tension rod wouldn’t stay put and the whole thing came crashing down. So don’t be like me, haha. I would probably buy one of the screw mounted ones if I were try this again.
Use countertops as storage.
Here’s a neat idea that one of my blog subscribers sent to me in an email. It’s a nail polish rack, which she keeps on her counter, held in place by clear Command hooks. The bottom was originally rounded, her husband used a grinding wheel to make it flat across the bottom, but if you’re like me and have no way of cutting metal, you could get a rectangle shaped one instead. I’m sure these could also be secured in place with a bit of my trusty friend, acrylic mounting tape.
I know most of us grew up with a silverware drawer as a basic kitchen essential, but after experiencing the convenience of having a silverware caddy next to my sink where I can easily grab a handful of silverware from off of my drying mat and put it away in just a few seconds, I can never go back to individually drying and neatly stacking forks and spoons. I made this caddy by putting some tin cans in a basket I got at a thrift store.
There are some really neat silverware caddies on Amazon, such as this galvanized metal one, which would be super handy for carrying outside to eat at a camp table or picnic table–a must-have camping accessory if you eat most of your meals outside.
I think my favorite silverware storage idea is to use a wooden sugar mold like this one, which you can find on Etsy. They come in different lengths with varying numbers of holes.
Sometimes the best camper organization ideas involve using items in a way that was different than their intended use: RV owner used a caddy purchased in the bathroom department at Walmart to add extra storage in her kitchen.
If you’re a tea drinker, this wooden drawer caddy would be perfect for countertop storage of the packets (or it could probably be mounted on a wall, also!). It also comes in a deeper size with just two drawers.
Look for empty spaces that be used as storage.
Here’s a cool space saving idea if you’re really desperate for storage space in a small camper or travel trailer: use the microwave as storage. RVer Amanda Kehler keeps a basket in her microwave which she simply removes whenever she needs to use the microwave and replaces afterward.
In my RV, I put the kitchen ceiling to use by hanging a pot rack above my sink. The screws in my RV’s vent cover happened to be perfectly located where I was able to remove them and replace them with hooks, but I’ve seen other RV owners hang a pot rack from a wooden light fixture.
Giving drawers a storage upgrade with multi-tier cutlery trays and drawer dividers is a good way to utilize space near the top without them becoming to messy. RV owner Kathy Johnson is a pro at drawer organization, as you can see in the photos below.
Many RV kitchens have panels with empty space behind them that can be turned into storage, like this spot I found underneath my pantry cabinets.
Want to see more ideas for kitchen organization? Check out my other related blog posts: