Kitchen storage tips, ideas, and hacks

Kitchen STORAGE Tips, Ideas, & Hacks (for Organizing Campers)

Updated on January 30th, 2024

Are you tired of rummaging through your RV kitchen cabinets, searching for cooking or camping necessities?

To attain an efficient camping experience, you need to implement the best RV kitchen storage hacks that actually work so your food, dishes, and other supplies are easily accessible and organized.

I put together the top kitchen organization hacks for RVs to help you get your motorhome, travel trailer, or fifth wheel in order. By using some of the tips below, you’ll soon have your RV kitchen storage in tip-top shape and say goodbye to annoying, messy cabinets!

The First Step to RV Kitchen Organization

Before you start reorganizing your RV kitchen cabinets, drawers, and counters, you’ll need to take stock of what items you already own and what extra items you commonly bring along on camping trips.

Go through everything in your RV kitchen and separate all the items you rarely or never use, and discard any food items past their expiration date.

Don’t keep things “just in case,” as they will only bog down your organizational plans. For example, if you only camp as a family of four, you do not need 12 forks or eight cups.

Carry the least amount of items necessary to cook, eat, and clean up. Doing so will help keep your RV kitchen clutter-free.

Next, note how much storage space you need to set aside for food that doesn’t need to be refrigerated.

Bulky food items can take up a large portion of the pantry or cabinet space, and you don’t want to pack up your camper for a trip and find out you haven’t left enough room to store it properly.

Knowing the size and shape of kitchen supplies, you have will help you install the correct type of organizer to keep them neat and easy to grab.

Now that you have minimized your kitchenware and understand your food storage needs, you can now use the best RV kitchen storage hacks to finish your organization project.

10 Best RV Kitchen Storage Organization Hacks

An RV kitchen storage organization

RV kitchen cabinet space is limited and rarely suitable to corral items neatly.

By installing the right products and organizing camping supplies differently, you can instantly streamline and destress your RV cooking and cleaning chores.

Check out these top 10 hacks that expert RVers use and love!

1. Add Shelves or Racks to Walls and Cabinets

If RV kitchen storage is tight, expanding places to store food and camping supplies will keep things more organized.

RV cabinets typically are wide open or have a single shelf, making them great for large items like cereal boxes or packs of toilet paper, but the rest of the space above them is wasted.

Adding extra shelves gives you more surface space to organize and store your food and kitchen appliances. You can also insert a hanging shelf that slides over an existing shelf to increase storage and help separate like items for easy retrieval.

Another great problem solver is installing an enclosed wall-mount knife rack, which is much safer than leaving them loose in a drawer or relying on a magnetic strip to hold them secure.

For RV walls, I find shallow hanging baskets or shelving with a rail are much better suited to the RV lifestyle versus a flat shelf. What you place inside won’t roll or slide off when driving or if the camper sways when people are moving about inside.

Rethink your organization by repurposing a folder rack with hooks to store plates and cookbooks. The hooks underneath are perfect for keys or holding rings while you do the dishes.

If you love to cook during your RV trips, a set of spice racks will hold jars perfectly so you can quickly grab what you need.

In addition, the little rail keeps bottles secure during travel, and the separate shelves allow you to attach them wherever you have free wall space and only use enough to hold the spices you have. There’s no point using a rack that can hold 30 spices if you only use six.

2. Go Vertical

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Stacking dishes, trays, pans, cutting boards, and cookie sheets at the bottom of a cabinet can become an RV organizational nightmare.

It becomes tiresome to constantly shuffle through the stacks to pull out the item you want and shove it back into place when you finish with it.

Installing products that allow you to vertically store large or flat kitchenware will eliminate the need to unstack or hunt for the right one. When it’s time to put the item away, it easily slips into an open slot with no struggle.

I love the pull-out tray organizer I have in the cabinet under my fridge. The width of the slots is adjustable, so I use one slot to hold my boxes of cling wrap, wax paper, and aluminum foil for the ultimate in dual-function storage!

For dishes, I like portable plate holders that come in several sizes. The price is reasonable, and keeping dishes vertically frees up cabinet space for other items. They are also easy to grab and take outside for patio meals.

Another way to create custom vertical storage slots in a cabinet is to place two or three tension rods upright in a line. They require no screws, making them fast to install without any damage to the cabinet framing.

3. Utilize the Cabinet Underside and Appliance Space

The area under your upper RV kitchen cabinets offers an abundance of storage space if you hang the right products to handle specific needs.

A paper towel holder or hooks for coffee mugs is an obvious choice for this area, but have you thought of using travel-friendly hanging fruit hammocks that can also work to hold sponges or cell phones off the counter or sink area?

If you make coffee with pods, an under-cabinet coffee pod holder is a genius storage solution.

A paper plate dispenser keeps them right where you need them yet out of the way.

Installing rotating circular hooks is another super-handy RV organizing hack that lets you hang those large utensils, gumming up drawer space, and instead store them in a tidy bunch that remains easy to access.

The most tried-and-true RV organizational hack is to use your oven or microwave as storage space when not in use. For example, microwaves make an excellent bread box or snack center.

The trick is to use a basket to corral pots, dishes, bread, or snacks you place inside the appliance.

When it comes time to use the appliance, you simply remove the whole basket, set it aside, and return it once you finish and the oven or microwave is safely cooled down.

WARNING: Please be careful when using RV appliances for storage. Make sure everyone in the camper is aware items may be inside, so there aren’t accidents because someone forgets to remove the basket before turning on the appliance.

4. Install a Magnetic Board

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Magnetic boards are fantastic in RV kitchens, but don’t skimp on quality. You want the metal board and magnetic jars you hang from them to stay secure down the bumpiest of roads.

Most people buy pre-cut magnetic boards with container kits, but you can DIY a custom shape to fit an odd area of kitchen wall space, so it becomes a valuable organizational addition to your camper.

Even a strip a few inches wide can hold an ample amount of spices, or you can forgo sticking on jars and use a magnetic bar for metal knives or utensils while parked at a campsite.

5. Use Stackable Plastic Containers

Another way to keep your kitchen items organized is to separate them into clear plastic containers or totes with lids so you can stack them to take full advantage of all the interior cabinet space.

You can label the fronts with the contents, such as rice, canned food, oatmeal, or snacks, so you know which one to slide out. Then, once you open the lid, it’s easy to see what food you’re getting low on and need to restock.

Shop around for the width that leaves enough wiggle room to slip them in and out through the cabinet door and a depth that will hold items standing upright or lying down.

I can stack containers three high between my RV pantry shelves, which triples my storage capacity!

I also love how keeping supplies inside sealed containers deters pests from taking up residence.

6. Install Slide-out Bins in Lower Cabinets

Slide-out bins in lower cabinets

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In an RV or home, lower kitchen cabinets are often hard to access, which means you avoid using the storage space efficiently.

Installing slide-out cabinet organizers changes the game by making it easy to see and store all your pots and pans, food, or cleaning supplies.

Sliders allow you to pull your supplies out into the light, and there are many different sizes and shapes to fit your needs. Trash can holders are ideal for bulky items like dog food, kitty litter, or paper products.

Quality sliding units can seem a bit pricey. Still, they are worth the investment for convenience and optimal organization because items aren’t getting lost in the back of your RV cabinets.

7. Use an RV-Friendly Dish Rack

Countertop space in any camper is scarce, so setting out a dish drying tray and rack can often be difficult, and storing such a bulky item is even worse.

The best hack for drying dishes is to use a roll-up dish drying rack that fits over your RV sink basin.

The edges of the rack have a grip surface, so it won’t slide off during use. When you don’t need the rack, it rolls up into a small tube you can tuck into a drawer near the sink.

The design allows you to unroll it as much as you need, so you can still run water if you only have a single sink basin in your camper.

8. Add Rods with Hooks

Kitchen rails

Kitchen rails are rods you mount to the wall or under a cabinet that has moveable hooks for hanging kitchen towels, utensils, keys, or coffee cups.

The items on the rail are more secure during travel because the hooks are part of the rod, not free like an S-hook.

I like that you can tuck the rod right up under the upper cabinet, so you have plenty of room for longer items to hang from the hook. You can also turn the rod perpendicular to the counter directly underneath the cabinet so it takes up less wall space.

9. Install Canned Food Racks

Organizer racks for canned goods is another hack to utilize more of the RV cabinet space between shelves or when there is no shelf at all.

Plan to use some brackets to secure the rack bottoms in place so they won’t slide when the camper moves. For stackable racks, you’ll want to zip-tie the units together for more security.

Once the racks are stable, they do a fantastic job keeping cans from rolling away, and it allows you to store more food for longer RV trips.

10. Group Fridge Items in Baskets

Plastic storage caddies with handles are ideal for condiments or similar items, so you can easily grab the whole container and carry it to the counter for food prep or outside when having meals on your RV patio.

Measure your RV fridge shelf space and buy several baskets so you can group meats, fruits, veggies, drinks, eggs, and more. I suggest buying PBA-free plastic bins for fresh food storage and avoiding flimsy dollar store versions.

Baskets are easy to slide out, which means you can quickly see what you need without having to push items around on the shelf. Labeled bins also make it easy for everyone to put things away in the right spot and keep jars and bottles from tipping over during travel days.

Canned beverage dispensers are hit or miss for many RVers, but they can be helpful to make the most of limited fridge space if you want to keep a large number of canned drinks cold.

Final Thoughts

A RV's kitchen storage

Camping trips will run more smoothly when you have a way to safely store all the food, utensils, and supplies you need in your recreational vehicle kitchen.

The best way to organize RV kitchen storage is to use the space you have as efficiently as possible. Experienced RVers know the hacks above work because they use them every day!

Give these RV storage ideas a try yourself, and see how wonderful and organized the RV kitchen can be!

Camper Kitchen Storage Hacks and Organization (Video)

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