Van Life Storage, Organization & Space Saving Ideas

Van Life Storage, Organization & Space Saving Ideas

Small spaces are fast to clean, but they also get messy in the blink of an eye! The key to sanity for Van Life is staying organized and taking advantage of all the space available to optimize the storage. In our van, we like each object to have its own dedicated storage place, so it can be easily put back where it belong. Below are some storage, organization and space saving ideas we actually use for our full time Van Life. Hope this helps!

Van-Life-Storage-Organization-Ideas-Heading

Small spaces are fast to clean, but they also get messy in the blink of an eye! The key to sanity for Van Life is staying organized and taking advantage of all the space available to optimize the storage. In our van, we like each object to have its own dedicated storage place, so it can be easily put back where it belong. Below are some storage, organization and space saving ideas we actually use for our full time Van Life. Hope this helps!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click a product link and buy anything from the merchant (Amazon, eBay, etc.) we will receive a commission fee. The price you pay remains the same, affiliate link or not.

Portrait-FarOutRide-Van

1- Mesh Pouch & Net Organizer


Simple but effective, mesh pouch is an easy way to add van life storage space and definitely helps with our philosophy: “each object must have its own dedicated storage place”! Here is where we added mesh pouches in our van:

These are the two types of mesh pouch & net organizer we use in our van:

Mesh Pouch With Velcro Backing
Mesh-Pouch-Storage-Organization

Cargo Mesh Organizer
Rear-Cargo-Mesh-Net-Storage-Organizer

2- USB Cables Organizer


When we first transitioned into full time van life, we knew there would be a learning curve and we would have to change a few things; but we certainly didn’t expect to feel BURRIED by the USB cables! Yep, first world problems, we know. Smartphones, cameras, laptops, drone, Wi-Fi router, e-book reader, Bluetooth earbuds… EVERYTHING needs a USB cable these days, so we quickly implemented a way to organize them:

USB Cables Organizer
USB Cables Organizer Ford Transit
USB Cables Organizer
USB-Cable-Holder-for-Van-Life

3- Wall Mount for Smartphone


“Have you seen my phone?” Van Life is synonym with small living space, yet we find the way to loose our phones all the time… This wall mount for smartphone is pretty neat and will accommodate smartphones of almost any size. It has 3M tape and sticks very well to wood or other surfaces. We installed one in our “workstation”, but it could be useful in the bedroom too (to store the phone at night).

Smartphone Wall Mount Van
Smartphone Wall Mount Van (empty)
Wall Mount for Smartphone
Wall-Mount-Smartphone-for-Van-Life-Storage

4- Shoe Organizer for Rear Doors


We can’t say it enough: “each thing in its own place”! The rear doors of the van are another great opportunity to add more storage. We bought a shoe organizer, trimmed it, and screwed it into the plastic trim on the rear doors. The shoe organizer on the driver side is permanently screwed (1/2″ length screws). The shoe organizer on the passenger side is removable (we remove it for our exterior shower setup); it’s installed with small sticky hooks on top (actually we had to screw them, because the sticky wasn’t enough) and hooks and loops at the bottom.

Slide Out Mountain Bike Rack Camper Van Build (6)
Shoe organizer for rear doors
Shoe-organizer-van-life-storage-rear-doors

5- Hook and Loop (Velcro)


We always keep some in the van, just in case! This stuff is super useful. Here are a few examples of how and where we use it in our van:

velcro-strap-van-life-storage-(curtain)
To hold the curtain
velcro-strap-van-life-storage-(hose)
To hold the fresh water hose (see on Amazon)
Velcro Strap Bike Wheel Van Storage
To hold the bike’s front wheel
Hook and Loop (with adhesive)
Velcro-Hook-and-Loop-Self-Adhesive

Velcro Straps
Velcro-Straps-van-life-storage

6- Quick Fist Clamps


The Quick Fist rubber Clamps are perfect to attach objects without rattling. We don’t recommend them to attach heavy, suspended objects (because they disform over time), otherwise they work really well!

Webasto Espar Fuel Pump Quick Fist Clamp Noise Reduction
To hold the heater’s fuel pump
Quick-Fist-Mount
And a bunch of other stuff!
Quick Fist Clamps (Kit)
Van-Life-storage-quick-fist-clamps

7- Hooks


Not exactly a great discovery, we know… but hey, don’t overlook the simple things 🙂

van-life-storage-hooks
van-life-storage-helmets-bikes

8- Slides & Drawers


It’s common sense to add drawers to a cabinet, but they are also super useful where access is deep and awkward. For example, it’s difficult to efficiently use all the space in the “garage” (the space under our platform bed), so we installed a slide-out-bike-rack and a slide-out-storage-rack side to side. It’s then really easy to load/unload the bikes, and we can store more things in the storage rack and get them more easily.

Cabinet’s Drawers
cabinet drawer
Slide-Out-Bike-Rack
Slide Out Mountain Bike Rack Camper Van Build (5)

9- Folding Table


A folding table in a camper van is a convenient way to add more space for work, eat, etc. Then it can be folded away when it’s not needed. Our folding table was installed a few years after our van life started because we initially didn’t plan our van interior layout for work. Now that we both have to use our laptops simultaneously, the folding table makes our van a bit more ergonomic and practical!

Folding-Table-Camper-Van-Life-(closed)
Folded.
Folding-Table-Camper-Van-Life-(computer)
Unfolded.

10- Headliner Shelf


An headliner shelf is a great hack to add more storage to your Sprinter van or Ford Transit van. You can either: 1- Make your own shelf using a DIY Kit (save money & match with your build). 2- Buy a bolt-on aluminum shelf (premium option, nothing to build).

1- Headliner Shelf DIY Kit
Headliner-Shelf-DIY-Kit-Vancillary-Sprinter-Transit-Van-(Paper-Template-saw)
Trace and trim using the 1:1 paper template
Headliner-Shelf-DIY-Kit-Vancillary-Sprinter-Transit-Van-(Fabric-Cover)
Cover with fabric or paint
Headliner-Shelf-DIY-Kit-Vancillary-Sprinter-Transit-Van-(brackets-installation)
Install with the included brackets
2- Premium Aluminum Headliner Shelf

Conclusion on Van Life Storage


Van Life is a good way to simplify your life, but don’t get fooled: it has its share of challenges, and staying organized is certainly one of them! Some of the ideas proposed in this article were implemented from the very early stage of our van build, some were added a few years after. Each of these Van Life storage & organization ideas make our daily life a bit better, and help us stay on the road longer. Hopefully it helps you too! See you on the road!

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Hello! We’re Isabelle and Antoine 🙂 In 2017, we sold our house (and everything in it), quit our engineering careers, and moved into our self-built campervan. We’ve been on the road since then, and every day is an opportunity for a new adventure; we’re chasing our dreams, and hopefully it inspires others to do the same!

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