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.
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
Cargo Mesh 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
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).
Wall Mount for Smartphone
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.
Shoe organizer for 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:
Hook and Loop (with adhesive)
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!
Quick Fist Clamps (Kit)
Not exactly a great discovery, we know… but hey, don’t overlook the simple things 🙂
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.
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!
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
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!