Is keeping a van tidy possible?
Live in less than 10
m2, alone, with 2, with family or with animals can sometimes become a real challenge. And yet, we love traveling in a camper van and traveling with our little house on wheels.
We may be minimalists (or at least try), it is sometimes hard to fit everything in our van and above all... to keep it tidy throughout long journey (especially when we go on a long road trip).
When Baby Léonie was born, we went to Scandinavia for 4 months. The temperature was 35°C when we left and 3 months later, it was -5° when we woke up. So you can imagine our list of things to take with us (winter + summer clothes, baby equipment, etc.)
We scoured many blogs for inspiration and tips on how to save some space (each cm2 counts in this kind of situation). After 4 months of road tripping with the family, here are the tips that helped us the most and the tips that we also found throughout the trip.
To make a little more room
- Use the “1 In - 1 Out” rule (translation: 1 in, 1 out)
This rule has never been applied as well as in our van. When we want to add an accessory, we think about where we could put it and if there is no space, we remove something. We assure you, this technique is quite effective!
Arrived on a spot, just unfold it and install it in a corner. You can put everything that clutters you up in your van (dirty laundry, shoes, food, outdoor accessories, etc.). Your equipment will be stored and protected from the rain.
- Using vacuum storage bags
We took some to store things that we only use occasionally. Clothes are stored and compressed and stay in away from humidity. A perfect solution to save (a lot of) space.
- Use compact, foldable or stackable accessories whenever possible.
For hiking, we look for the lightest accessories. And for the Vanlife, we go for the smallest and most compact equipment.
We have installed some hooks in the “Kitchen” part to hang net bags. We use them to store mainly fruit and bread. Easy to set up and store when the pantry is empty.
In order to keep closets tidy, we bought several fabric storage baskets. The baskets are flexible and adapt to the dimensions of the closet and what is inside.
Storage and compression bags keep everything in its place. We separate our t-shirts from sweaters and pants and manage to keep closets (rather) tidy.
Very practical in the hold or in certain cupboards in the kitchen.
We stuck a list of things put away on each crate. Very useful to know where the alligator clips are when the van does not start anymore!
In order to know where our keys are at all times, we had decided from the beginning on a precise location to hang the keys of our van.
With this technique, we (almost) never looked for our keys.
On a road trip, it is more difficult to leave our things lying around and to postpone the “tidying up” session to another day. With Aurel, we have our little tidying up ritual every morning: everyone knows what they have to do to get the van up and running (and not too messy!).
It is one of our essential accessories.We use it several times a day because dust, dirt and sand tend to get into our van very easily!
- Natural Household Products
We promote natural and versatile household products With white vinegar, Marseille soap, black soap and baking soda, you can already clean a lot of things!
Our last tip and surely the one we apply the most (well, especially Ori! ): make a list of things to take.
This allows you to:
- don't forget anything
- be aware of everything you want to take
sort out the essentials from the others.
With all these tips and tricks, we hope you managed to save some cm2 of space in your van or camper van and you'll be ready to go on a road trip with the essentials!
And if it's any reassurance, even with all these tricks, there are times when nothing is out of place!
Do you have other storage ideas and suggestions?
Feel free to share them in the comments below. Other vanlifers will love more tips (and so will we!).
And if you also want to save space, discover our 12 super compact accessories, designed for small spaces.