How To Keep Your RV Kitchen Organized
Welcome to the New Year! And with the new year, we have new years resolutions. One of mine, and probably yours too, is to get better organized.
One place that I’ve managed to get fairly well organized is in my RV, and in particular, my RV kitchen!
Here are some of the tips to help keep your RV kitchen organized and running efficiently.
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Top Tip: Get Rid of Extra Stuff
The best tip for any organization project is to get rid of stuff.
Seriously, you probably have some stuff in your RV kitchen that has just accumulated over time.
Do you really need all of it? Ask yourself these four questions:
- When was the last time I used it? Been more than 6 months to a year, get rid of it.
- Does it work properly? If it’s broken, get rid of it.
- Do I have more than 1 of these things? Get rid of any duplicates.
- Is there something else that can do the same job? Space is limited. Get rid of one use tools, especially if you have something else that works to do the same job.
Be ruthless in your quest to get rid of stuff. It’s probably one of the things that attracted you to this lifestyle anyways – not having as much stuff. So toss it out of the RV (or better yet, sell or donate it or pass it on to someone that can use your stuff).
Buy Nesting or Collapsible
One of the next best things you can do to organize your RV kitchen is to buy nesting or collapsible items.
My favorite mixing bowls are a set of nesting bowls. With their non-slip bottoms, they stay in place in the cabinets and they reduce rattle when I’m driving. (you’ll notice that reducing rattle is a big selling feature for a lot of the tips in this post!)
The lids are also great for doing prep work before the tailgate or for storing leftovers. Remember, we like things that have multiple uses – so mixing AND storage is a great thing. Add in nesting and bam! Awesome sauce!
Another favorite collapsible item is the kitchen colander and strainer. Again, collapsible for easy storage and multi-use.
The silicone is also lightweight and easy to clean up. And it holds up well to hot and cold liquids well.
Similarly, the collapsible measuring cups are made of silicone, making them convenient for RV use. The silicone products make a lot less noise/rattle than their old fashioned metal counterparts. I’ve even gone to using silicone baking pans instead of metal pans. You may even notice silicone cooking utensils in pictures.
Buy Clear Bins
When I have a choice, I always try to buy clear storage bins for the RV.
My cabinets are dark, making it hard to see inside. The space is also small, meaning that things are really packed in there tight.
Clear plastic or acrylic bins are my choice to keep things organized but still where you can see the items inside. The handles make it easy to grab even in tight spaces.
Another advantage is that you can identify items, not from memory but from sight, without moving things around. And the fewer times you move things, the less likely you are to go from organized to not so organized.
Seriously, I use these Interdesign bins all over the RV. The kitchen cabinet and the pantry. The fridge. The bathroom and the closet.
In the upper cabinets in the living room, I love the stackable bins that have the lower front edge. Keeps things in place but also accessible.
A Place for Everything… Everything In Its Place
As an RV tailgater, I am constantly on the move. Going between my home base and the stadiums every weekend in the fall. Camping trips all year long.
That means there is a lot of moving. And I don’t want to spend all my time securing items for travel. So I definitely work to keep things easy. Which means organized.
And that is my primary goal: make life easier for setup, travel, and breakdown. While still being useful when I am cooking.
I want to keep my most commonly used items at the ready and easily accessible. But everything needs to be constantly ready for travel.
Think Vertical for RV Storage
You’ve seen it before with the K-cup storage pods. Some of the best storage is vertical storage.
The Coffee Pod Pads stick on the back or underside of cabinets or even on walls. The pads hold K-Cup Pods even when vertical or upside down, even as you drive on bumpy roads. This frees up valuable cabinet space for other things. And you’ll be able to easily find your coffee before you’ve had your coffee. That’s good for caffeine deprived brains, right?
One of the best vertical storage places is the back of the door. In my RV, the bathroom door is right across from the kitchen sink. The door is a great place for an over the door organizer. Because the space is narrow when the slides are in, I used a mesh pocket instead of a structured pocket.
This provides a handy place to store kitchen towels, koozies, extra sponges, etc. All light weight items that I need ready access to for proper RV tailgating.
I also use vertical storage on both sides of the lower kitchen sink cabinets. On the inside, I keep an over-the-door caddy that holds dish and hand washing soaps and other cleaning products. This keeps the soaps easily accessible but also out of the way.
On the outside of the door, I have an over-the-door trash can. I prefer the ones that are cans instead of just simple bag holders for two reasons: 1) you can use it for additional storage when traveling to/from your destination (remember, multiple uses is good) and 2) if you have heavy trash, it is less likely to rip the bag and thus cause a mess.
Like with the larger over the door organizer on the bathroom door, I do end up moving the trash can a lot because of the narrow space when the RV slides are in. Thus, I prefer one that hangs and is not attached to the door.
See Also: 9 Easy RV Closet Organization Hacks
Solo Cups Storage
So there are two things that I normally keep on the surface of my RV kitchen counter: paper towels and Solo Cups.
In Starter RV, I found a way to store the Solo Cups by attaching a toilet paper holder to the lip of the upper cabinets.
In my new Tiffin, I didn’t want to add any unnecessary holes or damage the cabinets in any way until I knew how I wanted things.
So instead of the toilet paper/Solo Cup holder that I used previously, I put the Solo Cups in a utensil holder.
The top diameter of a Solo Cup is approximately 3.75 inches. So you’ll want a utensil holder that is about 4-5 inches in a diameter – it makes it easy to get the cups in and out of the utensil holder. I also opted for the clean lines of a black matte open design. Your mileage may vary.
The Simple Human paper towel holder is nice because you can pick it up with the finger loop to easily carry it to the bathroom or the dining table. It is very convenient when you have a whole arm full of casserole dishes for the tailgate potluck!
I can leave both the Solo Cup/utensil holder and the paper towel holder on the countertops, even when I’m driving. In fact, these are the ONLY things that stay out 100% of the time. I just put the Solo Cups in the back and then block them in with the paper towel holder during travel.
See Also: How to Maintain Your RV Gray Tanks
All the Cooking Utensils
There are two ways that I store cooking utensils. Because yes, I really do have that much stuff that I cook with.
The first is in for the larger items that I use when cooking on the stove, including the large knives. Everything goes into a Wire Hanging Basket.
Now, I don’t actually hang it up. When I’m not cooking, I store this basket below the sink. But everything being in a basket makes it easy to move – especially with the handle.
Another advantage of this hanging basket is the beige linen fabric. It’s removable, so easy to wash if it gets dirty. It also prevents scratches on my utensils and a little extra padding to reduce rattles while I’m driving. Every little bit helps!
Even with the front of the basket being shorter, there are some things that don’t fit in the wire basket. Or they are used less often. Or are bulky.
These all go in the top drawer below the stove – where many RV ovens are located. (One of the selling points on the convection oven/microwave was the extra storage below the stove)
In this drawer, I keep all my silverware, collapsible measuring cups and spoons, can openers, and the small knives. And some more miscellaneous things that are useful in a kitchen.
To keep things in place, I first put non-slip kitchen shelf liner below everything. In addition to keeping things in place, it also helps with the rattle. Always a good bonus.
Hint: Get the 20 inch liner, not the 12 inch. That way you won’t have to piece together as many sections to cover the whole drawer. Also, go with white the make it brighter and easier to see in the drawers.
I also keep it organized with two clear expandable drawer organizers. These are right at 4 inches high, the same depth as my drawer. I can keep all the silverware corralled in one area and the other kitchen items in another.
This organization worked better for me than the form expandable organizers. These left too much dead space either in front of or behind the organizer. And in the limited space in an RV kitchen, it was important to me to use every single bit of space.
See Also: How to Restore a Rusty Cast Iron Skillet
Plastic Grocery Bags
Both in Starter RV or the new Tiffin, I used a bedside/bunk organizer on the dog crate to store grocery bags. But that was getting ridiculous and they should be put away.
After RVing for several months in the new Tiffin, I figured I had some dead space in the cabinet below the kitchen sink. The Ikea VARIERA Plastic Bag Dispenser fits perfectly in this dead space.
RV Kitchen Organization Tips
Do you have some more RV kitchen organization tips?
Comment below with your best ideas!
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Recommended RV Kitchen Organization Products:
Nesting Mixing Bowls
Collapsible Colander and Strainer
Interdesign Clear Storage Bins
Coffee Pod Pads
Over the Door Caddy
Over the Door Trash Can
Paper Towel Holder
Wire Hanging Basket
Non-Slip Kitchen Shelf Liner
Clear Expandable Drawer Organizers
Ikea VARIERA Plastic Bag Dispenser