Space Saving & Practical Tips For Compact Living

Stop stacking and start saving space
Stop stacking and start saving space

Friday, 01, Feb 2019 11:46

By William Coleman

They say you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. I respectfully disagree because no matter how seasoned you are in caravan living you never stop learning, something I think we can all agree on. Also if you are new to the outdoor living lifestyle you may also benefit greatly from these little hints and tips.

Once you get into the caravan or motorhome holiday life you learn a lot on your first few trips, very much a trial of errors until you've figured out what you need. One thing I was told when I first started putting together my list if things I would need was to make a list of literally everything you use at home over a weekend. Doing that will give you a pretty good idea of what you need for a weekend away in a caravan, camper or motorhome.

So here are a few pro tips to help you make the most of your living space and help those of you who may be newer to the leisure vehicle holiday.

Don't Forget The Drying

Have you been to sites that just have a washing machine? Have you you noticed there was no dryer only after your washing is half way through the cycle? I have, and it never ever crossed my mind to bring a clothes line. You live you learn.

I have seen some very primitive variations over the years but as basic as they were they were 100 times better than not having one at all.

So take a ball of string, a chain of even lots of shoes laces tied together, poor attempt at humour. It will be much better than having all of your clothes and undies scattered around your pitch or taking up every bit of space inside the van.

Silly but a very worthwhile thing to remember when packing for your trip.

Make Storage Space Safer

There really is nothing more frustrating than opening the cupboard just to have a jar of coffee or tube of Pringles pouncing out at you like some sort of pantry dwelling ninja. Or going to grab a snack just to see that someone has overstuffed the cupboard and you have to take everything out just to find that back of chocolate digestives.

I have found a very clean, easy and cheap way of solving this issue, the small clear plastic box!

Have a barrier between you and the martial artist pack of PG Tips. Not only does a clear plastic container prevent thing from toppling out at you but you can remove the whole contents of that space and easily see what has been stored in there without spending an age removing each item one by one. Should help save on those dentist bills too.

The Inside Of Every Door Is A Potential Wardrobe

The hanging shoe rack can turn any door into a storage haven. For a couple of pounds you can double the storage capacity of your van within a matter of moments.

The good thing about the netting used to form the hanging shoe rack is that can fit pretty much any house house item in them. From bottles of bleach all the way to your heavy duty black bin bags.

How about investing in some hooks? You can safely secure small coat hooks to the inside of the doors inside the kitchen area. These are perfect for hanging your cooking utensils, which more often than not do not fit that well in the cutlery draw.

As well as being a good hook to hang your serving spoons you can use them as actual coat hooks as they also work very well inside long cabinets and doors in the bedroom for extra clothing storage.

It is a great space saver with a very minimal cost and best of all you can pop one by the front door and get into the good habit of putting your keys there. No more arguments about who had the keys last.

The Island Bed Storage Space

The drawns under the divan bed at home have always been great for monumental amounts of hidden storage. The island bed inside the caravan provides just as much storage for the things that you do not want cluttering up your living spaces.

If you are going to use the under bed space I would suggest getting some plastic boxes so you can keep order of the large items.

The boxes are perfect for storing pillows and duvets as well as smaller items that you can fill an entire box such as shoes and board games etc etc. The clip on lids make life easier as you can stack things on top of them and keep the weight even while towing.

Just be sure to regularly air out any bedding if you are storing the van for a while as things can get very stuffy if left for extended periods of time.

Collapsible & Folding Draw Storage

The longest amount of time I have spent in a caravan was 3 weeks. While planning for the trip there was one thing that I totally overlooked- how tidy can you be while travelling with three weeks worth of luggage while sharing the space with 2 other people?

While away the draw I was allocated for all my bits and bobs always ended up like that draw in the kitchen that always turns into a total mess no matter how clean you try to keep it.

So moving forward how did I combat this nuisance scenario? I went to Ikea and took full advantage of the in draw storage compartments.

Ikea's SKUBB range are a total game changer! You can buy a set of 4 or one that has 5 different pre designed sections, all of which will fit into most draws in any caravan or motorhome.

In fact for most space saving solution Ikea always seems to save the day. I wonder how long it will be until Ikea rebrand their existing kit to appeal to the caravan market? I may write up a proposal, this time next year I could be a millionaire.

Get Creative

I am sure that a lot of people will read this and either have a light bulb go off in their head or would have already thought of these solutions. One thing I am certain of is that there will be a long list of ideas that I have not thought of so please feel free to share them with me.

Take a walk around the van with your thinking cap on and I am sure ideas will start popping up all over the place. Once you've had a scan round you will be able to triple your storage space at a very low cost.

Pictures thanks to Big4.com/au.

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