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  • Jessica

Three principles we follow to stay organized in our van

When you’re living in 19 feet of space, you need to make every single inch work in your favor. While there are certainly bigger rigs available, we love our 144” wheelbase and we feel that we have plenty of space for all of our must-haves (and plenty of luxury items!). It’s all about organization and using every space to the fullest. Here are three key principles to making the most of your space in the Winnebago Revel and a few examples of what we’ve done.

Disclaimer: the things we’ve done are directly correlated to how we use our Revel. Many ideas are transferable to however you use it, others might not work depending on your use case.

Principle #1: Everywhere that can be storage should be storage

We make sure that every nook and cranny inside of Hermes works to our advantage. There are some obvious things for you to work on, like the garage area, but here are some other ideas that might not be so obvious.

For the garage area, we wanted storage as well as extra living space. We’re not hauling a ton of gear in the van, like bikes or climbing gear. So we joined umpteen Revel owners in adding the Canyon Adventure Vans GLSS (Garage Lounge Storage System). This is super helpful, giving us extra storage space in our “garage” area and making a perfect spot to house all of our maintenance gear, tools and outdoor lounging gear and more.

Beyond our GLSS, there are lots of other “obvious” storage spaces in the Winnebago Revel, but loads of spots that we’ve put to work. For example:

  • Adding bedside caddies to both sides of the bed- These felt caddies not only make it more convenient for storing little things when we are in the bed (water bottles, glasses, books, etc.), but also gives us a spot for storing some of the little knick-knacks that we might want in the respective areas, like headlamps and earplugs and more.

  • Adding a “mail organizing” shelf by the sliding door- we were easily able to add this shelf to an existing hook (no new holes!), giving us a great spot to hang our keys, leashes and store doggie essentials when we are parked.

  • Adding a shoe organizer to the inside of the bathroom door…and use it for more than just shoes! This is a perfect organizer for toiletries and more. (Pro tip: be sure to secure this to the door with 3M Command velcro strips to ensure that this doesn’t bang around while you drive!)

  • Building and adding a shoe storage box behind the passenger seat (and swapping fire extinguisher for a smaller sized, equally powerful fire suppressant)

  • Adding storage organizers to the seat back, the visors, and even the felt lining of the shelves and headliner with these cargo net pouches

  • Adding a rifle case on top for emergency use items that are presumably not needed often, but accessible is an emergency, like recovery gear, air compressor, etc.

Principle #2: Contain yourself

There’s a reason that the Container Store exists. Having the right storage vessels for the need makes a huge difference. Whether it’s boxes, bins, bags, compression sacks… whatever!... these tools can help you make the most of every inch. We are, of course, super conscious of anything that can create a rattle in van, so we love:

  • Felt storage bins (large and small): in addition to helping with rule #1 (a bin dedicated for a certain purpose), these also make it easy to maximize what can fit in a particular area (without an avalanche of small things coming down on you)

  • Packing cubes: perfect for clothes, blankets, etc. these make it super easy to not only keep organized (Jim and I each have a different color for our respective stuff), but to fit more goodies into a smaller space

  • Compression bags and stuff sacks- These are perfect for gear that you need “in case of emergency” like cold-weather clothing or extreme rain gear, as well as things that are super fluffy, like our Rumpl blanket. These can help you save a ton of space in the day-to day by taking just a few extra seconds of effort.

  • Plastic shoe boxes- These fit great in the GLSS, stack on top of one another, and make it easy to group things that might get dirty or wet

  • And finally our fridge bins make it super easy to keep the tiny refrigerator organized, allowing us to not only make the most of the space, but keep things colder, as we can quickly load/unload these bins when meal-time comes around (and see rules #1 & #2), these bins are organized even organized such that our “making a sandwich” goodies are in one dedicated bin.

AND EQUALLY IMPORTANT: containing yourself is also following the ‘less is more’ philosophy. You’d be surprised and how little you need, if you prioritize, downsize and buy small versions of things or carry things that can serve multiple purposes. For example, our Sand Cloud XL towel serves as both lightweight blanket, picnic blanket and towel.

Principle #3 : A place for everything, and everything in it’s place.

Nothing can make a space feel cluttered faster than struggling to find that one thing that you need through pile and piles of other stuff. Making sure that everything in the van has its dedicated “spot” makes that way easier. Everything goes in a spot. The same spot. Always.

And at the same time making sure that those dedicated “spots” take into account the things that you’re likely going to want at the same time. How annoying is it when you have to “chase” around to different parts of the van/house/wherever you are to gather what you need for a single task. So we always group similar things together. For example: all of our fresh water fill, grey tank hoses and chemicals live together; all of our “we just got to camp” gear (camp chairs, sand-free mat, etc.) are right next to one another.

This is an area where our GLSS is super helpful with this, giving us extra storage space in our “garage” area and making a perfect spot to house all of our maintenance gear, tools and outdoor lounging gear and more.

What tricks to you have for staying organized? Comment below with your ideas!

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