More Storage & Organization

The only way to stay sane while living in a confined space is being well-organized. In this article I cover tidying up internet gear, adding storage to the bunkhouse, making a shelf for a full-width keyboard, and creating an outdoor office.

Internet Gear

The outside portion of the internet gear was all tidy but the inside portion was still a mess.

I had added a network backup drive, and found that I still needed our older Cradlepoint router for times when the new WifiRanger couldn’t seem to connect via our aircard.

It was all laying up out of sight, but just a jumble of equipment on a towel.

I cut a piece of plywood, covered it in automotive carpet, arranged all the components on it and routed the wires using tie-downs. It’s still all up and out of sight but I’ll admit to being a bit OCD with wiring and knowing it’s tidy eases my mind.

Bunkhouse Organization

I hadn’t touched the kids’ bunkhouse space much. I wanted them to live in it a bit before we made any decisions about how to best use the space.

We removed the upper-left flip-up bunk but I’ll cover that below as the main reason for doing so was to store the keyboard.

Clothes storage has been an issue.

In our last trailer we used the plastic drawers that Walmart and most other stores sell. They worked OK for a year-long trip but ultimately the drawers didn’t stay in place while traveling and broke from use.

We had purchased fabric drawer units from Target but they have already started pulling apart from use.

Stacking Bins

I found some bigger stacking storage bins on Amazon and decided to try them instead.

The bins provided necessary storage and don’t have drawers that like to open themselves while going down the road.

They left enough space in the wardrobe to store a guitar and a keyboard stand. All the instruments are now out from under the master bed (musical inspiration seeming to strike at parental nap time).

The few hanging clothes our kids have now get rolled up and stored in the large drawer below We aren’t so formal that a few wrinkles really affects our appearance.

Dinette Bench Mod

I also modified the rear dinette bench by removing the face boards from the lower bench support. There is a lot of storage under these seats but the rear one you had to flip up the entire seat to access.

I added some metal corner supports to keep the unit rigid and with it open now shoes or a laundry bag can be tucked under the bench.

Keyboard Storage

This was the big project. The keyboard I bought the family was a lot wider than our previous one - having the full 88 keys.

I decided the top/left bunk could be cut down into a shelf as a base for storing it then we could build up from there with additional cabinets for clothes storage. I sketched out what I wanted and brought it to a local cabinet maker.

His estimate of $500 was just a bit more (ok, alot more) than I was hoping to spend.

Giving up on the cabinets I scrapped together a shelving unit from our host’s wood pile, covered it all in carpet, and installed it in place of the upper bunk. I installed some marine-type rope cleats so we could rope it all off for travel.

The shelf isn’t full-width, so it allows the kids to sit at their table without slouching.

Outdoor Office

Our trailer unexpectedly came with an exterior door for an optional outdoor fridge that we didn’t get. As soon as I saw the size and shallow depth of the storage space I started scheming a way to turn it into an outdoor office.

Our previous RV had a little clip-on table in this spot and I often worked there on nice days under the awning.  It was a nice change of pace from working inside.

I saved that clip-on table and installed it here. I ran power into this space from the refrigerator in the compartment next door. I added a second monitor to the space, hanging it from a wall-mount bracket.

I now claim this as the worlds first outdoor, standup desk on wheels.

I plan to glue a whiteboard to the back of the door for use when it’s open.

Bunkhouse before

Bunkhouse before

Cleared out the bunk

Cleared out the bunk

Making the new shelving unit

Making the new shelving unit

Finished and Installed

Finished and Installed

Stacking bins in kids wardrobe

Stacking bins in kids wardrobe

The space under this bench was not easily accessible

The space under this bench was not easily accessible

Modified bench makes this space accessible all the time

Modified bench makes this space accessible all the time

Outdoor office in place

Outdoor office in place

Outdoor office with added monitor

Outdoor office with added monitor

How Have You Organized?

How have you organized your small space in order to stay sane?

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2 Comments More Storage & Organization

  1. Picture of TGTG January 21, 2014

    yep, it’s a fact that you breathe easier when all those wires and cables are ship-shape

  2. Picture of jayhawkclintjayhawkclint November 15, 2014

    That outdoor office is a fantastic idea. I think my wife Robin needs one…

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