If you grew up in the 80’s, you probably remember the Huey Lewis song “Hip To Be Square.” For the last year, this song seems to have developed into more of a motto for me. When trying to find good storage solutions for the RV, I can’t help but hear this song playing over and over in my head. And every time someone asks me for storage ideas, I bust out singing. Ok maybe I don’t, but I’m tempted. Here are our top RV storage ideas that just all happen to be square.
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Trying to put things in RV closets and cabinets is like playing a continuous game of Tetris. And we know that those cabinets and closets are (typically) square. So, in order to function more efficiently in your RV, you might want to pack up or get rid of all of your round containers and make the switch to square ones.
But which ones are the best?
I can’t answer that for you. Every RV space is a little bit different and every person that owns an RV has different tastes. What I like and find useful for my space may not be the same as what you like and works best for your space. One thing I can do is make a few recommendations. Keep in mind, I am making recommendations based on living fulltime in an RV.
RV Storage Ideas for DVDs/CDs/Video Games
If you have a family like ours, then you love music, movies, and video games. Yes, I know those things are digital these days, but I just couldn’t bring myself to get rid of everything we had and already paid for. Plus, what if we stay in a location that has absolutely no cell signal? How could we possibly have movie night if we went completely digital? What I needed to do was find a way to condense all of the discs that we decided to keep.
Besides tossing all the discs, CD storage sleeves seem to be the method suggested by many RVers. This is the first method of storage that I considered using.
The sleeves are compact, inexpensive, and come in a variety of colors and styles. They come in plastic, paper, or cardboard varieties and you can easily get a 100 pack for less than $10. If you happen to find them as an add-on item on Amazon, you can get a really great deal!
The downside to CD storage sleeves? They can get torn up very easily and the individual sleeves have to be stored in something else.
One thing you can store the CD sleeves in is a storage box or bin. Just slide the cd sleeves into the box/bin and set on a shelf or in a cabinet. They’re usually fairly sturdy, can stack nicely in a cabinet or closet, and can easily be pulled out when needed.
This one has great reviews, is under $10, and comes in a 2-pack. It’s a great product for the price and lightweight, which is something that always needs to be taken into consideration when RVing.
The downside to CD boxes or bins? It’s harder and takes more time to find exactly what you want to listen to, watch, or play when you have to thumb through all of the discs individually.
Another option is a CD binder or wallet. We used to have a binder that we kept in the car to hold the DVDs our kids would watch while on trips. These binders and wallets can typically hold as few as 10 discs to as many as 500 discs in one binder. Some of the leather binders would even look beautiful if you wanted to hide your discs out in plain view.
The downside to CD binders and wallets? They’re usually bulky and heavy.
For us, CD cases ended up being the best option. While there are many different types of cases to choose from, we opted for the Atlantic Disc Organizers.
What do we love about them?
- They’re SQUARE so they fit perfectly side by side in a cabinet, stacked on a shelf, or hung in a corner of a slide between adjacent window boxes.
- They are small so they don’t take up much space.
- They can stack. There are grooves in the tops and bottoms of each unit which allows for a nice fit when stacked.
- They’re mountable. Each unit comes with a set of mounting hardware.
- They are individualized. Each unit has 4 individual binders for easy access to a smaller set of discs.
- They’re color coded. While each small binder in the case is only black (or white), there are color-coded labels on the ends for organizing the discs into categories. (Can you tell I have OCD tendencies?)
- And each unit holds almost 100 discs. Yay! I didn’t have to get rid of all of my discs.
Check out this picture of our Disney DVD collection during the downsizing process and what it looks like after all of the discs got put in the Atlantic Disc Organizer.
Yes, that really is ONLY our Disney DVD collection…nothing else.
Have I convinced you? They really are amazing! And did I mention they also come in white?
The downside to CD cases? If you don’t have these secure behind a door or in a cabinet, the individual binders will wiggle out during travel.
So if you’re looking for a great way to organize and downsize those discs, I’ve given you a few options to help narrow down what might work for you and your space. Now, let’s move on.
RV Storage Ideas for Homeschooling Supplies
This section won’t apply to you if you don’t have kids you’re homeschooling. Because we do, I wanted to include the great storage ideas I’ve found for curriculum, pens/pencils, markers, staples, and more.
Simple, inexpensive, and lightweight. Magazine holders can be used for just about anything, but are great for homeschool supplies. They can hold curriculum, books, paper, pencil holders with pencils and pens, and crafting tools. With their great square/rectangular design, they fit great on any shelf or in a cabinet.
The downside to magazine holders? Because they are inexpensive and lightweight, they can break very easily. If you have some curriculum that is spiral bound and some that is not, it won’t be a perfect fit. The holder could end up being heavier towards one side or the other and may constantly fall over. Ask me how I know this.
Storage bins are on my list for most everything. There are just so many uses for them.
While most of our curriculum is actually online, we do have a physical math curriculum that we use daily. This curriculum comes with tons of manipulatives that have to be stored somewhere. We love our Container Store bin with lid. The lid snaps on, it’s clear so I can see everything in it, and it fits perfectly in the cabinet above the sofa.
We also use these Sterilite Stack & Carry bins from Target. These are also clear so I can see what is in each one without taking everything apart. They are wonderful for spiral notebooks, drawing paper, and colored construction paper. I love that each bin connects and snaps to the one above it. Anything that stacks and doesn’t move is a definite plus for the RV cabinets.
The downside to storage bins? Depending on the sizes of your cabinets or closets, it may take some work to find the perfect bins to fit in your space.
We personally do not use a rolling cart, though I have, and currently am, considering it. I see lots of RVers using them. These carts usually have 3 tiers with baskets for storing items, wheels on the bottom which make them easy to move, and they come in a variety of colors to match your decor.
The bottom basket can be used for books, the middle basket for manipulatives or crafting supplies, and the top basket for pens, pencils, markers, etc.
The downside to rolling carts? They take up quite a bit of space in the common areas of the RV. Though I have seen some carts that are skinnier, which could solve this problem if you have a spot for it. They also have to be secured when traveling or you’ll find homeschool supplies all over the RV when you reach your next destination.
I’ve about decided that whoever designs storage containers for Sterilite must have spent a lot of time in an RV. I use so many of their containers for our RV. Their storage drawers are my faves!
I use them for other things, as you will find out in part 2, but in this instance, I use them for our homeschool supplies. I purchased 6 of the small 3-drawer units and put them on a shelf in what was supposed to be a coat closet and/or pantry. They stack nicely, fit perfectly on the shelf, and house all of our pens, pencils, erasers, sticky notes, markers, staples, scissors and more!
Check out our set up:
The downside to storage drawers? If your closet or cabinet is deeper than the drawer units, the drawers may wiggle out during travel spilling all of the contents. Just turn them backwards or place books in front of them to prevent this from happening.
RV Storage Ideas for Games/Toys
Most people have games, but not everyone has toys. This section may have some ideas that will be most helpful to RVers with kids.
Other Game Boxes
This method may just freak some of you out. Use one game box for multiple games.
Did I mention I have OCD tendencies? It was a hard pill to swallow when I started contemplating how I was going to downsize games. I mean, we had a whole closet in our house dedicated to board games, card games, drawing games, and more. There was no way all of that was going to fit in our RV, and I really didn’t have the heart to get rid of it all. Not even one little game.
RVing is going to provide us lots of family time to play these games, so I had to find a way I could combine them. Using one box for multiple games was the answer.
Board games fold into squares or rectangles. This is actually super helpful for RVers, because, like I said, it’s hip to be square! Just take out all of the game pieces (set them aside for later) and stack all of the square board games into one board game box. You can do the same for all of the rectangle board games.
Our games went from this:
Pretty amazing! We had enough room to spare that we put some of the kids’ craft kits in this space as well.
But what about all the game pieces? I’ll discuss that in the next section.
The downside to using other game boxes for storage? Well, as we all know, game boxes get torn up fairly easily especially when you have kids dragging them out all the time. Also, unless you label the box, you won’t know which games are in each box. Labeling is my next project. =)
Here we are again. Storage bins. I told you they can be used for everything!
Back to the game pieces I talked about above. We took all of the pawns, fake money, and all other game pieces and put them in individual baggies. All of the baggies then went into a small storage bin with a snap on lid and got put in the same cubby as all of the game boards.
On to toy storage!
The great thing about storage bins or storage baskets is that the kids can pull out a basket of toys and play. When they’re done, everything can just be thrown right back into the bin and be put away.
The current baskets we are using are from Target. Last I checked they didn’t carry them anymore. But these baskets from Amazon are exactly the same ones.
We also just bought plastic bins from Target that are perfect for toys. Peyton has tons of floor space in his loft so we grabbed three of these and filled them with toys. We also grabbed two for the closet to sit on a shelf. They are just the right size and were able to house a few of the girls’ toys.
The downside to storage baskets and bins? It may take a bit of searching to find just the right fit for your space. Also, if you get ones that don’t have lids and they fall out of a cabinet or off a shelf, the contents will go everywhere.
So there you have it. These are the ways we use square (or rectangular) containers for storing CDs, DVDs, video games, homeschool supplies, toys, and games in our RV. Stick around for Part 2 where I will show you how we use square containers for storing clothes, shoes, and jewelry.