Van Life Storage Ideas

Van Life Storage Ideas

One crucial aspect that these vans lack is storage space for all their gear. Luckily, some simple solutions will make it easy to get more storage without adding too much bulk or taking up much room. We’ve compiled six great ideas for Van Life Storage that should work regardless if you’re sleeping in your vehicle’s bed or on an air mattress set up on the floor.

Van Life Storage And Organization Ideas

You’ve got a van, you’ve got your van set up, and now you need to make it comfortable and functional. And we can help! We’ve compiled some of the best ideas across the interwebs to help you store and organize your gear and keep it all more or less accessible.

Fitted Seat

It is an excellent idea for those trying to save money but still want to use their van as a base. First, consider storing your bedding in the back while sleeping. You can also move your storage items over from the front seats or create one central storage area on the van’s floor.

Under The Bed

Even if you use an air mattress, it’s an excellent way of utilizing the space under your bed. You can store things like your kitchen gear or other oversized items under the bed so that you can easily reach them.

Folding Table

Get a table so you can make a quick breakfast in the morning. And if you’re on an extended trip, you can fold it up to save space for other items.

Locker Storage

Locking storage containers are an effective way to keep your gear secure and organized. The key is to find one with many different compartments so you can store everything you need.

Heavy Duty Bags

Get some old-school heavy-duty bags to store your gear. These days, you can get a ton of options, including waterproof and anti-theft bags that are designed for the outdoors.

Dual Purpose Storage

You can get a bed that includes a drawer or two for storage and use it as an actual bed. Just make sure that you can store everything in the drawer or compartment with the bed.

Full-On Mattress

If you’re sleeping on a regular bed (or air mattress) for more than six months, add a layer of padding so it’s more comfortable. And don’t forget to remove it when you’re not using it. Bins or chairs can be placed in the extra space.

Cloud Stronger

Storing your phone and tablet is also essential for keeping up with work and entertainment, so get one of these clever storage boxes that mount on your wall or in a closet. They’ll keep your devices close at hand while keeping them out of sight and control.

How To Make The Most Of Your Van Storage Space

The possibilities for storage are endless, and there are many resources out there that can help you come up with great ideas. Here are some tips for living comfortably and efficiently with all your space.

Store Your Bedding In The Back

The majority (or all?) van sleepers prefer to sleep in their vehicle by putting their bedding back. Alternatively, you can store your gear between the front seats and, if needed, make the floor room for an air mattress or other equipment.

Remove The Front Seats

If you’re not sleeping in your vehicle’s bed, then remove the seats. In this space, you can keep things like containers, electric kettle and a small refrigerator.

Use A Ladder Top Box

If you don’t like the idea of removing your seats or you’ve got a smaller van, then consider mounting some storage containers in the back. The great thing about some of today’s storage containers is that they’re designed to attach to the top of a ladder. 

Make Your Back Seat Storage

Those who want to keep the front seats but still have a lot of gear consider building some storage space in the back or side area, either with wood or plywood. It can even be a couple of shelves mounted to the wall or over your seats.

Underseat Storage

If you don’t want to remove your seating, consider adding some under-seat storage containers. Even if you can’t remove the seats entirely, you’ll still be able to fold them down.

Secure Your Gear

Many van storage tips are about making space for your gear, but many other storage ideas involve adding extra security to your gear. If you’re on an extended trip and tend to pack more than usual, then consider installing a locking compartment.

Space Saving Van Life Storage Solutions

Space is not always so abundant, and specific storage solutions are necessary. Luckily, VanLife enthusiasts have been able to find a few creative space-saving hacks that can help you pack your life into the van-living lifestyle while making it feel more like home.

Pillows As Storage

Commonplace for most vans and even homes, pillows are an excellent option for storage in your van. You can easily create shelves on the top of your headrests or use them as blankets by tucking them into the back of your van and placing something like a blanket rod on top.

Van Life Clothing Hangers

Van lifters can also use their clothing hangers to create an extra space-saving storage solution in their van. You can also use this idea to organize some of your things if you don’t have a drawer for them.

Pop Up Shelving

Like this example, you can often find less expensive solutions for your storage needs in pop-up stores or markets. You can purchase some inexpensive shelves to pop up and store various items on top of your van.

Use Your Ceiling Space

If any extra accessories are hanging from your ceilings, such as lights, vent fans, or even a shelf to hold up your mini-fridge, then consider using them as storage space for other items.

Use The Doors As Storage

On either side of your van, you can create space-saving storage solutions by adding shelving to your doors. If you don’t have much floor space in your van but still want to use it, this is an excellent option.

Vertical Storage Unit

Go vertical in your van by adding a few racks to create a storage unit up against the walls of your van. In this way, you can store items you usually keep on the ground, like shoes.

Pantry Unit

If you are skilled at woodworking and have the right tools to build one yourself or purchase already made and ready-to-install shelving online, you can create pantry storage as well.

Dish Storage

If you have a dishwasher, just cut a hole behind the van and place plywood behind it as a water tray. Your dishes will be stored on top of the plywood and not littered on your floor.

Hanging Storage

The garage or shed you have can be unused. Install shelving with hooks and hang items on them for easy access. If you’re looking to outfit your van for minimal costs, you can also use sectional shelves from Home Depot or Lowes to show off your collection of spices, shampoo, etc.

Bed Storage

Having a bed is essential in any van conversion. We chose to install storage over our bed because we didn’t want something like the mattress rubbing against the wall or sliding around while we sleep.

Bedside Storage Shelves And Cup Holders

You can use this to organize the things you need for additional wakefulness, like your alarm clock or glasses. You can also use these shelving options to store smaller items such as remotes, chargers, or even some of that extra gear from your closet.

Front And Back Closets Under High Topper

When you have a full bed with a soft topper, you can still create some additional storage underneath your bed using the space under your topper. You’ll be able to use the space for a toiletry bag or even an extra storage area for blankets.

Overhead Shelving Down Either Side

With a full bed and overhead cabinets, you can still create extra storage under your van by placing some shelves on both the front and back sides. It gives you some extra space for things.

Storage Boxes Attached To Doors

When you have limited to no floor space, you need to use every bit of space you can. By creating storage boxes that attach to either side of your van doors, you can store various things, including clothing.

Kitchen Cabinet Shelves And Drawers

You can still use the empty cabinets for storage when you’ve got limited space and no storage cabinets. You can organize things like spices in drawers or wardrobes or even attach some shelving to either side of your van door.

Beyond The Basics:

To fit everything you need in your van, you’ll have to be able to roll up your walls and cut holes in your ceiling. If you’ve got the skills to do this, then you’re in a good position. You may benefit from spending some money on a few handy tools to help with your storage.

There are a variety of different options for you to consider when it comes to van storage solutions. Luckily, you don’t have to try and create everything yourself, as there are many options available online that will suit your needs. There’s a wide variety of options for all sorts of different things, including cup holders and shelves, which should catch the eye of any van lifter.

Some Organization Tips To Keep Your Camper Tidy: Storage Options

Stow-away Tables: If you have an open floor plan and don’t want to have a table in the living area, consider installing some cup holders under your dinette and using a soffit channel or curtain track to add storage.

Dirty Item Storage: If you don’t want to use baskets, consider using some space where the toilet sits to create more storage. You can then utilize the space to store extra dishes, cleaning supplies, and more.

Slide Out Shelves: If you’ve got a couple of seats, consider purchasing sliding shelving systems to maximize the space in your van. You can then organize and stack up against your items easily and quickly.

Roof Rack: If you have a roof rack, consider adding some storage to the top of it so you can store extra items like jump rope, shoes, or toys. It is a perfect choice for kids and those who live in freezing climates since they will not freeze up.

Overhead Storage: If you’ve got the space, then consider adding some overhead storage. In this way, things stay organized and out of your face.

Mesh Pouch: A lot of campers utilize mesh pouches for their storage needs. They’re a great solution and can fit just about anything, from toiletries to clothing items.

Hook And Velcro: Use some hooks to create storage solutions for your gear or clothing items. When you need them, they’ll be out of the way and easy to reach.

Clamps: Clamps work great for tying things down if you don’t have a lot of space. You can place one on the backside of your bag and the other on the front so that you can secure it when needed.

Carrying Strap: When you’re traveling around with your gear, then consider purchasing a carry strap so you can easily carry your gear with one hand while using another one to drive or navigate around.

Camper Van Living Space Extra Storage Ideas

Hanging Shoe:

When you’ve got limited space, don’t hesitate to use hanging shoe racks on your ceiling or in front of your living area. Many people place a shoe rack in the rear as well and hang shoes from their roof rack. You can even purchase attachments that allow you to secure your gear to it so that they will not fall off.

Smaller Bins:

If you’ve got many small bins or smaller trash cans, consider purchasing some smaller bins to help organize your gear. Additionally, you can easily view what you have and prevent items from getting lost.

Under The Covers:

Another way to create storage with less space is using the covers storage solutions. These are great because they won’t take up as much space and are easy to clean and store for the next time you’re on the road.


The van life trend is a distinctly American phenomenon, and the many variations on it have been popping up everywhere. Campervan storage solutions are essential because you need to have your gear, food, and supplies organized to don’t get overwhelmed when you’re out on the road. With the right tools, organization, and storage solutions, this will be a lot easier. Van life can be very sustainable, but only if you are careful about what you do and how you live.