This summer, we bought our very first camper and as soon as we brought it home, I started measuring every nook and cranny to plan how best to organize our new mini home for camping trips.
Campers are small homes (and ours is small even for a camper) so I knew we would need to maximize existing space as much as possible while still not making it look like we were cramming everything in.
The first thing I did was replace the dark, black-out curtains in our dining room:
Here's what they looked like before. I am sure they were great for keeping light out in the morning but for the rest of day, they kept this living space unnecessarily dreary.
Here's what they looked like after. I love these curtains. They add a nice vertical texture to the room and their weaved appearance means they're not completely transparent yet still let in a lot of light during the day. Best of all, they don't wrinkle.
This was an easy $20 upgrade that immediately brightened up the space so I decided to replace the curtains in the bathroom, kitchen and living area as well. (Those windows were a little shorter but I found these cute scalloped curtains on Amazon for a mere $12!)
Note: I've left the outdated valances in place (for now!) since they match the couch cushions. But I have hopes of finding a nice piece of weathered wood while camping to replace them some day.
After updating the curtains, we also updated our kitchen and bathroom walls using these easy-stick backsplash tiles
Here is what the wall looked like before the tiles.
Here is what it looked like after.
We also replaced that plastic gold soap dish and toothbrush holder (which was flimsy and too small to hold any of our electric toothbrushes) with these cute Fintorp utensil buckets from Ikea. The buckets are large enough to hold all of our toothbrushes, a soap bottle and even a plant!
Since these peel and stick tiles came in a package of four square foot tiles, there was enough to do both our kitchen backsplash as well.
We chose this checkered pattern for the bathroom but I later came across these pure white tiles that I think would look gorgeous in the kitchen, alongside some nice contrasting oil-rubbed bronzed fixtures.
This stovetop cover from Camco completed the look, adding valuable counter space while protecting burners. The non-skid bottom also keeps the cover in place and helps reduce rattling when on the move.
Note: In case you're wondering, the cute little daisy vase was just a $2 purchase from Dollarama that we hold in place while travelling using Quakehold Museum Puddy.
We also added a bit of decor to the living area.
I admit, this was not really a space-saving purchase but I justified spending the money as it makes our camper seems a bit more home-y and thus more liveable.
We bought the plant and pot from Ikea and snagged the framed decorative map of Canada from Winners.
My son found the below coordinating piece for the entry, too.
This artwork is visible right when you walk in and is located on the exterior wall of the bathroom. It complements this pretty, gold magazine rack (also from Winners) that we added to the wall on opposite side of the bathroom door. It's conveniently located next to the kids area so we use it to store their books and craft supplies.
Next to the kids' bed is this bank of drawers. The drawers are perfect for storing clothes on-the-go but the cupboard at the bottom is awkward to get into.
To fix this, I set out to find a bin with handles for easier storage. Initially, I bought a wooden crate from Marshalls that was the right width but it was still a bit awkward to get in and out. Then I came across these nice canvas storage bins on Amazon. The canvas material is much more flexible (so it's easier to get in and out) and the bin is taller, too (so we can store more stuff inside). Plus, it comes as a set of 3, so it was a better deal.
The other two bins also came in handy as they fit perpendicularly in the overhead cabinets above our dining table. I haven't yet decided what we will be storing there but I know whatever gets put up there will now be easy to take down!
Underneath these cabinets, we added ceiling hooks to hold these cute, tin camping mugs that were custom-designed by Ashley, over at Mellowcrafts.
When you're on the road, you want to keep supplies to a bare minimum and these personalized tin mugs help ensure every family member just sticks to re-using their own cup. I absolutely adore how these turned out and the bear theme is so camping-esque!
Keeping with this idea of under-cabinet storage, we also added this useful magnetic knife bar that I bought from IKEA years ago below our kitchen cabinet and to attach these cute little spice tins.
The best deal I found for tins was this 6-piece set on Amazon. But really, you can attach anything that's metal. In fact, the bigger tin at the end was from my daughter's figit spinner!
Inside our cabinets, we added an extra shelf to maximize wasted vertical space to store dishes and command hooks for larger utensils.
Then, to maximize space even more, we purchased collapsible cookware like this awesome stainless steel pot, this handy popcorn popper, and these super colourful nesting bowls from Joseph Joseph.The cool space-saving nesting design allows individual pieces to be stacked neatly together and the set includes a 4.8 qt large mixing bowl, a 9-inch colander, a 7.5-inch steel sieve strainer, a 6-inch small mixing bowl with measurements, plus measuring cups and spoons.
We also added this handy over-the-cabinet plastic bag holder to store grocery bags from shopping trips and we reuse them inside our garbage can.
We found this one on clearance at Winners but you can also find this on Amazon.
And speaking of garbage, we realized we could use this awkward angled space:
...to store this awesome in-cabinet trash can from Simple Human:
It fits the space perfectly so it provides easy access while we are busy at the kitchen counter yet tucks away out of sight when not needed. We bought this from Bed Bath and Beyond but you can also find this one on Amazon with free shipping for the same price.
We also love it because it because it folds inwards when not in use so we can use it to drip dry our towels and bathing suits, too! My plan is to attach hanger hooks to the rod down the road so we can hang shampoo and body wash as well.
Standard Size *with folded drop leafs
Note: Some affiliate links have been provided for your convenience so you can easily find the items we purchased. If an item is old or no longer sold, there may be a close match linked instead. Just click on the links to be taken to the product.