How We Stay Organized in Our Pop Up Camper

by Shae
4 Hours

Pop Up Camping can be a lot fun and a great way to create memories with your family. Pop up camping is one of my favorite things to do with my family, as it allots a way to travel, with our family of six, for significantly cheaper than even renting from VRBO or a hotel. Our family invested in a 1996 Coleman Pop Up Camper for $500 from Facebook Marketplace, two years ago, this month! You can see how we renovated our pop up here.

Here is a before of our Pop Up Camper on the day we brought her home!

Staying Organized

Staying organized in your PUC is key to functionality in a small space being able to enjoy yourself while on vacation! We have several trips under our belt now and sometimes it’s trial and error to see what works best for your family.

Below is picture of our four daughters in St. Augustine! Stunning beach!

Organizing Our Clothing

When we went on our first few trips in our pop up, we had six people traveling in our camper. (We have since had one daughter get married, so we now have five.) When we first began began traveling, we used two seperate sections of our bench seating for clothing storage for myself, husband and two oldest daughters. It works, as we travel only in the warmer months, not taking a lot of bulking clothing or shoes.

T-shirt’s, shorts, swimsuits and flip flops! Now that we are minus one, we use that one storage compartment to store a convection oven. Folding compactly does matter in the amount of space you have in the area you are storing clothes and that you keep that space neat, while on vacation.

For our youngest two girls, we use the cabinet by the entry, as their clothing storage. We can even slide their add their flip flops, sandals and a pair of tennis shoes in their cabinet on the bottom far left! We have good week’s worth of clothing on each child’s shelf! Now, who would have ever thought that we could cram so much clothing in our pop up camper?! Pretty awesome!

How We Organize Our Food

We keep the bulk of our food, along with paper items like plates, in our middle bench seating. I use metal and woven farmhouse baskets to help keep things confined to their spaces. I try to keep like items together like paper plates, plastic cutlery and cups.

I have a couple seperate baskets for things like cans, noodles, sauces, juice, rice, extra condiments and coffee. The other basket has dried goods like sugars, flours teas and mostly baking items.

In our “kitchen” cabinets, the first set of cabinets, we keep more food items. I have a plastic storage basket from Target and a metal farmhouse basket in the cabinet on the left. Those baskets hold spices, oils and measuring cups.

On the right hand side of the cabinets, I keep more oils, Thieves cleaner, rubbing alcohol (for cleaning), peroxide (for getting out stains on clothing), plastic storage bags, foil, dog treats and scrubber pads for washing dishes.

After we had camped a few times, we realized pretty quickly that we would need some type of overhead storage for more regularly used food items and that they would be easy to access like cereal bars, bread, coffee, apple sauce pouches and vitamins.

I bought a small coffee pot for our camper, beside it I store salt, pepper and sugar for coffee. Again, these are items that we use on a regular basis.

Target had the best plastic storage bins and all for under $3.00. I use them in our home and all througout our pop up camper!

I placed two more metal farmhouse baskets on the bottom shelf. The first one holds forks, spoons, bowls, cups and plates. It also holds our yeti’s that we drink coffee from each morning. The second metal basket holds fruits and veggies.

Organizing Our Small Appliances

Bench seating storage is amazing! We literally have almost any appliance you can think of on this side of our bench seating storage! To the far left, I keep three, 6 quart rubbermaid containters. In these containers, I keep first aide, vitamins and allergy meds. I made the labels with my Silhouette. I also have my waffle maker, blender and extra apple sauce pouches.

In the middle of the bench storage, I keep my Ninja Foodie, accessories, my recipe box and a couple mason jars.

The far right storage area has my Ninja Foodie with a couple mason jars and a tupperware container. See how much it holds?!

How We Organize Pots, Pans and Cooking Utensils

In our “kitchen” cabinets, on the bottom of the cabinets, I keep a pots and pans set, along with a mixing bowl, cheese grater and a few cooking utensils. Nothing fancy here!

We even have a convection oven in one of our bench seat storage area’s and it has been so nice because it’s like a mini oven. We bake cookies, homemade breads, toast things, warm things like left overs, ect.

A Space to Organize Bath Towels, Washcloths and Kitchen Towels Along with Bath Products

When we bought our PUC, it was in very poor condition. In fact, it was almost complete gut job.

Since it was missing one of the cabinets on the right hand side of our entryway, we decided not to rebuild and grab a metal, collapsible dog kennel, since we knew our family pet(s) would be traveling with us. On top of the dog kennel, we added a piece of plywood and set a three drawer rubbermaid storage on top of it. In the top storage drawer, we keep bath towels, wash cloths, kitchen flour sack towels and Norwex cloths in the top drawer. We also have a collapsible laundry basket for dirty clothes and towels.

The middle drawer houses bath towels! In the top two drawers, we store twelve bathtowels and two dozen washcloths plus a dozen flour sack kitchen towels and several Norwex cloths.

The bottom drawer contains bath products. I even used some of the Target plastic containers to help organize the drawer space to help it be as effecient as it can be with space!

We also keep a metal farmhouse basket on top of the three drawer basket. In this basket, I keep more bath products. I also have a woven basket that I keep tissue rolls in. I like to keep a couple plants, well more than a couple, in the camper, as it helps purify the air and give a more homey feel in our camper.

To the left of the three drawer storage, I keep a medium sized woven basket on the bed that holds our hair dryer, flat iron, curling iron and a few hair scruncie’s. I even have a mini heater stored in the woven basket! Sometimes other things can get thrown into here!

When we were renovating our camper, I wanted to paint chalk paint on half of the inside of the door, so I could use it as a menu board. It is another way to help me stay organized with food and groceries, when we are traveling. I usually use a chalk pen but you can also use a regular piece of chalk too!

And that is about it folks! Staying organized is key in such a small space. I don’t think we would be able to function in here without organization! If yall have any questions, please reach out!


Below is a picture of my husband and I on St. George Island! One of our most fav places on earth!!

Join the conversation
3 of 15 comments
  • KAS KAS on Apr 11, 2023

    Wow! You take a lot of stuff. We pop up camped & took as little as possible- no waffle iron blender etc. & there was 6 of us. Just the basics. Camping gave us a change from the norm - less stress - clothing consisted of one nicer outfit for a dinner out a couple pair of jeans tees sweatshirts jacket & unders & swimsuits 1 pair each of flips, tennis shoes & beach shoes. Simple food prep with simple healthy food. That’s a vacation easily organized.

    • Tricia Tricia on Dec 27, 2023

      That’s what we did (no extras) with 5 people in our pop up for almost 10 years. Each person had a 12x18 tub with a sliding drawer that stacked on top of each other. That stack was on top of the electrical/fuse cabinet and went to the ceiling. You were allowed to take whatever clothing would fit in your tub. All the cabinets and under the benches were cooking supplies including an electric skillet and crockpot which was 80% of our cooking. We barely used the stove. I downsized everything (4 cup coffee pot). We each had a sleeping bag so there were no sheets or blankets. We had towels under the benches. Ours was an Utah which had a little couch beside the door that folded down to a narrow single bed. That was the 5th sleeping place because we never put our table up and down except when moving. No temporary shelves to put up and down either.

  • Vicki Vicki on Aug 27, 2023

    When my kids were little, we tent-camped across country & back many times, coast to coast. We carried all in a "clam shell" atop the car. So much fun to stop in little towns along the way to buy supplies for lunch or dinner at the local grocer. We didn't carry much in a cooler: hard-boiled eggs, cheeses, wurst, condiments, some drinks. Non-iced things like a bag of apples and a loaf of bread, PeanutButter & jelly, were easy. My most useful items were an old-timey electric fry pan & plug-in hot water pots, one that could use either an electric outlet & one used a car cigarette lighter (actually, that one was a small immersible filament to boil or heat in a cup or bowl.) These are my fondest vacation memories with my kids. :) WE traveled light and it was very "freeing" and easy-peasy.