Making the most of your space when there isn’t a lot of it
Make a list of everything that you would like to have in your van. All of your hobbies and the equipment that goes along with them. Figure out if you have any odd shaped things that need a dedicated space, like a bow case or kayak, figure out a creative solution. I attached my surfboard to the interior roof with $4 worth of hardware and 5 minutes of my time–no more sandy sheets!
Make sure everything has a place and there is a place for everything. Having things sitting out will make your van feel cluttered and messy. Have a space for your everyday items like clothing and cooking and get into the habit of putting everything away every time. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you live in a big tote bag on wheels.
Minimizing your clothing is a must, kon mari the shit out of your closet. Also, it’s amazing how much space dirty clothes take up. A simple dirty clothes bag will allow you to stuff it all away and hide it until you hit the laundrymat.
Utilize dead space. Get creative and fill up those fender wells! Keeping as much off the outside of your van will help you blend in if you’re going for a stealthy look.
You have no use for unitaskers. The bowls I use are stainless steel with lids. Perfect for soup, cereal, salads, and leftovers. Don’t get a tea kettle, instead get a pot with a pour spout.
If you are building your van yourself, be sure to have the sizeable items that you will need in there you plan the spaces, things like the refrigerator or toilet have door ans lids and need room to function. Once the kitchen is alreadybuilt, it’s gonna be a lot of rework to add in a fridge that doesn’t fit.
Building a utility drawer for emergency equipment is something to think about. Making a simple box on a set of drawer slides will make accessing tools or tow straps a lot easier when you need them.
Fortunately for me, I live in Southern California and the weather doesn’t exist here. Because of that, I was able to mount my water tanks under the floor, freeing up a massive amount of space. Definitely worth looking into if you don’t live in a bumpy, muddy place.
Investing in a hitch receiver cargo box or one on the roof will add a lot of storable space on the outside of your van. Things you don’t need every day, like off-season clothes or gear, can be tucked away and not constantly get in your way.