RV Office and Household File Storage
Reader Question: “Your office looks nice, but where do you keep all your stuff? Those shelves are too empty!”
If you’re full-timing, and not totally digital and paper-free (like most of us!), you’ll need to have some storage on your RV for necessary health, insurance, work, school and banking records, important identity and travel documents, and other papers as well as office supplies, files, and some office electronics, phone chargers, cables, etc. – you know the stuff…the stuff that clutters up your spaces!
Plan Your Storage According to YOUR Needs
After battling with clutter for years in our sticks and bricks, even with sufficient storage space, we decided to be smart about it this time. We thought about our storage needs, in particular – what we need to store, how we use our space and especially which things we needed to have ready to hand and which things we could store more remotely. We looked at our 5′ x 8′ former closet space on top of the diesel engine hump and designed a unique solution to an RV office which allows us to work smart and efficiently and keep the clutter to a minimum.
We worked to integrate plenty of file and office storage space into our plans for our two-person office so that we would not constantly be fighting with keeping our desks and office neat and tidy. Since we like to have most everything stowed away when we drive, we came up with some clever ideas (we think!) to store our stuff out of sight, but ready to hand so that when we pull into a new campsite, we can set up shop right away and get down to business without a lot of fuss. We also included shared working space, mutually accessible office equipment and places to put our drinks! We like to think we thought of it all…
The Console Which Holds It All
Central to our plan (literally) is a console which is in the center of the covered engine compartment which functions as a shared backrest for both work spaces and hidden office storage. The lid opens up to reveal a removable file storage box and a lift-out shallow tray with an opening for electrical from the surge protector at the base of the unit, as well as deep storage for quantities of office supplies, like post-it notes. Everyone has a vast collection of post-it notes, don’t they?
By design, the front end of the console, where it “steps down” in the photos above, supports the front edge of the bottom shelf of the shared desk across the back of the bus. Inside the lid of the console is a whiteboard which we use for planning and strategy sessions. We had the 12v lines run so that we have two 12v receptacles for charging our Apple MacBooks through 12v power adaptors, thus allowing us to charge computers directly from the house batteries. In addition, on the bottom of the console, we have a multi-outlet surge protector (on 110v) which powers our desktop electronics such as the printer and scanner and the 12TB storage array under the bottom shelf of the desk.
Under the Desk and Shelves
Directly underneath the bottom shelf of our shared desk area, we have storage for binders (fit perfectly!), storage boxes for organizing project materials and our storage array. We also like to efficiently process our mail when we get a package delivered from our forwarding service, so we’ve included a shredder in our office plans – it fits underneath the bottom shelf. This helps us to keep our office neat by getting rid of unnecessary paperwork and documents safely by shredding. Once we have a bag full of paper shreds (no plastic envelope inserts, though!), we use it for kindling in our campfires. There’s something very satisfying about shredding and then burning odious paperwork… 😀
Under the Bench Seats
Another clever spot we’ve found to store and hide away our office clutter is underneath the benches that are mounted to the top of the engine compartment with just cleats. The bench seats have a 3 1/2″ open space underneath which is perfect for sliding a laptop for travel, and for storing extra reams of paper, current notebooks and other odds and ends during our journey.
What clever solutions have you come up with for storage in your workspace on your motorhome or trailer?