The Ultimate Guide to Maximizing Living Space at Camp
All space on earth is limited... Especially at camp, where you share your space with many people. So how do you make the best of the space you have? Where do you keep all your stuff if you only have one small shelf and how do you organize it in a way that you can actually find it when you need it?
Enter storage products. Those handy little solutions that can turn a potentially messy disaster area into a spacious and organized palace. Ok, maybe not a palace, but if you can find some space to sit down and plan a raid, you’re doing well :-)
Storage products generally come in 3 main types: “Under the Bed”, “Closet Optimizers” and “Over the Door”. We are going to analyze each type and look at the pros and cons to help you decide what makes the most sense for your needs.
There are also products that don’t fit into these 3 categories and are good for all-around use, including organizing your trunk and keeping things organized in your bunk afterwards. The best of these are good old-fashioned zip-loc bags and packing cubes.
Under Your Bed
Remember when your mom told you to clear the floor in your room and you shoved everything under your bed? Well that was an early form of under your bed storage. The problem with that method was that you couldn't exactly find what you needed afterwards (you didn't even know what you shoved there). Thanks to (not so) modern technology there are great solutions for using that under-utilized space under your bed for the stuff you don’t need constant access to.
For a start you can increase the space under your bed using bed risers which are simply placed under the legs or wheels of your bed frame to add a few inches of height. You can then use a foldable or hard plastic underbed storage box to keep things like food, extra towels and blankets or sweaters folded away nice and neatly until you next need them. The underbed storage bags come in all sizes are are generally clear so you can see exactly what you put there without having to take everything out.
Pros of under bed storage: Use space that is generally underutilized.
Cons of under bed storage: Sometimes can be difficult to get to depending on layout of room and furniture, may be shared if you sleep on a bunk bed.
While you may not be able to change the physical size of your closet, you can use closet storage products to organize and optimize your drawers, shelves and hanging space.
Sometimes, all a big space needs are a few boxes or bins to sort your stuff and create some order out of the mayhem. Storage bins are usually foldable and lightweight so you can pack them away when they’re not in use. Hanging options include shoe holders, sweater storage and shelves for anything and everything.
Pros of Closet Storage: Maximize space, create different types of space suited to your needs, find things easily. If you share a closet, easily identify your things.
Cons of Closet Storage: You may not have space in your closet and you may want to use your closet as is.
Over the Door
Gone are the days when your door was simply the instrument that sealed off your room and allowed you to enter or exit at will. Every item in your room is now a potential storage receptacle and your door is no different.
There’s the old classic over the door organizer, which gives you lots of mini cubbies to store all kinds of stuff that would otherwise be piled on your desk/floor. These don’t even require installation (you know, when you stick the nail in the door and it comes out the other side). You just place it over your door and you’re all set.
Pros of over the door storage: More space, see everything clearly, easy access.
Cons of over the door storage: You may not like seeing your stuff out, may make closing the door difficult. You may be fighting with the rest of your bunk for this space.
Good Luck and Stay Organized
We hope you enjoyed our blog. At Pack for Camp, we care about things like storage products because our mission is to make your bunk feel as much as possible like your home away from home. A little organization using storage products goes a long way to doing that.
If you have any questions about the best products for your needs, please feel free to contact us and if you like what you read or you feel we missed anything, please leave your comments below.
About the Author
Melissa Goldwag spent many summers as a camper, counselor and lifeguard at sleepaway and day camps in the Catskills. She is the co-founder and CEO of Pack for Camp, an online store that offers everything you expect to find on a camp packing list: soft trunks, name labels, bedding, laundry accessories, toiletries, storage solutions, clothing and more.