Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Three little storage problems solved

As part of my healthy eating plan we eat a lot of fresh vegetables. Although the refrigerator in the Alfa is a double door type, I find it fills up pretty quickly when packed with produce. At the house I store things like onions, sweet potatoes and winter squash either in a basket on the counter or in the fridge. But in the Alfa, I don't want baskets on the counter. And since these foods don't really require refrigeration, I needed to find an alternative place for them.  

A bin in a cabinet seemed the logical place. For our last trip I put several onions, a sweet potato, and a spaghetti squash in an open plastic bin in one of the pantry drawers along with the breadbox and a few other things.
But this was not a good place because when the drawer and the door are closed, there is almost no air circulation.  Because the weather was mild we did not run the air conditioner and apparently it got quite warm in the drawer, and within a couple of days I noticed things were ripening quickly.  

Problem #1. What to do with produce that is not refrigerated.

Problem #2. We plug in our laptop and iPad to charge when we go to bed. Each of the cameras also has a cord for data transfer and charging.

We have been setting them up on the table to charge, but the available outlet is behind the leg of the table and a bit awkward to get at.

I have designated a desk drawer in the bedroom for cord storage, and want to develop the habit of always putting them away after use. But this has not worked well. We tend to leave the cord plugged in and the end loose. Downloading pictures only takes a few seconds, but the cord seems to stay out all of the time.

Problem#3. Cord clutter.

OK, so what do a hard-to-get-at plug, USB cords, and onions have to do with each other?  

My magic magazine rack conversion.

Several months ago I bought a wood magazine rack for $5.00 at a garage sale. I thought I might be able to use it in the Alfa, but up to now I couldn't find a good place, or use for it. Recently I got the idea to make it into a vegetable bin!

I cut a cover for it out of some scrap particle board and used some fleece and hot glue to make a hinge to keep the top in place when we are driving.

When sorting through my drawers, I found  two mesh bags with zippers from Walmart that I had never used.  I will put produce in them, and be able to wash them with the laundry occasionally since they are actually meant for washing "delicates."

The fleece fabric wrap around the dowel sides is to hide the white bags, but still allow air flow.

Before covering the top of the hardboard with scrap fleece, I used cable ties to attach a power strip to it. It is much easier to reach than the one behind the table leg, and the power cord will help keep the magazine rack from moving out from under during travel. 

As a more convenient place to keep the USB cords and perhaps a pen or two, I attached a lidded plastic box with velcro squares.  I think it was for storing small floppy discs in at one time. 

When my chair is in place you can hardly see this multi purpose, construction, but I think it will solve several problems without taking up much space.  

I'm also pleased that I used things that I might otherwise have tossed out! 

Reuse, recycle, repurpose...


  1. great idea for the produce. I wonder if your magazine rack was the same one we sold at our garage sale in Georgia?

  2. Great ideas, Merikay! You should hire yourself out at RV parks to help people organize their STUFF, like me! I'll bet you'd get some takers. I sure could use some advice! Hope we run into you some time on our travels! :-)

  3. Don't you love it when you find the solution in your own closet? Nice job!

  4. Nice solutions! I saw one on pintrest for chargers that I thought was neat - a shoebox with a power bar in it with all the chargers plugged into it - then the little charger ends came out little holes one the sides.

    Good idea with the magazine rack - produce is a tricky one... I don't know what I'm going to do in the new camper as I've lost the hall cupboard where I used to store them. And places beside chairs are filled with dogs :-0 I'll have to play around with spaces in the spring when I load it up with food.

    I love reading about other peoples solutions!

  5. Great ideas using found objects. I have fruits n veges in baskets on the counter. The baskets are stuck yo the counter with a removablec rug grip but I do not put the baskets away when I drive

  6. Very smart to use what you had on hand.
    You are very creative.

  7. You are so organized Merikay. That is a great idea and it looks so neat

  8. Great use of old stuff. It's amazing what we can come up with in our RVs


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