A post or two ago when writing about storage units and overwhelming space “used” by Americans to store various items I was repeatedly asked, but what about actual storage in a tiny house? It seems that a number of folks living in small spaces or tiny houses are met with some anxiety regarding where to actual carve out storage in minimum square footage.
My first suggestion is what I always say and repeatedly echo in my manifesto. Tiny house living is about minimizing belongings (hereto forth known as “stuff”) in order to maximize quality of life. Tiny house living is a mindset and a way of thinking; a philosophy, if you will. It isn’t about cramming 2000 sq. ft. of stuff into 200 sq. ft. of room. It is about analyzing on a regular basis what you need -vs- what you want and learning to balance the two.
But there are objects that require storage. Most houses need a broom or a small upright, canister vacuum. Most houses need non-perishable food items, herbs and spices, and some tupperware-style containers. Most houses need a spare set of sheets or a spare set of towels both for personal use and for use by house guests. All of these items and more need storage. But where? It isn’t always practical to drive up to the storage unit or even to build a shed or outbuilding. Right now I am talking about storage within the tiny house. And hopefully these ideas will help you utilize every square inch available to you. After all, no one likes to be greeted by clutter and a little room can go a long way when you have great solutions for stowing your stuff.
A built-in window seat. Tiny houses are not known for their abundance of furniture but a well-made (and custom, mind you) window seat or “couch” can provide storage for gloves, scarves, hats, books, blankets, sheets, towels, board games, etc. With a hinged lid hiding under the cushions the seat can be easily accessible, stylish, and incredibly functional. This webpage has a beautiful idea the third image from the top.
Stacking containers. For us there is nothing quite as rewarding as buying in bulk. And no, I am not talking about the 10-pack of Ramen noodles but rather things like granola, flax seed, rice, etc. In an effort to store those items more effectively and more safely it seems that putting dry goods (including pastas and cereals) in labeled, stackable plastic containers to create more shelf room and easier accessibility. For extra ease consider using a small label gun to attach a label to identify contents.
Under-the-bed cabinets. I am not really sure how to describe what I see in my head. Perhaps a visual will help? Little more than a small platform bed with a hinged lid is a great place to store gift-wrapping supplies, out-of-season clothes, baby books, and memorabilia you don’t need access to every day. This is also a great place for linens, shoes you don’t wear that often, extra light bulbs…heck, anything you can think of really.
Go vertical. Think vertically and hang anything you can throughout the “rooms” of your tiny house. Use a stuffed animal hammock in your sleeping loft to hold underwear and socks. Use a produce basket int he kitchen for fresh fruit and veggies. Mount shelves as high as you can reach (and even then some) for books and media you can’t seem to part with. You may even want to put an inexpensive closet organizer over the bathroom door to store coloring magazines, extra T.P., hair products, soap, and other small items.
Fold it. Folding chairs have come a long way from the church social hall. Now, there are actually models that are stylish and comfortable. You can store and stash them under a bed, in a closet or behind a folding screen, then bring them out when company comes over or you want to have a family dinner in your small space. Not sure what I am talking about? Take a peek.