The tiny house movement has been gaining popularity in recent years. The average home in the United States has about 2,600 square feet of living space. We have limited land on which we can build, and people are making the conscious decision to downsize their living spaces. They may do it for environmental reasons or financial ones, but there’s no denying that tiny house living is a phenomenon that’s not going away.
The biggest challenges for people living in tiny houses, which usually have between 100 and 400 square feet of living space, is finding sufficient storage for their possessions. Let’s look at some of the ways you can maximize your storage if you live in a tiny house – or want to decide if buying one is right for you.
- Don’t waste the space under the stairs. Most tiny homes have a sleeping loft so that a bed doesn’t eat up all of the living space on the first floor. Consider adding shelves, cabinets, or other storage compartments in that space to give yourself an easy-to-access place to keep your belongings.
- Use your walls to good effect. One of the most important things you can do when you live in a tiny house is to use every inch of space that’s available. Many tiny houses have floor-to-ceiling bookshelves or cabinets. One of the benefits of using the walls is that it encourages organization and neatness. There’s no place to hide the clutter.
- Put kitchen appliances or other electronics – such as computers and televisions – on retractable shelves. When you only have a small amount of living space, you simply can’t keep everything you use out in the open all the time. Retractable shelves can provide you with a working surface on top, and an easy and hassle-free way to get at your appliances when you need them.
- Install a breakfast bar or coffee bar instead of a kitchen table. When you’re living in a tiny house, you don’t really need a full-size table. Instead, put in a simple bar and tuck your stools underneath it. If you’re entertaining, you can use stackable trays and have people sit in other locations – or keep a big folding table in storage and eat outside.
- Choose multi-purpose furniture. Instead of buying a regular sofa or loveseat, get a daybed with drawers or a seating unit that has shelves or some other kind of storage underneath it. There are plenty of options available if you want to buy one, or you can improvise one by buying something with space underneath it and filling it with storage baskets or boxes.
- Use shallow storage when there’s no space for a big closet. You don’t have to have a deep closet to store things like utensils, spices, and pantry items. Instead of sweating the fact that you can’t install a huge closet, make do with what you have and store small things in a narrow space.
- Buy a toilet with a sink on top of it. It might sound strange, but this arrangement actually allows you to save water and space at the same time. Water that’s rinsed down the sink can be used to fill the toilet tank, and that means that you’ll be able to reduce your environmental footprint. In these days of drought, that’s a very good thing.
- Put an in-floor storage unit underneath your bed. There’s no reason that your sleeping loft can’t also double as a storage space. If you install a Murphy bed that you can easily lift out of the way, then you can fit quite a lot underneath the bed. A Murphy bed can also help you turn your sleeping quarters into additional living space.
Moving to a tiny house is a big transition to make, but if you follow these tips to make the most of the space you have, you can keep everything you need in your new space.