The last two decades have seen a rise in the popularity of tiny houses. The idea of having more experiences instead of more possessions is one that is often embraced by those who love a simple, minimalist lifestyle. A tiny house offers the ability to get into homeownership without such a large financial burden as well as having a smaller environmental footprint. Tiny homes are perfect if you feel like less is more.
While the size and portability of a tiny house vary depending on the homeowner’s desires and needs, one thing that is common across all tiny home dwellers is the need for creative storage space. With less than 400 square feet in most cases, it’s essential to make the most out of every bit of square footage available. Get some inspiration with these seven tips to maximize your tiny house storage.
1. Look for hidden storage space.
Many tiny houses feature a lofted bedroom. If the loft is accessed by a narrow staircase, you may have a gold mine of storage under the stairs. The space under the stairs can be left open for baskets, books, or space to display your favorite items. It can also be an area for drawers and cabinets that can house anything from hanging clothes to pantry items. Check out this staircase that has a laundry cabinet built in!
Another great place for extra tiny house storage is in the lofted bed area. Storage cubbies can be built in under the floor of the loft. It’s a perfect spot for clothes, shoes, and blankets.
2. Take advantage of vertical space.
When space is at a premium, don’t forget to use all the areas that you can to maximize your tiny house storage. When it comes to shelving and cabinets, go all the way to the ceiling to give yourself more space for items you want to keep close by. Wall space above windows and doors are perfect for cabinets for items you don’t use daily or for shelves to display your favorite treasures.
3. Consider multi-purpose furniture.
A tiny home often uses space or furniture in multiple ways. With limited space, there isn’t room for a dining room table, a desk, and a coffee table. Look for furniture that can do some double duty.
- Forego the desk and utilize your dining room table for meals and for work.
- Benches can easily have storage space under the cushions for items like blankets, games, or toys.
- Look for a couch that folds out to a bed so you can have overnight guests, or one with built-in tabletops.
- Your bed is a great place to lay your head at night, but don’t forget about adding storage underneath the mattress for clothes or extra supplies.
4. Gain living space with hideaway furniture.
A great way to utilize space in your tiny home is to have features that can be moved to make room for something else. Many tiny home occupants like the practicality of a murphy bed. This allows you to have a full-sized mattress in your tiny home that can easily fold into the wall to give you more living space. Another option is an elevator bed. This bed uses a pulley type system so that your bed can be raised when not in use.
If you’re longing for extra surface space for work, games, or reading, a folding tabletop is ideal. When not in use, it folds flush with the wall.
5. Get creative with your design and decor.
When you are looking to get the most out of your tiny house storage, you need to look in every nook and cranny. Some innovative design ideas from other tiny home dwellers are:
- Use the kick plates under kitchen cabinets to install drawers.
- Turn your stuff into art — hang a bike or your guitar on the wall.
- Add wheels to your coffee table or ottoman so it can be moved around and used in more than one area.
- Use wall sconces rather than floor lamps to make your tiny home bright but keep the floor space clear.
- This spinning TV and fireplace ensure you’ll never be bored no matter what room you’re in.
6. Simplify your kitchen.
A kitchen is a place where it’s easy to accumulate gadgets and appliances. Don’t forget to think about items that have multiple uses, appliances that have a small footprint, and about how much tiny house storage you’ll actually need.
Instead of a microwave and a toaster oven, just use a toaster oven. Save some space by using a handheld can opener instead of the countertop appliance. If your kitchen doesn’t have much counter space, use a hot plate instead of a stovetop. To free up cabinet space for food items and dishes, use a pegboard to store kitchen gadgets like measuring spoons and spatulas. Hooks work great in a kitchen to secure pots and mugs.
7. Keep things light.
When planning the layout of your space, consider elements that will keep your tiny home look open and airy. Using a monochromatic color scheme will help your design seem cohesive and make your space look larger. When you can, use mirrors to reflect light. Using frosted glass in the kitchen, bathroom, or bedroom cabinets also will help to reflect light but still hide any clutter.
Finding storage space in your tiny home is easy if you remember to make the most of what you have to work with. Having such a small footprint means that your belongings need to be multi-functional, your storage needs to be creative and you need to be thoughtful about what you bring into your tiny home. Being a tiny home dweller, you know that what surrounds you is what you truly love and value.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on August 11, 2014, and was revised on April 27, 2020.