Tiny homes are quickly becoming all the rage around the world, and for good reason. With tiny houses, you can save on housing and spend more on acreage. You can build your abode in the backyard of a friend or family member. You can even live in communities of like-minded tiny-house owners. Even for those who haven’t bought into the tiny house craze, downsizing is still an attractive practice with many of the same perks. While daunting at first, downsizing to a smaller space can help you save money, benefit the environment, and live happier. The biggest step is getting started.
In this guide, our space-saving experts here at Stor-It cover several essential tips to help you seamlessly make the transition through downsizing and ultimately make the most of your tiny space. Read on for advice from our professionals, and book Idaho’s best storage with our team today!
Keeping Things off the Ground Using Your Walls, Ceilings, and Doors
In a tiny home, anything can be (and should be) seen as a potential place for additional storage. All homes have walls, ceilings, and doors — we take these areas for granted, and sometimes even forget that they can be great storage options. Here are some ideas on how to expertly utilize the non-ground square footage at your tiny pad.
- Wall Space (and Door Space). There are so many beautiful, tasteful option for wall hanging. From baskets to sheaths, to hanging shelves, and totes — if it can be hung from a hook, it can become a wall storage apparatus. From moving your succulent garden from a side table to the wall, to housing your children’s sports equipment and toys in hanging pods instead of on the ground or in a bucket, you can save so much space all around your place just by moving things to walls. Look on Etsy and Pinterest for great wall-hanging options to spark your inspiration. With so many different wall hanging options, you’ll be hard-pressed to find an item in your house that you won’t be able to hang. On a related note: don’t forget your doors. Doors are really just walls that open, and in a tiny space, they should be treated as such. Most doors aren’t ideal for hanging clunky things, but they’re perfect for hanging your shoes, belts, ties, or hat collection. Affordable, sturdy, and space-savvy, door-hanging apparatuses make a great addition to any small space. Just make sure to hang them on the back of the door, not the front!
- Hanging Baskets. Plants aren’t the only things that can be hung from hanging baskets these days! If your kitchen is lacking space for towels, spatulas, oven mitts, and other small essentials, consider getting a couple of hanging baskets to add onto the cabinets over your sink and countertops. If you’re in a rental, don’t forget the wood spackle to fill in the holes from the hanging screws when you move out of the apartment. If you own your home, then you are your own landlord, so you can do whatever you please. Steer clear of hanging anything over your oven or stove though. Heat and hanging baskets don’t mix well.
- Hooks for Pots and Pans. Baskets aside, there are several other things you should consider hanging in your kitchen. Just imagine how much cabinet space you can free up by hanging all of your pots and pans from hooks. Not only is hanging a great space-saving option, but it also gives your kitchen an authentic, homey feel.
- Built-In Wall Shelves. Bookcases are clunky and take up a lot of unnecessary volume. Downsize your storage by cutting to the chase with built-in wall shelves! A few L-joints and pieces of wood are all you need to have a fully functioning shelf built directly into your wall. (You can also go with much fancier built-in designs, but we recommend working with a carpenter for those.) Consider building the shelves above head height so that they aren’t taking up your living space. Just make sure to reinforce your shelf so that you don’t run into any issues with the shelf crashing down on top of you — especially if you live in an earthquake-prone area. To keep things on the safe side, we recommend that you don’t put wall shelves above any place where you spend a lot of your time, like your bed or couch.
Beds, Couches, and Furniture
Beds and couches are typically the most space-consuming items in a house; and if you are living in a smaller house, they are often the biggest source of headache. With a little creativity, beds and other big-ticket items can be more than just necessary evils. They can be space-efficient storage solutions. Here are some bed and couch options that will help you conserve space in your tiny home.
- Wall Fold-Up Beds. More feature than furniture, these special beds are easier for those who have yet to break ground on building their tiny homes. As their name suggests, wall fold-up beds fold up into the wall when not in use. This frees up a bed-sized amount of space on the floor for other daily activities, such as indoor hobbies and exercise.
- Bed/Couch Combos. Futon and Fold-Out Beds. Over the past few years, there has been a surge in higher-end futon designs. No longer just dorm-room staples or rec room last resorts, futons are becoming modular mainstays in homes everywhere. If you don’t have the desire or wherewithal to get a bed that folds into the wall but still want the luxury of having a full (or even queen!) sized bed in your small space, a futon might be your best bet. For those who don’t know: a futon is a bed-couch combo that can fold up into a couch during the day and down into a bed at night. Similarly, a fold-out bed is a couch that has a bed built into the bottom of it, so if you take off the cushions you can pull out a full-sized bed frame and bed from inside the couch. If either of these options seem intriguing to you, start searching. There are a host of excellent foldable furniture products that can help you free up space in your tiny home.
- Lofted Beds. Already got a great couch and a great bed? Stack them on top of one another with a lofted bed frame. These space-efficient solutions make use of the air above our heads. Luckily for us humans, we sleep horizontally instead of vertically, so there are no major issues with having your bed be three feet from the ceiling rather than three feet from the ground. Under the lofted bed, there is ample space for a couch, desk, or more storage. Loft beds come in all sorts of shapes and sizes to accommodate all mattress types. One of the more affordable furniture solutions, loft beds don’t require any extra additions to work. Simply buy the loft and you’re ready to go.
- Furniture With Additional Storage and Functionality. Just like with futons and fold-outs, it’s amazing how multi-purpose furniture can free up a ton of extra space for those looking to downsize. Don’t waste space with single-function furniture pieces — invest in furniture with additional functionality built-in. Common favorites include love seats that double as large chests, kitchen tables with hollow centers to fit dishes and silverware, hollow stools, coffee tables with drawers, and many more. With every piece of furniture doing double-duty, your tiny space will have enough room to house more stuff than you ever thought possible.
Why Store Inside When You Can Store Outside (or in a Unit)
When you downsize into a smaller space, it’s inevitable that you will not be able to fit everything inside of your new place. Here are a couple of options for keeping your stuff close but not in the way of you and your family.
- Outdoor Storage Bins and Pods. Our patios and porches are extensions of our homes, and they offer up a lot of extra space for storage. Consider investing in a couple of large storage bins, preferably ones with locks, to house your non-essential and outdoorsy items. Since outdoor storage bins will inevitably go outside, you are going to want to invest products made from heavy-duty materials that can withstand the grueling summer heat, moisture, and freezing temperatures. Steer clear of storage bins that will rust easily, or those built from flimsy plastic. If you have a bunch of stuff, sufficient land, and a need to keep all that stuff as close as humanly possible, then an on-site storage pod might be your best option.
- Storage Units. If you don’t need near-immediate access to all of your stuff all of the time, or if you have things that need to be stored indoors, you may want to consider investing in a storage unit. A storage unit will allow you to keep your stuff in a centralized space for an affordable monthly fee. Climate-controlled storage units will even give you control of the temperature and humidity to keep your sensitive items in great condition. Use our Size Guide and Storage Calculator to find the right-sized storage unit for your needs.
Free Up Space and Store Your Stuff at Stor-It
Downsizing in Idaho? Our team here at Stor-It has your storage solutions. As the Gem State’s oldest and largest self-storage providers, we have 14 self-storage facilities (and even more to come!) conveniently located across Southern Idaho. We offer outdoor storage, indoor climate-controlled storage, and covered and uncovered parking to accommodate storage needs large and small. We also provide FREE locks and packing and moving supplies for sale on site. Want to learn more about our Idaho storage options? Have more questions about optimizing storage in your tiny space? Contact us to speak with a member of our team, and reserve your storage space here at Stor-It today!