I love fall weather! It’s the time of year where temperatures are starting to drop and the leaves are changing. I am even more excited about it this year after a long summer in Georgia. So why am I talking about the change in weather? Well, because it reminded me once again that in a tiny space you need to be deliberate about your storage.
You see the change in weather requires a change in my wardrobe which requires a trip to my cargo trailer. I can’t fit all my winter and summer clothes in my closet, so I store my extra clothes in my cargo trailer (see my related post: Is it Cheating). This weekend I went out to my trailer and switched out my clothes.
This got me thinking about how glad I am that I planned my storage in my house. For the most part, I don’t have to store much outside of my house that I didn’t intentionally plan. I always knew I would keep luggage (I travel a lot for work), my Christmas decorations (I wasn’t willing to part with all of them) and my off-season clothes in my trailer. I also added some triathlon gear and my formal military uniforms. Fortunately, everything I need day-to-day fits nicely in my home.
Have you planned your storage? If not, consider the following tips:
Use every inch and be deliberate
In a small space every inch matters. Being deliberate about planning your storage up front can save you tons of heartache once you are living in your tiny home. I love the stairs in my tiny home, in fact they are one of my favorite things because the provide fantastic storage. Before I moved into my tiny house, I measured each drawer and made a list of everything I needed to store in my house. I had a plan for what would go in each drawer before I ever moved in. Here’s my list from the bottom to the top: Uniforms for work, running clothes, toiletries, pantry, tupperware/food storage, and dog supplies (medicine, shampoo, brush, etc). Because I knew what I wanted to put in each drawer it made moving in a snap.
Make sure you are thinking creatively about how you can use all of your space. Is there an extra space for drawers and shelves? Is there a small nook that you can utilize?
Use Vertical Space and Open Storage
Vertical storage is huge in a small space. Be willing to be creative with how you use this space. I had shelves installed above my kitchen counter that provide tons of essential storage for my dishes and food items. I also have a shelf installed in my bathroom and one in my “office”/storage area in the back of my house. Each of these vertical storage options makes my space visually appealing and more functional.
I also love my extra storage loft above my front door (in the picture below). This space is perfect for my extra bedding (yes, I kept two extra duvet covers and one extra set of sheets), my scrapbooks, my games/cards and my tools. This space would have been wasted without the loft.
Use bins and baskets
I am also a huge fan of bins and baskets. I use them in the loft storage that I mentioned above and in my “bedroom”. Baskets and bins are a great way to hide items that otherwise might not be visually appealing in a small space (like extra panty items). They also provide a great way to organize and categorize your belongings. Baskets that coordinate with your interior colors will help reduce visual clutter and can make your home feel more relaxing.
Plan before you move! Then be Flexible!
Planning out your storage before you move will not only make your transition easier, it will ensure you are able to keep everything in your house that you want to make your tiny house feel like home. One of the reasons it hasn’t been hard to live in a tiny space is because my space has everything I need. I planned out my lifestyle and created spaces for the things that were important to me before I moved.
However, I have also learned it is important to be flexible when you move. For instance, the space in the back of my tiny house was originally going to be used as an office, but now it’s more of a storage area. I keep my scrapbooking supplies, sewing supplies and triathlon bike in this back office. Although this isn’t quite how I intended to use the space, it fits my lifestyle. So remember to be flexible when you arrive in your space and adapt to the space you have!