The Space-Wasting Storage Mistake You May Be Making

updated Jan 30, 2020
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(Image credit: Carina Romano)

Living in a tiny home can make you an organizational expert in no time. With hardly any square footage to move around in, you have to be smart with what space you do have, and you have to be clever with the kind of storage you use. Haley and Michael know these things, having lived in this stylish and tidy 160-square-foot tiny home for almost a year.

There were many amazing things to marvel at in this tour, from the warm and inviting interior, to the smart bedroom setup, to even the cute cat. But nothing was more impressive than the fact that though they live in less than 200 square feet, they’re not strict minimalists in the sense that they hardly have any stuff. They certainly took inspiration from Marie Kondo—and extraneous fluff isn’t found here—but there is still, well, stuff. But the difference between a cluttered and claustrophobic home and this neat, airy one is this: Smart storage solutions.

(Image credit: Carina Romano)

And the first one to steal from this small home is: “Built-ins designed for specific needs.” Custom DIY shelves play a huge role in this home, particularly the cabinets they built around the bed/lounge area:

“This was a late-ish revision to an original plan. I don’t know if it comes across in the photos, but the cabinets are cut in so as not to block off the windows when looking over from the kitchen. The shape and proportion creates a gentle division of the spaces and feels like a nice little hug inside the space.”

Whether you go the custom built-in route or not, there are still other storage ideas hiding in this tiny home that you could use in yours:

(Image credit: Carina Romano)

Don’t make this storage-wasting mistake:

Are you wasting space and not realizing it? “I think in general the best storage products are any that fit perfectly into the space they’re inhabiting, because they waste less space,” wrote Michael and Hayley in their house tour survey. “It’s helpful to remember that rectangular shapes also waste less space. Lots of wide, round bowls and baskets can add up to a lot of unused space very quickly.”

(Image credit: Carina Romano)

Also consider limiting yourself:

Michael and Hayley also suggest that you limit yourself and your home to “just a few types of jars/Tupperware/bags.” Keeping the items and tools you use uniform in size and shape will not only waste less space, it’ll be nicer to look at, too.

(Image credit: Carina Romano)

These two IKEA products are tiny-home approved:

“I love the shoe bins from IKEA. They hold a lot more shoes than I thought they would (four to six pairs depending on size) and the way they’re angled it’s easy to reach all of them, I don’t feel like I have to pull everything out to get something from the bottom.”

(Image credit: Carina Romano)

“We also love our square trash bins from IKEA. They are much more space efficient than round ones.”

(Image credit: Carina Romano)

And one last takeaway from their tour: Consider the vintage cheese box as a tool to corral your clutter. “The cheese boxes work really well for me.” Charming AND convenient.

→ See all of what might very well be the most livable tiny home of all time in their full tour.