8 Problem-Solving Target Buys Tiny House Dwellers Swear By

published Feb 7, 2019
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(Image credit: Jacqueline Marque)

If you live in a tiny home, you’re faced with living a full life with less space—and less stuff. This makes going to Target a difficult task for tiny homeowners, because, well, they’re just as tempted by all the cute, quirky, and cool things in the aisles as you are (the Target effect is real, y’all!) But it also means that these residents are experts at cutting through the clutter to find the best problem-solving products while shopping. Here, five tiny home owners share their favorite of these productive Target buys:

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Annie Colpitts, of the blog Pocket Manor, lives in a 8-foot-by-20-foot tiny home in Central Virginia. She finds she really needs to shop smartly.

“In such a small space, visual clutter is really easy to generate,” says Colpitts. “Having one simple, small, matching set of dishware has meant that my open shelves don’t look overwhelmed with different colors and sizes of dishes. It sounds tiny and silly, but makes a huge visual impact.”

Her choice? This solid white stoneware set by Project 62.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

When you’re living in a 41-foot houseboat, mealtime can pose some unique complications. Just ask Michelle de Ron, who lives on a Bluewater yacht in Islamorada, Florida, with her family of five (she keeps tabs on her adventures at We And The Three).

“The small burners in our boat don’t fit the big pans I need to cook in to make dinner,” she says.

Her life-altering space saver? Her Instant Pot, which she uses to sauté veggies, cook rice, or prep whatever else may be on the menu.

“It’s a must-have for my tiny house life,” she says.

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Space-savers are a huge part of tiny house living. And one of the best tools Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell, author of “Living Large in Our Little House,” has come across is this bamboo dish rack from Target.

“It’s eco-friendly and can fold up when you’re not using it,” says Fivecoat-Campbell, who lives in a 480-square-foot home in the Ozark Mountains with her three rescue dogs.

Related: 7 Things Real Estate Agents Wish You Knew

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Fewer surfaces in a home equals a greater need for creative lighting.

“I’m a huge fan of ambient, fixture-based light sources, but they often take up valuable real estate on the floor or side tables,” says Colpitts.

She found these accordion wall-mounted light fixtures at Target, which ended up being a great solution to free up surface space.

“They give me the ability to move the lamp as needed—towards my bed for nighttime reading, or the opposite direction while I’m sitting at my ‘desk’ working,” she says.

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When space is limited, double-duty items are some of the best purchases a tiny homeowner can make. Joshua and Shelley Engberg, authors of “Tiny House Basics,” have found that storage ottomans have greatly helped increase utility around the 374-square-foot home they share with their two small dogs. Shelley uses this ottoman to store her hat collection—and as a stool to use while she puts on her makeup.

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Abigail Epperson travels full-time with her family of five in their cozy converted 2002 Thomas school bus. In her time traveling around the country podcasting and writing about the family’s travels, she’s come to know the importance of optimizing all available space in her tiny home. She especially loves these magnetic spice canisters.

“They are perfect for utilizing all available space and saving your cabinets or counter space for other items,” Epperson says. “They get a bonus for being magnetic and giving me one less thing to worry about shifting during travel days.”

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Another hot tip from tiny home owners? Don’t waste space with objects you’re only using infrequently.

“A coffee maker often takes up counter space 24 hours a day when you only really use it for 30 minutes,” says Colpitts. Realizing this, she ditched her smaller Mr. Coffee for a tea kettle and pour-over coffee maker. She finds she uses the combo more often than her coffee maker, and the pour-over easily stores in a drawer.

“I value that counter space more than the slight convenience of pushing a button to my morning cup,” she says.

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Joshua Engberg’s tip for making the most out of limited floor space? Stack items whenever possible. He recommends stocking up on these modular shelves to store shoes and also provide a platform for other baskets and clothes to be stacked.

What are your favorite space-saving Target buys?