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storage ideas tiny house living

Creative Storage Space Ideas for Tiny House Living

By Tobias RobertsRise Writer
Feb 9, 2018

Tiny homes are usually those considered under 500 square feet in size. While a six-person family might not be able to cram into a home of this size, individuals, couples, and even smaller families have all found ways to live comfortably in a tiny home. Tiny homes prioritize design over square footage and routinely incorporate dual-purpose features and multi-functional furniture to maximize the livable space within the home walls. 

One of the most important aspects of tiny house design is the inclusion of creative storage spaces. Because of the limited square footage of tiny homes, every inch counts, and tiny home designers and homeowners have come up with some truly imaginative, resourceful, and artistically inspired storage space solutions. Below, we look at six different innovative and ingenious storage space ideas for tiny homes.

For Everything, a Double Purpose

As we mentioned above, tiny homes seek to maximize the amount of livable space by multiplying the functions of every element in the house. While a couch in a regular home is simply a space to rest, the inside of a couch represents an opportunity for excess storage in tiny homes. This unique Ottoman chair doubles as a storage space for shoes and possibly other household items as it has twelve separate storage compartments to help you stay organized.

Another interesting multifunctional piece of furniture is the Badac, offered by Sang a Choi. This wooden piece of furniture looks like a puzzle, but several parts can be rearranged to create everything from a sofa bed to a desk to a bookcase. The Badac comes with two backrests, a coffee table, a lamp, and a shelf. For tiny homes, you can reverse (or completely hide away) the three seats. The impressive versatility of this piece of furniture adapts perfectly to the “multifunctionality” that is essential for tiny house living.

ottoman chair storage

Make Use of Vertical Space

In most homes, vertical space goes completely unused. Those towering, Cathedral-like ceilings might look nice, but they are not very functional. Tiny houses, however, maximize the vertical space inside the home for storage options, often hanging small cabinetry or shelves all the way up to the ceiling.

Since many tiny homes are built to be put on wheels, the maximum height (including roof) is 13.5 feet to meet towing regulations. While it might not be easy to access a cabinet or shelf that is 8 or 9 feet high up near the ceiling, these higher shelves make great storage areas for seasonal items, old picture albums, the antique china your grandmother gave to you, and other items that are not used regularly.

Slat Wall Shelving

One common problem with regular shelving is that it is not easy to modify. Adding or taking away shelving requires unbolting the shelves, which are often attached to the studs in your walls. However, slat wall shelving offers versatility and adaptability that is essential to the organization of spaces in tiny homes.

With this shelving option, the slats secure the shelves to the wall without any nails, screws, or bolts. You can add, take away or rearrange the shelves depending on what you need to store during different moments and seasons. This type of storage shelf can easily be made from recycled wood pallets to upcycle wood that otherwise might end up in a landfill.

slatwall shelving

Under Floor Storage

One of the most under-utilized spots for storage in a home is underneath your feet. While basements in large homes often have a storage area, tiny homes can create storage areas in the flooring throughout. One tiny home in North Carolina built by Brevard Tiny Homes has several underfloor storage options.

Placing underfloor storage in areas of the home where the floor is not frequently used is an ideal solution for maximizing space. Placing hinged floorboards that can be opened for storage underneath desks, beneath couches, or in seldom-utilized corners of the home will free up several square feet for storage that will not add to the cluttered feeling of a home.

tiny house under floor storage
Photo courtesy Brevard Tiny House

Stair Case Storage Ideas 

Most tiny homes include some sort of loft area for sleeping arrangements. Placing the bedroom above the rest of the living area frees up extra space for the kitchen, living room, office, bathroom, and other essential areas of the home. In addition, the staircase or ladder that leads up to the loft area offers unique opportunities for innovative storage options.

While staircases take up more space than a simple ladder, the woodwork that makes up a staircase can be transformed into floor-to-ceiling cabinets or shelves. If you place your loft above your kitchen, you can transform the stairs into storage areas for a stove, kitchen cabinets, or other space-saving kitchen storage areas. One Kind Design offers over 50 ideas for saving home space by integrating the kitchen and stairs.

Another great example is offered by the Chickadee home designed by Brevard Tiny Homes. This tiny home design incorporates two storage options into the stairs. Cabinets are built into the side of the stairs, while tiny box steps with hinged tops allow for extra storage and make it easier for small children and pets to make their way up the stairs.

staircase storage tiny house
Photo courtesy of The Escape Traveler

A Bed with Storage

Finding ways to add storage to the place where you sleep will free up extra space in a tiny home. Murphy beds are great for tiny homes as they fold up into the wall, but most of these types of beds do not incorporate extra storage options. Expand Furniture offers one vertical wall bed that doubles as a work desk that levers to the floor when not in use. You can leave your books and papers in place as you fold down your bed each night, thus sidestepping the need to find storage for the items on your desk.

Not every tiny home will be able to incorporate a Murphy bed that folds up into the wall. These IKEA storage beds offer a perfect solution to incorporate extra storage in a small loft area where your sleeping quarters are located.

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute a product endorsement however Rise does reserve the right to recommend relevant products based on the articles content to provide a more comprehensive experience for the reader.Last Modified: 2021-07-21T13:20:35+0000
Tobias Roberts

Article by:

Tobias Roberts

Tobias runs an agroecology farm and a natural building collective in the mountains of El Salvador. He specializes in earthen construction methods and uses permaculture design methods to integrate structures into the sustainability of the landscape.