Are you familiar with the tiny house movement? The ultimate downsize, this social movement advocates for a return to a simpler and more sustainable way of life via homes that measure 400 square feet or less. If you’ve encountered a gallery of tiny houses in your news feed, you know that these homes can be architecturally stunning – walls of rustic reclaimed metal and wood, vaulted glass windows that fill the home with natural light, and welcoming porches that connect tiny house dwellers to the nature around them.
Here at Closet America, we specialize in organizing closets, pantries, garages, and other spaces within the home. So when we learned about the tiny house movement, we couldn’t help but wonder how tiny house owners organize their homes.
What we learned is fascinating, and it proved what we already knew: you can make even the most diminutive space work for you if you organize it correctly. Here’s how the tiny houses do it.
1. Make Your Items Multi-Task
When you don’t have much space, you need to make sure that every item that takes up square footage has earned the right to do so. Your belongings are more likely to make the cut if they serve more than one role. For example, you might have stools that double as storage, or a drawer that pulls out into a cutting board.
2. Leave No Space Untouched
Tiny houses make smart use of space, because they have to. Tiny house architects and designers optimize awkward spaces that are often left untouched in standard homes, such as the square footage under a set of stairs or inside a crawl space. Tiny houses also utilize their full height, adding lofted bedrooms or bunk beds. The bonus? You might be able to fit a walk-in closet underneath your loft bed!
3. Utilize Your Walls
Tiny houses often contain floor-to-ceiling shelves and hooks to maximize available storage space. This means your cast-iron skillet can have a permanent home on a wall hook beside your stove, and your dinner plates can live on a kitchen shelf. You don’t have many cabinets in a tiny kitchen, so making use of the wall space will help keep your counters open and uncluttered. An added benefit of this storage approach is that it forces you to think through your organization as you go: if you install a new shelf on the wall above your bed, you probably have a good idea of what should logically go there.
4. Only Keep What You Need
Tiny houses are an inspiration in minimalism. When you only have 400 square feet to work with (or 200, or 150…) it’s hard to be a packrat. The tiny house movement is all about paring down to the essentials, and when you do that, it’s much easier to have an organized home.
5. Everything In Its Place. Perfectly.
This is the Closet America tagline, and it applies to houses of all sizes. You need to have a designated space for every item in your home. If you don’t, how do you even know how to put things away properly? Our designers apply this tenet to their in-home consultations with homeowners, creating custom designs that build in a home for every item.
Tiny houses aren’t for everyone, but they show us how important it is to organize your home in a way that’s smart and sustainable. When you live in a perfectly organized space, your quality of life improves dramatically, no matter how many square feet you call home.