5 Tiny-House Storage Ideas to Steal from the Experts

The houses may be small, but these organization tips and tricks are a huge help.

Tiny houses continue to grow in popularity, with the small dwellings popping up practically everywhere on TV or social media. The popular show “Tiny House, Big Living” launched on HGTV in 2014, and features couples interested in downsizing, while on TikTok twin sisters Courtney and Cassidy Stutelberg of Nomadic Homes LLC share videos of their work converting buses into sleek, attractive homes with vertical gardens and custom woodworking.

tiny home storage ideas

Courtesy of David Latimer / New Frontier Tiny Homes

“I think this is all about downsizing, to me, personally,” said Courtney. “I went into bus life because I was sick of the day-to-day routine. People spend thousands of dollars every year to buy all these things for your house, but at the end of the day, what value are those things really bringing?”

And it's no wonder these small spaces appeal to the masses. Even if your home's layout isn't compact, there are many strategies to learn from the meticulous storage and organization of tiny homes. Whether you're looking to downsize or simply maximize square footage, these tips and tricks can help you utilize storage space in your own home, big or small.

tiny home with storage

Courtesy of JP Marquis / Minimaliste

1. Make a List of What You Do (and Don’t) Need

Once a year, take inventory of the items you really need and use. Think like Marie Kondo: if it doesn’t bring you joy, donate it or throw it out, whether it's a furniture piece you never use or old T-shirts and knick-knacks left untouched. This is the first step of truly downsizing and living a life like tiny-house dwellers. 

“At the end of every year, I have this huge checklist of things that I can either donate or get rid of. I think it sets an intention that by the end of every year you know what is actually bringing value to you,” said Courtney. “Like this piece of furniture that you've never sat on, do you really need it? Clean out your clothes, clean out your pantry, clean out really anything that you no longer need.”

2. Elevate Your Living Area

When determining storage, we often turn to cabinetry or walk-in closets. But tiny-home expert JP Marquis, cofounder of Minimaliste Inc., suggests elevating your flooring to install storage space below your feet. If you’re looking to take on a project to add more storage space, consider building in hidden drawers.

“Something that we did in one of our designs was to slightly uplift your living area, either one step or if you have the space, two steps. Then, you'll be looking at the possibility of having huge drawers underneath your living area,” said Marquis. “This is some really useful space. And it's better to have that than having shelves or anything that is high."

tiny home living room custom furniture

Courtesy of David Latimer / New Frontier Design

3. Buy or Build Multifunctional Furniture

Multifunctionality is the name of the game for tiny home construction and design. Whether it's a couch that pulls out into a bed or a dining table that lowers into a coffee table, there are plenty of furniture options with built-in storage and multi-functionality. “Say you have a dining table and you want it to have some flexibility. Make a bench that has a lid on it and it’s got storage inside and then that can be on casters, too, so it’s flexible and easy to move around,” says David Latimer, founder and CEO of New Frontier Design. Latimer also recommends the company Resource Furniture if you’re looking to add flexible furnishings to your home.

4. Create Bedroom Storage

Bedrooms have many storage options when it comes to organizing your space. If you’re in the market for a new bed, consider purchasing one that's lofted or has built-in storage space. Or use the wall behind your bed frame to install vertical shelving or cabinetry. 

“The bed is probably the space where you can easily store most of the stuff that you want to fit in your house," says Marquis. "And most of the time people don't even think of using that as storage." He suggests utilizing nightstands, as well as installing a wall of storage above and around the bed.

5. Keep Things Hidden

Ultimately, Latimer says one of the best ways to maximize space and keep your home looking streamlined and uncluttered is to hide any and all of your belongings. In his own home, he has dedicated spaces for everything, from socks to cold weather gear to health supplements. Make sure everything you own has a home. 

“Have all your storage hidden, and when storing anything, cover it. Don't leave it out. Put a little door on it, or something over it,” says Latimer. “When there's no home for things, it's going to feel a lot more cluttered than if everything's covered up and out of sight.”

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