Utilize as much wall space as possible. This helps open up precious counter top space and removes the need for bulky furniture to hold things. Some of the features we use on our wall space that are very valuable are shelves in the kitchen, a wall-mounted TV, paper towel holder, and a magnetic knife strip.
Also, as a general rule, in tiny homes, each space should be used for more than one purpose. For example, our dinner table is on wheels and is the same height and finish as the rest of our kitchen counter tops. This allows us to have extra prep space when cooking and also enables us to roll out the table into our living area to have a more formal dinner eating setup.
The tip to save space for us was to use vertical space. Use as much wall space as you can! That’s why we have our bookshelves, they don’t take up much space in the house except for vertical space and it’s perfect!
Before moving from 1100-sqft to 200, we aggressively downsized—donated, sold, or tossed the stuff we didn’t need anymore. That was the first step. We estimate that we got rid of 80 percent of our belongings prior to moving into our tiny home.
In Tiny House of NY, we have utilized every possibility for storage—storage in our seating, storage in our couch, drawers over-head in our ceiling, storage underneath our fridge, storage in our stairs, which a lot of tiny home dwellers do. We had to re-think conventional furniture and custom-make ours to accommodate a small footprint while also allowing for every inch of storage space being useful.
You wouldn’t believe how many times we have “misplaced” or “lost” something only to remember we have storage literally right underneath us in the seats we’re sitting on. :) Sometimes we forget how much we have, and it may be surprising for some to hear, we still haven’t used all of our storage space.
I think ultimately just having less stuff, butttttt we love things with multiple functions of course! Our couch ottomans function to expand our couch while having the multi-use for our dining room chairs. When we don't use them, the feet fold up to slip right under our couch to stay out of the way.
Another little trick we love is to use tension rods under our kitchen and bathroom sink cabinets. This acts almost like an extra adjustable shelf to hang cleaning products, bags, etc. and cheap! Also, our stairs have deep drawers in them that we are able to use as closet space which is a huge space saver! Anything we bring into our tiny home we try and make sure it has multiple functions.
It’s important to us that every space in our home is used every day. Most of the spaces in our home have multiple uses:
To make use of the vertical space, most of our cabinetry is to the ceiling.
By far our biggest space-saving hack is simply having less stuff.
We minimized our belongings significantly before we moved into our Tiny Haus and even further when we moved in. Everything in our home has purpose, is loved and has a place. We don’t have duplicate items, for example: we went from 2 dinner sets down to 1, we use our “good” dinner set every day and this makes our meal time’s special each time we sit down.
We put considerable thought into each item we bring into our home.
The best advice I can give for saving space in a tiny house is two-fold:
Taking advantage of vertical space doesn't just mean adding storage lofts where you can stow bins of clothes or books. I chose not to add a storage loft, because I valued the added openness and natural light my living room has without it. I still look for opportunities to move something that may have taken up drawer space or counter space, and put it up on the walls. This means wall-mounted sconces instead of table or floor lamps, racks to store pots and utensils on the wall instead of in drawers, and hanging planters instead of vases and pots spilling over counters and windowsills.
I'll admit, I had some trouble cutting down on my kitchen appliances. The counter in my old apartment used to be LITTERED with coffee makers (yes, more than one), a food processor, a blender, a toaster, a standing mixer, and more. There's nothing wrong with having a well-stocked kitchen, but with only a small run of counter-top, I got pretty brutal with what I allowed myself to keep on there. I ditched the toaster and coffee makers for stovetop, easily store-able options, swapped smaller appliances in, and made sure they all have a space to fit in my drawers and cabinets, keeping my counter-top nice and clear.