When you’re living in a tiny house, efficiency apartment, or other compact abode, you’ll need to make the most of each nook and cranny to ensure you have enough room for everything. Thankfully, there are plenty of tricks you can use to maximize your space without compromising on style.
EditIn a Hurry?
To maximize your space in a small house, try dividing up your living room into multiple quadrants or using your bedroom as an office or den. When possible, purchase furniture items that have multiple uses, such as foot rests that double as storage cubes. For your bedroom, try to purchase a futon or similar object that opens up additional space. Instead of having a separate dining table, game table, and desk, condense them all into a single furniture item. To learn how to make use of vertical space and better organize your existing objects, read on!
EditDividing a Room into Separate Areas
- Divide your living room into multiple quadrants. The living room is often the largest area of a house, but many people use it exclusively as a family or TV room. To open up more space, try dividing your living room into multiple zones with their own unique designs. These quadrants can stand in for rooms that you don’t have enough space for, such as a dining room, playroom, or den.
- To partition the area with dividers, purchase large curtains, tides, or free-standing walls and arrange them inside your living room.
- To create quadrants without using dividers, arrange objects in the room based on their specific function. If you’d like, create small signs stating what room each area represents.
- Use your bedroom as an office or den. For most people, a bedroom is a private area that doesn’t easily convert into a family or guest room. However, bedrooms are often the perfect location for a home office, personal den, or other private space. Converting your bedroom into a multi-purpose personal area will open up more rooms throughout your house without removing any privacy.
- If necessary, divide the room into quadrants so you have distinct areas for sleeping, relaxing, doing work, and the like.
- For particularly small rooms, see if your furniture items can serve 2 or more purposes, such as using your bed as a sofa or office chair.
- Eat in your kitchen instead of the dining room. Dining rooms make a lot of sense for people that entertain guests regularly. However, they’re a bit out of place in tiny homes that don’t get a lot of visitors. To open up an extra room for more important things, clear out your dining room and eat in the kitchen instead.
EditUsing Furniture in Multiple Ways
- Purchase furniture that has multiple uses. When maximizing space, perhaps the best thing you can do is invest in furniture items that have 2 or more uses. Often referred to as smart furniture, these objects fulfill a main function, like seating, while hiding a second function within, typically additional storage.
- Common forms of smart furniture include storage cubes that double as foot rests, tables that come with drawers, and cabinets that contain a desk-like board you can pull out.
- Look for objects around your house that can serve multiple functions, such as a chair you can attach a storage bag to or a TV stand you can keep things on.
- You can often find cheap furniture at garage sales, thrift shops, and flea markets, many of which either serve multiple purposes or can be easily converted into multiple-purpose objects.
- Buy a loft bed or futon. Depending on how much room you have, a full-sized bed may not be a good option. Instead, try going with something that better utilizes the space around it. For tiny houses, a loft bed installed over your bedroom will open up a massive amount space. For houses where the bedroom doubles as the living room, buy a futon so you have both a couch and a bed.
- If you end up purchasing a regular bed, try to get a model that has drawers inside the bed frame.
- If you want to use your current bed, try holding it up on firm wooden blocks to create extra storage space underneath.
- Use a single table for multiple purposes. Try to replace multiple distinct tables, such as a dining room table, game table, and desk, into a single furniture item. This will open up a lot of additional space while providing the exact same level of functionality.
- If possible, convert your table into a storage area as well by placing a long tablecloth over it and hiding containers underneath.
- Attach shelves to stairwells and similar areas. Many houses have bulky areas in them that do little more than take up space. In most cases, you can outfit these spots with shelves and similar objects to make use of the extra room. Try turning the following places into storage areas:
- The spot above a door
- The area beneath a stairwell
- The backside of a couch
EditMaximizing Visual and Vertical Space
- Store items high on the wall. When possible, mount floating shelves on your walls to hold lightweight items like books, figurines, and small electronics. For bulkier items like musical instruments and potted plants, see if you can hang them by attaching adhesive hooks or anchor screws to the wall.
- Install a pot rack in your kitchen to hold cooking supplies. Bulky items like pots and pans can take up a lot of unnecessary space in your kitchen cabinets. To fix this, try hooking them onto a wall-mounted pot rack or similar device. This will open up a lot of extra space for heavier and more fragile items.
- Instead of a professional pot rack, try purchasing a large pegboard. This will allow you to arrange your supplies in any way you see fit, conserving space in the long run.
- Create an open-faced pantry to free up useful space. In many cases, concealed or walk-in pantries take up a lot of room they don’t need to. Creating an open-faced pantry with a free standing or wall mounted shelf system will better utilize the available space while encouraging you to pare down and organize the supplies you already have.
- Instead of using it to store food, keep bulky and non-perishable supplies in your pantry.
- Hang up drapes and mirrors to create the illusion of space. Even if a room is perfectly organized, it may still feel cramped and uncomfortable to live in. Thankfully, there are some ways to rectify this without taking up more room:
- Floor to ceiling curtains will create long lines along the wall, making your house look taller.
- Large mirrors will act like a portal to another room, making the area seem deeper.
- Paint your room with light or contrasting colors to make it look bigger. The color of your walls can alter how large or small your house looks. To make a room appear bigger, paint the walls a bright or pastel color. In addition, cover any wall trimmings in an even lighter shade of paint, creating a subtle contrast that makes objects look further apart. Some good color choices include:
- Baby blue
- Pastel green
EditDecluttering Your Space
- Throw out things you don’t need. For many people, organization issues stem not from a lack of room but from how many unnecessary items they own. To better conserve your space, get rid of anything that you don’t want or never use. This may include items like:
- Cookware that you haven’t used in the last 3 months.
- Old books, movies, and games that you don’t plan on returning to.
- Decorative items and knick-knacks that you no longer care about.
- Purchase storage containers that look good out in the open. When you’re living in a small house, you may not have a lot of room to hide bins, baskets, and other storage receptacles. Because of this, try to use containers that provide plenty of space but also look good. Some common examples include:
- Storage chests
- Vinyl equipment cases
- Decorative baskets
- Hat boxes
- Graphic bags
- Use bookshelves to create a more organized storage system. Though drawers are incredibly useful, they often end up storing things you don’t need and, in many cases, may not even want. Keeping items on a bookshelf or other open-faced shelving unit will help you create a more focused, useful storage system that cuts down on junk and puts the things you really love front and center.
- Use drawers and racks to maximize your closet space. Due to their odd shape, closets can be hard to organize effectively. To fix this, place thin dressers on the floor of the closet and install hanging racks, shelves, and similar items higher up. If you’re left with a small patch of unused space, fill it with a plastic storage container, basket, or similar item.
- If your house does not have a closet, keep your clothes in a dresser or similar container.
- Try keeping clothes and other small items inside purses, luggage containers, and similar objects.
- Purchase kitchen containers that stack. Often, kitchens fill up quickly because the owner purchases a lot of incompatible storage containers, dinnerware, cups, and similar items. To avoid this, do your best to purchase supplies that stack neatly together, limiting the amount of space each object takes up. This is especially important for tupperware containers since they’re often designed to be large and bulky.
- In addition to stacking items, keep small objects inside large containers like dutch ovens.