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14 Clever Storage Hacks from People Living in Tiny Houses

These tiny home dwellers reveal storage hacks so good you'll want to steal them for yourself!

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Beige couch standing against white wall with molding and watercolor poster in cozy living room interior

Less stuff, more space

More people are turning to a minimalist lifestyle; for some, that means moving into a tiny house with less than 600 square feet. While the tiny house lifestyle offers freedoms like less clutter and the ability to pick up and go, it also requires lots of creativity when it comes to how to store everyday essentials. If you are struggling with how to fit stuff in your own, not-so-small, home these hacks will be a lifesaver.

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tension rods
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Try tension rods


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“One of our best storage hacks is our tension rods under our sink!” shares Tim Davidson and Sam Cosner, who blog about living in their tiny home named Tiffany. Cosner says she wedged the rod between the two cabinet sides where it acts as a ledge to store kitchen products like boxes of trash bags and aluminum foil. A second rod holds spray bottles by their nozzle. There are actually 22 ways you can use tension rods to organize your life.

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floating shelves
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Try floating shelves


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“Shelves can often be squeezed into the smallest of spaces; like above a door frame,” explains Melanie Gnau, who lives in and writes about small spaces. Install a narrow shelf above the small gap between the door frame and ceiling. This gives you an out-of-the-way place to stash rarely used items.

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bed risers
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Try bed risers


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Turn your entire bed into a storage unit—no, not by piling stuff on the bed, but by using bed risers. You’ll gain instant storage space by lifting the bed three to five inches. Find out what organized people actually do on the weekend.

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rolling organizer
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Try a rolling organizer


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Look everywhere to find unused space, says Levi J. Green of Living Tiny OK, who explains that the most common empty space is the wall next to the shower/bathtub. He put tall, narrow cabinets that roll out on guides to use for soap and hand towels in his. If you can’t get your storage inside the wall, then the next best option is right up against the wall. Try a slim shelf on wheels, it rolls out when needed, and rolls out of the way, when not in use. You can better organize your bathroom by getting rid of these 10 items.

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double duty mirror
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Try a double-duty mirror


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Any time you can combine function and storage you win the storage game! Take the must-have, over the door, full-length mirror to another level by using one that doubles as a space-saving storage unit. You can stockpile a variety of accessories on the slim shelves hidden behind the mirror.

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corner shelving
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Try corner shelving


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Living by the values of minimalism is important to Macy Miller, blogger at MiniMotives, who lives in a tiny house with her husband, two children, and their dog. For essentials, Miller prefers open shelving. “It’s a great way to store kitchen gadgets as having them on view as a part of your aesthetics will allow you to reassess what is truly worthwhile.” Try an open shelf designed to fit in a corner for a great use of that awkward space. These are 12 things clutter-free people would never buy.

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cascading hangers
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Try cascading hangers


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Small space decorator, Brenda Pruitt, has lots of tricks for living tiny, but she emphasizes “none are as important as the use of vertical space. One way to use vertical space is with cascading clothes hangers.” One hanger takes up a lot less space while holding multiple garments. If you still need more closet space, follow these 9 genius rules for deciding which clothes to keep or toss.

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via amazon.com

Try hooks


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Gnau shares another hack, “simple utility hooks can be hung almost anywhere and are quick and easy to install, even for the beginning DIYer.” Try screwing a few into the bottom of a kitchen cabinet as a convenient place to hang your favorite coffee mug.

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Try magnets


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Apply a magnetized strip under a shelf and stick up magnetic storage containers filled with stuff. This works in the bathroom for makeup, the office for small supplies like paperclips, and in the kitchen for spices.

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nesting containers
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Try nesting


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“Toss out (recycle) your food storage containers and buy a uniform set so that every lid fits every bottom. At most keep two sizes, but one size is better,” suggests Ryan Mitchell author of Planning Your Tiny House. After you recycle the containers, check out the 13 items in your kitchen you need to throw out already.

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cute containers
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Try cute containers


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Blogger and photographer Sara Miedema of Little Harbor Home says she “loves using cute baskets and crates for storage.” Her reasoning? If you make visible storage aesthetically pleasing you won’t mind it sitting out. This works for bins placed on an open shelf, crates stacked in a corner, or baskets under an end table.

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recessed shelving
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Try recessed shelving


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Instead of shelves that jut out, try built-in shelving. Ethan Waldman says, “in my house the wall that divides the bathroom has built-in shelves. It’s perfect for holding small toiletries and other bathroom supplies.”

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hanging baskets
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Try hanging baskets


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“With small space storage, think of ways to store things not only horizontally, but vertically, as well,” Gnau says. This can mean hanging baskets which can be a great way to get things up off the floor. Think outside the basket, they’re not just for fruit in the kitchen; you can keep socks, toys, craft supplies, bath products, and just about anything else in them.

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pop up basket
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Try pop-up bins


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“The best way to store stuff in a small space is to simply have less stuff!” Miedema says. “We’re constantly editing and if something doesn’t fit—it’s gone!” Collect items to give away in a pop-up bin, it’s easy to grab and go when its time to donate, plus it folds flat when not in use. Next, read on for 50 organizing tips you’ll wish you knew all along.

Jamie Novak
Jamie Novak is a cleaning and organizing expert with more than 20 years of experience. When she's not on deadline, you can find her searching for the mango slicer that mysteriously disappeared from her kitchen utensil drawer. The author of "Keep This, Toss That: The Practical Guide to Tidying Up," she covers cleaning and organizing for RD.com.