Tips and Tricks for Maximizing Storage Space in a Tiny House, Van, or Skoolie
Tiny home living has become more and more popular in recent times and there are so many reasons why! Tiny living is able to facilitate a lifestlye with lower costs of living, more freedom to travel, and increased environmental friendliness. Taking that first step and downsizing to live tiny can be a major challenge though. Due to the nature of tiny living, it is important that every available inch of space is utilized. While finding storage for things can be difficult at times, there are many innovative options out there for maximizing available space in a van, bus, RV, or tiny home!
Underbed storage is a popular choice as it greatly expands storage space without giving up any living area! Beds with storage underneath can really expand the amount of items that can be carried on the road. Below is an example of underbed storage in a full-size bus conversion. This technique provides space for storage that wouldn’t have been available without careful planning and utilization of every inch of space.
Vanlife is typically the smallest of the tiny house options, with most campervan living spaces between 60 and 85 square feet. Sine the space is even more limited in this type of tiny living it carries its own set of challenges. Multi-use spaces like convertible dinette seating and “garage” storage under platform beds in this lifestyle are a must have! In the photo below her table folds away for extra space, the bed is lifted for storage, and there is also storage under the bench she is seated on!
Additionally, this van has tons of space in the “garage”!
And finally, the picture below is an example of built-in under bed storage in a converted ambulance.
Other ways to maximize storage in tiny living include using pieces of furniture that are multi-functional. Lift top coffee tables with storage can convert to a dining table in a pinch or even a desk when it’s time to work from home! When not in use, adding wheels make it easy to roll out of the way.
There are many couches available that convert to beds for company and many even have an additional section that lifts up for storage. Ottomans that convert or open for storage add even more space.
In the kitchen, magnetic spice racks can free up valuable cabinet space while keeping all the spices at the ready for cooking. As a bonus, magnets secure the spices in place when the tiny home is in motion! These can be made from anything and there are different ways to hang them, a few of which are demonstrated below.
Drop down tables are another innovative space saving idea. These maximize space by pulling up for use, but then dropping down flush with a surface when not needed, thereby allowing use of the space for other things. A pop-up table and butcher block cutting board really expand the counter space in the kitchen below!
Another area that is often overlooked as a possible storage space is under the stairs. Under-stair storage can be utilized in many ways. It can be anything from open cubbies to cabinets, to pull out drawers, even drawers in landings. These areas can really expand that amount of storage available in a home with limited space.
Pull-out pantries allow for the utilization of layers of space so that every inch can be used. Not only does it free up cabinet space for the storage of other items, it keeps the items accessible AND hidden away in a tiny space that would have likely been wasted in a full size home.
High shelving can also be a space saver, as it’s above the functional living space, so things are up and out of the way, but accessible. People living tiny lifestyles often store plants up high or books.
Pocket doors or barn style doors are great space saving tiny home hacks, as they don’t have to swing open one way or the other, therefore, they can fit in tiny spaces but still provide privacy and separation of spaces.
Fold-down desks or tables can really expand the space and functionality of an area. The picture below is a fold down table that is divided so the family can use all of it or only half. This couple home schools their three children, so it is also used as a desk when school is in session!
In conclusion, nothing can compare to the breathtakingly beautiful lifestyle that living tiny makes possible! It opens the door to amazing nomadic lifestyle adventures, but has some challenges as well. These are just a few examples of what’s available to maximize storage space and also satisfaction with life lived tiny!