Creative Solutions for Compact Living

People gravitate toward compact living for economic, environmental and health reasons. Tiny homes — micro-apartments, houses on wheels and detached auxiliary dwelling units — are affordable to buy, rent or build, less expensive to maintain, and generate fewer carbon footprints.

More importantly, a small residence can help you declutter your life. It forces you to rethink what you truly need and let go of junk possessions consuming space in your house and mind.

The problem is that most homeowners yearn for space — a luxury in a house with limited square footage. Thankfully, you can make any compact home intimate but not claustrophobic by incorporating these 10 creative organization solutions into the design.

Hidden Drawers

Hidden Drawers

Dead spaces are unused real estate. Bare staircases are a natural candidate for secret storage. Stairs’ treads and risers make excellent gussets and side panels to keep drawer boxes square. High-profile bed frames also fall into the same category.

These unexpected storage units can hold documents and miscellaneous items you seldom need but can’t throw away. Aside from keeping clutter out of view to help drive down your stress levels, locked hidden drawers make safer spots for emergency cash than air vents, vacuum cleaners, cat litter buckets and spring-loaded toilet paper holders. Including false bottoms adds an extra layer of privacy to precious items.

Foldable Seats and Tables

Foldable Seats and Tables

Mounting foldable dining chairs, stools, benches, office desks, countertops and nightstands is a neat way to keep your compact home minimalist. Such furniture eats little negative space, so an area can feel roomier than it is.

These pieces help you utilize vital high-traffic places, like dining areas. When not in use, you can easily tuck them onto the wall or cabinet panel to ensure your walkways are wide and unobstructed and keep them from interfering with the flow of movement.

Adjustable Shelving

Nothing maximizes wall space better than shelves with adjustable brackets. You can increase or decrease the number of layers as you see fit without drilling new holes. These shelves can handle items of various sizes and weights, ranging from small potted plants to bulky wicker baskets.

Fastening the surface mounts to wall studs lets you store heavier loads, like piles of books, and free up more floor space.

Expect prominent hardware visibility, though. Pick one close to your wall’s color or paint it if you want it to be less conspicuous.

Double-Duty Furniture

Double-Duty Furniture

Multidimensional furniture is a must-have for tiny homes. Almost every kind has a version with concealed compartments. Flip-top ottomans doubling as shoe racks, coffee tables masquerading as safes and mirrors housing slide-out jewelry boards are some of the countless ideas you can find.

If you’re looking to put together a home on wheels, you’ll additionally want to make sure everything stays in place. Most trailers come with unfinished plywood as flooring, allowing you to design the space from the ground up. Building shelves and compartments into heavier furniture like your bed can help keep everything in place when the home is in motion.

Rectangular Shelves

These boxy fixtures allow you to migrate the items congesting your tables to free up more counter area. Doorless cabinets require less clearance, allowing you to place them closer to a sofa or bed.

Floating shelves keep the floor underneath visible and bring more depth to your room. Round edges give them curves, which helps create a sense of spaciousness.

See-Through Canisters

Transparent containers render searching for dry goods painless and can hide in plain sight when half-empty. Stackable clear canisters can reflect and spread light to make your cooking area more airy and sit on top of one another to economize countertop surfaces.

Hook-and-Loop Fasteners

These fasteners can hold and secure anything challenging to contain, such as voluminous window coverings, coiled water hoses, tools with moving parts and sets of sports gear. They’re handy when organizing your wardrobe, pantry and kitchen. These closures are super helpful when childproofing hard surfaces and storage units containing hazardous substances, too.

Mesh Pouches

Net organizers are van-life staples you should use if you have a compact house on wheels. Still, hauling it can send your uncontained valuables flying when you make a turn.

Mesh pouches are made of compound material and are flexible enough to hold items of various sizes. They have velcro, so you can attach them anywhere you like. Larger nets optimized for fastening massive cargo while driving are also available.

Cable Organizers

Everyone knows keeping ropes of wire orderly is a nearly impossible task. Cable organizers can be a godsend. These devices are like hooks, except they have crevices designed to squeeze cables tightly to keep them where they are tangled. You can stick them behind cabinet doors to keep wires from being eyesores or to your charging nook’s adjacent wall.


These perforated boards aren’t just fantastic substitutes for toolboxes. They can also accommodate hooks and brackets — you can use them for shelving or hanging.

Mounting is optional because freestanding pegboards are a thing. Portable pieces spare you from drilling holes in your wall — which can be a hassle to patch — and keep interior design more adaptive to changing needs.

Make Every Inch of Your Compact Home Count

Organizational difficulties are synonymous with tiny homes. Although it’s a reality most people who choose compact living deal with, it’s not something you have to live with. These ideas prove you can solve any messy challenge when you familiarize yourself with ingenious storage solutions and think outside the box.

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