The tiny house movement is huge in the US, with over 10,000 tiny homes in existence. However, because they’re so much smaller than other houses, tiny homes can look very cluttered, very quickly.
Whether you live in a tiny home – or a larger one! – and don’t know where to start with organizing all of your stuff, then read on, as Connecticut-based interior designer Katie Geddes shares her top tips for maximizing space in your home.
Five top tips for maximizing space in the kitchen
The kitchen is the perfect place to start decluttering and organizing. Follow these tips for a kitchen that feels spacious, regardless of its size and layout.
1. Invest in double-duty items
To maximize space, invest in items that can perform multiple tasks. For example, look for coffee machines that can also make espresso, or cooking pots that sauté, boil, and steam – as well as being able to go in the oven.
Every square inch of your kitchen is precious real estate, so multi-tasking appliances really are your best friends here.
2. Look beyond your cabinets for storage
Cabinets are a great place to store items – but they’re not the only option in a small kitchen. Look up – my favorite spot to store pans is on a ceiling rack over the stove! Not only does it look super cool, but it also saves you a load of space. If that doesn’t work with the configuration of your kitchen then not to worry, hanging them on a rack on a nearby wall will have exactly the same effect.
3. Group items before you organize
When it comes to organizing your kitchen cupboards to optimize your space, make sure you remove all items from your cupboard and group them together before you start organizing. This means you can naturally pare down on any items that you don’t often use.
I’d also recommend investing in several clear food storage bins, which work perfectly as organizers for your drawers, refrigerator and pantry; and purchase a lazy Susan or tiered racks for your spices. You could also install pull-out drawers in your lower cabinets to store away dishes – whilst still making sure they’re easy to access. Just don’t forget to label everything!
4. Give every place a home
Everything in your kitchen belongs somewhere. Whenever you enter the kitchen, look around to check if everything is in its place. If something is left lying around, then put it away. If you find an item that’s not meant for the kitchen, then put it in a basket at the bottom of the stairs, which you can take up the next time you head up there. This only takes a minute of your time, but will save you an hour later on in the day!
5. Decide which appliances are essential
With limited space, some items are considered essential, whereas others are less necessary. It’s all down to your personal preferences and habits – a toaster may be essential, but if you drink coffee, then a coffee maker is essential. Unless used often, appliances like ice cream makers, popcorn machines, mixers and toaster ovens are less essential.
Maximizing space in the lounge
In a tiny home, you ideally want your lounge to double up as a guest room, so invest in a sleeper sofa. There are so many options out there, but to make the most of your space, focus on the silhouette: look for a slim sofa – especially when it comes to the arms and legs.
When choosing an accent table, look for a round coffee table/ottoman/storage combo. These are great because:
- The round shape will open up the room and allow a flow of traffic
- You can use your table as either a coffee table or a foot stool
- You can store your sheets and blankets for overnight guests in here
If you want to have a side table too, make sure it has plenty of storage options – whether that’s a bottom shelf, or space to put a basket underneath.
Maximizing space in the dining area
To optimize the space in your small dining room, the best advice I can give is to take advantage of the corners, and where possible, install banquet bench seating. Pair with a round tulip table and a scattering of low-arm and low-back chairs for the perfect combo. Style the benches with some pillows to make your room look extra cozy.
Maximizing space in the bedroom
Bed risers are your saviour in a tiny home! It may not be feng-shui approved, but they mean you’ll have a ton of storage under your bed. Buy clear bins that you can label, so you can easily access all of your stuff.
I love to flank the edge of the bed with a vintage trunk, as it stores your clothing in the off-season, and gives you a space to display décor and books, or be used as extra seating.
Maximizing space in the bathroom
The bathroom is usually the smallest space in your home, so optimizing what you have can be tricky! It can easily get cluttered and messy, so my first tip is to get a medicine cabinet.
You also shouldn’t forget your door, as it’s the most underused spot in the bathroom. Replace the robe hook with an over-the-door rack to double your storage space – perfect for linens.
Maximizing space in the attic
If you have an attic in your tiny home, you likely have a pitched roof to contend with, as well as the perimeter space being underutilized. Purchase bins of all sizes, so you can stack your large and small bins on top of each other, to make sure all of your precious space is used.
Make sure you install plenty of utility hooks in the rafters too, for hanging décor, bags and wardrobe closets.
Five top tips for making the most of your space in a tiny home
- When buying furniture, make sure you check the size and scale of each piece in relation to the room. Choose slim silhouettes, as they will make your space feel bigger.
- Have a clear out of your closets, drawers and cabinets every season.
- Buy appliances that multi-task.
- Set up an “in and out policy”. Only buy things you need, not want. And if you really do want it, then pick an item at home to donate.
- Sell any unwanted items on Facebook Marketplace for extra cash.
For more organization hacks and tips, check out our blog.
Get to know interior designer Katie Geddes
Katie Geddes is the owner and lead designer of Katie Geddes Interiors, located in the downtown area of Milford, CT. Her career in interior design began in preschool where she spent every recess tirelessly rearranging the play area, organizing toys and tidying up after her classmates. Okay – it’s a silly but very true story. Even as a young child, this was something that she considered fun, and was really good at it. She’s been honing her craft ever since.
After graduating from Salve Regina University in Newport, RI she worked alongside a super-talented interior designer in Portland, ME where her horizons opened and her passion for interiors flourished. All of her design creations artfully layer mixed styles, functionality and effective solutions, stemming from her love of design and organization – which she calls the power couple. She loves nothing more than rolling up her sleeves and digging into a project – hard work “feels good” to her, most likely due to her being born and raised in Maine.
She now calls Connecticut home, but has clients from all over New England and New York. Follow her on Instagram at katiegeddesinteriors