Undoubtedly you’ve found yourself scanning through TV or surfing the web and come across a home so small you can hardly believe someone could live in it, let alone choose to live in it. But the reality is that the “tiny house movement,” or perhaps better called “downsizing” to a more humble abode, is real and has only just begun to get the attention it deserves.
Here at ShipShape, we have been living the tiny house lifestyle for almost a decade (we’ve even written about our 360 sq foot life here and here). We love our dear cottage not just for its undeniable charm but also because it proved to be a challenge that only honed our organizing skills that much more. So if you find yourself intrigued with the tiny house life (or perhaps still can’t wrap your head around it), here are some suggestions we’ve gleaned from our experience:
- Choose the best item money can buy. Whether you are in a tiny or tremendous space everything matters. Don’t buy cheap, buy smart. Make it something you are in love with that will last the test of time. This applies to furniture, furnishings, clothes and such.
- Build up. Use your vertical space. Go as high as possible with shelves, closets, bookcases and storage cabinets.
- Donate often. Keep an active donate box or bag handy. Once it’s full donate it. In NYC we love Housing Works. In Oakland we love The Depot for Creative Reuse. Find your own favorites.
- Think outside the box. Our ottoman also serves as a holding place for current papers and filing. Flip the top over and it’s a cocktail tray.
- Create zones. Even in a small space, you will want a lot of the same features of a bigger home. Instead of rooms we created zones. The bigger room encompasses a living room, dining room, office and kitchen zone.
- Shop small. Avoid buying bulk items unless you are one of the lucky few to have lots of storage space. It may be tempting to have 50 rolls of toilet paper or 3 bottles of ketchup but think of the valuable space it take up.
Following these simple tips will help you live large in a small space. Remember: just because your space is tiny, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t fill it with everything that makes you… you! Use the nice dishes, flatware, linens and other fancy items. Why wait!