Tiny home owners know that they have to be efficient and well-organized.
Everything must be planned, everything has its place, and nothing can simply be left out. After all, you don’t have room to throw your shoes wherever you want.
Having the shoes on the floor means your table can’t fold in, which means you can’t get to the bathroom. All tiny homeowners have experienced this chain of events at least once in their time, and it’s better not to make it an everyday occurrence.
What are the best ways to make sure you’re maximizing your space? We’ve already covered some great storage ideas, but now we’re going to be looking at different techniques or “policies” you can enforce in your home.
Ready to begin? Let’s jump in.
Watch Your Clutter
Everyone has that “stuff” pile or box at home. It could be a combination of old clothes, souvenirs, memory items, or unwanted gifts. It’s just...stuff. Chances are, you’ve got a lot of stuff. Stuff is everywhere. Americans spend about $1.2 trillion on stuff they don’t need every year.
When you’re moving into your tiny house, you really need to put everything in one of two piles: essential and non-essential. While the majority of your clothes will be essential, your sneaker collection may not be. There is no gray area when it comes to these two piles, so make sure and divide it up. If you still need to downsize further, you can sort maybe and essential to slowly pair down your wardrobe. Tak the "maybes" out of the closet, and see if you miss them over the next few weeks.
Everything Has a Place
Just like the game of Operation, everything you own needs to have its own designated space. There shouldn’t be a place of “well, sometimes this is for raincoats, and other times, it’s where I hang the fruit basket.”
All of your items need to have a dedicated space, and it needs to stay that way. Not only will you be maximizing what you have, but it’s going to keep everything organized. Don’t fret if it takes you a few days to figure out the logistics, but make sure you’re finding a space for everything.
Speaking from personal experience, when we stray from this system, our tiny home gets cluttered-feeling real quick.
Make a Schedule
If you’re sharing the tiny house with someone else, chances are you’re going to be in each others' way at times. That’s why a schedule is incredibly important.
One of you may need to be working while the other is in another space watching their favorite series on a laptop. Take turns cooking and decide who will be in charge that night, unless your lucky enough to have a full two-butt kitchen. Ours is more like a one and half butt kitchen.
For us, the morning schedule is most important. One of us will get up 10-15 minutes before the other one to avoid bathroom and closet access conflicts.
Having a schedule means you’ll be running into each other less and making the most out of your tiny living space. Having the other person in mind will make your shared tiny home experience even better.
Use Every Space Possible
Similar to storage-saving techniques, you need to be thinking about using every piece of space imaginable for something. Whether that’s storage, fold-out furniture, or a place to hang something, think about how you can use your space.
For instance, we added two hooks on an open space on the wall, between the couch and kitchen counter, just for hanging my backpacks—one for each of us.
There really is no wrong way to do things. It is your tiny home and your methods. Do whatever works best for you to organize and save space.
Be a Clean Machine
In an average-size home, you can leave that pile of laundry on the bed for a few hours or tell yourself you’ll worry about the dishes later. In a tiny home, that really isn’t going to fly.
Your mind should be ABC (always be cleaning) to make sure you’re using all of your space. Suddenly, that pile of laundry could evolve to a mountain that’s not only occupying the bed but also occupying the floor.
Make it a habit to take care of things as soon as they’re finished. As soon as you finish a meal, make sure to clean up and wash all of the dishes. It just feels good to declutter your space by putting things away promptly, and actually, only take a few minutes.
Be a Smart Shopper
When you’re out looking for new items, really think about how they would fit into your tiny home. No longer can you buy that great wall clock just because you like it, but instead you need to think about how exactly it would fit and where it would go.
Make sure you’re narrowing down your shopping list and thinking about what you truly need to buy instead of just what you’d like to have. Read this post about what we call "intentional shopping."