7 Smart Storage Solutions for Small Spaces

7 Lessons Learned from Tiny Homes

modern living room with large windows and globe pendant lights

Astronaut Images / Getty Images

Once, attics and basements housed extra furniture, winter clothes, and holiday decorations. Now, it can be tough to find a smaller home or apartment with enough storage space to handle important items you don't use every day.

To solve the problems, decorators and architects have taken on the challenge of creating storage space in very small spaces. If you're starved for storage space, these seven lessons learned from tiny homes will help you accomplish the seemingly impossible task of creating more room.

  • 01 of 07

    Go Vertical

    top view of tiny kitchen with shelves and storage high on walls

    Vertical space often goes to waste in most homes. But that's not the case with this tall tiny house by Pod Idladla. The 185 square foot home takes shelves almost to the ceiling to create room to stow seasonal items and household supplies.

    Tip: Make vertical storage a treat for the eyes. Colorful shelving, good-looking storage containers, and beautiful lighting will add visual interest to your space.

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  • 02 of 07

    Slatwall Shelving

    slat wood shelves above bed with rectangular window
    Purple House

    This tiny home in Portland, Oregon uses slatwall panels to create super flexible storage space. The slats, not bolts, secure the shelves to the wall, which makes it a snap to add, rearrange or remove shelving whenever the mood strikes.

    Tip: Check out the two nightstands in the photo. Slatwall shelving can eliminate the need for space-hogging tables.

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  • 03 of 07

    Under Floor Storage

    woman in under floor storage space in tiny home
    Brevard Tiny House

    If you're a homeowner who's pinched for storage space the solution you need may be hiding under your floorboards. The builders at Brevard Tiny House created the hidden compartment shown here by cutting out a section of flooring.

    Tip: Furniture, like a coffee table, can also conceal hidden storage space.

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  • 04 of 07

    Creative Outdoor Storage

    storage space under wooden steps
    The Small House Catalog

    Here's an idea that puts exterior steps to work. The staircase leading to this tiny house's front door doubles as shoe storage. It's also a perfect place to stash garden tools and supplies.

    Tip: Here are more staircase storage ideas.

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  • 05 of 07

    A New Way to Stash a Bed

    murphy beds in small bedroom with wood floors
    Minim House

    Sure, Murphy beds are ideal for tiny homes and small apartments because they maximize floor space. But Minim House came up with an alternate solution that some may find easier to manage on a daily basis.

    Underneath the 5-foot-by-7-foot office area in the photo above, is storage space for a full-sized bed. Even better, the bed easily glides in and out of place using locking casters.

    Tip: Loft beds and pack useful storage space.

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  • 06 of 07

    Clever Built-ins

    disappearing staircase in tiny home that leads to loft
    Zoku Amersterdam

    Loft-like micro-dwellings feature practical built-ins that make them feel more like tiny homes than temporary crash pads. One favorite is the disappearing staircase shown here. When retracted into the walls, it creates more floor space while revealing hidden wall storage.

    Tip: If you can't build additional storage into your walls, then you should consider room dividers.

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  • 07 of 07

    Double Duty Furniture

    furniture that provides storage in tiny kitchen
    Bayview Tiny House

    Designed by students at Andrews University School of Architecture, this home features simple built-in furniture that doubles as storage space. The dining area, which also functions as a workspace, provides places to stow stuff underneath and behind each seat.