One thing I talk about a lot is taking care to design your storage in your tiny house very carefully. Making your storage work for you is very important because in such a small space, to not have an ideal setup for you can make things tough.
My initial drawing of my closet plan.
When I first approached designing my main closet, I knew that I’d be storing mainly clothing, a few containers of office items and toiletry items. So with this in mind I knew that the bulk of the space should be dedicated to clothes. Not only should it be dedicated to clothes, but designed to suit the way I store my clothes.
I have written about my dislike for clothes in general, obviously I need something to wear, but trends, fashions and shopping is something I could do without. For me I don’t like anything that needs to be hung. I basically have one jacket, one suit, and one button down dress shirt. I measured how much this takes up and it only needed 4 inches of hanging rod, I added 2 inches for good measure and that’s all I dedicated to hanging items. I much prefer to have things stacked or piled if it won’t wrinkle too bad. So for that me that meant drawers.
I needed one drawer for socks and underwear, one drawer for shirts, one drawer for pants and shorts and another for other miscellaneous items. I then needed a single drawer that was over sized for my dirty laundry until laundry day. This totaled 5 drawers in total, with one being much larger than the others.
So here is a video which in the beginning shows of my closet space in its raw form.
From there I built the outside walls and the main interior wall out of 3/4″ birch ply. Right now its in a raw form, I will later face it out with 1×2 trim parts. After that I decided to take a crack at building the drawers. This was also the most technical part of the closet because I wanted to make the drawers from scratch and to do that I wanted to use a technique called dove tail joints. The exterior of the drawer unit was made of more birch ply, but the drawers themselves were made of poplar. I should note, I am brand new at this stuff, I’ve never done it before, so its certainly not perfect; I just call the mistakes “charm”.
Here you can see the outside of the main drawer bank. I used dados that would later become the drawer slides. I opted for a wooden style drawer slide because I really liked the look compared to what it would look like with the metal slides. Also quality drawer slides are very expensive, so all around I’m happy with my choice.
One thing to note is you’ll see on the top I used pocket screws made with a kreg jig (these are amazing, get them here), I opted to put these on the top side because I’m going to put a top piece of wood that will cover the holes completely.
You can see the dado cuts on the inside for the drawer slides
Better view of dados
Top pocket screw holes will later be hidden by another piece of wood.
Next I tried my hand at making dove tails. Technically I used “half blind” dovetails. The jig I used was a dove tail jig from porter cable, which you can find by clicking here. This jig made it pretty easy and was great for this project.
Routing the dovetails in my jig
The finished joint, I love the contrast.
Next up I cut the drawer bottoms, which I was going to seat in a internal dado of the drawer box, but then I decided to do the drawer slides like this. So I made the drawer bottoms 1/4″ too big on each slide and they nested in the 3/8″ dados really well. After tacking it all together, I dropped it in the dresser and then mounted the drawer pulls. Here is the final drawers. The gaps are not perfect, but I’m pretty happy with them none the less.
Books are my biggest weakness when it comes to living the tiny life. I love to read and if I could just have a tiny house filled with books, my life would be complete. I got rid of a lot of my books when we moved in to La Casita and while I’m debating getting a Nook or other such tablet, I love the feel of reading a book. I’m not sure I can adapt wholeheartedly to the technological versions of reading. Below are some quirky and creative solutions to the book storage dilemma!
The ultimate in utility! I wouldn’t even have to get up to grab my favorite novel! I can live with that. Question is can I fit it in the house?
What a great idea for an old ladder! Love re-purposed projects like this. It’s what our tiny house is all about!
Brilliant storage idea for rafter space.
Super fun mod chair. Not the best for storage but I love the design!
This modern couch could double as a sleeping space on top of being storage. I’m always looking for multiple functions in any piece of furniture for a tiny house. If I was really going to fulfill my heart’s desire I would ask the public library to let me park in their backyard. That would be he perfect living situation for me!
What do you have the most trouble storing in a tiny house?
What have you parted with in order to live the tiny life?
As we’ve come to find out in La Casita, it’s not always easy to find a balance between small space living and adequate storage. As avid cyclists and tiny house dwellers it has been a challenge to find solutions to keeping our bikes protected from the elements. Charleston is a humid city, winter or summer, and between the ocean and sand, it’s hard enough to keep bikes in decent shape. The best option would be indoor storage. As much as we’d like to have our bikes inside, it’s not possible for our space so we’ve come up with a solution that, so far, is proving helpful.
For purported material reducers, we have a lot of bikes. Cedric has a road bike and an extra-cycle. I have a commuter bike, a visitors bike and we bought a tandem this past spring. I’ve also got a new road bike arriving in March. It’s rather ridiculous to have 5 bikes between us and a 6th on the way but cycling is our passion and we can’t seem to help ourselves. We’d been keeping the bikes locked to our trailer but the wear and tear of the elements has proved harsh and we’ve finally had to come up with a better way to protect them than just throwing a tarp over them. Between the rain and the wind a tarp wasn’t doing the job. We were also keeping bikes stored in our car but now that we have a dog we need more space in order to store Asher’s kennel. Our neighbor offered us space to store a bike or two but we use all our bikes on a regular basis and the convenience of walking out our door and hopping on our bikes is invaluable to us.
One solution Cedric and I had considered were awnings. We had every intention of making awnings this past summer but, instead, we decided to go on a 3 month bicycle tour. So upon our return we still did not have a decent outdoor storage space for our trusty steel steeds. This holiday season we finally made it happen. A friend of ours found amazing vinyl material on the side of the road that looked to have been a huge pool cover. Cedric cut it up, pounded grommets in to it and we strung it with para cord to hooks on the side of our house and connected it to the apartment beside us. We had a cold front move in a few days ago with lots of driving rain and wind. The awning worked like a charm. It not only kept everything dry but also well protected from flying debris.
Besides being a bike cover, the awning is a vast improvement to our outdoor space. If we need to work outside or want to relax out of doors we have a space now, rain or shine. It will serve as a protective cover from the sun in the summer and it creates a much more enjoyable space to entertain outside the house. There are other options out there for folks who wish to store their bikes indoors. There are great bike hangers that can work well which can be bought or made. I really like the idea of a bike mount attached to an outside wall of the house, which a friend of ours is doing on his tiny house. It’s really about planning a space for items as bulky as bikes although a folding bike is another option and there are some excellent models out on the market these days. The best solution is one that best fits your daily needs. I’d love to hear what you’ve come up with!
How do you store cumbersome belongings in a tiny house?
Any suggestions on better bike storage in tiny spaces?
So just a little bit ago I spoke about how many people are turning to having everything put into a central cube of sorts, with the bed on top. Here is another one that does just that. The really awesome thing I like about this is the underfloor storage that doesn’t have handles but instead uses a suction cup handle to lift it open. This leaves a much cleaner look without the need for handles.