Smart Shelving Solutions: Clever Shelf Designs For Tiny Houses

tiny house shelf ideas


If you’re looking for the perfect way to create more storage space without sacrificing the perfect tiny home design, getting creative with shelving is a foolproof solution. Installing space-efficient shelving not only allows you to store important items but might even add the personalized touch that makes your house feel like home. Check out these tiny house shelf ideas and you’ll never look at stairs, windowsills, or desks the same way again.

ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

When I built my tiny home, I realized there’s a lot that can be done with blank walls! I started to see nooks, crannies, ad corners in a more functional way. Creative shelving is a great way to utilize these spaces and store what’s important to keep my home more organized.

ryan mitchell simple living expert

Why Do Shelves Make Great Storage In Tiny Homes?

Why Do Shelves Make Great Storage In Tiny Homes

Shelves are the perfect storage solutions for tiny homes because they allow you to create the perfect places to keep belongings, utilizing blank walls and corners without taking up precious floor space.

Shelves Make Great Storage In Tiny HousesUnlike other storage methods, where you find unique ways to tuck your items out of sight, installing shelves requires a slightly different mindset. There are a lot of perks and benefits to creative shelving that make it the ultimate tiny house storage solution.

One important note, though: No matter what type of shelves you’re planning, be sure they’re installed safely and with the appropriate support, or you could end up with a dangerous mess. And when in doubt, seek help from a professional.

Wall Shelves Free Up Floor Space

Shelves come in handy and serve an important function when storing items you need. This is especially true if you have pets, furniture, or other belongings that take up room on your floor.

The advantage of utilizing wall space is that you have plenty of room to move items up instead of down. A bonus? You’re less likely to trip or knock them over if they’re out of the way, and you won’t need to navigate your small space like a maze.

Shelves Multiply Storage Options

Shelves create space for storage by making good use of blank, empty walls and other nooks that otherwise go unnoticed and underutilized. I never let corners, ceilings, or out-of-reach spaces go to waste!

Shelves Make Items Accessible

Unlike other storage methods, you easily see your belongings when they’re on a shelf. While bins or drawers might be best to keep unsightly items hidden, shelves are perfect homes for coffee cups or even precious keepsakes, pictures, or books.

Wall Shelves Free Up Floor Space in tiny houses

book storage

Creative Tiny House Shelf Ideas

Creative Tiny House Shelf Ideas

Each tiny home is different from the next — homes reflect the value and personality of whoever lives there. When we walk inside someone’s home for the first time, we get a feel for their unique style or taste.

Shelves can be part of the formula that delivers this unique vibe, while also offering much-needed storage and function. When you’re looking for tiny house shelving ideas, you’ll find they’re a great way to give you some much-needed extra storage while also adding a personal touch to your home.

creative tiny house shelf storage
loft storage shelves in a tiny house

Loft Storage

We think of our tiny house lofts as places to sleep or rest. It’s not an area of our home that many people get to see up close. That’s why a loft is actually a great place to put shelves. Unlike the kitchen or living room, you don’t need to move around in a loft, so you can take advantage of the space.

Sturdy tiny house loft shelves can store blankets, clothes, shoes, and heavier items. They’re also convenient. If you’re chilly in the middle of the night, you can just reach up and grab a blanket or pair of socks!

high space storage shelving in tiny house

High Spaces

When I built my tiny house, I installed different-sized shelves in higher spaces, including right below ceilings and above windows. These often-ignored areas come alive with shelves of different sizes storing pillows, baskets, plants, or whatever else. Utilize these spaces to store items you don’t need all the time since they’re hard to reach.

Narrow Shelves in a tiny house

Skinny Or Narrow Shelves

Does your work or kitchen area need some organization? Easily store reference materials and office supplies on skinny shelves. Some designs even offer closed compartments to store pens or staplers. In the kitchen, use them to display your favorite plates, platters, cutting boards, or cooking magazines.

floating shelves in a tiny home

Floating Shelves

Tiny house floating shelves open up your space in simple ways. So how do they work? Floating shelves attach to walls with no visible means of support. It’s a simple look that keeps your tiny home organized and looking clean.

Install floating shelves in your kitchen to hold your favorite dishes, ceramic bowls, or fancy stemware. I installed some floating shelves in my bathroom, where space is extra limited, to easily store and access things I use regularly.

pegboard for shelving in tiny house


Pegboards are among the most versatile and space-efficient wall shelf ideas. These popular boards contain grid-like patterns of small, evenly spaced holes for you to display all kinds of items. Bowls, ladles, aprons, coffee mugs, or towels can easily fit on these spaces.

As your needs change, you can switch up the pegs. They’re made to be easily rearranged to store whatever you need from watches and jewelry to craft supplies. The possibilities are endless.

tiny house office

Finding Dual Purposes For Existing Surfaces

Finding Dual Purposes For Existing Surfaces
Since I moved into my tiny house, I’ve dedicated a fair amount of time to finding dual purposes to maximize my space. Sofas easily transform into beds. With very little effort, kitchen counters act as the perfect eating areas. Tiny house shelves can easily serve more than one purpose.

Stairs As Tiny House Shelf Ideas

With the right planning, stairs can be more than just the way we get up and down from our lofts. They can also store a few items we might not use all the time but want to keep — vases for flowers to welcome spring, your favorite cookbooks, or grandma’s platter that holds the turkey each Thanksgiving.

Just make sure the shelved items leave space for feet to move up and down without damaging any belongings.

dual purpose shelves in a tiny house

Office Desk And Shelf In One

If you need to save space in your office area, install some shelves to hold office supplies like notepads, highlighters, or heavier items like your computer monitor. Just make sure the bottom shelf is high enough for you to sit comfortably and big enough to do your work. Use the walls to anchor these shelves and ensure there’s a place for power cords to slip through.

small office setup in tiny house
office nook in small house
tiny house office in a closet nook

Use The Windowsill

Depending on the view, windowsills can be frames through which you see the world. Make use of them!

Consider decorating sills with smaller items that need some space. This includes plants, potted herbs, or small pictures. If you keep the windows open part of the year, be mindful of curtains, blinds, weather, or wind. You don’t want to knock anything over.

tiny house windows

Customized And Unique Tiny House Shelf Ideas

Customized Tiny House Shelf Ideas

Every tiny house is different so don’t be afraid to create your own shelves. This includes creative ideas such as tiny house ladder shelves, fold-out shelves in the ceiling, tiny house bathroom shelving and so much more. Make your shelves as unique as you are!

tiny house corner shelves

Corner Shelves

Corners provide perfect opportunities to create compact, designated spots for shelves in a space you otherwise couldn’t use for much. They’re also inexpensive and easy to install. Purchase ready-made corner shelves in a variety of styles or make your own from scrap or leftover materials. Consider these storage areas for items like keys, hats, shoes, scarves, purses, or wallets.

fold-out ceiling shelves in tiny house

Fold-Out Ceiling Shelves

Tiny house ceilings can be used for storage in a variety of ways. Easy-to-install shelves hang from ceilings in any room to create more space for clothes, kitchenware, or seasonal items you don’t need all year long.

Hidden shelves that fold out require a bit more skill to install. This is especially true if they go inside ceilings with handles that you pull down to retrieve items when needed. Either way, this is an underutilized space that doesn’t have to be!

tiny house custom built shelving

Custom-Built Shelves

Don’t feel like you have to go with what’s already out there. If you can’t find the perfect shelf, build your own! Make them suit your specific tastes whether you’re interested in outdoor sports, scrapbooking, or building birdhouses.

Make sure they’re as sturdy as you need them to be, especially if you’re storing bulky or heavy items. If you have a custom-built home, put together shelves for nooks and crannies, utilize unique spaces over desks or near windows, or install a tiny house over-toilet shelf. Think outside the box!

jars mounted under cabinets

Jars Underneath Shelves

Are you looking for ways to organize your small kitchen? Some people love the idea of jars for cookies or storing flour and other items without taking up space. A few jars can easily fit up and underneath shelves or pegboards in your kitchen.

Do this by drilling holes into jar tops and screwing them underneath the shelves where they stay put. Some people use magnets instead. This is also a great solution in bathrooms where the jars hold cotton balls, Q-tips, or other toiletries.

How To Choose The Right Shelves For Your Tiny House

How To Choose The Right Shelves For Your Tiny House

Take into account the following when considering tiny house shelf ideas

  • What do you want to put on the shelves?
  • How much do these items weigh?
  • How much floor space do you have vs. wall space?
  • Do you want to see the items or hide them from view?
  • How many things do you want to put on each shelf?

Measure your walls and the items you want to put on shelves. Remember, the overall goal is to create efficient storage where there isn’t much room. Let that be the ultimate guide when storing and displaying your belongings.

tiny house design ideas

Your Turn!

  • Which tiny house shelf idea do you think will work best in your space?
  • What storage struggles could you solve by getting creative with your tiny house shelving?

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