Beginning a journey to live more simply…

Archive for the ‘storage solutions’ Category


Thursday, December 29th, 2011:

We opted to utilize a bench seat at the desk/table that would both serve as a place to sit as well as a storage bin.

How many times do we have ‘things’ in our hands when we walk into our homes? And how many times do these things just get dumped on the nearest flat surface until we know what to do with them?

That’s how clutter happens, and when space is so limited clutter must be minimized at all costs. The storage bin will serve as our staging area for the random things coming into our lives as we determine what to keep and what to send along its way…

We are grateful to have such skilled and talented friends! Many thanks to Bugs Reaka for building our hand-made bench!


Entry closet / “Mud Room”.

Friday, October 28th, 2011:

Trimmed out the entry closet and put up a closet bar for hanging coats and other clothing. This closet will serve as our ‘mud room’ of sorts. We’ll keep our cleaning tools, outer wear, and other such things in this space. Directly below the closet is a small cubby that houses the cat’s litter box.

One of the many selling points when considering this project was Jay Shafer’s comment about not having a lot of house to clean. A simple brush and dust pan will serve us well on a daily basis.

For deeper cleaning, we did want to have a vacuum available. However, given that the house is such a small space, we quickly realized that using and stowing a normal size vacuum was not realistic.

We’ve used various things like dust busters and sharks in the past, and have found them useful for a localized messes, but we weren’t as confident about relying on them for an entire cleaning project.

After a bit of on-line research, we found a very simple, yet powerful hand-held vacuum: The Dyson DC35.

As a hand-held vacuum, it is small enough to stow away in the back of the entry closet, but really is powerful enough to suck up everything we’ve used it for so far, including construction debris. To be honest, it is a bit shocking how well it works. One really does expect only so much from a hand-held vacuum. This little thing defies stereotype. We feel it is the perfect solution for our tiny place.

Shelving in the Kitchen.

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011:

We had our first Ikea experience on our recent trip to Portland and the Oregon coast. Woah.

While there, we fell in love with some storage solutions for the Tiny House’s kitchen. We purchased and have now installed some items from their stainless steel Grundtal collection, including a dish rack/drainer, spice rack, and small stainless shelf.

What we like most about these pieces is how they take advantage of flat wall space for hanging things, creating a vertical storage solution. We think it is a great fit in the tiny house!

Interestingly, it appears that many items at Ikea are only available through in-store purchase. We had hoped to be able to order these items once home from our trip. Turned out we could not.

We did, however, discover an enterprising person who helps solve this problem for folks like us who don’t live anywhere near an Ikea store. will take your list and do your Ikea shopping for you, then ship it directly to you for a reasonable mark-up. We did pay extra for our items, but found the service fair and a good alternative to making the 6 hour drive to our nearest Ikea store.

Great Room Shelving.

Friday, October 21st, 2011:

Continuing to take a good look at how to best maximize space in the ‘Great Room’. A few walls lent themselves well to shelving, so we’ve tried out our hand at shelf-making.

While shelving is a great way to take advantage of limited but usable space we do have one unique challenge to address: Cats.

To add another layer of ‘crazy’ to this adventure we’re not just fitting two people into this tiny space, but will be bringing along two very active and curious cats.

As cat owners know, shelves -and all items on them- are fair game. So, with an open mind and some strategy, we’ve installed a set of 1X8 pine shelves in a few intentional locations. These shelves, as with many features in the place, will have multiple uses: portions will hold baskets for storage, while other portions will serve as a cat-tree system to allow our small companions autonomous access to the sleeping loft as well as a nook in the storage loft that will house a hidden ‘blanket-nest’ for when they are feeling less social.

We’re still having a blast with this project! Getting closer and closer…

The Great Room to date.

Thursday, October 6th, 2011:

A tour of the Great Room to date.

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Next step: identify ways to maximize space with shelving.

Cubbies Complete.

Saturday, October 1st, 2011:

Wrapped up another one of those ‘small projects’ by completing the little storage cubbies wich form the armrests of our couch.

Each cubby stands 28 1/2″ tall, about 7″ wide, and 17″ deep. They consist of four small compartments ideal for shoe storage and as a home for other smallish things that will take well to some stuffing.

When utilizing the couch as a twin size bed, the cubbies will pull out and form the base of the ‘other half’ of the bed that hangs over the couch frame. It was fun designing for multi-use capabilities, one of the more enjoyable parts of this project…

A comfortable couch.

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011:

The couch/storage ensamble is becoming a more welcoming place for spending time with friends and loved ones.

We’ve taken delivery of a twin-size Bella Sera Mattress Topper from The Natural Sleep Store and will be using it to form the seat and couch back. The topper consists of a 2″ thick core of firm natural latex rubber protected by an organic cotton and organic wool zippered cover.

This setup has made for a very comfortable space in the Great Room. When needed, the couch will also be able to transform into a twin size bed. Versatile and practical, we’re pleased with how this particular project has turned out.

Now to work out some form of a removable protective cover to keep that cotton/wool cover white for a while…

A couple of storage cubbies.

Monday, September 12th, 2011:

Spent a bit of time after work creating some of the storage solutions we have in mind for the tiny house.

These two particular pieces will have multiple functions as they’ll serve as storage space for shoes and such, armrests for the couch, as well as pull out to create supports for when we convert the couch into a twin size bed.

Each cubby measures 28″ high X 7 1/4″ wide X 17 1/4″ deep and were constructed out of pine 1X8s and 2″ screws. Next step will be to build in adjustable shelving, creating 3 or 4 compartments within each unit.

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