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Tiny House Principles for All of Us

Although we may find tiny houses fascinating, many of us do not plan to actually live in one. Still, there are many lessons they can teach us about design and organization no matter the square footage of our homes.
Here are 5 ideas inspired by the Tiny House movement:
  1. A Place for Everything.  Everything you own needs a home. In a small space, especially, interior “real estate” is valuable. Evaluate your possessions – those you already own and those you think about buying – through this lens. Make sure all your things are space-worthy!
  2.  Use Space Creatively. Tiny House designers know that necessity is the mother of invention. They can inspire you to think out of the box, and you can glean plenty of ideas from the many books, social media, and TV shows the movement has spurred. It’s good to get a reality check, however, so, if possible, consult an architect, builder, designer, or organizer to see if and how these ideas can materialize within your space and budget.
  3. Recycle and Repurpose. For the sake of the earth and your wallet, look at what you already own or can get used before you build, remodel, or reorganize. My godson, Eli Shanks, repurposed a school bus to make a home for himself and his family. On a less ambitious level, you might use wood from your old kitchen cabinets to refigure something new. All kinds of things you already have or can easily find can be used for storage from orange crates to vintage suitcases and lunchboxes.
  4. Think Vertical and Multifunctional. Take advantage of wall space. Use one tall dresser instead of two wide ones, floor to ceiling bookcases, modular wall units, and wall-mounted bedside light fixtures.  If Tiny House sleeping lofts inspire you, you don’t have to build a new story to accommodate one. You can build or buy a structure with a bed on top and room to put furniture underneath or even one that includes a built-in desk and storage.
  5. Beware Clutter Creep! Clutter can make a tiny house impossible to navigate, but even in homes with a larger footprint excessive clutter can crowd and overwhelm. Assigning a place for everything (No. 1) is essential, but returning everything to its home is necessary too. If this doesn’t come naturally to you, a professional organizer has strategies that can help you cultivate this habit.