While researching small houses, one of the aspects at the top of almost all homeowners “want” lists is adequate storage. This can be particularly challenging in a small house where every inch of it must be well used. Clutter is also much more apparent in a small space – so having a place to store all items becomes even more important than when living in a larger house.

Although many people are willing to downsize to a smaller house, they want to be able to take a good percentage of their belongings with them. This requires a good amount of creativity when designing the space. Many of the storage areas are built in, so they need to be planned in the design stage.

I have seen many interesting ways that architects/designers have found to use the space that exists to achieve the best storage in the small space that exists. The most common way way to include storage in the house is with a variety of types of built-ins. Cabinets and bookshelves are the most common types of storage used in homes. But there are also other types of creative ways to store items.

One excellent way to find storage is in crannies and areas that would otherwise not be used. Below is an example of storage created under the built-in bed and to the sides of it.

Special racks have been designed for storing athletic equipment. Above is a photo of a rack holding several bicycles. This was designed for two avid bikers living in a 1462 square foot house. Without a garage to store the bikes, this was an ideal plan.

Architect Scott Mooney designed his 624 square foot accessory dwelling unit (ADU) with storage on the exterior of the house. The storage can be accessed from the interior as well as the exterior.

Open shelving in metal and wood provide storage for books, small appliances kitchen ware, craft items and so on. These shelving systems can be easily bought in stores and on-line at a variety of hardware and specialty stores such as The Container Store, Home Depot and IKEA.

One impressive way to add storage was found in a very creative house design by GO Logic. For this house in Freeport Maine, they created storage unit as a division between private areas and the living space. Minimal hallways is an optimal design concept in a small house so that energy is conserved and less excess building is required. This wall unit has open shelving and built-in lighting.

The more creative the storage space, the more open and spacious the house will feel.



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