Storage Solutions for Small Homes

It happened again.  Someone who met me for the first time and found out we have twelve children told me we should have our own TV show.  Uh, no.  Next they asked if we live in a big house.  Uh, no.  Average-sized house, teeny-tiny laundry room.
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Since we only have six children at home, there are eight of us living and working at home.  That’s “stuff” times eight.  Plus two, as we still store stuff for the two guys in college.
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Over the years we’ve adapted and learned a few tricks for keeping the house neat and storing stuff out of sight.
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The first rule for storage solutions is to have less stuff to store.  Keep an eye on the amount of things you allow to enter your home, and periodically de-clutter.  Keep an ongoing thrift store bag or box for clothing and small items, and make regular trips to drop the things off.
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Here are some tips on utilizing your space to store your stuff:
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Under bed storage.  The dark space beneath our king-size bed holds the gift-wrap box, various bags and totes, and a Bible felt set:
Behind-the-headboard storage.  Our bed is set at an angle across the corner of the room, so that triangular space holds a small suitcase, a sleeping bag and some framed posters used for my T-Tapp events.
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Gift wrap box.  Everything in one place, stored under the edge of the bed, ready to pull out and wrap gifts quickly:
Chest of drawers in the closet.  Several of our bedrooms have a chest of drawers in the long, narrow closet.  Saves floor space, and you can use the dresser top for sweaters, toys or shoes.
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Utilize every inch.  My bracelet collection is stored on nails on the door frame inside a closet door:
Use storage devices.  We use hanging shoe holders on the inside of closet doors, and a small hanging sweater holder for stuffed animals.  These small wooden drawers from Ikea hold paper and card stock (and a board across the top makes a nice shelf for lamps and a globe):
Get creative.  One dresser in my bedroom holds antique dishes and goblets.  Once we put the TV in the empty fireplace in the summer.
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Stay organized with containers.  Toys organized in plastic boxes that come out one at a time are easier to keep track of than a jumbled mess in a toy box.  Attractive baskets can be set on the floor or shelves.  The inside can be a mess but on the outside they look neat.
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Make good furniture choices.  Instead of an entry table, use a small 3-drawer dresser.  End tables with drawers can store TV remotes or the latest book you’re reading.
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My least favorite storage solutions?  Plastic margarine tubs, countertops and couches.
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Remember that visual clutter can make you feel overwhelmed.  Find ways to store your stuff attractively or out of sigh.  It will go a long ways towards keeping a tidy, cozy home—whether or not you have your own TV show.
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7 Comments

  1. Wonderful! I am fond of using what I have. For example, my gift wrap is also under my bed, but is in a long slender cardboard box thatfrom a Christmas decoration. Since the decoration is in a box together with the other Christmas stuff, I just recycled the box. Besides, it’s under the bed. Doesn’t have to look pretty, right?!

  2. I really like those storage ideas.  do you have anymore storage ideas?  My daughter and her 3 children moved into our small house and I would very much appreciate more great storage ideas similar to what you shared.  Thank you.

  3. We will be adding child #3 to our 750 square foot, 2 bedroom house in 4 months and I love the challenge of figuring out new and better ways to neatly organize and store our things! It’s nice to hear how other people do it as well.

  4. I love this post! Perfect time too as I wAs trying to wade through our totes of stuff! We have just moved into an apartment and less is definitely best!!! 🙂 blessings!

  5. You’re sure getting me motivated this Monday in several ways! Your homeschool desk and mine look a lot alike. My kids love organization and a space for their stuff. Thanks! I’m eager to declutter and organize today!

    1. I’m the same way–I’ll read or see something and it inspires me to declutter and organize! Glad to help!

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