Living in a tiny home means maximizing every square inch of your space. Whether that includes organization systems, custom-made built-ins, and specially-sized appliances or furnishings, making ample use of a small footprint is essential.
So, how exactly can you truly and efficiently save space in your tiny home? Aside from thoughtful storage solutions—think cubbies, bins, unique-designed cabinets, and even murphy beds—there’s more you can do to really maximize space. For starters, redistribute some at-home services elsewhere—like to businesses and community centers.
That means less stuff and more space added to your abode. It may require that you forgo a washer and dryer in favor of a laundromat, trade tool rentals for yard repairs, and visit your local library for books and movies instead of keeping your entire collection.
What space-saving solutions can you use to refresh your home? Check out our guide below for nine tips and tricks to help you maximize square footage—and feel more relaxed, and mindful in the process.
Let’s face it: A combination washer-dryer can consume quite a bit of space. And it can seriously cut into precious space when these appliances are two separate units. So, what do you do? If you’re a solo or partnered homeowner without a young family, consider utilizing a laundromat. With do-it-yourself laundromats and drop-off services (with dry cleaning laundering), there are a few options that can support your ongoing cleaning needs.
Most tiny homes have cozy-sized kitchens, which means grocery shopping occurs frequently and can include fewer items in a weekly haul. If you happen to live in a town with more local grocers, butchers, and fruit or vegetable stands, odds are you’re no stranger. But don’t let another stellar resource slip by—community gardens.
The community garden is a lush epicenter of opportunity—it’s a place where you can tend and manage your own herbs, fruits, and veggies. These nutrient-rich staples grow safe and sound somewhere other than inside your home. And it’s also a place to meet and connect with like-minded folks in your community. Think of it as a win-win.
Unless you run a small business or have specific hobbies, odds are, you don’t need most of the tools sitting in your shed. Take stock of what you use the most—and look at what is collecting dust. This is not to say, you should forgo all tools—you’ll want a set for ongoing maintenance and repairs. But those big-ticket items you only bust out once or twice a year? They’re taking up valuable real estate.
So, look for tool rental spots—like local hardware shops, community centers, and even Home Depot—to rent tools on an as-need basis.
Communal Office Spaces
Do you work from home, freelance, or run a business of your own? Consider renting a coworking membership. Depending on your needs—whether it’s a 9-to-5 work life Mondays through Fridays or a handful of days a month, you can rent a desk in a communal office, and even a hot desk situation (i.e., a non-assigned floating desk) for your working days.
If you’re an avid cyclist (for passion or even the commute), this option probably isn’t for you. But, if you live in an urban space, or prefer to bike leisurely and in warmer seasons, look at bike rental options. If you live in a city, rental services like City Bikes offer daily, weekly, and monthly subscription tiers for members. If your schedule is more sporadic, look at local shops that rent to occasional riders. Plus, you won’t need to store a bicycle or any accessories (except for a helmet!) in your house.
Yard & Lawn Services
Lawn care is serious business, especially depending on the climate of where you live. Whether it’s lush, green lawns or a desert landscape with natural, biodiverse plants, regular property maintenance is key. Gardening and landscaping providers can service your outdoor areas on a weekly, monthly, or even seasonal basis. Before you invest in tools and supplies (such as fertilizer and lawn care products), check out one of these businesses to see if they can suit your needs.
At-home workouts aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. While you may have enough room for a yoga mat and a few free weights, making space for other fitness appliances might be tough. Instead of trying to squeeze in an exercise bike or a treadmill, tap into a gym membership. The YMCA, wellness studios (i.e., yoga, Pilates, and barre), and commercial gyms all have various price structures. Some gyms are as little as $10 per month.
And, if you live in a landscape that’s conducive to working outdoors—like hiking, trail running, and cycling—nature can also be your gym.
Libraries are the nexus of community. And libraries are grand spaces for you to explore and take advantage of community resources around you. Whether you’re a bookworm or not, checking out books on the regular is a great way to relax and connect to storytelling without stacks and stacks of hardcovers and paperbacks taking up space.
Plus, libraries are so much more than books. Most libraries tend to offer free lectures, classes, and even hands-on learning activities. Patrons can rent movies and music through the catalog too. Bonus: Many libraries offer digital rentals—all you need is a library card and an E-reader to start checking out books, films, and tunes.
Similar to a communal office, a studio space is another option for creative homeowners. If you’re an arts-minded person—like visual and creative arts—a solo or shared studio space is a clever way to store your supplies and tools. And another space to work on your passions.
Whether you paint, write, build furniture, make candles or soaps, and even make music, there are loads of studios and practice spaces on the market. And, if you’re not fussed about having the space to yourself, shares in 24/7 studios are also an option.