We've written about dozens of tiny spaces in the past year, and these are the 18 most clever storage hacks we've seen

Monica Humphries
·10 min read
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Insider rounded up the best storage hacks we've seen in tiny spaces. Courtesy of Jessica and Will Sueiro/Courtesy of Ashley Abraham
  • Insider has interviewed dozens of people living in tiny spaces like vans, RVs, tiny homes, and apartments.

  • One thing all these homes share is thoughtfully used storage space.

  • From floating racks to under-bed storage, here are our favorite space-saving hacks tiny dwellers shared.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Related: 9 products that will help with spring cleaning

The Murphy family has their bed on a floating rack that's lowered down at night to maximize space in their 350-square-foot RV.

The family records their journey on their blog, Where Wild Ones Roam, and after moving out of their 3,000-square-foot home in 2018 they've learned to maximize a small space.

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An arrow points to the bed that's tucked away during the day. Where Wild Ones Roam

One example is their bed, which is pulled up and down using a simple rope and pulley system. This gives the couple an abundance of additional space in their master bedroom.

"We've learned that we can live the way we want to in a very small space, very sustainable," Andy Murphy previously told Insider. "We like that more than how we lived before."

Storing groceries aboard the Sueiro family sailboat can get difficult, but luckily they have storage beneath the floorboards.

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Jessica Sueiro filling the storage space in her galley kitchen. Courtesy of Jessica and Will Sueiro

During the pandemic, Jessica and Will Sueiro moved onto a sailboat in France with their two children. As they get acclimated to their new life on the water, the family still struggles to find a place to store all their groceries, Insider previously reported.

In the small galley kitchen, they put all of their canned and packaged foods in the storage space below the floorboards.

Travel photographer Quin Schrock built hidden compartments that disappear into the wood paneling of his 66-square-foot tiny home.

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One of the hidden compartments. Courtesy of Quin Schrock

Schrock began work on the Mercedez-Benz sprinter in March 2020 and calls it his "pandemic baby." He previously told Insider that the tiny home is wrapped in wooden panels that cost him about $10,000.

These panels helped him build secret compartments that blend into the wall when not in use. They contain spices, toiletries, electronics, and even a mirror and are present throughout the van.

These inconspicuous compartments store all of Schrock's essentials while maintaining a sleek look. He explains that this van is "probably 75% style, and 25% function," unlike his previous van, where he says he was mostly focused on the functionality.

Christian Parsons and Alexis Stephens travel all over the US in their tiny house on wheels, so they built an ingenious pantry to store their food.

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Parsons and Stephen's pantry. Courtesy of Tiny House Expedition

Since the couple travels a lot, they previously told Insider that they had to think of ways to make sure their belongings stayed in place while on the road.

For example, they built this pantry, which has 15 shallow shelves that house most of the couple's food.

Each shelf has a front lip that stops the item from falling off the ledge and the sliding door ensures everything stays in place.

Nathaniel Wise has lived out of his vehicle for two years, and he stores most of his belongings under the platform bed that he built himself.

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Under Nathaniel Wise's bed. Courtesy of Nathaniel Wise

In the back of Wise's Toyota Sequoia, he built a platform bed that rises so that he can store all of his belongings, Insider previously reported.

When he raises the platform, Wise can access his kitchen equipment and a large Tupperware container that holds his pantry items. Under the bed is also where most of his clothing is stored. He neatly rolls up 15 flannels, down jackets, and parkas to fit in this small space.

Lindsay and Eric Wood had limited closet space in their traditional tiny house, so they cleverly built a crawl-in.

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The crawl-in closet. Frank Olito/ Insider

At the back of their tiny house, the Woods previously told Insider that they cleverly built a deep closet that holds all their clothing and their washing machine without sacrificing too much space.

It's not your typical walk-in closet; the couple has to crawl on their hands and knees to get to their belongings.

Jay Percival and Kels Cuddy live in a 202-square-foot school bus, and one of their best storage hacks involves a fridge that functions as living room seating.

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The couple uses their fridge as extra seating. Kels and Jay

The couple, which travels on their bus named Bessy, completely gutted and renovated a retired school bus and set out on a skoolie adventure in 2019.

After living on the bus for less than a year, the couple decided to make some changes, including tweaks that would create more storage in their home.

"We made the whole area more livable,"Kels previously told Insider. "It's just more comfortable now, and it really makes a huge difference."

With only 200 square feet of living space, the couple has learned the value of dual functioning items.

For example, a fridge can't just be a fridge. Instead, it needs to serve another purpose. In Kels' and Jay's, their mini fridge is the perfect bench for some extra seating in their living area.

In Kirsten and Devin Trout's 100-square-foot RV, storage is displayed beautifully on the wall.

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The bedroom of the couple's toy hauler. @fifth_wheel_living/Instagram

The couple previously lived in a 350-square-foot RV, so downsizing to 100 feet was a huge challenge, Insider previously reported.

When it came to storage obstacles, Kirsten said she had to find space for her husband's hat collection.

Hat boxes were too bulky for their closet areas, so Kirsten hung up little hat hooks throughout the RV.

Now, Devin's hats are displayed like artwork.

The storage hack saves her precious closet space, plus she didn't have to hunt for extra wall art for her home.

In one tiny home at Think Big! A Tiny House Resort, a secret compartment hides the TV when it's not in use.

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The TV was tucked inside one of the cabinets.Monica Humphries/Insider

In a 110-square-foot tiny house at Think Big! A Tiny House Resort, every inch of space is in the home is valuable, as Insider previously reported.

For example, TVs can be bulky, ugly, and distracting, so tucking them away is an ingenious way to save space. In this tiny home, the television fit seamlessly into a cabinet and stayed out of sight when it wasn't in use.

Christine Saldana's and Kathy Marisca's mid-century modern school bus features a waterproof bathroom, so they didn't waste space with a shower.

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The bathroom includes a shower, sink, and compost toilet. Adelita

The couple searched for ways to save money on rent and landed on living in an old bus they named Adelita.

Last summer, they renovated the vehicle, and today it's their mid-century modern dream tiny home on wheels, as Insider previously reported.

Throughout the small space, they used clever hacks to save space.

Although the couple's bathroom is tiny, they have enough space for a sink, toilet, and shower. That's because the entire bathroom is waterproof, which means the entire bathroom functions as their shower.

A showerhead sits above their sink, and the entire room is used to get clean.

Sarah Storey and Melanie Tumlin live in a converted school bus with two kids, and they built drawers underneath their kitchen cabinets for pantry storage.

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The Storey Tumlin family stores food in hidden drawers. Courtesy of Sarah + Melanie

Storey and Tumlin live in a 240-square-foot tiny home on wheels with their toddler, baby, and dog, Insider previously reported. They converted the bus into a home themselves and included several space-saving methods like this one.

Hidden drawers beneath their kitchen cabinets pull out to reveal pantry items like jarred and canned foods.

Storey and Tumlin hide even more pantry supplies underneath their couch cushions.

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They keep foods from pasta to peanut butter in the couches.Courtesy of Sarah + Melanie

In the living room area, Storey and Tumlin have storage space inside two couches, Insider previously reported.

To save space and create a feeling of openness in their 29-foot-long Airstream trailer tiny home, Ed Potokar and Amy Rosenfeld installed a sliding bathroom door with a translucent panel.

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A translucent sliding bathroom door maximizes space in the Airstream. Courtesy Amy Rosenfeld

The translucent panel filled with reeds allows light to shine into the bathroom while still obscuring vision and makes both the bathroom and bedroom area feel larger.

Building a sliding door also allowed Amy and Ed to maximize floor space and install storage units along the wall outside the bathroom.

"Every inch is considered," Amy previously told Insider.

To date, the husband and wife have transformed four Airstreams from the 1960s and 70s into sleek tiny homes, selling them for around $100,000 a piece.

A tiny apartment renter in Washington, DC, has an exposed clothing rack in her 400-square-foot space that she hides with a rolling shade.

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Anju Abraham's roller shade masks her closet when guests come over. Courtesy of Ashley Abraham

Anju Abraham lives in a 400-square-foot studio apartment where she has an exposed closet, as Insider previously reported. To hide the visual clutter, Abraham installed an outdoor patio rolling shade in front of the clothing rack.

Abraham said that her apartment looks bigger when the shade is down.

"When rolled down, it hides my wardrobe and makes my space feel bigger and tidier," she said. "It also adds an element of privacy by keeping my closet out of sight when I have visitors."

In the kitchen, Abraham used magnets to turn her freezer door into a spice rack, saving cabinet room for other items.

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Courtesy of Ashley Abraham

Abraham previously told Insider that she made this rack herself using jars and magnets. The spice jars have magnetic lids and are customizable.

Bree Contreras lives in an RV with their partner and dog, and they installed storage crates on the walls above their workspace.

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Bree Contreras lives and works in the RV. Courtesy of Bree Contreras

Instead of putting the storage crates on the ground, Contreras previously told Insider they nailed them to the wall to save space in the tiny home.

The Fite family built an extendable porch into their 80-square-foot van to give them more storage and leisure space.

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The Fites live in a van full time. Sami Strong

Mars and Ash Fite are raising two kids in their van, so carving out kid-friendly areas in the tiny space is a priority, as they previously told Insider.

For instance, the Fites built an extendable porch onto the back of the van, which they use as a space for their kids to play.

The porch not only offers the family more square footage, but it also acts as additional storage space when it's not extended, allowing them to bring more items with them on the road than they could otherwise.

Karen and Sylvester Akpan built their son a bedroom loft to maximize space in their 270-square-foot RV.

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The Akpans elevated their son's bed. The Mom Trotter

When the Akpan family decided to live in an RV full time, they chose to make their son's bedroom a loft above the driver's seat, as they previously told Insider. Curtains give the space privacy.

Because the bedroom doesn't take up valuable floor space, the Akpans have a larger kitchen and living room than they would otherwise.

Read the original article on Insider