Four Things To Do To Make Living in a Smaller Place Possible

Has anyone seen the show on HGTV called, Tiny House Hunters?  I love it.  The thought of living simply is very appealing.  The “houses”, for lack of a better word, are 150 square feet…give or take a few feet.  It all looks very fun and adventurous until I see the size of the closet, or lack there of.  One night the master bedroom closet was literally a kitchen cabinet.  Ummm…no.  I could live in a tiny house, as long as I had one relatively large closet.  Seeing these tiny houses reminds me of when Fred and I first got married, and we lived in a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house with about 1000 square feet.  Now, this doesn’t qualify as a tiny house, but, by American standards, it’s still pretty small. Even still, we were tickled to “own” it.

It was exactly what we needed.  The only issue we had with that little house was the situation with the closet.  You see, we just didn’t have much closet space. Granted, we had more than a kitchen cabinet, but seriously…who can keep all their earthly belongings in one cabinet??  Because of our limited space I kept most of my out of season clothes in the attic.  This worked well…in July and January, but in those transitional months I found myself in the attic some mornings trying to find the proper clothes to wear.  (Please note, if you are not from Tennessee you should know the saying about the weather in our state.  It goes like this,  “If you don’t like the weather, stick around.  It will change tomorrow.”  I think this is our state motto.  Ok, not really, but perhaps it should be.)

I have a small cleaning and organizing business called Household Helper.  (Yes, I really am one of those people that has a genuine love of cleaning and organizing.)  One of my friends that I work for has the cutest house.

Is that not the most quintessential slice of Americana?  It is 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and about 1000 square feet.  She and her husband, along with their 3 children live in this house.  Yes, you read that correctly…3 children.  How old are the children?  They are 5, 3, and one-and-a-half-ish.  When I go in this house I always looks around before I begin, because she is so crafty, creative, and innovative.  She is always changing things around and making it work for them.

Here are four ways I’ve observed that she makes this space work for her family:

1.Move around furniture to make it work for you.

What worked best one month may not be the best solution for the next month.  This shelf used to be in her living room.  It held random toys and books.  It was nice in the living room.  But when she put it in her kitchen it became a command center, of sorts.  She keeps the kiddos’ clothes for the week in each little cubby.  They are even labeled with names.  One the top she has diapers and wipes…one always wants/needs these to be on hand, right?  And she has a basket for school papers and folders.  This is helpful, because it’s close to the back door where they load and unload.

2.  Find alternative solutions for tight spots.  

On the side of her bed she really needed a night stand, just big enough for a book and a lamp, but there wasn’t room for a traditional one.  They went to Lowe’s, bought a board and mounted it with brackets.  Voila.  Works perfectly.   She told me the entire project was around $10.

In her hallway she put up nails and some rope.  It became the perfect spot for papers and drawings that her kids give to her.  Having one spot to hang them all minimizes clutter all over the house.  It doesn’t get much simpler than this, but it’s right on the verge of genius.

3.  Be sure your furniture is not too big and/or bulky.  

Her boys share a room.  Their mattress and box springs are just on the floor.  Having a bed frame and bed would take up valuable space.

In the master bedroom, her bed only has a frame and then a headboard.  This gives more room at the foot of the bed.  Her husband made this headboard out of fence post slats and then she distressed them.  I’m telling you, the level of her creativity knows no bounds.


4. Find storage space in unlikely locations.  

Around two of the bedrooms there are shelves about 12 inches from the ceiling.  It does not look junky.  She has it all placed neatly.  You know, every house has “stuff” that you need to keep, but there’s never a good spot for it: photo albums, tax papers, books that you’ve read, trophies, stuffed animals etc. This space is perfect for that “stuff.”

This little bookshelf is at the end of a hallway.  It’s not in the way.  It fits perfectly.  It holds just enough books for all three kiddos to have something on that shelf.


The common theme of this house is that she’s always thinking, always working.  They make this work for them.  Hopefully, she doesn’t have to climb into the attic for out of season clothes like I did.  Ha!  (It makes for good memories though.  I wouldn’t trade those days for anything!)  And I know she has more than a kitchen cabinet for closet storage!  Thank goodness.

What about you?  Do you live in a smaller house?  Could you live in a tiny house? How would you make it work?  How would you make it work? Does my friend not have some of the best ideas!?!





I’m a writer, new mom and foodie. I love sharing what I know while making others feel beautiful. On this blog, I share my healthy lifestyle, simple meals, fitness tips and experiences.

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Kara Bout It