The best space-saving tips and products for tiny home happiness.
Small and tiny living spaces are increasing as economic, land and sustainability factors force us to rethink the cost of our physical footprint.
The downside to this emerging model of living is that such a shift can take a major reassessment of the things you surround yourself with. Small-space living takes more planning up-front than the current home model, but with clever space-saving tips and smart products that are designed to cut down on clutter, even the tiniest place can become satisfyingly liveable.
The kitchen is one space where clutter can get out of hand fast. In her cult book Spark Joy, An Illustrated Guide to the Japanese Art of Tidying (Penguin Random House), Marie Kondo advises focusing on ease of cleaning rather than easy-reach storage.
“If you want a kitchen that you can enjoy cooking in, aim for one that’s easy to clean. The best way to do that is to make sure you put nothing on the counters or around the sink and stove top,” writes Kondo.
To cut down on overstocked cupboards, choose compact kitchen gadgets like Nespresso’s new Prodigio&Milk, a compact machine with Bluetooth connectivity for maintenance info and scheduling your coffee brewing – i.e. before you get out of bed.
The NEFF oven range makes things easier with a space-saving Silde&Hide door which tucks away beneath the oven. Vitamix has a new line of smaller high performance S-Series Personal Blenders.
To keep your wardrobe from bursting at the seams, Stuffocation author James Wallman advises putting all your hangers facing the same direction.
Each time you wear something, put it back on the hanger facing the other way, and at the end of a month, you’ll have a clear idea of the items you use and those just gathering dust.
Views and sunlight are the easiest way to make a small area seem larger, advises Catherine Foster, author of the book Small House Living (Penguin Random House). Try utilising skylights or mirrors to bounce and introduce light into dark areas.
Don’t have room for a separate dining table? Catherine Foster’s desk doubles as a side table, or a great tip from Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces by Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan (Clarkson Potter), is to push together two narrow console tables (also perfect for stashing front-door clutter) when group dining is required. Try the Dakota Console 3-drawer from Republic Home.
Look for un-tethered electronics like tablets and laptops that allow you to keep your home layout flexible, rather than being tied to particular areas. Samsung, for example, has just released the very smart Serif TV, which resembles a large picture frame and can be placed anywhere in your living space, from wall to the middle of the floor to coffee table, as required.
Cut down on kitchen and bathroom clutter by going for compact packaging like Evolu’s Travel Tower, which contains six 10ml pots of skincare essentials, or multifunctional formulations like ecostore’s Multi-Purpose Concentrate that can be used diluted for cleaning surfaces and floors, or concentrated for heavy-duty cleaning.
Antipodes’ Saviour Skin Balm can be used for everything from minor grazes and bruises, to baby care, conditioning cuticles, cracked skin, eyebrow shaping, chapped lips, after shaving, and intense skin hydration.
Increasingly, electrical goods are being designed with compact living spaces in mind. Bosch’s 30cm FlexInduction Cooktop may be small, but it still offers 17 cooking levels and two cooking zones that cleverly transform into one large zone when needed.
Similarly, the company has designed the Series 8 Compact Oven Microwave, 53cm Integrated Rangehood, and 45cm Slimline Built-In Dishwasher, all with space-saving and multi-function features in mind.
Another great tip from Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces is to choose a sofa that’s raised off the ground on legs and without arms, to preserve the room’s flow and make it feel larger.
Streamlining your home and possessions isn’t just for those downsizing. Simplifying your lifestyle and decluttering your belongings can have wider benefits according to Tsh Oxenreider, author of Organised Simplicity (Betterway Books).
In addition to creating more space in your home, Oxenreider points to added advantages such as having more time for people by decluttering your schedule, improving your health through lessening your pressure stresses, improving your finances, and lessening your ecological impact. And big or small, who doesn’t want some of that in their life?