Small house storage ideas

Published On March 2, 2014 | By Morten Storgaard | Storage

One of the challenges when downsizing your small house is storage. It often takes some creativity to sneak storage into a small apartment,  enableling you to live without too much visible clutter.

We have tried to gather some ideas for small houses / apartments, to show how you can implement storage in even very tiny spaces.

Bespoke closet solution with extra height

Most closets leave an open space above them, and when stacking boxes and storage on top of them, closets often end up looking messy, and you feel like things might fall down on you.

A better way is to custom build a closet, that goes all the way to the ceiling.

This way you can utilize that extra space above the closet – without it looking cluttered or messy. Here’s an example from our own apartment, where we are currently in the process of building a closet like that:

Tall Closet - To the Ceiling

Tall Closet – To the Ceiling

The closet still needs a front, and we will put in drawers in the bottom section. This closet will hold all of our clothes.

You can see more about our Murphy bed with storage here (video).

The Murphy Bed is built with the same depth as the closet, so there’s a lot of storage space between the bed and the wall. We have made our Murphy bed extra high, so it also goes all the way up to the ceiling.

That leaves some storage space beneath it. Here we have my guitars and some other good stuff.

Storage space beneath stairs (and inside stairs)


Staircase with storage inside the stairs, from smallHomeDesignIdeas

There are a lot of creative ways to utilize the space surrounding a staircase.

This is a great example from a tiny house. Storage has been built into the stairs, which double function as drawers for clothes. Very original and creative.

See more loft space ideas here.

I love the way every inch of the space here is utilised, and this is an idea I would love to build into an house of my own one day!

This bunk bed also has hidden storage inside the stairs:


This bed costs $1,822 with free shipping.

A nice way to build storage into an otherwise ordinary piece of furniture. Below the bed you also find a lot of storage space in the drawers, where you can keep extra bed linens for guests or toys.

Bunk beds are always a good way to save some space inside a tiny house or small apartment. A great solution for families living in small apartments.

Tiny Shelves for storing books etc.

People often think of shelves as big furniture units like ordinary bookshelves, but they can also be smaller, and made to fit almost anywhere.

This solution is homemade with cheap shelving parts from Ikea, which we have decorated to make them unique and a little more stylish.

We have used some old tattoo and fashion magazines, to decorate the shelves. The shelves have also been lacquered, so they will last a long time.

Homemade tiny shelves

Homemade tiny shelves

Close up wiew

Close up wiew

You can see more a about these Tiny Shelves here.

The shelves are places behind a door. A place you normally wouldn’t put storage. It’s all about finding the small spaces here and there, to put a little storage without it creating clutter.

Shelves above doors

Entries can be hard to keep tidy and clean, especially if you have children. Stuff seems to add up, and all of a sudden you have too many shoes that you don’t even use on a monthly basis.

Shelves above a door can be a good solution to get some clutter away from the floor:


This shelf is placed just above our entrance door, and we use it to store winter boots, summer sandals and other seasonal footwear.

You don’t really notice it on a daily basis, because the shelf is placed so high. You will have to consciously look up to notice it.

TIP: You could make it blend in better if you paint the shelf and boxes the same colour as the walls / ceiling.


An Ottoman puff with storage

We have also found a little storage space inside an ottoman puff we use for foot support. It also doubles as an extra seat, whenever we have guests over, and you can use it when you need to reach something on top of our tiny shelves.

We have put it on castors, to make it as easy as possible to move around and clean under. The castors have a locking mechanism, to prevent accidents when we stand on it.


This one held all our DVD’s before we went paperless and digitized all documents, music, movies etc.


Coffee table with storage

Another good place for storage is inside the coffee table. This coffee table is basically a trunk, and it looks very nice with the old-style design. It can hold a lot of stuff.

The living room and sofa area is a typical space for clutter to build up, and therefore a very good place to enable some storage close by, so you don’t have to move the things to put them in the right place.

Coffee table with storage

Coffee table with storage

This storage table cost $159 including shipping.

With a table like this you have an optimal place for magazines, work stuff, games, comforters and other good stuff, you normally need around your sofa and living room.

>>You can find more space saving tables here.

If you have other ideas or suggestions for small house storage ideas please share them below, and let us hear what you think.



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  • when i think of storage, i think of “fooling yourself.” that’s it. when you store things, items move away from sight and out of mind. then you end up buying the same thing over again or just add to it. i prefer never to use closets but to always have my stuff right in front of me. all my belongings, right there. i also use an itemized list. this helps me stay on top of my minimalist lifestyle and prevents unnecessary purchases.

  • Yes I agree, what a great approach!
    Though I still like to have somewhere to “hide” some of the stuff we own, to remove the clutter from our living space – and keep it simple. Maybe storage is not the right word for that. E.g. my work related stuff, games etc. I love to stack them inside our sofa table, and suitcases and winter clothes also needs to get out of sight..