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DIY Home Decor: Three Small Space Solutions

I’ve been making some updates around the house in anticipation of getting a bunch of our stuff out of storage. My parents are remodeling their house so our stuff got an eviction notice a couple of months ago. Why would this necessitate full updates to our tiny home? Because, this:

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In all fairness, we did do some culling and sorting after I took this photo. We also got a bit of a reprieve because our stuff went with my parents’ stuff to the storage unit while the remodeling is being done. That being said, it’s not welcome once everything is completed so we’ve hit a “use it or lose it” phase. Personally, I’m actually fine with that since I’ve been living with stuff in storage for as long as I can remember. It will be nice to have everything back under one roof.

Unfortunately, as you know, our roof covers a pretty tiny home so we really had to think about using our space effectively. I have a lot of different projects planned but the good thing is that most of them can be accomplished in a day (or less) so it’s just a matter of getting them done. I’ve finished three so far (nearly) and thought I’d share them:

Closet Office Nook

Our front area has a coat closet that faces our front door. It has a curved arch top so there’s not an easy way to put a door on it. The tenants before us had hung a curtain over it, but we took that down not long after we moved in.

P1020423 copy

For a long time we used it as open storage for our shoes and coats. I hung a mirror in there, used hooks on the side, and stuck a bench in front of the shoes but it always had a little bit of a cluttered look. Enough so that we’ve lived here for four and a half years and I don’t have a good picture of what it looked like. Use your imagination:

shoe closet

Anyway, for lots of reasons it didn’t work out. It always looked dirty, tended to be a big jumble, and had that not-so-pleasant shoe smell right when people walked in. So, I cleared it out, hung a decor strip of Instax photos, ran an extension cord from a nearby outlet and created a little office nook where the kids can use the iMac.

Closet Office Nook

The retro stool is from Home Depot and the computer itself is supported across two shelves with a pair of boards between them. There’s a random metal shelf we had from something else under the shelves so I’m confident that it can hold the weight of the computer and the fact that it’s suspended like that will keep the kids from pulling the computer toward them if they get excited. I am going to decorate that space behind it at some point…big plans! For now, though, I’m happy to have a new work space and the coats and shoes are happy to have moved to the back door area with the linoleum.

Pots Stored Under the Kitchen Sink

Our under-the-sink area in the kitchen is terrifying. We live in an older house so we inherited water damage and old wood and dust bunnies from everyone living here for the past 50+ years. As a result, I’ve done nothing but tossed cleaning supplies down there so I didn’t have to think about it. We also had our kitchen garbage can under the sink area, which was a good theory but in practice just leads to germy hands not being able to get to the trash fast enough.

Ew.

I finally tackled that area this week since we need more storage in the kitchen. (The pots were stored where the shoes now are, blah blah blah.) It was gross and freaky and it’s possible that I ultimately finished “cleaning” the area by taping aluminum foil down with painters tape since I couldn’t get all the muck up with my cleaning supplies.

A fair amount of the stuff that had ended up under the sink got tossed including cleaning supplies we don’t use, sponges that had died a long time ago, and a large collection of plastic grocery bags that we were apparently saving in case of some kind of apocalypse. As a result, we made tidy little sections for our resulting cleaning supplies (a much smaller amount now that we mostly use dish soap, vinegar, and baking soda) and we cleared half of the cupboard out for kitchen storage.

I tucked soup pots around the corner and hung the rest of our pans from a wooden beam using hooks so they’d be easier to get to and spend less time getting scratched. As for the garbage, we bought a new fingerprint-proof trash can that opens when you step on the pedal so I’m hoping everyone spends less time touching the trash. Except for the part where the kids love stomping on the pedal, it’s working!

Cupboard to Barbie House

The last project is only 75% finished, but I don’t anticipate finishing it for a while so I thought I’d share it. Both of the kids have gotten interested in playing with Barbies, but we’ve had sort of a Barbie storage problem because they have a million little pieces thanks to handmedowns from generous people. We even have a few houses but we’ve never had the space for them so the bit that I’ve let into the house has been living in a big Rubbermaid tub in a giant jumble that isn’t inviting.

In the meantime, I had this cupboard that I had turned into a Ninja Turtle lair for Kyle’s birthday last year. It was a lot of fun for a while, but heavy play and lots of love left it in less than stellar condition and the turtles have also been a big jumble.

DIY ninja turtle lair IMG_6816

So, since the rest of the Morgans are perfectly happy playing with the turtle jumble, I decided to evict the turtles and give the Barbies a permanent home. This involved using a hammer and duct tape to open the back of the double-sided cupboard, which had been sealed off by a previous tenant. It was loud and a little messy but look at how fun it is to have a two-sided dollhouse built into the wall!

This one is 75% done because we’re going to add a second shelf so the Barbies have another layer and Eva has requested a set of stairs so everyone can get around easily. I just don’t see me rushing that project at the moment so you get the almost-version. I’m just happy to get all those little Barbie shoes off the floor!

That’s all for now but I’m sure it won’t be long before I have more to share. Thank heavens for Pinterest inspiration!

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Small space storage solutions for renters with kids

 

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1 Comment

  • Reply Hope at Disneyland

    I threw out so much doll furniture two years ago that would’ve been perfect for your doll house now. My bad! I love the way it looks. When I used to play, I’d use the couch and the floor as the upper and lower level apartments and the couch pillows as beds. lol

    October 8, 2015 at 6:50 pm
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