Here's how you can max out life in a small space.

Southern White Porch with Swings
Credit: Laurey W. Glenn

An obsession with tiny houses is sweeping the nation. What's not to love about these compact, cozy homes? Residents of tiny houses have mastered the art of living large in a small space. Even some of our most popular Southern Living house plans are less than 1,000 square feet. By incorporating smart storage solutions and utilizing every inch of available space, tiny house owners understand how living with less can really feel like more and that decorating smaller spaces can be just as practical as they are pretty. Outfit a smaller cottage with functional storage solutions that are still packed with charm. Whether you're looking to downsize or maximize smaller rooms in your home, here are six of our favorite space-saving tips you should steal from tiny houses.


In tiny houses, there's no extra space for unnecessary clutter, so organization is key. Clean out your kitchen, closets, shelves, and junk drawers, and keep only the essentials. Overwhelmed by the thought of getting organized? Follow this guide for decluttering your home in 31 days.

Utilize outdoor spaces.

Porches are extensions of indoor living areas, so make your outdoor space a place your family and friends will want to gather with extra seating, tables, container gardens, and more.

Loft your bed.

Don't let the space underneath stay empty, and use it for storage. If you don't want your bed too high off the ground, buy a pair of bed risers instead. Hide any unsightly storage containers with a long bed skirt.

Line passageways and halls with shelving.

Use every inch of available space on walls and in hallways or passageways with open shelving. Storing necessary kitchen items like dishes or cookbooks can be just as decorative as family photos and other personal mementos.

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Tuck furniture into nooks.

In smaller rooms with a lot of foot traffic, position extra seating in out-of-the-way areas like nooks or in an open space under a staircase.