Storage solutions for a small house

I really, really hoped our house would be back to normal by this week. But nope. We seem to have rubbish luck with contractors. My other half is finishing off the mess made by the last guy. We have a bloke who did tiling for us before helping him. I cannot wait for our house to be functional again.

In the meantime life goes on. Since our stuff is inaccessible or in boxes – and to keep my blog going – I thought I would show just how handy my other half is. He has made quite a few things for our new home.

Fold down table when up

First up is this fold down table. Our new home is infinitesimally smaller than the last. Which is what we wanted. But we simply don’t have space for a decent sized work table and at times we need to be able to work on a proper table.

Fold down table when down and in use

Patrick dreamed up this table which folds away when not in use. It folds down to a nice sized space where I can cut patterns or we can pile papers for filing. It’s also right opposite a window which is great for taking pics for our blogs.

Laundry dryer

The next thing is this laundry dryer which hoists up into the air below the skylight. There is simply nowhere to put a clothes drying rack without compromising our space. This uses air space and not floor space. We’ve seem them in the UK and the only way to have one in South Africa was to make one. We don’t have ceilings in our new house which means it’s a nice hot space where our clothes dry quickly.

Storage box or bench

Another innovative way to create storage AND seating is a storage box . We call it a kist in South Africa. I think kist a Germanic word for chest. The box is busy getting a fresh coat of paint while the other renovations are going on. It usually sits at the foot of our bed and is great for storing valuables or linen. It becomes a seat when I put shoes on.

Wall mounted coat hooks

As I have already said in this post, we don’t have much floor space so a hat or coat stand is not an option. Patrick used wooden off-cuts and clear plastic door knobs to make these coat hooks. The trick is finding door knobs that aren’t too big so the loop on the inside of a jacket can fit over them.

Model train track come coffee table

My other half is a huge model railway enthusiast but where do you put a layout in any home let alone a teeny tiny home? He devised a coffee table with a removable glass top. His valuable trains are in the house and he can now create a lovely model railway complete with trees and a station. That should keep him busy for a few years.

The coffee table makes a great conversation piece. Underneath is a shelf with removable storage baskets that I bought at our local equivalent of IKEA. Great place to keep DVD’s, remotes, magazines, coasters and the usual stuff people have.

Spice rack

We can never find a spice rack that takes enough spices – or fits the space we have. Patrick made a custom fit spice rack that can take fat or skinny, tall or short containers. Again we are using wall space so our cupboards are free for food. And you can see all the spices at a glance. No more scratching in an overhead cupboard.

Chopping board rack

Since we don’t have IKEA in South Africa and we cannot buy another of their pot lid organisers for our chopping boards, Patrick made a wooden non-expanding version. He used wood off-cuts and wooden dowels. The boards take up less space on their sides than if they lie flat.

Custom wine rack

Last but not least is our custom fit wine rack. We happen to have four holes above each other in the wall in our living area. And nowhere to fit a wine rack. My other half used bits of wood to fashion a rack that allows us to rest wine bottles in two of the spaces.


Since this particular blog post is about how we are creating storage and space in our home, I thought I would add these few extras although they are not my husband’s handiwork.

Window seat

We used to have two free standing Parker Knoll chairs in this space before. They took up a lot of floor space. We got a carpenter to build us a window seat with storage underneath. Now we can fit up to five people on our window seat. You don’t have to have a window to make a seat like this. You could run one along a wall. I made the cushions – find the instructions for them here.

Bathroom storage

Our bathroom was another area we needed to fit stuff. The same carpenter made us two chunky floating shelves and squeezed a vertical skinny set of shelves to match between the bath and toilet. Now we have space for our towels and toiletries.

Metal coat hooks fit over a regular door

And these last three storage ideas are probably quite common. I just never considered them. The first here is a gadget that hooks over your bedroom or bathroom door and allows you to hang an umbrella, extra towels or a coat. The door still opens. As you can see from the pic I have two of these next to each other.

Magnetic knife storage

I’ve often seen magnetic knife holders that fit on the wall but never thought about using them in our home. A person uses a knife so often in the kitchen and it’s great they are in easy reach. As you can see we stick more than just our knives on them.

Kitchen hooks 

The same company that makes the coat hooks above also make these hooks which attach to the wall. We use ours in the kitchen for tea towels, sieves, a tea infuser and a drawstring peg bag.

At the top of this page are the Greenie Galleries with loads of crafting and sewing ideas as well as FREE sewing patterns.

Hopefully I can do a fashion blog post next week.
Until then, have a great week.