Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Small Space DIY Solutions

Our little cottage is so wonderful, but it is so small! Last night we were upstairs in the bonus room and Ryan commented on how strange it was that we were on one side of the house and could so easily see the television on the other side. They are on opposite ends of the room that runs the length of the house!

The downstairs is about 850 square feet (but feels much larger!) and the bonus room follows the roof line and is a long, narrow room. This weekend I tackled a few trouble areas - all involving storage. We weren't able to finish unpacking, because we were out of room to put things. And this doesn't include another yard sale pile! My rule is that if we can't find a place for it then we obviously don't like it or need it enough to keep it!

There are three closets downstairs: one in each bedroom and one in the hall. The one in the hall is a corner cabinet that some very creative person carved out of a corner. Here's the before:

As you can see, it's a mess with a lot of wasted space at the top. This is was my Pinterest inspiration

I liked the holders on the inside of the door, but that wasn't an option for this space if we wanted to also store things inside. Also, it wouldn't be a good spot for a vacuum because it's so high off the floor (and right now I don't have a vacuum!). I needed it to store dog towels, rags, cleaning supplies, light bulbs, etc. Here's what I did:

The stackable crates came from Big Lots and were about $3.50 each. The holders on the door were our former spice racks and the paper towel holder came from Home Depot. So, all-in-all a few affordable and easy ways to create more storage space in this hall closet. 

Our next challenge was the closet in the bonus room. It took two pictures to show all the crap that need to fit in there! (Warning: this will make you never want to move!).

Big Lots came to the rescue with lots of clear storage totes. Now we have all our hobbies organized: camping, snow skiing, hunting and horseback riding equipment have their own totes. I really could do with a few more, but I didn't want to spend more than $60 on totes in one day! Now we need some sort of curtain over this to keep it out of sight!

Not all those items in the top pictures fit in the closet. So the next challenge was flooring the small amount of attic space to store Christmas decorations, off season clothing, medical books and the home items we want to keep but don't currently have room to display. We laid indoor plywood in 4 x 3 sheets. Fortunately, Sunday was a cool day and it wasn't too hot in there!

This doesn't look very impressive, but it was a lot of work! I haven't sweated that hard in a long time! Even on the tall side it's not more than four feet tall so everything was done by crawling around like a crab. 

And the last weekend project was painting this bookshelf that my grandfather made for me back in 1988!

This blue is periwinkle blue and the color we painted my sister's bedroom in middle school. We thought we'd sponge paint white over it because that was all the rage in the 1990s!

Of course, I couldn't painted over my favorite part!

We are getting so close to being done with unpacking. I still need to figure out what to do with more books and extra linens so they are accessible when needed. Has anyone used space saving bags? If so, please let me know!


Lee and Kim said...

I'm so impressed! You need your own HGTV show! It looks like you've been very, very busy! :)

Kara Paulk said...

Thanks Kim! Necessity is the mother of all invention, right?