Tiny living is affordable and efficient. Small homes require less maintenance, less cleaning, and less energy. Sure, tiny living isn’t always perfect, but with some simple DIY upgrades, you can get it pretty darn close.
These upgrades can make your small space even more fun, efficient, and affordable. They'll help you maximize space, minimize bills and truly make the most out of what you’ve got.
1. Build a Vertical Garden
When you go up, there's always more space. Consider adding a lovely vertical garden to one of your walls. Planters and flower boxes can be attached directly to the wall or mounted on a frame made of 2 x 4s on either side and dowel rods running between.
Stain or paint the wood, bury the 2x4s in the soil surrounded by gravel with large rocks on top and start hanging planters and boxes from the frame.
A vertical garden gives you access to fresh herbs and produce, providing healthy and delicious ingredients and saving you money on grocery bills.
Collect rainwater in a barrel and you’ll always have water for the garden.
2. Install Solar Panels
The initial cost of solar panels can be daunting, but when you're powering a tiny home, it doesn't take much energy to make a difference.
In the medium to long run, solar panels save you money on your utility bills. They also make you less reliant on grid power, which can be unreliable, especially in places with harsh weather.
Collecting solar energy is especially appealing if your tiny home is mobile, since you can always collect energy, even when you're not connected to a wired source.
3. Get a Tankless Water Heater
Small and compact, tankless water heaters are perfect for tiny homes. Rather than a big tank where water is stored and kept hot, tankless water heaters provide hot water at the point of use, right on demand.
They take up much, much less room than traditional water heaters, and the hot water isn't limited to what's in the tank. You can use the extra room for a stackable, compact washer/dryer combination instead.
4. Add a Deck
It's not as expensive as you may think to add some deck space to a tiny home. Outdoor living areas can increase the amount of space you have for eating, entertaining, relaxing, and other regular activities.
Build your own deck and you'll save a lot of money on installation costs. The enjoyment you'll get out of a new outdoor living area will definitely pay for itself. Add a small grill and you'll have an entire outdoor cooking and eating area.
5. Use the Walls
What you'll miss most in a tiny house is storage space. Make the most of your interior areas by using the walls for storage. Use hooks and under-cabinet baskets to add storage directly beneath cabinets. Add shelves with hooks and metallic strips to the walls to hold various implements.
Put hooks inside cabinet doors and you can store stuff here, too. Get creative and get used to the concept of open storage—that is, having things out in the open.
Julia Child had one of her kitchen walls covered with pegboard and kept her various cooking implements right on the wall where she could get to them. The open concept works very well and it can be a real lifesaver in any tiny house.
No one knows your tiny home like you. Pay attention to little ways you can improve your space. If you find yourself thinking that it might be easier to hang something up in a certain spot or you wish you had a drawer here, make the upgrade!
With little and big DIY tasks, you can truly get more out of your home, no matter what size that home may be.