When living in a small space, you sometimes have to get creative with solutions to problems. You start to think differently about space and how to best utilize it. It’s a never ending process, and we’re constantly making small tweaks that make a huge difference in how we thrive in our 80 square feet of mobile living space.
Two recent problems we had illustrate the concept.
One of the annoyances of living full time in a small space such as the Oliver has been .. what to do with shoes??
We’ve obviously simplified our shoes to just a few pairs each – hiking/running shoes, sandals, slip-ons, semi-dressy. But even so, they add up and take up room. We originally tossed them in the bottom of our hanging closet – which was a constant hassle of playing ‘Find the matching shoe!’. And of course, if shoes were wet, muddy or otherwise dirty, we endangered our hanging clothes too. Even with the best of intentions of putting away shoes, we’d always end up with a pile of shoes somewhere.
Organization was needed.. so off to the Container Store we went. I had an idea of cutting an over-the-door shoe organizer in half, and hanging it below our 2-person dinette. Chris was a bit skeptical of my idea, but he’s learned to trust me when I have crazy ideas.
We opted for the Container Store’s most expensive shoe hanger. On a full size door, it can store 30 pairs of shoes. When I had a traditional house, this was my solution and I loved it. It’s well built, and really honestly does hold 30 pairs of (women’s) shoes while taking up a minimum of space.
Next step was to measure and cut it to length to fit nicely under the table. Which left enough bins to store 12 or 14 pairs of shoes (more than we own). The remaining half is still usable as an over-the-door solution for a regular door… or be creative elsewhere with it.
We at first attempted a suction cup mounting solution – which failed while in motion.
So Chris drilled holes and mounts into the lip of the back of the table – and the solution has been working perfectly for us for several months now. It does take up a bit of space under the table, but not enough to make sitting at the table uncomfortable. And the organization has been so wonderful!
Flowers & Plants
Chris and I have recently taken up running (go us!), and he’s gotten into the very sweet habit of bringing me back wildflowers from his run. The problem was, with a small space we hadn’t kept any flower vases. Heck, we don’t even really have much counter space, so even keeping flowers in one of our few drinking glasses wasn’t the best solution.
I had the vision of a suction cup mounted flower vase to solve the problem. Living in what is essentially a huge fiberglass bathtub, we rely on using suction cup everything to mount to our walls – photo frames, organizing bins, hooks, room dividers and even our speakers!
A vase mounted on the wall would allow us to take advantage of space that is otherwise unused and out of the way. I figured if one wasn’t already on the market, I could likely construct something.
Thankfully all it took was me posting the idea on Facebook, and immediately we had a solution.
It’s part of a 3-piece set at QVC that has the vase and two small planters that also mount via suction cup… for just $10.97 plus shipping!
Bonus to my flower dilemma, I’m looking forward to having a little mobile suction cup garden.
Any suggestions for 2 or 3 useful, easy to grow, cat-friendly cooking herbs that I should try to grow?