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This is How to Make Storage Work in a Small Home

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I recently hosted an open Q and A on my Instagram (see it here), and one of the top questions I received was how and where we store things in our 1200 square foot home. Specifically, many of you wanted to get a peek inside our dining room cabinets. Ask, and you shall receive! Let’s take a little trip inside the cabinets…

We have very limited storage in our home, so the built-in cabinets in our dining room are used for all types of household items. Gift wrap? Yes! Bourbon? Sure! Art supplies? Yup. Here’s a peek inside:

Let’s break it down and I’ll share what’s in each section and how we keep it organized. 

In the section to the left, we have a small selection of wine and alcohol, glassware, candles, and napkins. Our girls set the table each night and can easily access the drinking glasses and napkins from these on the top shelf. 

Next, in the middle section, we have a whole host of items! The bottom shelf has all of our vases, outdoor cups, and platters for entertaining. The middle shelf has more outdoor and entertaining items we use for parties.

The top shelf has three labeled bins: one has small gifts bags, tags, and tissue paper, one has small votive candles and tea lights, and the last one has crafting supplies including stamps, specialty pens, washi tape, and stickers. I have one large roll of butcher paper, that I use to wrap all gifts, stored on a high shelf in the kitchen with a few oversized drink dispensers that don’t fit anywhere else. 

Finally, to the far right, we have an art and homework station for the girls. They each have a bin with their name on it for any projects or homework they are working on, and we also store basic supplies here such as pens, pencils, paper, a stapler and tape. 

When the bins start overflowing, I have the girls dump them out, select a few favorites to keep, and recycle the rest. I relocate their favorite drawings or projects into their “memento bins” which we keep in their closet. 

I love our storage system because it’s simple enough for everyone in our family to understand, and maintain (in fact, our little one, Emilie, actually helped me write this post!). The key, of course, is that we limit the volume in each category. We only bring in what we actually have room to store, (and that’s not much)! 

Hope you enjoyed the behind the scenes of our cabinets and maybe even got a few ideas you can use in your own space. 

Have a small space tip that’s been working well for you? I’d love to hear it! 

Image Credit: Vivian Johnson Photography 

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2 comments on “This is How to Make Storage Work in a Small Home

  1. Can you tell me how deep the cabinet is? We are contemplating a DIY tall kitchen cabinet from IKEA with semicustom doors, and I can’t decide if 15″ is deep enough. it would be great to have a reference point!

  2. We also live in 1200 sq ft, our house was built in 1937 so very little storage space. I utilize a similar built-in in our dining room and also store large, low use items in our TV cabinet in the living room! I love organization also and one thing I practice is a place for everything! It makes it so much easier to keep things neat. Also, makes me really consider every purchase I make!

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