How to Utilize Every Inch of Space in Your Family's Cabin
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How to Utilize Every Inch of Space in Your Family's Cabin

No matter the size of the structure, you will run out of room at some point. Here are some ways to make more space for all your family’s needs.

Written by Rose Morrison


 Photo by Clay Banks / Unsplash


Families make lasting memories during vacations and summers spent with loved ones at the cabin. Although you love your getaway and traditions, finding a spot for everything you need while there may be challenging. No matter the size of the structure, you will run out of room at some point as you bring in new items and add all the creature comforts of home. Here are some ways to make more space for all your family’s needs.


1. Free Up a Utility Closet

If you switch to more sustainable energy sources, you can lose the heating and cooling unit inside your home, and place solar panels and other equipment outside the cabin. As many as 750,000 people can vouch for their viability. 

Investing in a clean energy source for your family’s cabin may reduce utilities and keep you self-reliant in case of a disaster or other unexpected occurrence. Doing so will free up space for storage or a half bath.


2. Watch the Size of Furniture

Consider the room’s space. Would smaller furniture allow you to add a storage cabinet, or have more room to spread out on the floor with blankets and popcorn in front of the fire? 

Think about the things your family does at your getaway. If you mainly eat and do outdoor activities, you may not need a lot of accessories like side tables. On the other hand, if you spend time indoors reading, add a comfy armchair or two. 

A bulky recliner might eat up a lot of floor space in a smaller room, so consider the scale of items compared to available square footage. At the same time, you must balance human needs — for example, a tiny recliner might not work for a taller family member.


3. Utilize the Garage

Unless you’re at the cabin more than your primary residence, parking outside while visiting allows you to convert garage space into entertainment rooms. Transform a two-car garage into a hangout area, art studio, at-home gym, game room, man cave or extra sleeping quarters, depending on your family’s needs.

Even a separate shed can do the trick, so get creative to expand your available space. However, you must ensure your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system can support another room first, and insulate it as much as the rest of the cabin.


4. Think Multipurpose

Choose furniture that has multiple purposes, like an ottoman that offers storage or a pop-up table for game night. A dining area might serve as a study table, eating space and fold up against the wall for extra floor space.

You might pay a bit more for multi-function furniture, so be sure you use your budget strategically based on the most crucial needs of the family. Look for things that stack, fold or roll away when not in use.


5. Build Up

Take a page out of the small apartment design book. Since they often have small square footage, designers looked for ways to add more storage and better organization. Ceilings can be higher in apartments and cabins, so look up and see if you can build vertical shelving or add cabinets above ones already in place.

As you organize, place frequently used items on lower shelves and rarely used things on the top shelves. Keep a step stool or ladder nearby to access anything you might need while staying at your cozy cottage.


6. Add Over-the-Door Storage

In a smaller cabin, finding places to store items can be a struggle. Remember to tap into spots such as doors for some extra room. Place a clear plastic shoe organizer inside every bedroom closet door, and use it for shoes, scarves and other small items.

Use spice organizers inside pantry doors and kitchen cabinets. If you can’t find an over-the-door organizer that exactly suits your needs, build your own. For example, you might put puzzles and games on the inside of the front entry door for easy access and to keep them tucked out of the way when not in use.


7. Declutter

Experts share that decluttering your living space reduces stress and improves mental health. Your family’s cabin will feel lighter and more welcoming when you get rid of any junk you’re no longer using.

Start by making three piles of things to donate, throw away and keep. Go closet by closet, cabinet by cabinet and storage bin by storage bin. The easiest way to gain more space in any size home is to eliminate it of clutter.


8. Expand by Using Outdoor Space

Once you’ve decluttered, added organization and taken advantage of every square foot of your home, you should feel less crowded. If your family grows and you need yet more space, or the quarters still feel cramped, you can expand your indoor living space outdoors.

Add a wooden deck to enjoy grilling during warm weather and sitting in patio chairs while you chit-chat with others. Construct a gazebo with a fireplace in the yard where the entire family can gather on cooler evenings. Use umbrellas if on a budget or invest in a retractable awning if you have more funds.

Match the style and tone of the inside of the cabin so moving from indoors to outdoors is seamless. You may want to install a wider door and bigger window to share food, condiments and other items people need to enjoy the outside living space.


Visit Home Shows and Get Creative

Home shows often feature a cabin and recreational vehicle component, so visit them to gather ideas for storage in smaller spaces. The more you gather from looking at what others have done, the easier it will be to get creative with your rooms.

Even though your cabin might be larger, you can adopt ideas from the tiny home craze to make the most of your storage. Over time, you’ll use every inch of space in your family’s cabin and create a warm aesthetic where beautiful memories come to life.


See Also: Make Your Cabin Cozy, Not Cramped

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