Take a moment and think about a tiny house. Now back to me. Now back to the tiny house. (Just kidding.) Now think about all the possessions you’d need to put in it. Your mind might wander to kitchen gear and a toothbrush, but what about clothing, a router, a modem, laundry, and a full-length mirror? Where can you keep small things like that? Unfortunately, we find that a perplexing number of tiny houses seem to lack simple storage for daily items. That’s where we got to thinking, and building. Behold our new closet!
We recently embarked on building more walls in our tiny house. (Because, you know, every house needs more walls.) We decided to turn this closet into a wall as well!
About a year ago I (Sierra) made up a design for our closet, based on a combination of designs I had seen in other tiny homes. We decided we wanted to have our closet on the back of the bathroom wall. While this took a little room in our bathroom, it was well worth it to have that closet space. We’ve noticed on a lot of tiny house TV that show the builders/designers often forget about clothing storage. They’ll remember storage for kitchen gear and hobbies, but clothing is often overlooked or at best tacked on at the end. We’ve seen people who move into the TV houses who have to buy storage solutions for their most basic amenities! We wanted to make sure we had the space we needed (which luckily isn’t much since we’re both minimalists and we’ve been paring down for years), plus we put in a little extra just in case we lapse in our minimalism…
As you can see in the photo above, there are shelves in the top part of the closet. Those are for folded clothes. Being the detail-oriented person I am, I folded all of my clothes and double-checked to make sure they would fit when I was designing the cabinet. (Same for Drew’s, but he kind of just made an “eh, it’ll fit” statement when he looked at his. But to be fair, he does have less clothing than I do.)
I did the same process with hanging clothes, which hang on a rung in the open space in the bottom of the closet:
Now check out the bottom of the closet. The compartment on the left is for the modem/router for our Internet. We knew we needed a hidden space for those that was out of the way that wasn’t taking up space in our nook couch. (Details on our couch will be in a future post.)
On the right is a box where we’re going to put our laundry. We’re going to build up the trim on the box to match the height of the Internet box, and then install doors on the front of the entire closet. On the inside of one of the doors we’re going to install a full length mirror:
Ain’t it a beaut?
Now the fun part… Building it all!
It took us around 4 full days of working for the closet to be finished. We took 3/4″ pre-finished maple plywood and created a basic box that fit our maximum exterior dimensions. Then we installed more plywood for shelving. We lucked out in that both sides of our closet would be covered, so we could screw in our shelves for a permanent fit and we could still hide the screw holes. We made sure that the shelving was set back ¾” from our maximum depth so that we could add trim on the edges to hide the layered core of plywood.
We then added in the poplar rod for the hanging clothes and built the router/modem box in place. We added a hinge to the box for easy access. It actually makes for a cool place to sit in the closet. Not that you’d ever want to, but hey.
Then the fun part was installing the closet in the house! And by fun I mean tricky. The problem was that our loft beams above the closet required us to cut down our design by a few inches. We wanted our closet to go all the way up to the loft boards for extra room, but we couldn’t install the closet around the loft beams. So we instead cut the height of the closet down to fit underneath the loft.
We went about installing the same boards we used for our walls along both sides. We had to use shorter screws in order to make sure we didn’t accidentally punch through the frame’s very thin wood and into the cavity where the door was.
Lo and behold, it’s installed! Success!