Tiny House Closet: The Loft Closet and Storage Shelves

Marc Bilodeau/ Building, Planning, Tiny House

Storage is important, and efficient storage is paramount. Shelves, closet space, drawers, and cabinets can provide unique solutions in a tiny house. However, tiny houses mean tiny spaces. Therefore, careful planning is critical to determine what’s best for a persons needs.

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First, Planning!

Planning storage needs and where to put the storage requires a lot of thought. It means asking yourself questions, hashing out ideas, and having an idea of how it may all come together. When it comes to storage, I find it best to think about specific needs for each functional area of the tiny house. Right now, that focus is the sleeping loft closet and shelves.

The original plan showing the loft (left) and where the closet and shelves will go (far left)

Closet space and shelving are a critical part of every day living. Therefore, making a drawing or model will help finalize how the overall closet system will look and function. I highly recommend looking online to see what clever solutions people create. Pinterest and Google Images are two great places to start.

Creating a Model

There are several ways one can create a model. It can be a sketch on paper, a drawing using software, or a model out of other materials. I decided to create a scaled cardboard model. I wanted to sit in front of it, look at the entire area, and make sure my ideas would really work for the sleeping loft.

Tiny House Closet and Shelves
Cardboard cutouts of the closet and shelves in the sleeping loft

After some testing, re-testing, and rethinking some initial ideas, I had a rough model of the loft closet and shelves. With a plan and model complete, it’s time to build!

Closet Space and Shelves

The shelves on the left and right side are identical in size. Each shelf is approximately 9″ high (~23 cm), 17″ wide (~43 cm), and 18″ deep (~46 cm). If the need arises, these dimensions are perfect for storage bins to organize or secure items while moving the tiny house. Regardless, there are countless options to store stuff.

Tiny House Loft Closet Shelf Contruction

In between the shelving are two closets. Each closet is 41″ high (~104 cm), 24″ wide (~61 cm), and 24″ deep (~61 cm). It is approximately 37 square feet (~3.5 square meters) of spacious shelves and closet space.

Tiny House Closet Space

Lastly for that finishing touch, trim lines the edging of all shelves and vertical separators. This gives the area an extra design to the flat wood edging.

All the materials for this closet and shelving space are finished pine shelf wood. The shelves are cut from two pieces of 3/4″ (~19 mm) x 18″ (~46 cm) x 72″ (~183 cm) and one piece of 3/4″ (~19 mm) x 18″ (~46 cm) x 48″ (~122 cm). The vertical separators use four pieces of 3/4″ (~19 mm) x 24″ (~61 cm) x 72″ (~183 cm). The clothing rod is a 48″ (~122 cm) x 1 1/2″ (~38 mm) wood dowel rod. Lastly, the finishing trim is 1 1/8″ (~29 mm) x 17′ (~5.2 m) of pine rounded corner finish.

Tiny House trim around closet and shelves
Tiny House trim around closet and shelves

Although finished, there are opportunities for optimizations. I could add a shelf above the clothes hangers, a removable shelf half way in each closet, or a curtain that can hide the clothes. However, these options won’t be considered until the space is being used.

Conclusion

As expected, finish work is more time consuming then general construction. However, it’s worth the time and expense to build something that works exactly as intended instead of settling for a kit that only meets some needs.

In all, I felt the most important steps in this process were to brainstorm ideas and create a model. It helped refine the space, tweak the height of the shelves, and spacing of the closets. From that point, construction was easy.

In total, it took 7 hours of work between two people to complete the closet and shelves. They came out much better than I thought. Not only do they provide ample storage in the loft, they look great!

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