Minimizing Minimalism

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Last year we moved from a 3 bed, 2 bath, 1700 sq. ft. house in the mountains to a 1 bed, 1 bath, 700 sq. ft. apartment in Los Angeles. We had to make some difficult (and not so difficult) decisions about what to keep and what to get rid of. We have now been living in our tiny home for over a year and find ourselves in a state of perpetual downsizing. So we thought it would be nice to share some of the small house ideas we’ve learned so far.

Small House Ideas, Minimizing Minimalism

Small House Ideas

Su and I both know people who have fully embraced the minimalism lifestyle. Su has read the books, we’ve looked at the articles. But we always seem to come back around to the same conclusions: it’s not for everyone and sometimes it just feels like a load of bull.

So this is our look at minimizing minimalism. I want to minimize the inconvenience of minimalism while still downsizing. We live in a tiny city apartment, yet we still have things that don’t “bring us joy”… because, well, we need them. The toilet brush, not exactly a “joy bringer” but I’m glad to have it in the house because the alternative is somewhat unpleasant.

And let’s be honest, the only people that live an “Instagram lifestyle” are the people in the frame… for the duration of the snap. So stop comparing your life to the single frame of a staged moment someone posted online.

1. Functional Furniture

Moving to a small space meant that we needed to use every inch efficiently. We are far from there, but one thing that has helped is finding furniture that looks nice, is out of the way and is still quite functional. This shoe cabinet in our bedroom is a perfect example. It’s small and out of the way in an otherwise unusable amount of space against a wall. Yet it neatly handles our shoes and internet equipment.

Ikea Shoe Cabinet

2. Storage as Decor

Su and I both have skateboards. But we don’t have a garage, much less room in our closet to store them. So we tried to figure out a way to stash them without cluttering up our space. We finally decided to hide them in plain sight. We like the look of the decks, so we found a wall rack to hang them up out of the way. And they serve as a display piece. This can easily be done with guitars or other musical instruments as well.

Small House Ideas, Minimizing Minimalism

Skateboard wall rack. (Amazon does not currently have the exact one we have. But this one is very similar.)

3. Store Items Together

We brought our bikes with us to LA. They have since been in our bedroom resting against each other up against the wall when we aren’t using them. But we wanted to be able take them places and easily put them on our Crosstrek. So we needed a bike rack. But the problem was, we just didn’t have any room to store a hitch mounted bike rack. The solution was to put the bikes on the rack and store them together.

We actually gained back some room since the bikes sit vertical instead of leaning against the wall. I cut up the box that the rack was shipped in to create some blocks to balance the rack against the wall.

Small House Ideas, Minimizing Minimalism

Our hitch mounted bike rack

4. Vacuum Bags

We bought these vacuum bags sort of impulsively. We had extra bedding for guests and our winter clothes taking up room in our closet. We needed a way to make them physically smaller. So I grabbed some of these large bags off of Amazon.

Small House Ideas, Minimizing Minimalism

They are awesome! I fit 3 large pillows in one bag and it saves a ton of room in our closet. These are the Jumbo Size.

They even come with a little vacuum pump so that you don’t need any power to shrink them down.

Small House Ideas, Minimizing Minimalism

These have been pretty cool to large blankets or seasonal clothing. We stacked them four high under the bed and the contents will be protected from dust and dirt as well as saving space.

Jumbo Vacuum Storage Bags

More to do

We still have a ways to go. But we are finding little ways to become more efficient in our storage. Along with that, we are finding out that we don’t need a lot of the things we used to have. There are so many little things that you simply don’t need in a small space.

As we find more ideas going though this process, we will be sure to post some more about it. Let us know in the comments if you have any other small house ideas.



  1. almost I am convinced NOT to replace all my stuff. this freedom of jumping up and ready to go in an hour – and NOT worrying about who will take care of everything… is helping me rethink! I like the idea of hiding it in plain sight!

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