Everybody has stuff. It seems that the only time we really get rid of excess is when we move. But, it somehow returns to us all too soon. How does it find its way back? Well, that's a story for another day.
When building a small home, our penchant for accumulating things becomes painfully obvious if we don't create enough storage space. It's not so apparent at first if we've followed our normal pattern of lightening our load when moving. It's not long, however, before a small home lacking closet and storage space is causing us real grief.
The Halls of Injustice
I could take a hard stand and say that hallways in a home are the lazy, uncreative way out of taking the time to design well. Halls can be a waste of space. But, the truth is, we grew up with hallways and love them.
Hallways can serve a function. The obvious function is to provide passage to rooms in the home. Additionally, they can hide doors to bathrooms, basements and other rooms we might want more private access to. But, is that enough of an advantage to keep them? Since there are other ways to achieve these objectives, I don't think so.
Bigger Closets & More Storage
Despite the difficulty in reducing or eliminating hallways in small home floor plans, the pay-off is substantial. What would you rather have; a big hallway to hang pictures in (where it's too dark to see!) or a big closet to hang your clothes?
Storage, like closet space, must be addressed. We all have things we just want to keep but without a spot, it becomes so much clutter. A good way to do this is to design accessible attic space in the house and garage. There are trade offs in every design but in a small home, you can't afford to waste a foot of space. Good design can eliminate or minimize hallways.
Quality of Life Issue
A little clutter can make a house a home, but in a small home, a little extra clutter can overwhelm you quickly. Pay close attention to the number and size of closets as well as where you'll store that extra "stuff" and your small home can feel spacious and comfortable.
Your quality of life might just depend on it.