After moving to our mountain cabin, it took us over a year to find the best ways to organize it. We had to learn how to get creative with our space and think about storage in new ways. How you organize the space is key. If you do it well, you can maximize small corners, avoid clutter, and create a log cabin home where everything has a place.
How you organize your space transforms it. It makes the difference between a house stacked full of things and a functional home.
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Every log cabin is different, but there are guidelines that will work for each one. I’ve broken them down by individual rooms below.
The kitchen is a central point of activity in a log cabin. It’s a room that you’re constantly in and out of and a place where people tend to congregate. Most cabin kitchens are built to be small and functional.
If there’s one room that you need to organize for efficiency, it’s your cabin kitchen. Here are a few tips on how to do it.
- Cabinets are best: The more cabinets you have, the more storage — and the easier it will be to organize your kitchen. Most cabin kitchens are packed with cabinets. But if you don’t have a lot of them, consider adding shelves for open storage space.
- Add storage to your cabinets: Add shelves, boxes, and baskets to your cabinets to create a division of space within them. This will help keep everything tidy.
- Hang when you can: Fasten hooks on the sides of cabinets, under shelves, and on walls to create extra storage. You can hang mugs, towels, and pots and pans and minimize their footprint.
- Buy as you go: Only buy food or kitchen tools that you need. Instead of fully stocking your cabin kitchen all at once, buy items on an as-needed basis to save space.
Organization Takeaway #1: Get creative with cabinets and hanging space.
The Living Room
I’ve learned that cabin living rooms are tricky to arrange. They epitomize the greatest challenge of managing space in a log cabin because there’s a lot to fit into a small space. Often in a living room, you have to work around a wood stove, fireplace, staircase, or other fixed features.
Here are a few ideas to organize your cabin’s living room and maximize your space.
- Make the most of your furniture: In your cabin, furniture isn’t just furniture, it’s also storage! Choose furniture with built in storage (end tables with drawers, ottomans that open up, or sofas with space underneath).
- Use unconventional storage: If you’ve already furnished your cabin and need to add storage, look to more creative ideas like baskets, trunks, decorative boxes, etc. All of these items add storage to your living space in ways that can also be beautiful.
- Arrange and rearrange your furniture: Try a few different furniture arrangements to see what works best. Sometimes the arrangements that open up your space are least intuitive. For example, try grouping your furniture in the middle of the room or defining different areas in your room with area rugs.
Organization Takeaway #2: Make the most of your furniture
In cabins, as in any home, the bedroom can be a major source of clutter. It’s easy for our bedroom’s organization to become an afterthought, and turn into the go-to room for things that don’t have a dedicated place.
Here are four ways to cut down on bedroom clutter and keep your cabin bedroom a cozy, tidy room.
- Clothing: Pack away clothing that you don’t need. In warm months, store your heavy jackets, hats, and socks — everything you won’t wear for a while. And vice versa in the winter with your summer clothes.
- Blankets: One of the best parts of cabin life in fall and winter is cozying up under a heavy blanket, but in the warmer months, these heavy blankets take up a lot of space. Find a way to store them whether it’s a closet, trunk, or storage bin.
- Hooks: To create extra space, install hooks above your dresser, next to your bed, or in the closet, and hang your hats, scarves, shirts, and jackets. Hanging clothes on hooks will save valuable real estate in your drawers and on your hangers.
- Have a system: Organizational methods for the bedroom only work if you have a good system for them. If you don’t know where your winter clothes will go, or what you’ll hang on your hooks, everything will get cluttered again. Have a system and stick to it.
Organization Takeaway #3: If you don’t need it now, store it.
Log cabin bathrooms are notoriously small. The trick to organizing them is to start by thinking through how you use your space, and then design for it.
- Is there a space for your towels next to your shower or tub?
- Are your toiletries above or below your sink?
- Is there extra soap and toilet paper, and are other bathroom necessities nearby?
Think through how you use your bathroom’s space on a day-to-day basis, and then work backward to design it.
- Find extra storage: Add shelves, small dressers, baskets, or boxes in the unused spaces of your bathroom.
- Stick to the essentials: Bathroom clutter isn’t just solved by organization. It’s also solved by minimizing what you have. Stick to only buying the essentials for this room instead of stocking up on different kinds of soap, extra emergency toilet paper, or toiletries that will never be used.
Organization Takeaway #4: Find a place for everything.
An Important Note: Find What Works For You
Every log cabin is different, and it will take some trial and error to find the storage solutions that work best for your home. Following the ideas in this guide will help you create beautifully organized rooms, and as you do so, you’ll learn to think differently about space.
As you begin to organize, you’ll notice solutions that weren’t clear at first, and new ways to use space creatively. Through trial and error, you’ll discover the best ways to design your cabin.
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Organization is a skill that’s learned through practice and experimentation. Once you’ve honed it, you’ll be seeing your space in a new way, and transforming your cabin from cluttered to functional becomes second nature.
Start by picking one of the above rooms in your log cabin and following the outlined tips. You’ll be surprised how far a little cabin organization can go.
Do you have any other tips or experiences organizing your cabin? Drop a comment below to share your thoughts!
Megan lives with her husband and son in an 800-square-foot log cabin in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. In search of a simpler pace of life, Megan and her husband quit their jobs, sold what they owned, and moved across the country to their mountainside cabin. Megan blogs about her all things cabin lifestyle at The Cabin Diary.
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