6 Brilliant Storage Ideas to Steal from This 234-Square-Foot Converted School Bus

updated Jun 14, 2021
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Credit: Tina W

Most dream homes don’t come with wheels attached. But Chris and Tina Wann decided to sell their home in Nixa, Missouri, and hit the road with their two sons, Elijah and Rylee, and their pup, Dub the Skoolie Dog, in a retired 2005 school bus, which they converted into their 234-square-foot home.

“We wanted a home on wheels that allowed us to travel and one that we could customize to meet all of our needs. This [bus] does all of that! After adventure, our goal was to create a home that minimized our bills,” Tina says. The couple also dreamed of living off the standard utility grid and installed the bus’s solar power and a composting toilet.

Credit: Tina W

Before the family moved into the bus, they sold off plenty of the things they had collected over the years. “We found ourselves with less clutter, less to clean, and more time on our hands. It was easier,” says Tina, who works as a social media strategist for small businesses.

While the Wanns’ kitchen may be small and narrow, they’ve incorporated several clever ideas to maximize their kitchen storage space. Here, we’ve compiled the top six takeaways that make the grade.

Credit: Tina W

1. Maximize wall space by hanging baskets.

Wall-mounted wire baskets free up precious counter space. Tina has a set of two deep baskets: one for conveniently grabbing smaller every day items, such as honey and maple syrup, and the other for tall, wooden cutting boards. Tip: Place shorter and smaller items up front, so they don’t get lost in the shuffle.

Credit: Tina W

2. Hang pans on hooks.

If you’re wondering where to store pots and you’re tight on storage space, take a page from Tina, who hangs her gleaming frying pans on hooks. Not only are they conveniently ready to use, but the pans also look good hanging in the open.

Credit: Tina W

3. Turn your toe kicks into storage.

The Wanns creatively hide their unsightly canned items in wire baskets beneath their kitchen cabinets. With shallow baskets, Tina can still clearly see her inventory once she pulls out her makeshift pantry. We love that these baskets are no hassle, but if you’re extra handy, we’ve also seen people add drawers to this space.

Credit: Tina W

4. Use wire baskets to store produce and jars for dry goods.

Tina keeps produce neat in wire baskets tucked away on kitchen shelves, which she also fills with jars. “One of the biggest things I have to ask myself is how the items we bring in will handle traveling down the road,” Tina says. The wire baskets ensure that loose potatoes and oranges aren’t rolling around the floor as the family drives from destination to destination.

Credit: Tina W

5. Perch baskets up above.

With an eye for detail, Tina uses her collection of woven baskets to sit along an alcove atop the bus driver’s seat. Eclectic style is all about adding your personality to your home! Thanks to contrasting textures and varying neutral shades, her assortment of baskets infuses plenty of visual interest to an otherwise small space. Tina admits her biggest indulgence is finding storage pieces that are beautiful. “Baskets are my current obsession,” she says.

Credit: Tina W

6. Create a vertical wall of greenery.

Bring the outdoors in with a vertical garden wall, and brighten up the kitchen. “The water propagation wall allowed me to develop a green thumb in a tiny space without overwhelming my family with too many plants,” says Tina, who uses slender test tube-like vases to hold trimmings. Once again, by using the wall, Tina frees up valuable counter space in the kitchen area.

Related: The Prettiest (and Smartest!) Small-Space Gardens on the Internet

Do you use any of these kitchen storage ideas? Tell us in the comments below!