Roundup: Managing Outgoing Items

In all the years I’ve lived in small spaces, there’s been one issue that’s tripped me up numerous times: outgoing items. Things such as gifts waiting to be given, goods that need to be returned, and donations awaiting drop-off can be surprisingly hard to accommodate in a tiny home/apartment without them standing out visually and spatially. 

I’d like to say that I’m a total minimalist and simply place all of these miscellaneous outgoing items in a tote and hang them from a hook by the door. But that's too pell-mell for my liking (and for my pseudo-OCD).

I recently found a few adaptable and portable storage pieces that work well for our outgoing items and with our home decor:

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To the Car
There are endless car organizers out there, but they all seem to be those basic vinyl designs that can admittedly be fun to outfit, but then just sit there looking hideous and gathering junk. Recently I've been needing something to help me keep West’s bottles and books sorted for car rides. It had to be just the right size and height for the necessities, while remaining stable when we drive. I also wanted it to blend well with the Cottage, functioning as a pretty organizational tool between drives. I finally found this handwoven water hyacinth this basket and it's perfect. (I even strap it down into the cargo bike when we go on family rides.) It has smaller compartments that are just the right size for kids' cups, snacks, my Nalgene, and more. The larger slot securely holds small toys and several books of varying sizes.

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To the Bike
My friend Emily gifted me this handwoven Guatemalan tote (made from recycled plastic)  by Palorosa Project, and it's the ideal size for a standard bike basket. It doesn't snag on the bike hardware, and it stays upright and contains everything safely on bumpy rides down our poorly-paved Venice roads. It's a gorgeous yet heavy-duty (and waterproof) shopping tote that I've already used dozens of times to haul greenery and groceries around town, and in/out of the Cottage. When it's in our tiny house, I hang it from a door knob and toss outgoing mail and returns in it as well.

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To the Donation Center
Collapsible paper bags are excellent temporary small space storage solutions. These oversized sacks are tall, narrow and durable. They work well for so many purposes, my favorite of which is containing the items that we gather from around the Cottage to drop off for donation every week. I've also used these bags in the past for dry cleaning, toys, and event supplies. They consume so little room when folded up that they're great to have on-hand for a bit of this-and-that around your small space.

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