| |

Three Items Every Small Home Should Own

Spread the love
These three items are great solutions for living in a small home, apartment or rental.
These three items help make living in a small home, apartment or rental home more pleasant and easy! Great storage solutions for any home!

Well hello, sweet friends!  So happy you stopped by today!  I’m going to be sharing three items every small home should own!  Ya know, I think these ‘need-you-in-my-life’ products are great for any size home. 🙂  Let’s get right to it, shall we?

This post may contain affiliate links, at no additional cost to you.  For more information, see my complete disclosure HERE.


The buzz in the air is that galvanized metal is on its way ‘out’ of décor trends.  However, I say if you love it, use it in your home!  I love it, so I use it! Heehee!  I purchased this beautiful, not-so-little tray on clearance at Walmart for $5.50! I know…Crazy cheap, huh?! Right now, I don’t see a similar one available on Walmart’s website, but I would suggest going into the store to check out their selection and prices… I ALWAYS see them in-store! This tray is a pretty stinkin’ versatile item….

galvanized metal tray with handles displayed in front of a cutting board

Here, I’m using it to corral a vignette!

A metal tray with a candle holder and candle stool nest and cement birds sitting on a window bench

A galvanized tray with handles holding a candle holder miniature stool nest bowl and cement birds on a wood bench

And here is what I use it for most of the time….

a metal tray holding a table setting napkin and decorative egg

Because I live in a small home (by myself), I often eat my dinner sitting on the floor and either work on the blog/social media or, once in a while, watch HGTV!  It’s wonderful to put my whole dinner on the tray and transfer it from the kitchen to the living room, all in one fell-swoop.  Before I got this tray, I was making several back-and-forth trips from the kitchen to the living room with my plate and glass in hand, then salt and pepper, then….  That was a lot of 5-step trips! 😉   One more thing I LOVE about using the tray is that it acts as my placemat… no more spills on my rug/carpet.  Pretty nice perk, huh?  (This pic reminds me… I need some new ‘blogger’ glasses.  My classic Coke glasses are dear to my heart, but don’t photograph well, at all! 😉 )

Another option I’ve thought about doing is using chalkboard paint on the inside of a tray like this and having my daughter (who is quite gifted at lettering) write a lovely quote or verse on it and then hang it on the wall!  Wouldn’t that be so sweet? (Another day, another post, right?)


I first saw this type of magnetic strip when I was reading a blog on tiny homes.  The home that was featured was SOOOO pretty, and the owner had one of these on the kitchen wall… I was sold!

A kitchen island counter holding a double burner spoon rest cutting board and magnetic strip on the wall with utensils

This PBK Stainless Steel Magnetic Knife Strip 15 Inch was on sale for $10 when I purchased it on Overstock.com.  Right now, it is regular price, but Overstock.com often has deeply discounted sales on their products.  Just watch for it!

The PBK strip has worked quite well, but if I ever decide to replace it, I will go with the KUNGSFORS magnetic knife holder from IKEA.  At just $15.99, I like the thinner line of the metal strip, which gives it the ability to be more utilitarian AND decorative!  It has lots of accessories to add to it, which don’t necessarily fit on the PBK strip.  How do I know this?  See those hooks…

a closeup of magnetic knife strip mounted on a wall holding cooking utensils

Those are the hooks for the KUNGSFORS from IKEA.  They do the job, but they don’t fit *exactly* right.  Give me all the accessories and pretties for the KUNGSFORS and I’ll be a happy tiny-home dweller (for now). 😉 You can bet it’s on my Wishlist!


The last item I want to share with you today is another IKEA item!  Don’t we all just love IKEA, for one reason or another? Well, one reason I love IKEA is the cutie-patootie SILVERAN storage bench… happy-sigh and all the hearts!  I love this perfect little bench for several reasons. And, at under $50, I feel it is well worth the small investment.  First off, just look how perfectly it fits in my small ‘entry-way’! (It’s so pretty!)

An entry way door opens to a mudroom nook with a seating bench lead glass window hooks and decorative items

It’s a great seat for putting on my shoes when I leave the house, as well as a “purse-landing” when I come home.  Along with the pretty little aqua hooks that hang above the bench, I have created my own little mudroom nook! (Did I mention how pretty it is… love me that beadboard look!)

Closeup of an IKEA Silveran white storage bench

And the thing that I REALLY love about it????  Of course, it has storage!  In a small home, double-duty is often a deciding-factor on whether an item gets invited to stay. LOL!  Inside the SILVERAN, I store my Homeright Steam Machine Model 53, all the attachments, AND a gallon of distilled water (for the cleaner).  I can even fit more in there, if need be (and I do)!  Tiny-house-storage for the win!

Inside the IKEA Silveran white storage bench filled with Homeright Steam Cleaner and accessories

So, which one is your favorite item?  Let me know how you use items like this in your home! I’d love to hear from you!

Similar Posts


  1. Great minds think alike, Julie! I just bought that tray in Wal-Mart! I had just seen a similar one in Target for way more so I snatched it right up. Trays can turn an ottoman into a coffee table or increase the surface area of a smaller table. So versatile!

    1. Oh, that’s funny! Yes, I plan on using a tray on my ottoman/coffee table, as soon as I get it done! 😉 Again, great minds! LOL! Thanks for coming by!

  2. The IKEA bench is perfect for my mudroom. I have plans for an overhaul of the mudroom this year and the bench is the perfect replacement for the metal folding chair that is the seat for putting on shoes right now. Its perfect for storing work gloves, hats, protective goggles (outdoor goggles are needed when feeding livestock in a blizzard) and other small stuff. You have such great ideas for small living. Thank you for sharing. (And for being one of my first “online” friends. 🙂

    1. Oooo, I can’t wait to see your makeover, Kay! Make sure to share it on your blog! This bench does sound perfect for your needs. You could even put in some organizing containers and trays to keep things neat in the bench! 😉 So glad we met and are now friends, too!

  3. I am contemplating that magnetic strip! I’ve had a knife block forever, but might like to streamline my knives a bit. Hmmmm…You’ve got me thinking!

    1. Tammie, thanks for coming by! Yes, that bench would be perfect in your home and style. 🙂 Hearts and hugs!

  4. I don’t have the same tray but mine is similar in style. I love it to create vignettes on my dining room table with it. The knife holder is a great idea so they are handy. These are good ideas.

    1. Thanks, Debra! Yep, the trays are wonderful for decor AND serving. 🙂 I really love my knife holder, and I hope I can upgrade to add some more farmhouse/cottage appeal to my wee kitchen! Hugs and hearts!

  5. I agree we all should have one! I could use one for my junk that keep piling up in my rental! I can’t wait to move to my new home.

  6. Those are three great ideas for any home Julie. I have 2 of the 3. Now I need that metal strip for the kitchen. I looks so pretty and super handy.

    1. Patti, you have the storage bench? Where is your’s located? I really love that knife strip, but that IKEA strip keeps calling my name! 😉 Heart and hugs, friend!

    1. I still love galvanized anything, Michelle. I have to keep myself from buying all the metal stuff! =/ That and anything aqua! 😉 Thanks for the love! Hugs!

  7. Great items, but I especially like your little storage bench. It is so cute and handy. Dual purpose furniture with hidden storage is always the best because you can never have too much storage. Great ideas.

    1. Yes, Leanna, my favorite is the storage bench, as well! Hope you are having a great week! Hugs and hearts!

  8. Love love love Ikea and their magnetic knife rack and your storage bin, Julie!!! Next house I am looking of that knife rack for sure! Funny, though, it would work really well here in the RV but I still use the wooden knife holder I’ve had since I was 16 and started my wicker hope chest!!! 😉 Pinned a bunch, as usual. <3

    Happy decorating,
    Barb 🙂

    1. Thanks, Barb… I can totally relate. I had my knife block from my hope chest for YEARS! This is so much handy-er, and, of course, takes up much less real estate! Thanks for the love, friend! Hugs!

    1. Yes, Claire! VERY handy! I LOVE having mine near my cook top! Thanks for dropping by! 😉

    1. Hi, Meredith… thanks for coming by! I all-to-well know the feeling of not having enough space. Would your hallway afford having a narrow rack or narrow bench for shoes storage? Hope you are having a good week!

  9. These are fabulous picks for a small space! I m a huge believer in filling my home with items that have multiple purposes or make the best use of unused space…like your wall magnet! Pinned 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Wendi! Your home isn’t as small as mine, but I think we have to think along the same lines when it comes to making things work in a beautiful way in our homes! Thanks for the pin, friend!

  10. Julie these are all versatile items. I need to get me one of those magnetic strips. I also agree that we should not look at trends but go with what we like, after all it’s our home.

    1. Thanks, Mary! It’s funny… I’m SO drawn to everything galvanized, but I know I don’t want my whole home to be just metal. Happy balance, right? Thanks for coming by my friend! Hugs!

    1. Hi, Kristi! Thanks so much! Those magnetic knife holders are pretty easy to find… like I said… IKEA’s seems like the best to me! 😉

  11. I have the galvanized tray and have used it in countless ways. Anything galvanized always gets my attention and tho not to the extreme, I do use it and will whether suddenly its “out.” The bench is tempting and so is the knife strip. I appreciate your ideas and sharing! I love my small place, but it gets challenging. 🙂

    1. I’m the same, Karen… Love galvanized decor items that are practical. I can tend to overdue it, as well, and have to watch it. How big is your place? I agree, small-home-living is a challenge, but I enjoy it!

      1. One bedroom senior apartment, 500 ft. they say(?) I have a small front and back porch to have flowers and a small square to plant a couple tomato plants. It suits me well although challenging as you know! 🙂

  12. Julie, I like your tray! Also want to say that the vignettes you have created are lovely!

    Hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day with your family. How nice that you are caring for your precious Mom at this time in her life. God will bless you for this Julie and I pray that He will give you the strength you need each day as you care for your dear Mom.

    Thanks for the many lovely watercolor pictures that you give us. I have taken your suggestion of using watercolor printer paper and the prints always turn out looking great. I appreciate you, so much, for always bring us such great posts.

    1. Thank you, Mary-Ann… so good to hear from you! I hope your holiday was blessed as well, and you are so welcome for the printables! Hugs and hearts!

  13. I love my magnet strip so much that I got each of my children one but my son needed 2 as he does his own deer and chickens and rabbits. They both like to use them as saves on counter space and you can never have too much counter space. Love your tray it seems so much sturdier than my glass one as I am afraid I will break it but it serves for display now. I have a bench in my entry way but since it was not tall enough I made a pillow to top it and raise me up a bit, more comfy too.

    1. They are wonderful tools, aren’t they, Fernie! It’s so good to hear from you! I was wondering just the other day, “I wonder where Fernie is… I hope she’s okay!” Love the idea of adding a pillow to your bench!

  14. I must admit I am a bit of a tray hoarder 😁. When I had my booth I always picked up trays to redo and sell but since I no longer have it I have to restrain myself and just bring home one if I replace one 😂. And what is that beautiful piece behind your storage bench and the story behind that? I also often wonder how your Mom is doing….you were so kind to reply when I commented on one of your posts about her and the fact that one of my sisters has dementia. Prayers for you and your family. 🙏

    1. Yes… I have to stop myself from hoarding trays, as well, Susan.

      The piece behind the bench is a leaded glass shutter window from an old apartment building in Los Angeles. I came by it via a friend that had several in her garage… her husband had salvaged them. They gave one to me. I plan to hang it up in my bedroom, but I’ve also thought about hanging it above my kitchen bar/sink with a chain. But, I’m afraid that won’t be helpful with photography shoots! 😉

      Mom is as well as can be expected. She is sleeping about 15-18 hours per day, and eating very little. She’s still alert when she is awake, and will talk nonsense (that makes sense to her) for quite a while. I’m learning to listen and ask questions, so she feels engaged. 🙂 Thank you for asking. How is your sister doing? Feel free to email me if you would like… [email protected] (or just reply to a newsletter email 🙂 )

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.