Mobile Home Mysteries- Storage

If you live in a mobile home, you are likely always in need of more space, unless your kids are all grown and have left you lovely big bedroom spaces to remodel and use as your very own sitting, sewing, working, tv watching rooms….or anything else you have been dreaming about every time you walked into their rooms to yell “clean it up!” For now, while all the good spaces are still filled with children’s or parent’s belongings, doing some detective work and getting a little creative might be in order.

Mobile home owners are at a serious storage disadvantage as they generally are not put on a basement and do not have attic spaces. Many newer mobile homes are built with 7/12 pitch or higher roofs that allow for a crawl and storage space to be utilized. But for the most part, a single-wide generally has a flat ceiling and a double-wide comes with a 5/12 roof pitch that hardly allows for insulation, let alone a crawl space.

In a recent remodel, we completely renovated our master bedroom/bathroom suite. It included a walk-in closet that was so dreary and included a smaller closet for our water heater and water storage tank. When we tore the walls down, we realized that there was a very large space, approximately 3’x5′, in front of the water heater space that adjoined the living room wall outside of our closet. Hmmmmm…what a great hidden space that wasn’t being used! In fact, it was closed in a wall and at nearly the highest point of our ceiling, so it could accommodate lots of shelves pretty high up if we designed it right!

Closed in Closet

Closed in bedroom closet

Our plan was to tear out the “closed in” walls of the walk in closet and open it up to be used as a workspace for me, and a clothing area for both of us. We already had to install a new water heater and were planning to put a new door on that utility closet so we decided to go all the way and build a new closet out of our hidden space. It would be closed to the bedroom closet by a wall, but would be accessible from the living room (where there was a plain wall with no opening at the time) and used as a coat/storage closet.

After cutting out the wallboard that covered the space we found, we made the plumbing/utility upgrades and then recovered the wall with white bead board. We love this product because it gives our home a “cottage” look and doesn’t require painting.

New bedroom closet/ hidden closet on the other side of white wall

New open bedroom closet- Hidden closet on other side of white wall

Once the new closet was enclosed, we put a new back wall in it with a plywood product called Plytanium DryPly by Georgia Pacific. This board is the same that we used to rebuild our subfloor in our bathroom. It has a water-repellent coating on it that we thought might help keep any water leaks from the utility closet behind it from damaging items we kept in the new closet. Shelves were then built, laminate flooring and a door added, and viola!, there is a new closet in our living room.

Hidden Closet View from livingroom

Finished Closet with Door Living Room View

Finished Closet

Finished Closet with Finished Living Room Wall and Trim

Closets in mobile homes often waste a lot of space close to the ceiling. You can build easy shelving out of a few pieces of wood that utilizes more of this space. We have tackled this problem in three of our smaller closets with great success for under $25.00 each! If I have a chance, I’ll try to post pics of that project in the forum.

If you have found some creative ways to organize and un-clutter your mobile home spaces, please share them in our forum. We’d love to know what you’ve done! Now, back to finishing our new front steps!

Happy remodeling!

~The McGees


  1. I have a question, what if you decide to paint the walls of the home, what does it have to be done in order for the paint not to peel? I have a dreaded flower type walls on my kitchen that I can't wait to get rid of, but don't know how to do it. Thank you

    • @rbourgetgras- Thanks for your post…

      We have successfully painted walls like the ones you describe by roughing up lightly with a sanding block…then using a good primer. However, Lowes and Home Depot both sell a good paint with primer in it and I've used that successfully as well. But to be sure, using a primer and then a good paint with primer may be the sure way to go.

      We have also covered the wall board with flat, paintable wall paper. It's accepts pretty well. However, the kind you buy at the big box stores that are textured and very smooth do not take paint very well without being easily scratched.

      My grandmother painted smooth paneling in her older mobile home years ago and it accepted paint after priming very well.

      Good luck with getting rid of the floral mess!

    • I have successfully repainted my ugly floral walls in my sngle wide. I did not even use sandpaper to rough up. All I did was put 2 coats of Zinsser 123 primer and used a better quality paint in eggshell base ( I used Vaspar). I have had no problems with peeling paint. Walls turned out beautiful!

      • Thanks for visiting, Joy, and for sharing your experience. Painting these walls is a good and inexpensive way to improve the room. Enjoy your brighter spaces!

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