Currently on display at Milan Design Week, ‘Compact Life’ is a line of home storage products from Muji designed in collaboration with industrial design students inspired by today’s movement to downsize and declutter living spaces at home.
For those of us who’ve been living tiny before it was popular, we know the right home accessories for storage make all the difference between a cluttered and clutter-free home. Today, majorly in response to the raging climate crisis, people are incorporating aspects of tiny living into their home spaces to dampen their overall climate footprint. Providing the means to do so, Japanese household goods supplier Muji released a collection of storage accessories called ‘Compact Life’ that makes tiny living seem a lot more attainable for all of us.
Documenting and taking note of their own living spaces, the students worked closely with Muji designers and the Swiss designer Michel Charlot to finalize an array of twelve home products that optimize storage space to make tiny living a lot more comfortable. Each product stays true to Muji’s minimalist personality and humanistic approach to design, keeping geometric shapes and multifunctional builds.
Amidst the catalog of accessories is a basket storage system that doubles as a wood-and-crate step ladder, ideal for the kitchen space or bathroom to store toiletries and reach taller heights. Then, there’s a series of photo frames that can store paper goods like notes and business cards in an integrated slot that traces the perimeter of each frame. Using their own homes and colleagues’ homes as their main source of inspiration, the design students even made niche items like an insect house made from wire and hollow bamboo that could be hung outside an apartment window for hummingbirds and honeybees to drop by and visit.
Each one of the twelve designs is on display at Milan Fashion Week and the home accessories that comprise the Compact Life collection span from a modest corner shelf designed for the shower to a mirror medicine cabinet that also functions as a whiteboard. Product designs like a valet stand for hanging clothing items and a pole storage system with compartments tailor-made for umbrellas would help organize home spaces like the entryway for a clutter-free welcome.
Then, there are products designed for office spaces, like a paper wall pocket that functions as a filing system for narrow office items such as notebooks and stationery and a folding chair that transforms into a small side table for impromptu lunch meetings. A steel-wire basket trolley tucks under the bed and stores clothing items to take some of the load off the closet. Finally, a bedside table with a concealed compartment for charging smartphones takes focus away from technology and brings us closer to a restful night’s sleep.
Entryway products like the multipurpose coat rack help declutter the home’s foyer.
An under-the-bed steel-wire basket trolley takes some of the load out of the closet.
The Stepladder Basket is a stepladder that also functions as a storage basket for smaller household items.
The Valet Stand is another entryway product that could help declutter crowded spaces.
Clip Hanging Frames allow for ways to hang your photos and also store paper goods.
A mirrored medicine cabinet also functions as a whiteboard for notetaking.