Even if you’re giddy with excitement over getting the keys to your new apartment or house, in the back of your mind you might be wondering where you’ll put all your stuff.
There are lots of scenarios where storage is at a minimum, from the tiny house craze to a one-bedroom apartment to an older home with 1940s-size closets. As you are planning your move, keep in mind that choosing the right furniture—that is, furniture with storage—can often be the solution.
Put Clutter to Bed
With limited closet space and less room for a dresser, some extra drawers come in pretty handy. Swap out your traditional bedframe for a storage platform bed. Sometimes seen in children’s rooms, they can be very grown-up in a queen size bed with a variety of finishes.
Under-the-bed drawers are a great way to utilize space that is otherwise wasted. They’re perfect for folded items. If your closet is small, you might hang shirts and dresses but fold slacks and jeans. The large drawers under the bed make it easy to store pants unwrinkled.
Use this space for folded sweaters, athletic wear, off-season garments, extra shoes, handbags and more.
Keep Things in Reach
Switching out your bedside table for furniture with storage is a great way to get more space. Bedside tables hold your lamp and a few essentials on the tabletop and nothing else. Get a nightstand with drawers or even use a small chest next to the bed instead of a table.
These smaller drawers are perfect for holding your smaller collection of garments. Use them for your socks and stockings, undies or pajamas. They are also handy for accessories such as scarves and boxes of jewelry.
Use the space your headboard takes up for storage by swapping your traditional or decorative one for a bookcase headboard or a bookcase.
You can buy a headboard designed as a bookcase. Or, get a freestanding bookcase of the same width as your bed and use it behind the bed. The visible shelves can be artfully arranged. The lower shelves, hidden by the bed, are great for storage you don’t need to access often.
On your open shelves, you can place books, family photos and speakers. On any hidden or lower shelves, add baskets or tubs. Use these to hold out-of-season clothing or occasionally-used items like holiday decorations. Be sure to place your bed on sliders so it’s easy to move when you do need to get to hidden shelves.
Your stuff doesn’t have to be hidden away to be organized. Choose decorative hooks to hold your goodies. This creates storage on otherwise unused wall space and frees up drawer storage and dresser surfaces. Use hooks to hold accessories like necklaces, bracelets, scarves and hats.
Ideally, it would be great to have a comfy chair in your room for hanging out and reading. If you don’t have room for that in your tiny space, you still need a spot to sit down and put on your shoes and socks.
Swap out a storage ottoman to use instead of a chair or use as a footrest with a chair. You can use it as a seat but lift the lid for storage. Use it to store your spare bedding, collection of handbags or all your t-shirts.
Get to Work
Not all storage has to do with clothing. Whether you’re a student or just need a spot to pay bills, being able to put away papers and related items is a key to staying neat. Instead of a bedside table, use a small desk on one side of your bed. Be sure to choose one that offers drawers or shelves.
Desk drawers give you a spot to store bills, warranties, receipts, loan papers, leases and other documents. Use the drawers to hold printer paper, office supplies and electronics parts. The surface will give you a spot to get work done. Use a desktop vertical file to hold projects. Add a whiteboard or corkboard over your desk for posting invitations, your calendar and deadline reminders—or just fun keepsakes like ticket stubs and photos.
Don’t Get Hung Up
Don’t let a tiny closet discourage you. There are lots of ways to use every inch of available storage space. Make your closet do its best job by trying some of these tricks:
- Add a second hanging bar. You can add a temporary lower bar that hangs from the upper bar to create two layers of hanging space.
- Use the inside of the door. Add an over-the-door organizer to hold shoes or hang extra coat hooks to use for robes or jackets.
- Get a folding stepstool so you can use all of the upper shelves easily, then fold and stack sweaters, jeans and workout clothes on them.
- Maximize the floor by adding storage under hanging clothes. Use this space for a hamper, a shoe rack or a rolling cart to hold socks, belts, scarves and hats.
Use these tips to make the most out of your small bedroom. When you keep your space organized and tidy, you create the perfect place for relaxation.
Lea Schneider is an expert on the efficient organization of storage in houses and apartments. She has spent many years as a professional organizer and writes organizing advice for Home Depot. If you are organizing your own bedroom storage and considering some of Lea’s ideas for beds and other furniture, you can continue researching on Home Depot’s website here.