As much as we love them for their coziness, small bedrooms can present a challenge when it comes to storage. That's especially true if your bedroom is also your office, craft room, or indoor workout area. Luckily, there are many ways to make the most of the space you have.
Before going out to buy storage containers or expensive furniture, take a moment to reflect on how you'd like your bedroom to function and what exactly you need to store. Do you need more desk space? Do you have more clothes than can fit in your closet? Are you okay with exposed storage, like a clothing rack, or do you prefer to keep your belongings stored out of sight?
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Next, if you haven't already, declutter as much as you can. Use Marie Kondo's strategy of keeping what "sparks joy," or if you need a more specific approach, ask yourself these questions about each object: Does this bring me joy or fill a need? Do I have something else that serves the same purpose? Would I miss it if I let it go? Is it worth the space it takes up? Would it make more sense in a different room?
Once you know what you're keeping, you'll be able to see how much space you need for each category. If your bedroom serves multiple functions, consider setting up distinct zones: for sleeping, working, reading, and yoga or meditation. Keep what you need for each activity in its zone. If you like to keep things really separate, consider a screen or curtain as a divider between your desk and bed, for example.
As you shop for storage solutions, keep an eye out for multipurpose objects — such as a bed frame with shelves or a mirror with pegs. You may be surprised how much extra space you can create. To help inspire you in the process, here are 30 space-saving storage and organization ideas for small bedrooms.
1. Find a shelving unit that fits over your bed.
A storage headboard or over-the-bed shelving unit or bookcase can make the most of a space that might otherwise be used only for wall art. Use one for a mix of both storage and display. Just be careful and exercise common sense when deciding what to place above your head. Secure objects with museum gel to keep them from moving around. Note: If you live in an earthquake-prone area, this is one tip you should skip.
2. Turn a wall into an exposed closet.
One of the biggest challenges of a small bedroom is clothing storage. If you have a tiny closet, maximize your space by using a drawer system, then expand outward and make the whole wall your closet. In this space from Studio McGee, a clothing rack, narrow storage shelf, and wall hooks make an exposed closet that's both practical and beautiful. A lack of storage space can also be an opportunity to display a collection of hats.
3. Hang a set of shelves.
Wall space is your best friend in a small room. For instant storage and style, mount a single wall shelf or a whole set of them. In this room, a set of shelves leaves enough floor space for a tall houseplant and a cozy reading chair. Its low-profile design also exposes the wall behind it, for an airier look than you would have with a traditional bookshelf.
4. Free up table space by using wall sconces.
A table lamp can quickly take up all the space on a nightstand. The solution: Go for a wall-mounted lamp. When you only need enough surface area for an alarm clock or a glass of water, you'll be free to choose a smaller table.
5. Store your books vertically.
A tall bookshelf is not the only way to store your reading collection. If you have limited space, consider vertical storage, as in Kristine Claghorn's house, photographed by Almost Makes Perfect. You can even buy floating shelves, so you can select a book from the bottom of the stack without fear.
6. Display art on a floating shelf.
Is the top of your dresser looking a little too cluttered for your taste? Offload some objects onto a floating shelf or picture ledge. In her bedroom, Cassandra of Coco Kelley hung a ledge, which holds an arrangement of artwork, allowing the surface of her dresser to look tidy and tranquil.
7. Save floor space with a floating cubby.
When floor space is precious, hang everything you can — not just shelves and hooks, but also cubbies, like this one used as a bedside table by Ashley of Sugar & Cloth. With a drawer on top and a shelf below, it provides both exposed and hidden storage. The area below can be used for a basket or just left open to give a welcome sense of spaciousness to a small bedroom.
8. Find a bed with storage.
Consider investing in a storage bed, like this one from West Elm, with a pull-out drawer beneath the mattress. For a more affordable alternative, you can lift a regular bed using risers, which will provide you with a few extra inches of under-bed storage. Use large boxes with wheels for a similar drawer effect.
9. Go for a bedside shelf.
If your headboard doesn't come with shelving, or if you don't feel comfortable adding shelves above your bed, try using short shelves as bedside tables, as in this bedroom featured by Coco Kelley. Depending on your book collection, these may replace your entire bookcase, or just keep your to-be-read pile close by. If you want to store smaller items as well as books, just use a basket as an alternative to a drawer.
10. Customize a pegboard.
Pegboards let you transform your walls into modular storage that you can rearrange at your whim. Use pegs on their own, or add shelves, hooks, bins, cups, rails, or baskets — the possibilities are endless. For added customization, you can paint them to perfectly coordinate with the rest of your bedroom decor. Follow this tutorial to make your own.
11. Show your personality.
Clear plastic boxes not cutting it for you? Choose alternatives that double as decor, as Violet Victoria Dent did in this bedroom featured on Coco Kelley. Woven storage baskets make use of the space available underneath the vanity while also contributing to the room's eclectic, maximalist vibe. This look also shows that minimalist style is not your only option in a small space.
12. Consider a multifunctional loft bed.
This bed with a built-in desk, dresser, and shelves may come from PB Teen, but it's not just for college dorms. It's roomy and stylish enough for any small bedroom. Practically an entire room's worth of storage in itself, it will free up the rest of the room, leaving you with twice the floor space you would have had otherwise.
13. Try a non-traditional nightstand.
Anything can be a nightstand: a shelf, a chest of drawers, an accent cabinet. In a small bedroom, you might feel limited to minimal bedside tables. Depending on the layout of your room, however, more substantial ones — like these cabinets, styled by Studio McGee — could be a better alternative to one large cabinet or dresser.
14. Organize your closet.
When you're trying to squeeze every inch of space out of your closet or wardrobe, it might be time to turn to a tried-and-true organization system — like the IKEA Pax system, pictured above. With a modular configuration like this one, you don't have to start from scratch or measure each basket to make sure it will fit. If you opt for a wardrobe without doors, a curtain is the perfect way to section it off from the rest of your room and give your eyes some rest.
15. Store belongings in a bench.
A storage bench is basically an attractive bin you can keep outside your closet. As demonstrated in this IKEA bedroom scene, you can use it for anything — not just sweaters and other soft goods, but also office supplies, shoes, sports equipment, and tall or oddly shaped objects that won't fit easily on a shelf or inside a drawer. The fact that it provides comfortable seating is a welcome bonus.
16. Use a ladder.
Wall hooks aren't your only option for hanging storage. A leaning ladder can also hold a variety of objects with style. In her house, photographed by Coco Kelley, Violet Victoria Dent uses one to hold tote bags. The ladder's rustic look fits the country cottage aesthetic of this corner, with its soft pinks, woven baskets, and floral curtains. You can even make your own using wooden boards and towel bars.
17. Go for a bed with a pull-out desk.
Made for maximizing storage, captains' beds usually have spacious drawers. This one, by West Elm and PB Teen, also has a pull-out desk and an open shelf that you can use to store office supplies even when the desk is closed. A floating shelf above the bed adds extra space for books and bedside essentials.
18. Add a basket.
If your bedside table doesn't have drawers or shelves, you don't have to replace it. Consider adding a decorative basket underneath, as in this scene by Studio McGee. While the tabletop can hold books and an alarm clock, the basket can store softer objects, like your pajamas or spare linens.
19. Choose multipurpose items.
In a small space, the more each object can do, the better. If you'd like to hang a mirror on your wall, for example, consider one that comes with a shelf and hooks. Use the perch to display some flowers and a candle or you can even create a mini vanity.
20. Conceal storage with a bed skirt.
So you have space under your bed for storage but don't want to see utilitarian boxes every time you walk into your room? A bedskirt can keep everything hidden. In this room featured on Almost Makes Perfect, a pale gray bed skirt blends into the rest of the linens, so that even if there were plastic storage bins tucked underneath, they wouldn't distract from all the beautiful natural materials in the room.
21. Try this IKEA bed base hack.
We love an ingenious IKEA hack. This one features a twin-sized Luroy slatted bed base hung on the wall as a rack. Use S-hooks to hang items or simply drape magazines and notebooks over the slats. It's practical and looks cool, too.
22. Give the Murphy bed a chance.
Also known as wall beds, Murphy beds are perfect for small spaces, especially bedrooms that also serve as an office, yoga studio, or living room. Open them up when it's time to sleep, then tuck them back into the wall to free up precious floor space. This one, in the guest room of François et Moi's Erin, was a DIY project. When closed, it looks just like a stylish farmhouse cabinet.
23. Divide your drawers.
Take a cue from Marie Kondo and organize your drawers vertically, like a file cabinet, so you can see all your clothes at once. Dividers help keep everything contained in manageable sections, so when you pull out a pair of socks, all your leggings don't collapse. You can create the same effect for less by repurposing cardboard boxes you already have.
24. Combine your desk and bookcase.
If your small bedroom is also your small office, a bookcase with a built-in desk might be for you. This one has a drawer to help make up for the minimal desktop. To save even more space, you can opt for a wall-mounted shelf desk.
25. Don't forget the doors.
The back of your door can provide valuable storage space for items like shoes, which take up less space in a hanging set of pockets than they would in a dedicated shoe rack or cabinet. Displayed this way, they're also much easier to access than they would be heaped in your closet. Over-the-door caddies aren't just for shoes either — they're also ideal for everything from socks to craft supplies.
26. Keep your under-bed storage accessible.
Under-bed storage doesn't just have to be for out-of-season clothes or other belongings you only access a couple times per year. Cassandra of Coco Kelley shows that it can also be for daily-use objects, like your current reading pile. She used a shallow round basket that can easily be slid in and out of view.
27. Hide your dirty laundry.
In a small bedroom, there's not much room to keep anything out of view. If you don't have room for a laundry basket in your closet, consider a lidded hamper with a small hole, so you can easily deposit your dirty clothes without having to look at them all the time. This cylindrical one, in a bedroom featured on Almost Makes Perfect, even matches the woven headboard. Use these tips to keep your basket-style hamper clean.
28. Choose a streamlined storage bed.
If your room can fit a bed and not much more, consider an option with built-in storage that doesn't expand outward. While many storage beds feature pull-out drawers, this one from West Elm has side shelves with sliding doors. This is also a great alternative for those who feel uncomfortable placing objects above the bed on a headboard or wall shelf.
29. Add drawers to your desk.
If you have a desktop but no drawers, did you know you could add your own pull-out storage boxes? Keep your workspace tidy and your tools nearby with clever finds like this one from Etsy shop LexieCreativeArt. Other desk drawer alternatives include under-desk cubbies, hooks, and phone holders, as well as wall pockets.
30. Create your own modular closet.
The exposed clothing rack look is not for everyone. If you prefer to keep your belongings out of sight, consider organizing your clothes in a wardrobe. Choose a half-size or full-size version, or place a couple side by side. Over time, as your storage needs change, you can add an extra wardrobe or rearrange them around your room. Personalize them by adding your own door handles or pull tabs.