Almost every home could use more storage, especially in small bedrooms. While we all aim to declutter, which is helpful, and we know buying only the things we know we’ll use is wise, let’s be honest. We all have stuff. We have heirlooms, collections, books we love, seasonal decor, and tools or supplies we use from time to time. Space in our homes is at a premium these days, especially as bedroom sizes have shrunk to provide more space for living and entertaining areas. You have more space in your bedroom than you think, if you just take a moment to look and think a little differently.
Store it or Show it?
If something is pretty or interesting looking, show it off! Things like books, art, and collectibles arranged together on open shelving let you show off the things you love. For the most impact, group like items together in odd numbers, and vary the height of your arrangements. For instance, use stacks of books, cake stands, or even candleholders to display your collections to their best advantage.
Hidden storage is great for things less attractive things like craft supplies, toiletries, and out of season decorations. There’s no need to spend a lot of money on baskets and bins, though. For small items, you can easily cover shoe boxes with plain brown craft paper to create pretty, neutral, and uniform storage. Or if you want more color and pattern in your bedroom, use scrapbook paper or wrapping paper to cover boxes. Lidded boxes of any kind are great for seldom used items because they’ll be protected from dust.
Unless you have low ceilings (8 feet or below), you likely have space above your windows and doors. Shallow floating shelves are perfect for spaces like this and offer more storage than you would think. Deep shelves may seem like they would offer more small bedroom storage, but they visually close in your room and make it look top heavy. Instead, install shelves around six inches deep for paperback storage, boxes of photos, and for storing things like craft supplies in the covered shoe boxes we talked about above. Or display the heirlooms and framed photos that you love on these high shelves and leave your dresser top clear for toiletries, perfume, jewelry box,and other things you use on a daily basis.
Don’t forget to use the tops of your bookshelves and wardrobes, if you have them. This is a great place to store larger items. A great easy project is to take an ordinary cardboard box and buy some thick twine or cheap rope. Use a glue gun to wrap the box in the twine or rope to give your room some natural looking (and inexpensive) texture AND more storage. These will look great on the top of your tall furniture.
Underbed storage is one of the best small bedroom storage ideas out there! You can find a variety of solutions at all price points, from inexpensive plastic storage boxes all the way up to beds with built in storage drawers. Here too, closed storage is going to offer dust protection for things you use infrequently, like seasonal clothing or decorations. Roll out storage boxes on casters for things like the shoes you wear most will save you closet space and will make getting dressed in the morning fast and easy.
But don’t overlook your other bedroom furniture! For instance, if you have a simple four legged bedside table, add a basket or box under it for storing the latest books you’re reading, journals, remote controls, chargers, and other things you use daily. Your room will look neater, and your tabletop will be clear. Lots of people have a bench at the foot of their bed. Stack large coffee table books under it – they are perfect here, as they don’t fit easily in most bookshelves. Or use another covered box or a basket here for even more hidden storage.
Decorate With What You Have
Think about things you own and collect in a new way. Do you have antique quilts or hand knitted or crocheted blankets? Instead of hiding these beautiful items away in a closet, mount one that goes with your bedroom color scheme on the wall at the head of your bed in place of a headboard, for instance. Do you have a collection of old serving trays that you seldom use but are taking up cabinet space? Place one on your dresser top or bedside table to corral watches, jewelry, and other small items. Or glue simple saw tooth picture hangers on the tray backs and hang them in a grouping on one of your walls to create a cool and different focal point.
Embrace the idea that art and decor doesn’t just have to be a painting or a photo in a frame. By using the pretty and interesting things you have inherited or collected as wall decor, you free up small bedroom storage space in your bedroom and closet for other things. Hanging like objects together will make the most impact. A friend who loves antique scissors doesn’t store them out of sight or jumbled together, point down in a jar, she hung them in a grouping of five pairs across and five pairs down. That “square” of cool old scissors is meaningful to her and is really different and interesting to look at.
Thinking about small bedroom storage in terms of displaying what’s pretty to you and hiding what’s “ugly” can make your bedroom a place you love to be. Books, magazines, and websites are full of cool DIY projects for creating inexpensive storage boxes and inspiration for interesting displays. Look all around the room for new spots to hide things, and enjoy the beautiful things you already own.