Our bedrooms are almost as busy as we are, juggling multiple tasks at once. They’re where we get ready in the morning and unwind at night, and the place we store our clothes, shoes, makeup and treasured decor pieces. And because guests don’t (generally) go into our bedrooms, they often get neglected.
If your bedroom’s looking tired and disheveled, our small bedroom storage ideas will help revive it. Our bedrooms should be restful retreats that tell our brains it’s time to relax, but blink and our tidy rooms can start to slide. Then we don’t get enough sleep because our room’s a mess and we’re too tired to do anything about it.
Storage ideas for small bedrooms
There are so many creative ways to break this vicious cycle and give you more space for your stuff. From the clever placement of shelves to interior designers’ tips – we’ve got all the inspiration to take things from utterly clutterly to soothing and serene.
Begin by making a list of the types of furniture and storage that you need to incorporate into the space. Do you need a desk or dressing table or can you make do without? Do you need a single or double bed? Drawers and hanging space or shelving?
1. Aim high with shelving
Think vertically. If you haven’t seen your bedroom floor for a while, get some shelves up. ‘Make the most out of the wall and overbed space to optimize the square footage – exploit the space all the way up to the ceiling,’ say the experts at My Fitted Bedroom (opens in new tab).
Shelves high up near the ceiling will add much-needed extra inches to storage spaces and bonus, it’ll make the room feel higher, leading the eye up. Pick up some of the prettiest, best storage baskets et voila, you’ve freed up loads of space.
2…Or low go with under-bed storage
Some feng shui experts warn against having anything under the bed because it affects the energy flow, making the space feel less restful. However, when coming up with small bedroom ideas, this note must be thrown out the window. Under-bed storage is precious when space is tight, whether it’s for spare bedsheets or a random array of items that just can’t fit anywhere else.
Plastic crates or storage boxes on wheels will make things easy to grab, and you can get affordable zip-up storage bags, at Dunelm (opens in new tab) that you can just slide out of sight. Book lovers, why not use the space left around the edges for displaying your most-loved novels? Being surrounded by your favorite paperbacks will bring a sense of comfort, reminding us of bedtime stories growing up. (Keep the TBRs elsewhere though, or it’s like sleeping next to a to-do list.)
3. Keep it concealed
The best storage ideas for small bedrooms are the ones you don’t notice right away, like this clever use of the TRONES shoe storage units, £25 for two at IKEA (opens in new tab). These inconspicuous storage units will keep things concealed so you can maintain a zen feel in your sleep space. Here the TRONES unit doubles up as a headboard with a shelf for displaying a few trinkets. They can also be painted to blend in with your existing bedroom color scheme.
4. Use storage within storage
‘An easy way to get an organized wardrobe is to add extra storage solutions inside it,’ says Rikke Blaeside, Design and Range Manager at JYSK (opens in new tab). ‘Storage boxes and baskets will help you keep it neat and tidy. We also recommend using baskets inside drawers for smaller items such as underwear or belts, this will keep them organized and you can use the rest of the drawer for something else.’
Try putting storage within storage within storage, a bit like a Russian doll, with the best wardrobe organizers. So there’s a place for everything and everything in its place. Pick up foldable plastic crates to break things up into categories, and drawer dividers – the IKEA SKUBB set of six, £11.40 at Amazon (opens in new tab) is great.
5. Choose furniture that has more than one purpose
‘Make the best of a small room’s limited square footage by choosing multifunctional furniture,’ advises Rebecca Snowden, Interior Style Advisor at Furniture And Choice (opens in new tab). A storage ottoman at the foot of the bed provides space for baskets to contain blankets, candles, books, pajamas and so on. It also gives you somewhere to put your shoes on or rest a delicious tray of breakfast in bed.
Or, if you’re looking to replace your bed, consider an ottoman bed that lifts up with built-in storage underneath. ‘A stylish ottoman bed doubles as a place to store seasonal clothing and extra bedding,’ says Rebecca. ‘A small chest of drawers also works as a bedside table. Look for pieces with a slim profile – anything too bulky could make a small room feel weighed down.’
An ottoman bench, £99 at Aldi (opens in new tab) is another handy solution, but you could equally well use old trunks for a vintage look. The key is to find storage items you love, whether it’s a mid-century wardrobe or stylish baskets.
6. Make a sliding doors moment
‘Sliding wardrobe doors are perfect for bedrooms that are limited on space,’ comments Juliette Thomas, Founder & Director at Juliettes Interiors (opens in new tab). They are a brilliant investment, so if you’re currently brainstorming fitted wardrobe ideas, consider sliding doors so that you’re not caught with wardrobe doors banging into the bed or other pieces of furniture, disrupting the flow of the space. This storage idea for small bedrooms makes it easier to take clothes out. For an extra streamlined and minimalist look, choose a handleless design or one with discreet handles.
7. Hang a ledge above the bed
A MOSSLANDA picture ledge, £5 at IKEA (opens in new tab) comes into its own above the bed, whether you’re arranging your favorite prints or a few delicate decor pieces. In this small bedroom, the picture ledge helps to anchor the space. Note the other storage options, like the bedside table with an extra shelf below the drawer and the chest at the bottom of the bed. Cube wall-mounted shelving units, at IKEA (opens in new tab) also create extra space to display vases and books, which you can restyle as a way to decorate your home for free.
8. Use a clothes rail
If you don’t mind having some of your clothes out on display, consider a open wardrobe ideas, like this clothing rail. This small bedroom storage idea allows you to create a seasonal capsule wardrobe with your most worn pieces to hand. As well as being a good solution for compact spaces, having your clothes out might also make it easier to come up with new outfit ideas, giving you inspiration simply by having your different pieces visible day to day rather than squashed together in a wardrobe. Ensure you’ve got some aesthetically pleasing hangers to finish things off.
9. Go bespoke
Here’s another brilliant example of using the walls to keep your small bedroom in order, with storage built into the wall around the doorway. This bedroom shoe storage idea creates a fun feature that celebrates your favorite shoes and bags, adding lots of character to this transitional space as you enter the room. There are also lots of IKEA hacks to take inspiration from, with lots of people using the BILLY bookcase as a starting point for a DIY fitted wardrobe.
10. Use the back of the door
Are there any doors or wardrobe doors you could use for extra storage? Attach rails and hooks or hang an over-the-door rack to give you additional space to keep just about anything, from toiletries and towels to jewellery.
How do you maximize storage in a small bedroom?
‘Think about using every nook and cranny where possible! There is no point in creating a beautiful space if you have nowhere to store your everyday items like a glass of water or a book, so think about this when designing the room,’ says Ann Marie Cousins, Founder of AMC Design (opens in new tab). ‘If space allows, a good place for storage is above the bed – but don’t overdo it as this can make the room feel smaller. Add floating shelves above the bed for items like books and decorative pieces.’
‘I would avoid storing everyday items about the bed as it would be awkward to get things on and off, so opt for a bedside table for smart storage. A floating shelf can work here also with a wall light instead of a table lamp to save space.”
Where should a wardrobe be placed in a small bedroom?
‘Always aim for your bed to be in the center of the room, with the rest of your furniture positioned around it,’ says Juliette Thomas. ‘Ensure your wardrobe doors don’t open up onto the bed or another piece of furniture so you can easily take items in and out.’
How do you organize a small space with lots of things?
‘In the summer put all your winter clothes in vac pack bags and store under the bed or high up in a cupboard,’ say Anna McGregor and Lotte Martin, founders of interiors shop, LAMP LDN (opens in new tab). ‘We always recommend including dividers in your drawers and wardrobes so you can find what you are looking for without pulling everything out and making a mess.
Anna also suggests small bedroom storage ideas at the end of the bed, such as a bench or chest, which will work seat as well as a place to store linen or blankets. ‘Little dishes or plates to put your jewelery in every night look pretty and also mean you always know where to find it in the morning,’ she says.
How do you make a small bedroom look less cluttered?
‘Having less on the floor makes rooms feel more spacious,’ says Jane Lee, APDO (opens in new tab)member and Founder of Jane Lee Interiors (opens in new tab). ‘Try to minimize large pieces of furniture and look for clever multi-functional solutions: beds with cavernous storage drawers, ottoman beds, a headboard with built-in shelves, trundle beds and ones that can be stashed away into a footstool.’
‘Rolling carts are good for small rooms as they can be moved out of the way when not in use. Use them to store make-up, hair styling equipment and products. Add floating shelves above the door or close to the ceiling to keep the room feeling more spacious,’ says Rebecca Roberts, APDO member and Founder of Curate My Space (opens in new tab).