Two words; Loft Bed. That’s the meta. If you have a ceiling that allows for a loft bed, you get a loft bed. This is how you do it. You may hear loft bed and think “oh, those beds for kids?” but you gotta look more. There are double bed sized loft beds. You can get loft beds that are suspended from the ceiling or the wall. People have had rooms the exact length of a double bed and just wedged one in there on brackets.
If the bed is up there, that means you have all the space under it to play with. Think how much space a bed uses, how much a double bed usually takes up. Now you have all that space still to work with because the bed is up there. You can get loft beds that have wardrobes built-in under them and have a mini-staircase made up of drawers so you can store things in every step. Desks, boxes, shelves, everything can go underneath.
Now, if the room is for a small child, it is advised not to hang anything from the underside of a loft bed as children may choke themselves. If you are working with a room purely for people who can be trusted to not do that; you can use that space under there to hang up nets and other forms of hanging storage. Nothing too heavy, unless you’ve got a particular sturdy build that can take the weight, but some light stuff. Toys or maybe some compartments for scarves or shoes.
If you have the option to customise the back support of your loft bed, you can really go all out. One thing you can do is get some cork tiles and a hot glue gun. Make yourself a wall of cork by gluing them together and sticking it to that back wall. Why? Well, same as any corkboard. Cards, photos, keychains, your keys, your string board showing how it’s all connected, your blueprints for making this room bigger; whatever you want to put on there, you can. Rather than have things sitting in a drawer gathering dust; put them on display.
Let yourself look at the things that make you happy. Storage doesn’t always have to be about putting things away. You just need to put them in their place.
It is also possible to get pockets that you can affix to the railing of a loft bed, allowing a place to store things like phones, tablets, alarm clocks, teeth, whatever you’d have on a bedside cabinet.
Beds That Aren’t Loft Beds
There are many options regarding storage and beds/bed sizes, though you won’t get the same amount of height without that loft bed. You can buy a bed with storage built-in, which will provide limited storage. You’re not going to get much in the way of customisation options. You can instead buy a bed that’s completely open underneath. When going for this kind of bed, be considerate of height, think about what’s going to be big enough to get what you want stored under there.
The thing is, the space under there can become a mess. To help deal with this, trays on wheels are a great help. Look at what wheeled trays you can get, how tall they are, and compare that with the gap for the bed frames you’re considering. If your tray can fit under there, you’re set.
A couple of helpful measures with your trays are things like labels. Labelling your trays so you know what contains what is going to save you a lot of time pulling them all out just to check. Another way is to get something to stop your trays from going too far under the bed and getting lost. Yes, this is taking up a small bit of space that could be used for storage but that is something you’ll have to weigh up for yourself. It doesn’t even need to be a big divider. A couple of planks for wood or a piece of tubing, just something that will stop the tray from being pushed back when you swing your feet under the bed.
Your wardrobe isn’t limited to what it came as. If your wardrobe is full of negative space, you can do more with it. Why have a person-sized space for a load of shirts – those only cover half a person! Installing a shelf to make a divider and then adding another rod is going to double the number of shirts you can fit in that space.
But you can get creative. Maybe you don’t need that much room for shirts. Maybe what you need is more shelves to put things on, or more drawers to store things in. Install more shelves, get some dividers, throw an entire storage unit in there. Make that space yours with some DIY, just make sure to measure the space before you start.
Create your own rules and never let the feeling of “but that’s not the intended purpose” stop you. A lazy susan isn’t just food. Rather than have to worry about things getting stuck at the back of a shelf, the lazy susan will allow you to easily rotate it to the front without pulling everything in front of it out. You can put anything that will fit on there. Ties for every day, spin, ties for special occasions. Make-up bag for work, spin, make-up bag for travel.
The alternative (and more conventional) way is the basket. Fill the basket with whatever, slide it into the shelf space. Books, socks, nail polish, shoes, anything and everything can go in the basket.
Simple and easy. Bookcases and display cases are great storage ideas. You don’t have to only put books in a bookcase, you can put whatever you want in there. Adding some baskets or boxes will turn what was an open space into a drawer, allowing you a little more privacy in what you’re storing. Things you want to display can be in the open, things you don’t can go in a box on the shelf. If you have some precious things that you’d rather not get dusty, get yourself a display cabinet so you can keep the doors locked.
Of course, you may want that floor space for other kinds of furniture, so don’t forget you can just put up wall-mounted shelves. Make sure you know what you’re doing though. You can find guides that will help tell you all you need to know about how and where you can put up your shelves. Again, you can customise these with boxes if you so wish.
Speaking of wall-mounted shelves, those walls can hold so many things! Now that you know where in the room it’s safe to put wall brackets and nails, it’s time to go wild. Do you want a TV in this bedroom? Wall-mounted TV. Think of the space you just saved on some worktop that you can now cover in more baskets and boxes or knickknacks. Precious family photos? Get a big frame, put 50 photos in there and on the wall it goes. More corkboards, whiteboards or a hanging bag to put things in.
That’s right, more storage options than just a shelf are available for your wall. You could put a net up there. Nets can be easily purchased or you can make them just as easily with string, wool, or cord that you have in your home. Put a net up and you can store things in it or hang small things from it. You’re living like a giant spider now.
Of course, you can also simply purchase some bag or pocket-shaped storage and affix that to the wall. These are great for things like shoes, scarves, and other light things.
Make sure you know what you’re doing before you start installing hooks. You don’t want to bring your entire ceiling down because you got over-zealous. Once you know what you’re doing, you can start looking into forms of hanging storage. There’s a variety out there, just be sure to keep the things in there light.
On Top of Things
Now you may have some space on top of things. Don’t be afraid to put things up there. That’s storage space too, so throw some more boxes and baskets on top of your wardrobe but make sure the stuff in them is less frequently needed. Maybe you can use them to switch between your seasonal wardrobes to clear up some chest of drawer space.
If this is the case, consider getting some vacuum bags. Get those clothes as flat as they’ll go so you can fit more of them in there. It’s not practical for the stuff you’re wearing every day, but if you’re not going to need them for a while they may as well be flat.
If you have things like desks and the tops of chests of drawers, you have quite a few options. Desk tidies, jewellery boxes and such are classic. But you can also consider getting some more shelves you can set on there too. If you haven’t stuck all your monitors to the wall, monitor risers offer you extra storage space for your knickknacks, and the ability to slip your keyboard away to clear some desk space.
What is a door but a bit of wall you can move about? Anything you can affix to a wall, you can put on the door (as long as it doesn’t stop you from getting in or out.) Coat hooks and shoe pockets are a great way to go with doors, and you can put whatever you want in those shoe pockets.
It’s All Storage
Now, your bedroom probably already has the normal storage. Dressers, chest of drawers, wardrobes, etc. But if you have room for more furniture, you may as well see if you can get versions that offer you more storage. Looking for something to sit on? Ottoman. Set things on? Ottoman. Everything is an ottoman now. You stand up, you open the lid, you pull out whatever you want. You have storage everywhere now and you can hide so much stuff.
Now that you have your storage plan, you’re going to need some furniture to fit your style. Try our style quiz to find the perfect piece for your small bedroom needs.