The area under the bed might be seen as the Land of Good Intentions. It is often a dead zone for cramming in junk, losing things, and hiding closet overflow. But once you rethink this area as valuable storage real estate, you can figure out how to make the space under the bed work for you.
But let’s be honest, under bed storage space can be less than ideal.
- It’s usually unstructured space that is relatively hard to get to, especially if you have back or knee trouble.
- It’s dark and, almost by definition, hard to keep clean. Who wants to reach into a space that is mostly inhabited by dust bunnies or cat hair balls?
- Not everyone has an eye for what type of containers can actually provide good storage solutions. A big plastic bin might be impossible to slide out. Lots of little bins can get just as jumbled as no bins at all.
- Fragile items like wrapping paper can easily get crushed, making them instant clutter. The same goes for keepsakes, hats, and even shoes. Once they are crushed, they may never be usable again.
- If you have a nightstand on each side of the bed, you won’t be able to store a bin under the pillow area and still be able to get to it easily.
One potential solution is bed risers. Bed risers are a cool solution, because it’s one of the few places in your home where you can actually create more storage space, by lifting your bed a few inches higher. They are generally very secure, and even come in some attractive wood versions. But make sure that they don’t raise the bed so much that it causes trouble getting in and out of the bed. Bed risers are especially popular in dorms. They can create a tremendous amount of space, which is great for out of season items stored in trunks or large bins.
Ok, so you want to maximize your bedroom organization and storage. What items should you store under the bed? Out of season items are good candidates for under bed storage. Under bed storage is great for keeping items close by and not forgotten in a scary attic or basement. I’ve had many clients who have gone several years without being able to excavate their out-of-season clothing that has been stored in an attic, but that won’t happen if they are right under your bed.
5 Options for Under the Bed Storage:
1. Plastic under bed bins are made to lift open from either side, and wheel under the bed.
2. Underbed zipper bags like are designed to hold entire comforters or, in this case, shoes.
3. DIY it with a rectangular bag and some free wine case dividers, if your under bed space is high enough.
4. Repurpose an old dresser drawer into a rolling tray just by adding casters and a handle pull.
5. Beds that have built-in storage are by my favorite solution. There are plenty of sleek, sophisticated storage beds on the market that make use of under bed storage without sacrificing style.
Some people say they feel the energy of each thing and pile of clutter in their home. These folks usually prefer to keep the under bed area completely clear, claiming that it causes them to sleep better. Feng shui practitioners will tell you something similar, but it also makes sense in Western culture. A clear space is easier to clean, without having to move things around. The easier it is to clean an area, the fewer allergens there will be, which can lead to better sleep.
There are some things that should not be stored under the bed. Stuffed animals and textiles like extra blankets are not great under the bed unless they are contained, because they will attract dust and can aggravate allergies. Also, nothing sharp, like blades, electronics with sharp edges, and weapons should be stored there, because people have a tendency to reach under a bed to pull things out without looking at where they are reaching. That’s a good way to get hurt. Even if you know what’s there, someone else in your home could still get hurt.
Finally, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t mention that when the closet is full, the dresser is full, and under the bed is maxed out, it’s probably time to declutter. Most people have all the space they need, but they’ve filled it with things, things and more things. The 80/20 rule holds true in many areas of life, and it’s true in spades in the closet. Most of us are wearing the same 20% of our clothes 80% of the time. We wear and use our favorite things over and over, while 80% of our stuff is causing the cluttered and dusty under bed problem. So keep the space under the bed clear if you can, or at least well organized.
Darla DeMorrow is a Certified Professional Organizer® from Wayne, PA. This post is adapted from her blog, Heartworkorg.com.