The ‘Storage Space’ Under Your Bed Is a Mess (but You Can Do Better)

The ‘Storage Space’ Under Your Bed Is a Mess (but You Can Do Better)
Photo: fizkes, Shutterstock

For many of us, the space underneath the bed holds nothing more than a stack of old photo albums, a few stray socks, and a layer dust you’ve been meaning to do something about for, oh, a few years now. However, the space under your bed is actually prime storage space — especially if you live in a small home — and one that frees up precious closet space without cutting down on additional space elsewhere.

Depending on the type of bed you have, you can use that space to store everything from your out-of-season clothes and shoes to bulky, hard-to-store items like hockey sticks, skis, or the weights you’ve been meaning to use but also haven’t gotten around. My mother used to store canned food and dry goods under the bed, including cans of tomato puree and boxes of dry spaghetti, which she’d buy in bulk every time there was a big sale. You have options, is what I’m saying.

If you’d like to maximise the storage space under your bed, here are a few tips for creating a storage system — and some suggestions of what to store away.

How to set up an under-the-bed storage system

To start, you’ll need to measure the dimensions of the space under your bed so that you don’t buy storage bins that look like the right size online, only to later realise they don’t fit. You’ll want enough extra room in order to easily fit the boxes and bins and be able to pull them out as needed. (If you aren’t satisfied with the amount of storage space under your bed, you can create more space with bed risers, which will lift your bed a few inches.)

The good news is that you don’t need to make the storage system pretty, you just need to make it accessible. That means you can easily repurpose some items you may already have on hand, rather than going out and buying more stuff. If you still aren’t happy with the look of your storage system, you also have the option of covering it all up with a bed skirt.

Some ideas for under-the-bed storage bins include:

  • Cardboard boxes
  • Old dresser drawers
  • Plastic bins
  • Shoe organisers
  • Luggage
  • Baskets

If you really want to make your life simpler and easier, you can add wheels to your storage containers, either by buying them with wheels already attached, or by adding your own. That way, when you need to pull something out of storage, it will roll right on out.

What to store under the bed

The advantage to utilising the space under a bed is that it’s easy-to-reach and accessible when you need it. What you actually store under the bed, though, will probably depend on who sleeps there.

For your own bedroom, it can be handy to use this space to store out-of-season clothing and shoes, hard-to-fit sports gear, luggage, and any extra bedding, such heavier winter blankets and spare sets of sheets. For your kids’ rooms, that extra space is good place to store lesser-used toys, books, games, out-of-season clothing and shoes, and spare blankets or sheets. In the guest room, store items you don’t need quite as often, such as extra sets of bedding or towels, holiday items like decorations or gift-wrap, or any other items that get only occasional or seasonal use.

If you have a lofted bed, well, that opens up a number of additional options, which can be especially valuable if your living space is limited. The area under a lofted bed can be used as a workstation, a reading nook, or for additional storage (with an extra dresser).

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