Storage ideas for small bedrooms – and really good storage ideas at that – are worth their weight in gold. Because, when it comes to our bedrooms, you'd better believe that we spend our nights dreaming about a calm and uncluttered space.
Why? Well, it seems that keeping our boudoirs in order isn't just good sense; it also makes for a better night's sleep.
Storage ideas for small bedrooms
The value of small bedroom storage ideas was made all too clear when a new study by Coast Road Furniture confirmed our worst fears: a cluttered bedroom can add to your stress and inevitably disrupt a good night’s sleep.
'Just like making your bed in the morning can set you up for a productive day ahead,' says Alison Hughes, the company's interior design director. 'And tidying your bedroom and making a clean, calm environment can help you feel more relaxed and ready to sleep in the evenings.'
To help you do just this, we've sussed out the best storage ideas for small bedrooms, from the clever placement of shelves to interior designers' tips.
Let's get things feeling as soothing and serene as possible, OK?
1. Think hard about your furniture
'Beautifully fitted furniture can often provide the most effective and efficient way to make use of more confined spaces, especially if the bespoke design has been created to fit the exact contours of your room,' says Rachal Hutcheson, national retail manager at Sharps.
'A well designed fitted wardrobe can offer on average 40% more space than a one-size-fits all design, so it's well worth considering for even the smallest of bedrooms.'
2. Turn to sliding doors
A sliding wardrobe door is great, and a mirrored sliding door even better.
'It's important to take a wardrobe’s doors into consideration to ensure they are easily opened in a small room,' says Rachal. 'If a bed is in close proximity to the wardrobe, opt for sliding doors to provide a sleek, effective alternative, whilst mirrored styles will help to make a space look bigger.'
Juliette Thomas, founder & director at Juliettes Interiors, agrees, dubbing wardrobes with sliding doors a 'brilliant investment'. For an extra streamlined and minimalist look, choose a handleless design or one with discreet handles.
3. Create a 'bed bridge'
Don't let the space between your headboard and the wall go to waste!
'Opportunities for storing your things in and around beds should be carefully explored in small bedrooms,' says Rachal.
'As a rule of thumb, always start with the placement of your bed, and think about how something fitted can be designed to create a seamless storage space that feels like it's part of the room, rather than a piece that has been placed within it.'
She adds that 'integrating a bed bridge is a smart way to maximise the area around your headboard and helps keep things off the floor, avoiding any unnecessary clutter.'
4. 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 optimise the square footage – exploit the space all the way up to the ceiling,' say the experts at My Fitted Bedroom.
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.
5. 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 storage ideas for small bedrooms, this notion must be thrown out the window.
'Under-bed is the unsung hero of storage spaces. It’s simply one of the smartest and easiest ways to add masses of storage without it cluttering your room,' says Rachal.
'Although many beds are now designed with built-in drawers, there are ways to create something similar if you’re looking to utilise the ‘dead’ space. Baskets and boxes are an obvious choice but make sure you measure the width and height of the space first.'
Rachal advises that, when selecting containers for under-the-bed storage, you go for 'products with wheels to guarantee an easy glide and opt for longer models that can be used from each end of the bed.'
6. 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 at IKEA.
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 colour scheme.
7. Use storage within storage
'An easy way to get an organised wardrobe is to add extra storage solutions inside it,' says Rikke Blaeside, Design and Range Manager at JYSK.
'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 organised 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 organisers. 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, available at Amazon is great.
9. 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.
A storage ottoman at the foot of the bed provides space for baskets to contain blankets, candles, books, pyjamas 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.'
10. Hang a ledge above the bed
A MOSSLANDA picture ledge, available at IKEA comes into its own above the bed, whether you're arranging your favourite 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 also create extra space to display vases and books, which you can restyle as a way to decorate your home for free.
11. 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.
12. 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 favourite 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.
13. 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.
14. Add some oomph to your bedside table
'Bedside tables with built-in storage should never be overlooked,' says Rachal.
'On a very basic level they offer an opportunity to store everyday essentials such as charging cables, alarm clocks and reading glasses. Extra storage aside, they’re also a smart way to create a cohesive style for any room with multiple fitted pieces.'
Alternatively, you could opt for a floating bedside table, as seen above, and use the space underneath for a storage basket stuffed with slippers and other bedtime necessities.
15. And don't forget the top of your wardrobe
'If you don’t have storage that runs from floor to ceiling, you can still take advantage of unused space,' says Rachal
'The gap between your cabinets and the ceiling for example can be utilised to store things that are rarely used, thereby freeing up room inside the hidden cabinet space. Try using sectional storage boxes that suit the scheme of your room as a great way to free up cupboard space.'
You can also use smart baskets or even repurposed crates.
How do you maximise 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.
'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.'
Where should a wardrobe be placed in a small bedroom?
'Always aim for your bed to be in the centre 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 organise 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. '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 jewellery 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?
'Try to minimise 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.
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Millie Hurst was Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home from 2020-2022, and is now Section Editor at Homes & Gardens. Before stepping into the world of interiors, she worked as a Senior SEO Editor for News UK in both London and New York. You can usually find her looking up trending terms and finding real-life budget makeovers our readers love. Millie came up with the website's daily dupes article which gives readers ways to curate a stylish home for less.
- Kayleigh DrayActing Content Editor
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