5 Expert Bedroom Storage Ideas
A bedroom should be a haven from life's chaos, a place to relax and unwind. But it's hard to feel serene when looking at piles of dirty clothes, or searching through an overstuffed closet. Get five expert tips for stashing in style.
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There may be several square feet of potential bedroom storage hidden under your nose and your furniture. These five tips will help you find space to stylishly store clutter big and small:
1. Stick it under the bed
A king-size bed eats up 42 square feet of space. Why should the dust bunnies have it all to themselves? "Under-bed containers can hold the shorts and tank tops you're not wearing in January and make more room for what you are wearing," says Kristine Becker of Closet & Storage Concepts in Voorhees, N.J. "Flipping your seasons is a great way to save space."
Ikea sells sliding drawer units that fit under beds, or you can buy storage bins that roll in and out. "I'm the queen of under-bed storage," says Denise Schipani, who spent the first years of her marriage in a small Manhattan apartment. "When we lived in that apartment — and especially after we shoehorned a baby and all his things into it — there was so much stuff under my bed, I never had to vacuum there. No room to."
Lise Lingo stores luggage, backpacks and gear bags under her bed in compartments her husband built into their bed frame —basically a box with an overhanging platform and removable panels on each side. "He even ran rope light around the inside and hooked it to a motion sensor," she adds. "So the light comes on when you need to find a specific bag."
2. Maximize your closet
"Before buying bulky dressers or armoires, make sure you're getting the most out of your closet — especially when it comes to hanging space," says Kristine Becker. "You can always add drawer or shelf units, but it's harder to change the rods."
Before you start drawing up plans for your bedroom storage closet, analyze what you plan to keep there. To figure out where to install rods, for example, estimate how much space dresses and suits take up versus shirts and jackets. For longer items, you need full-length vertical space under the rod. If the bulk of your clothes extend less than 3 feet, hanging two sets of rods, one high and one about 40 inches above the floor, will double the amount of clothes you can hang in that space.
Consider what you need access to on a daily basis versus every few months. Your favorite walking shoes should be front and center, whereas those strappy Manolo Blahniks can be stashed in their boxes on an upper shelf for special occasions. Shoe cubes, tiered tie racks and slide-out laundry bins help keep things tucked away yet easily accessible.
Kristine suggests getting shoes off the floor, where they tend to end up in a mix-and-match pile, and putting them in individual cubbies. She also believes in minimal drawer use. "Stuff like sweaters and T-shirts should be on an open shelf where you can see them all at the same time," Becker says. "If you're looking for your favorite sweater and you've put four others on top of it in a drawer, you'll never find it. You might as well give it away. The only thing that should go in drawers is things that don't fold well — socks, underwear, bras. Usually four to five drawers per person are plenty."
Lise uses every inch of the bedroom closet she shares with her husband in Washington, D.C. Racks on the wall behind the door hold shoes and the door itself has a full-length mirror. In-season clothes, hats and belts hang from hooks on narrow side walls. "I'm a big fan of the slide-out tie racks that work with wire shelving systems. I use mine for belts," she says. "We also have built-in shelves in a corner behind the clothes rods that are good for deep storage — like shoes my husband seldom wears."
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