10 Ways to Maximize Under-the-Bed Storage
A bed takes up a great deal of room, whether in the master bedroom, the kids’ rooms or the guest suite. So why not make use of the valuable space beneath?
"In smaller homes or homes without adequate storage, using the space under the bed provides additional options," says Lisa Mark, certified professional organizer at The Time Butler in Los Altos, Calif. "Under-bed space keeps items contained and out of sight and serves as a physical boundary to curtail the number of items coming into the space. It is also convenient because it keeps less-used items out of prime storage space."
Approach your under-bed storage as you would any other home project: with a thought-out strategy. Keep the space neat, organized and well-edited, with no strewn belongings. Choose attractive containers, or hang a stylish bedskirt to conceal plain storage boxes. It’s a good idea to purchase — or repurpose or build — storage items that fit properly under the bed, rather than simply sliding bins or boxes beneath. If the room is prone to dust, consider lidded containers; if you want frequent access to your items, choose storage solutions with wheels or add your own casters.
Ready to get started? Here are a few of our favorite under-bed storage options.
Wheeled boxes. A specially designed under-bed wheeled box keeps belongings out of sight but is easy to roll out when you need something. The generous size is handy for books, out-of-season clothing, linens, hobby items and more. The lid also protects contents from dust and pests.
Drawers. For easy-access storage, purchase wheeled drawers or repurpose old dresser drawers by adding casters to the bottoms. Drawers are handy under kids’ beds for holding toys, games and dress-up clothes. In the guest room, fill them with spare blankets and pillows.
Locked boxes. The space beneath the bed is a great place to store a safe or locked box — especially one equipped with wheels. You can fill it with important items that you don’t access frequently, such as personal documents and valuables.
Storage bags. Large zippered bags work well for infrequently used items, such as holiday decorations and spare blankets, pillows and linens. "Vacuum extra sets of linens into space bags to reduce bulk," Mark suggests.
Archival garment boxes. If you plan to store treasured clothing, including veils, christening gowns or delicate quilts, consider investing in archival garment storage boxes. They’ll fit under the bed and help keep garments from deteriorating.
Photo storage cases. "Under-bed storage is good for memorabilia and old photos," Mark says. "They don’t need to be accessed very often and might degrade if stored in the garage, attic or basement." Choose an acid-free container to preserve photographs.
Shoe organizer. The spot beneath the bed is ideal for storing a large shoe collection. Options abound, from simple divided boxes to wheeled racks.
Gift wrap station. Store gift wrap, ribbons and bows, tape, scissors and cards in a clear plastic bin under the bed. They’ll be out of the way but easy to find before parties and events.
Suitcases. Luggage can be stored beneath the bed between trips and can double as contained storage for blankets, linens, and clothing. You could also add wheels to vintage suitcases for a creative twist.
Bed risers. If you want even more storage space, you can elevate your bed several inches off the floor with risers. Bonus: A higher bed can also be more comfortable for some people and offers a better view of the television set and windows.