How to Optimize Your Bedroom Storage Space
Use these easy tips to organize and store your items in no time.
In addition to being your oasis from the rest of the world, the bedroom also plays an essential role in the organization of your home. Sure, it's where you unwind at the end of a long day, but it's also where you store many of your prized possessions. Whether it's your your favorite pair of boots, a vintage bag, or your elegant four-poster bed, you want everything in your bedroom to look neat and organized but to also be accessible. To help you strike the right balance between form and function, we asked experts to share their top tips for creating an efficient and organized space.
According to Melissa Maker, cleaning expert and founder of Clean My Space, "The only thing you should be storing in your bedroom is clothing and accessories; and try to only keep what is in season and what you actually wear and love in there. Otherwise, you'll be trying to find space for things that don't actually need to be there." A bedroom should be restful, and for most people that means clutter-free, says Darla DeMorrow, certified professional organizer®, owner of HeartWork Organizing, and author of the best-selling book series SORT and Succeed ($12.19, amazon.com). "This is where having a place for everything pays off, especially if your bedroom is also pulling double duty as a home office lately," she says. "Make sure that you can see the tops of the furniture, the bed, and the entire floor. Just by clearing off all the flat surfaces and putting things away, you can probably get close to your organizing goals."
If you're ready to learn how to organize your bedroom once and for all, consider these top storage tips—ultimately, they'll help you transform your room into the space you've always wanted.
Use the Top of Your Closet
Maker says to utilize the often under-appreciated area at the very top of your closet. "You can maximize that space by getting storage bins," she recommends. "Or, if you're up for a DIY project, you can raise the bar to a comfortable height where you can still use it, and then install a lower bar and quickly double your closet space."
File Instead of Stack
When storing items in bedroom dresser drawers, they should be filed instead of stacked, says Maker. "When you stack items, you can't see what's at the bottom and that stuff usually gets forgotten. When you file them, you can see everything so that it all gets even wear," she explains.
Minimize Items on Surfaces
The best rule of thumb to organize your bedroom is to keep surfaces clear of unnecessary items. "For any tabletop surfaces in the bedroom (dresser, nightstand, and so forth), try to keep items on there to a minimum if you want your bedroom to be a serene space," says Maker.
While it might be tempting to store items like jewelry or loose change in a catch-all dish, Maker recommends holding off on using it for those purposes. "First I would say to have a 'zero catch all' rule. While trays, bowls and baskets look nice, they encourage us to throw things in there that otherwise wouldn't have a home," she says. "For example: on my nightside table, I have a tray that holds hand and foot cream that I put on before bed, earplugs, and my jewelry. But I don't use it for anything else."
Buy Furniture with Storage Features
Storage ottomans and storage benches are very useful, says Maker. "They're great because they can go at the foot of the bed and double as a piece of furniture. They can be used to store bulky items too. If you want a more 'rustic' version and you're looking to upcycle, you can get a cedar chest (bonus points if you get it at an antique market!)."
Store Clothing Properly
Maker says it's important to store clothes properly, so they stay their best. "Garment bags for dressier items like dresses or suits, and anything that requires breathability such as down jackets. Other clothing can be stored in air-tight containers or vacuum sealed bags," she says.
Buy the Right Dresser
DeMorrow says, "Underwear, socks, and bras really want to be in some sort of drawer, but not so deep that they get lost in there." She recommends drawers with a four to six inch depth. "Anything deeper, and things get piled on top of each other, making it hard to find your favorite socks, even with drawer dividers," she says. "If you have additional drawers for folded shirts, shorts, and leggings, that's a plus, but most of those can also be folded and stored on a shelf just as easily."
Use a Storage Bench to Sort Clothes
The second piece of furniture DeMorrow recommends is a storage bench placed at the foot of the bed or inside a large closet. "The bench is handy for dressing, but the storage is key for helping to stay organized," she explains. "When you or a family member have worn something for the last time, toss it into the storage bench, out of the way. Every month or so, you can gather those clothes, shoes, even jewelry, and accessories together for a donation drop off. You'll never again have to take a day to sort and declutter your wardrobe."
Manage Out of Season Clothes
"For out of season clothing that you want to store, I prefer finding space in your current closet," says DeMorrow. "Use the very high shelves and the dark, awkward corners for storage. You probably need less space than you think, though, since your fuzzy sweaters can occupy an eye-level shelf during the winter, while your shorts sit up on the high shelf, then swap them at the end of the shoulder season (spring and fall)."
Opt for Custom Storage
If it's time for a renovation, remodel, or simple upgrade, getting a custom closet is a great way to fit your storage options to your needs. "Maximize your closet from floor to ceiling and wall to wall, so you have space for things you own. By introducing a double-hanging system into an older closet, you can immediately double the amount of useable space," she says.
Have a System
DeMorrow says to start with a written goal of five words or less—like put away all clothes, then organize into groups, reduce, release, reset, tweak your space (make upgrades like better hangers, improved lighting, fresh sheets), and then celebrate your hard work.
"Just get started, and see where you are in 15 minutes," she says. "Even if you only get to the bottom of one laundry pile or even if you only uncover the top of your nightstand, that's still progress!"