How to Maximize the Storage Space Under Your Bed
This area offers prime organizational square footage—don't waste it.
The space under your bed is typically home to dust bunnies, but with the right storage supplies, it can actually be the perfect area for stowing lesser-used items. Depending on your bed frame, the space between your mattress and your floor boasts plenty of organizational opportunity; use it to store anything from family photo albums to bed sheets. To determine the best ways to convert this space into a storage area, we asked two experts to share their insights.
Bag it up.
The space under your bed can get dusty, and that's because this area is difficult to reach with traditional cleaning tools like brooms and vacuums. That's why it is so important to use airtight storage bins and bags that will keep your things clean while they are stowed away. Items like "vacuum storage bags are a great way to maximize the storage space underneath the bed," explains Michele Goldsmith, a professional organizer. "These are a great solution for storing away bulky pieces, such as comforters or winter jackets." And since the air is removed from the bags to make them smaller, they occupy less space and "are resistant to mold and mildew," notes Goldsmith.
Alternatively, box everything up.
If the garments you are storing would fare better in bins, boxes, or drawers, Goldsmith suggests looking for models that come on wheels. "They are much easier to pull from underneath the bed," she says, "especially if the boxes are too heavy to lift." Just make sure the bin closes: "Whether it's a cover or a zipper, this will keep dust away from your items until you're ready to use them again."
This space is best for out-of-season clothes.
One of the biggest drawbacks of stashing away your infrequently-used things? You just might forget that they exist at all. Goldsmith suggests storing pieces that won't vanish from your memory. "Out-of-season clothing is one of the best things to store under your bed," she says. "Eventually, you will need the clothes when the seasons change." During the winter, put bathing suits, coverups, and shorts in this area; then swap them out in the summer for your sweaters, turtlenecks, thermals, and boots. Speaking of boots: "Shoes are one of the most common item categories that people store in this space," she says. "Clean bedding can also be kept under here, but store them in sealed containers which will prevent them from getting dusty and dirty."
Don't forget to label.
Not all bed frames sit high enough to accommodate storage bins, which is why Caitlin May, a professional organizer and life coach, says you may want to make some adjustments to maximize this area. "If you want to increase the height of your under bed storage space, you can try risers," she says. A set of four, like this option from Bed Bath & Beyond ($29.99, bedbathandbeyond.com), which will give you enough room to use the bins you need, will do the trick. Also, if you're storing multiple items, be sure they are clearly marked. "Once you have your organizing container bought and everything placed in it, don't forget to label," she says. "This is one of the most important steps and is often overlooked."