How To Use the Storage Space Under Your Bed

under the bed storage bin holding sweaters

The Spruce / Candace Madonna

The space under a bed can be one of the handiest hidden storage areas in the home—if you make the most of it. The key to success is to keep it as neat and tidy as possible. That means no dust bunnies, no crinkled-up pieces of paper, and no dirty gym clothes. The best strategy is to stow things under your bed in storage containers and to make sure nothing is without specific storage space.

Here are the best tips on how and what to store under the bed.

Under Bed Storage Solutions

Before heading out in search of storage bins or boxes that fit under your bed, measure the width and height of the space. Write down the measurements on an index card that will easily fit in your wallet. This way, you'll always have it with you when you're out shopping.

When selecting containers:

  • Look for long, low, plastic containers designed for under bed storage. Alternatively, you can use canvas containers or even build your own custom wood bins on casters.
  • The best bins have wheels (or easily glide) and open at each side so you can easily retrieve items from either side or end of the bed.
  • Since under bed storage doesn't have to be pretty, you can use all those old cardboard boxes you've accumulated over the years. Remove the top flaps so you can easily pull them out and see the contents at a glance. Similarly, you can use shoe boxes with the tops removed. Even better are larger boot boxes.
  • Consider repurposing old dresser drawers to use for under bed storage.

What to Store Under Your Bed

The great thing about storing items under your bed is that it's close by and convenient but it's also out of sight. This means that it doesn't have to be pretty or decor-friendly; you can store things in pretty much anything that will fit. However, since this is indoors and conveniently located, think about stashing things here that you want to protect as well as have accessible on a regular, or at least seasonal, basis. This might include:

  • Luggage: You can also store things inside your luggage and just set them aside when you're not traveling.
  • Out-of-season clothing: Because your bed is close to your clothes closet, this seems like a no-brainer. Don’t try to store anything bulky, like sweaters or ski jackets because they take up too much space.
  • Linens: Keep your extra set of sheets and pillowcases right under your bed.
  • Shoes: Store only your most-used shoes in your closet, and keep the shoes you wear less regularly under your bed.

What to Store Under Children’s Beds

Since kids have a lot of gear, using the space under their beds makes sense. If you work with your kids to organize it properly (and according to their logic), it will encourage them to maintain the space themselves. Items that work well under kids' beds include:

  • Toys they use often
  • Books stored in rollable bins with the spines facing up
  • Out-of-season clothing
  • Puzzles and games, especially packages that are flat or narrow

What to Store Under the Guest Room Bed

You can really get creative in the guest room since it doubles as a storage space in most homes. This can be a great place to stow:

  • Physical media you don't use often like blu-rays or video games
  • Gift-wrap and greeting cards
  • Craft or hobby supplies
  • Bed linens and towels for your guests

If You Have a Lofted Bed

A lofted bed changes an under bed area from storage space to livable space. For a child’s or teen’s bedroom, this is the perfect place for a cozy desk setup or reading nook.

In an adult’s room, you can tuck a desk under the bed, or you can use the elevated space to store all of your clothing. Think about installing a wide, deep-set chest of drawers in the space where you can store all of your tees, sweaters, sweatshirts, denim, and out-of-season clothing. This way you can roll out of bed and find your clothing right below you.

A desk or workspace is particularly valuable for those who live in a studio or one-bedroom apartment. Just be careful not to let your workspace take over your sleeping space. It's important to keep them separate by storing your work items neatly. Don't let papers or files turn your bedroom into a cluttered office.

With a lofted bed, it's even more important to keep the space under your bed neat, tidy, and attractive since it's so exposed. 

The Bottom Line

Even if you aren't able to use your under-bed storage as a loft space, you can still make use of the normally "dead" space under your bed. With the right containers, you can transform that sliver of space that usually only attracts dust into a spot to stash sweaters, books, toys, and more.