I love the idea of decluttering every overstuffed drawer, cabinet, and closet in my space à la Marie Kondo but if I’m going to be honest with y’all: my reality looks a little (okay, a lot) different. It’s just impossible to part with my material possessions! From the useful (cookware, clothes, coffee, tax documents) to the totally random (a miniature rubber duck I “borrowed” from a bar), I find myself constantly searching for extra space for all of my stuff.
With drawers, cabinets, and closets filled to the brim, I recently turned to a storage solution that served me well in my college dorm room days: the cavernous space under my bed. But this time, instead of just shoving all my belongings under there with wild abandon, I decided to take a more systematic approach. With just a few clever tools—think bed risers (no unsightly plastic cubes here) and stylish wheeled drawers—I transformed the dark, forgotten area beneath my mattress into organized heaven.
Looking to clear your clutter, too? Whether your bedroom is in need of some tidying up or your closets are at maximum capacity, you’ll want to check out seven clever under-bed storage ideas that won’t make you feel like a freshman again.
For the last few years, my stack of shoe boxes in the corner of my room grew higher and higher until it almost reached the ceiling. (Well, not really—but there were a lot.) After the pile crumbled and nearly suffocated me, I finally decided to trade them in for a set of zippered shoe organizers that I can store underneath my bed instead. The plastic cover lets me easily see all of the shoes I have while keeping dust and lint off my suede boots. If you find ones without dividers, you can use them for out-of-season clothes and accessories, too.
When you think of bed risers, you probably think of the super-sized plastic blocks that aren’t, well, the prettiest. But bed risers happen to be the easiest way to lift your bed to fit containers, drawers, and even luggage—and they’ve come a long way since my college days. Go for a rustic look with faux-wooden risers or go a bit more modern with extra-tall white risers. Both will get your bed higher off the ground for ample storage.
My favorite method for storing things under the bed also happens to be the simplest: baskets and boxes. Lucky for you, there are hundreds of options. Open Spaces’ minimalist under-bed storage boxes are made with compressed felt from recycled bottles, so they’ll glide easily out without scuffing the floor while the sturdy lid keeps things dust- and critter-free. For anything that you’d use more often and need easy access to such as extra bath towels, books, electronics, or craft supplies, try woven baskets with handles. They’re easy to pull out and won’t be an when you forget to put them back.
Now that your bed is higher off the floor, picking up a few under-bed drawers with wheels just might change your life. A vintage-inspired trunk add characters and throwback vibes while a set of clear bins gives you easy viewing for all your extra clothes, boots, and blankets. If you’re itching for a DIY, grab an old dresser you’ve been wanting to donate and attach small caster wheels to the bottom of each drawer for your own sliding storage at a fraction of the price.
Storing my suitcases have always been one of the trickiest things to do in my teeny-tiny apartment—especially since I have multiples for checked and carry-on luggage. They just take up so much space without providing much utility! Then someone told me a why-didn’t-I-think-of-that way to store them: nest and pack. Duh. Just place a smaller suitcase inside the bigger one, and pack things you almost never use (like those tax documents) inside the smallest piece for even more optimized storage.
Remember vacuum storage bags from the informercials? Well, they’re still kicking for a reason: they can reduce the bulk by up to 80% and help you save on under-bed space—big time. They’re especially handy for large items like pillows and comforters, and are resistant to mold, mildew, and any terrifying critters that might lurk under your bed. Yes, we’re with you: we don’t love purchasing plastic, but a set can last you decades and protect your clothes for years, too.
Alternatively, if you have a stash of travel cubes, use them! They’re great for compressing and separating your clothes for a trip—even if it’s just to the underside of your bed. When we’re not using them to travel, we use them to store out-of-season items in our luggage—smart storage at its finest.
Contrary to what you may believe, bed skirts aren’t just for stuffy B&Bs anymore. If you grab one with sharp seams and flat sides, they can look quite modern. Best of all, they can hide your storage boxes and bins and help keep out dust, too. We love how Anthropologie’s linen skirt adds subtle texture while a crisp white option from Wayfair can make any bed feel more like a hotel bed.