Storage Tips

8 Under-Bed Storage Ideas for When You're Fresh Out of Space

How to maximize the junk drawer of the bedroom.

February 11, 2020
Photo by OpenSpaces

While I love the idea of clearing every overstuffed drawer, cabinet, and closet in my home à la Marie Kondo, my reality looks a little different. I find it simply 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 the drawers, cabinets, and closets filled to the brim, I turned to a storage solution that served me well in my college dorm room days: the space under my bed. But 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 the clutter, too? Whether your bedroom is in need of some tidying up or your closets are at maximum capacity, check out these five clever under-bed storage ideas that won't make you feel like a freshman again.

1. Give Shoe Boxes the Boot

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. (Okay, not really—but there were a lot.) After the pile crumbled and nearly suffocated me, I finally decided to nix the boxes (I recycled them) and bought a set of shoe organizers I can stack and store underneath my bed. The best part? They come with a zippered plastic cover that lets me easily see all of the shoes I have, but also keeps dust and lint away.

Fabric Under-Bed Shoe Storage Photo by Wayfair
Under-Bed Shoe Storage Organizer Photo by Amazon

2. Create Vertical Space with Bed risers

When you think of bed risers, you probably think of these super-sized plastic blocks that aren't, well, the prettiest. But bed risers happen to be the easiest way to create a platform bed to fit containers, drawers, and even luggage—and they've come a long way since my college days. Go for more of a rustic look with these maple or espresso wood bed lifts from Bed, Bath & Beyond, or if you've got a metal bed frame, these shiny cone-shaped risers on Amazon might be the right fit.

Wood Bed Lifts in Maple Photo by Bed, Bath & Beyond
Five-Inch Storage Bed Risers Photo by Amazon

3. Invest in Baskets & Boxes

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 to choose from. These clear under-bed storage boxes from The Container Store and covered under-bed organizers from Amazon are perfect for tucking away winter coats and sweaters, while these hand-woven baskets from Pottery Barn would be a nice solution for extra bath linens. For storing things like books, electronics, or craft supplies, I love these grey storage bins with a linen lining.

Clear Under-Bed Storage Box Photo by Container Store
Havana Under-Bed Baskets Photo by Pottery Barn
Under-Bed Organizer with Clear Cover Photo by Amazon
Grey Maize Storage Bins Photo by The Container Store

4. Put Wheels on It

If your bed isn't tucked away in a corner (like mine), picking up a few drawers with wheels just might change your life. This rolling wood storage box from Urban Outfitters provides easy access, while this large under-bed organizer from Walmart was made for holding clothes and comfy blankets. If you've got an old dresser lying around you want to get rid of, you could even attach small swivel wheels to the bottom of each drawer and create your own sliding storage for a fraction of the price.

Rolling Wood Storage Box Photo by Urban Outfitters
Under-Bed Wooden Organizer with Wheels Photo by Walmart

5. Make Luggage do Double Duty

For me, storing my luggage has always been one of the trickiest things to do in my teeny-tiny apartment—it takes 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 smaller luggage inside the bigger luggage, and store things you almost never use (like those tax documents) inside the smallest piece.

6. Go for Vacuum Storage Bags

Remember these info-mercial wonders? The Ziploc version is still kicking for a reason: they reduce the bulk of your winter-warm comforter by up to 75%, saving on under bed space—big time. They’re also 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 two or three will last you the long haul to be reused over and over again.

Photo by The Container Store

7. Make it Something Pretty

The worst part about under-bed storage is that it’s often visible from across the room, and while rolling storage boxes are functional, they’re admittedly an eyesore. Enter: these minimalist under-bed storage boxes from OpenSpaces. Made from compressed felt (from recycled bottles!), they won’t scuff the floor, and glide easily out from under the bed. Plus, the minimalist leather handles make the seasonal clothes inside very accessible come summer.

Photo by OpenSpaces

8. Hide it All with a Bed Skirt

Contrary to what you may believe, bed skirts aren’t just for stuffy B&Bs anymore. Take this one from West Elm, for example. It’s made from creamy linen that can withstand some lived-in wrinkles, and has boxed-pleated corners that make it look finished. It’ll hide your hoarded craft supplies and add a touch of beach-house-in-the-Hamptons to your bedroom.

Photo by West Elm

Do you have any clever storage solutions? Share them with us in the comments!

This article contains products independently selected by the editors, and Food52 may earn an affiliate commission on qualifying purchases.

Grab your copy

It's here: Our game-changing guide to everyone's favorite room in the house. Your Do-Anything Kitchen gathers the smartest ideas and savviest tricks—from our community, test kitchen, and cooks we love—to help transform your space into its best self.

Grab your copy

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

Erin Alexander is the Brand Partnerships Editor at Food52, covering pop culture, travel, foods of the internet, and all things #sponsored. Formerly at Men’s Journal, Men’s Fitness, Us Weekly, and Hearst, she currently lives in New York City.