Storage Tips

7 Under-Bed Storage Ideas When You’ve Run Out of Space

How to maximize the junk drawer of the bedroom.

May 12, 2022
Photo by Open Spaces

I love the idea of decluttering every 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 and stylish wheeled drawers—I transformed the dark, forgotten area beneath my bed into organized heaven.

Looking to clear your clutter, too? Whether your bedroom is in need of some tidying or your closets are at maximum capacity, you'll want to check out these clever under-bed storage ideas that won't make you feel like a freshman again.

1. Swap Shoe Boxes For Organizers

Rebrilliant 12-Pair Under Bed Shoe Organizer Photo by Wayfair

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.

2. Create Vertical Space with Bed risers

Photo by Amazon

When you think of bed risers, you probably think of the super-sized plastic blocks from your college days 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 the early 2000s. Go rustic 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.

3. Invest in Baskets & Boxes

Open Spaces Underbed Storage Photo by Pattern Brands

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 of soft canvas, so they'll glide easily out without scuffing the floor while the zippered top and soft lid gives you two ways to access items and 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 lids and handles. They're easy to pull out and won't be an eyesore when you forget to put them back.

4. Try Storage With Wheels

Photo by Walmart

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. 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.

5. Store Suitcases Inside Each Other

Away The Bigger Carry-On Flex Photo by Away

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.

6. Use vacuum storage bags or travel cubes

Spacesaver Premium Vacuum Storage Bags Photo by Space Saver

Remember vacuum storage bags from the informercials? Well, they're still kicking for a reason: they can help reduce the bulk and 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.

7. Hide it All with a Bed Skirt

Jake Arnold for Parachute Box Pleat Linen Bed Skirt Photo by Parachute

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 this pleated bed skirt from Jake Arnold's collab with Parachute adds subtle texture and dimension while a crisp white option from Wayfair can make any bed feel more like a hotel bed.

This post was updated May 2022 with even more under-bed storage ideas.

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

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Erin Alexander

Written by: Erin Alexander

Erin Alexander is the Managing Editor of Food52.

1 Comment

/anne... January 26, 2022
If you have cats, make sure you cover anything stored under your bed. There's nothing worse than hearing a cat throw up a furball in the middle of the night, all over your best shoes or your winter blankets!