Ask a friend to track down a particular item stowed away under their bed, and chances are they’ll fire back with an “are-you-serious” eye roll. Which, for most of us, is a totally appropriate response.
After all, it’s not the easiest area to access — it often involves getting down on all fours, jamming one arm in as far as it’ll go and hoping for the best. It’s also too easy to forget what you’ve stashed away under there, which only adds to the confusion. And to make matters worse, since no one can see under your bed anyway, it’s tempting to throw any sense of organization right out the window.
But you shouldn’t. Being strategic about how you use under-the-bed space — and making the most of the inches you have — can actually free up overstuffed closets, give you more storage, and make finding things much easier. Here are some easy ways to maximize this commonly misused space.
Your mattress gives you a very specific amount of horizontal storage space, but vertically, the sky’s the limit. Give yourself some much-needed height by putting your bed on risers or lifts. Lifts give you a boost of 3 1/2 inches, while a handy set jacks up your bed by a whopping 7 inches and even offers outlets to free up a crowded nightstand.
Risers not your thing? Consider swapping out your box spring and frame for a platform frame. It typically lifts your bed a few inches, extra space that comes in handy if you have bulky items to store.
Before you chuck that old dresser, set aside the drawers and put them to work underneath the bed. Just add casters to the bottom for easy sliding. No drawers? No problem — an old suitcase works just as well.
When you’re shopping for under-the-bed bins and baskets, stick with ones that fit neatly into your space and will lay flush against each other. (Every inch counts here!) Since you’re working with a rectangular-shaped area, opt for containers that have squared-off corners (most do) and, if you have the height, can stack on top of each other.
Manage Space Hogs
I’m looking squarely at you, shoes and bedding. An under-the-bed shoe chest is a great way to consolidate all your out-of-season flats, wedges, and stilettos and keep them looking like new between seasons.
For the bulkier soft items like down comforters and winter coats, consider something like the Ziploc Space Bag. You suck out all the excess air with a vacuum and are left with a compact, easy-to-stash container.