25 Genius, Low-Cost Storage Ideas for Small Bedrooms

Storage for a small bedroom

You may have constantly been reminded to clean your room as a child, and ignoring your parents' pleas may have been a so-cool act of rebellion. These days, you, too, dislike clutter. (It's no fun when the "folks" are right, is it?)

However, a tiny area and many things—like shoes, scarves and toys—can present a big challenge. The good news? Like even the most enormous piles of laundry, it's not impossible to overcome, nor do you need to break the bank to stay organized and maximize space within a smaller bedroom. There are plenty of solutions when it comes to small bedroom storage ideas, after all.

Ditch the overwhelm. To help you clean your room and keep it that way, we enlisted the help of interior designers and professional organizers. They shared their genius tips for keeping your living spaces organized (and bank accounts full). These are the 25 top low-cost or DIY storage ideas for small bedrooms.

Related: 73 Inspiring Bedroom Ideas and Expert Tips to Transform Your Home, According to Interior Designers

25 Best Low-Cost Ways to Keep a Small Bedroom Organized

1. Sleep on it

<p>Photographer Clay Grier</p>

Photographer Clay Grier

Principal Anne Grandinetti of Ashby Collective designed this serene children's room within a resort home. The space is tight, but the room sleeps two children (and their clothes, toys and backpacks) courtesy of multiple storage units within the bunkbed alone. It boasts numerous storage units, including pull-out drawers to tuck away toys and clothes. The beach-y blue hues pair perfectly with the vistas at this Gulf Coast home.

2. Storage nooks

<p>Photographer Ryann Ford / Britt Design Group</p>

Photographer Ryann Ford / Britt Design Group

One of the smartest storage units in this space, designed by Britt Design Group, is hiding in plain sight. "Below the bench is ample concealed storage, perfect for stowing away blankets, while the bench's stone-top design also cleverly doubles as a durable luggage 'rack,'" Britt says. "The closed-door storage system conceals anything within, contributing to a clean and uncluttered look that is as accessible and functional as it is beautiful."

3. Small dressers = Function + fashion

<p>The English Den</p>

The English Den

"Add extra storage to a small bedroom by using small dressers as nightstands," says Julia Lauve, an interior designer and the co-founder of WORKSHOP | studio. "The extra height of the case goods also adds instant design style to a tight space."

4. Find your niche

<p>Photographer Chelsea Kenny, Rosebud Photography</p>

Photographer Chelsea Kenny, Rosebud Photography

This tiny sleep space has just enough room for the two things you'll likely reach for in the morning.

"A small built-in niche, enough for a bottle of water and your phone, is a great way to gain some space where it can be challenging against a wall," says Maria Vassiliou of Maria Zoe Designs.

5. Lofty ideas

<p>Spacecrafting Photography / Interior Design & Photo Styling, O’Hara Interiors | Remodel, Knight Construction</p>

Spacecrafting Photography / Interior Design & Photo Styling, O’Hara Interiors | Remodel, Knight Construction

Even some penthouse bedrooms can be short on space, as was the case in this one designed by the team at O’Hara Interiors. However, Kate O’Hara notes that the lofted bunk bed allows for additional square footage, which can be used for practical matters (dresser storage underneath the bed) and fun (gaming and movie nights with pals).

6. Contemporary charm

<p>Interior Design & Photo Styling, O’Hara Interiors | Remodel, Knight Construction / Leslie Williams Interior Design</p>

Interior Design & Photo Styling, O’Hara Interiors | Remodel, Knight Construction / Leslie Williams Interior Design

"In primary bedrooms, adding functional larger nightstands with drawers for extra storage for items like books or to keep notes that come to mind at the end of the day is another great storage idea," says Leslie Williams of Leslie Williams Interior Design. "Many new nightstands are installing USB ports to plug in and tuck away iPads, cell phones and Apple watches at night to charge."

Those features nix the need to arrange your space around wall plugs.

7. Small storage for small but significant essentials

<p>Photographer Natalia Robert</p>

Photographer Natalia Robert

Small nightstands are versatile and offer big benefits regardless of room size.

"Nightstands with drawers can be the perfect touch to stow away those smaller items such as books, journals and the like," says Megan Siason of M Studio Interior Design. "The nightstands also offer that visual balance the bedroom space needed when placed on either side of the bed."

Related: These 25 Creative Spring Decor Ideas Will Have Your House Feeling Fresh and Happy in a Snap

8. Shallow cabinets

<p>Photographer Gail Owens</p>

Photographer Gail Owens

Siason says one of the challenges posed by small bedrooms is finding a balance between placing furniture while maximizing closet space and ensuring it doesn't feel too cramped.

"Although this bedroom wall in this room was too tight for nightstands, we opted to incorporate a shallow cabinet across the bed," Siason says.

9. Back-of-door storage

<p>Stylish Spaces</p>

Stylish Spaces

When space is limited, you need to work with everything you've got.

"I love maximizing the surface on the back of a door," says Sarah DeGrim, the founder of Stylish Spaces, who found this over-the-door storage rack at The Container Store. "This is an ideal solution inside a closet that will be hidden when the door closes but readily accessible just by opening the door. This can be a super convenient way to store shoes, accessories or toys."

10. Balance

<p>Photographer Kyle J. Caldwell</p>

Photographer Kyle J. Caldwell

This nursery may be designed for a little one, but the advice is timeless. While you want to optimize storage space, avoiding overcrowding and making a space feel too busy is important. 

"Use under-bed storage for small bedroom storage," says Elana T. Cline, the founder of Carta Creatives. "Maximize every [inch] of the room without making it look too cluttered. Also, use multipurpose storage and a mix of open/closed shelves. Do not overcrowd the room with too much furniture. Less is more. "

11. Utilize wall space

<p>Photographer Regan Wood</p>

Photographer Regan Wood

You can use wall space when working with a small bedroom.

"In the bedroom we designed here, we installed a floating nightstand for bedside storage and a wall-mounted reading light," says Claire Paquin, the founder of Clean Design. "The floor is free from clutter, and the top of the nightstand is not overcrowded by a lamp."

12. Dual-purpose designs

<p>All & Nxthing Interiors / Photographer: Emma Lewis</p>

All & Nxthing Interiors / Photographer: Emma Lewis

Designers on Houzz say dual-purpose furniture pieces and areas are a cost-effective way to get the most out of a small bedroom and budget. Here, a bespoke vanity unit between wardrobes maximizes space in this small bedroom by All & Nxthing Interiors.

13. Combine creatively

<p>Photographer Life Created</p>

Photographer Life Created

We discussed using a small dresser as a nightstand, but who says a nightstand and dresser must be separate pieces?

"To optimize space in this small room, we selected furniture that could be utilized as a nightstand and a dresser," says Lauren Lerner, the CEO and founder of Living with Lolo. "This clever approach not only maximizes functionality but also creates a room that is simple yet chic."

14. Basket case

<p>Photographer Tim Lenz</p>

Photographer Tim Lenz

Sometimes, you don't need a ton of storage in a small space, which was the case in this guest room designed by Joshua Smith, the principal and founder of Joshua Smith Inc.

"This guest room was made to embody sophistication and comfort," Smith says. "Since excessive amounts of storage weren’t needed in this guest space, simple nightstands combining drawer and basket housing fit the needs of the short-term organization during one’s stay."

15. Give a space big character

<p>Douglas Hill Photography</p>

Douglas Hill Photography

"Often small bedrooms can feel sparse or lacking," says Emily LaMarque, the founder and principal of Emily LaMarque Design Studio. "Utilize open shelves for storing and displaying keepsake items, books and accessories that can dress up the room and give it personality and warmth.

16. Choose your bed wisely

<p>Douglas Hills Photography</p>

Douglas Hills Photography

Sometimes, the best-laid plans for small bedroom storage start with the bed.

"If you have a small bedroom space, consider using a bed with a bit of space underneath it," LaMarque says. "Low and long storage containers that slide under the bed provide ample storage for seasonal items or things that don’t get frequent use."

Related: Decluttering This One Unexpected Area Makes the Biggest Difference in Your Home

17. Unconventional upcycling

<p>Photography Angela O'Brien</p>

Photography Angela O'Brien

Angela O'Brien, a professional organizer and founder of Your Space Reclaimed, says she had her work cut out when she redid her daughter's room as an 18th birthday surprise. 

O'Brien says her challenges included a "combination of a small bedroom, a large collection of art and a sentimental older teen with Down Syndrome is not [anything] to sneeze at when trying to find budget-friendly storage solutions."

O'Brien rolled up her sleeves. One of her favorite elements involved creative problem-solving. 

"I was not able to add a set of needed shelves for her trinkets and toys," O'Brien shares. "I finagled a way to get an upcycled shelving unit from Pottery Barn inside her closet so that her beloved doll clothes, games and books had a place of their own. Bonus points—since it was behind a door, I didn't have to see them all every time I walked in. This was a much more budget-friendly option than hiring a closet design company to install permanent shelving while serving the same purpose."

18. A touch of style and a ton of storage



Storage ottomans are as versatile.

"Storage ottomans at the foot of the bed are functional yet stylish," says Devin Shaffer, an interior designer with Decorilla. "You can store anything really, from bedding sets to seasonal clothing. Its hidden compartment allows for easy access while adding a touch of decor to the room."

19. Chic coat racks



Unexpected? Maybe. Functional and cool? Yes, and yes.

"Garment racks are a different yet contemporary way to store clothes," Shaffer says of this Decorilla design project. "They’re easy to place anywhere, don’t take too much space and even give the bedroom that urban, trendy finish."

20. Hidden storage



Mirrors with hidden storage are under-the-radar pieces that can be found for less than $200. 

"Mirrors with hidden storage serve two purposes: organize your jewelry or makeup, for example, and make the space look bigger," Shaffer says. "They have this visual effect, and you can find them at different price points, but there are good options for a good price."

21. Go big (seriously)

<p>The English Den</p>

The English Den

We talked about small dressers and using dressers as nightstands. But don't rule out a larger one.

"Large-scale dressers with deep drawers add highly usable storage to a bedroom," Lauve says. You can even use two side by side if you have a long enough wall."

Another pro tip: "Add drama and texture with luxuriously full velvet drapery. Hang drapery high and wide to let lots of natural light flood into the space," Lauve says. "This will also create the illusion of a larger window and taller ceiling heights, helping the room to feel bigger than it truly is."

Related: 35 Pergola Ideas to Completely Transform Your Outdoor Space

22. Creative closet

<p>Stylish Spaces</p>

Stylish Spaces

"Small bedrooms require us to work with the space we have and often get creative," DeGrim says. "This small closet didn’t have the shelving we needed for bag storage, so we utilized the closet rod we had and hung our bags."

23. Stacked deck

<p>Stylish Spaces</p>

Stylish Spaces

Stacking isn't just for wooden blocks and card games. 

"Using storage products that are shallow and stackable allows you to maximize small floor plans and create vertical storage," DeGrim says. "These stackable IKEA drawers are great for accessories, small intimates like lingerie, socks or workout sets. They enabled us to add drawers inside even small cabinet closets."

24. Playful storage

<p>Photography Tim Lenz</p>

Photography Tim Lenz

Combining a small bedroom and a playroom?

"Lots of storage is needed," Smith says.

Many of these tips can be applied to people past their playroom stages but with tons of stuff.

"Tucking the bookshelf behind the bed allowed us to take advantage of every inch of space in this room despite its irregular shape, especially when paired with additional storage under the bed and via the nightstand," Smith explains. "A fun basket at the end of the bed provides a playful spot to hide toys when not in use."

25. New heights



Once again, a "tiny" bedroom doesn't limit you to small furniture. 

"Slim or tall cabinets are a great option to make use of the vertical space," Shaffer says. "They are narrow and skinny, and you can store books, plants or anything really while not taking too much space, and they look nice."

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