Of course, there have been under-bed storage systems around for ages, and so often we try them out and then decide they are not for us. The storage bin or box ends up in the recycling pile as a failed experiment. As a result, people decide not to throw good money after bad and the space under their beds once again becomes the home of dust bunnies and random lost objects.
However, if you are downsizing your home, you are going to need more storage space. It would be crazy to ignore the space under what is possibly the largest piece of furniture in your downsized home.
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Traditional under-bed storage hacks…
Most people prefer having a traditional bed with a box spring and mattress. The vast majority of such beds are set off the ground. As a result, there is a great deal of potential storage space underneath most traditional beds. In fact, there are about 35 square feet of space under a typical queen size bed. If you are downsizing, that’s too good to ignore.
There are a couple of problems with under-bed space:
- The configuration is awkward
- It’s not a convenient storage location
The result is that you can only store relatively flat items in this space. Further, you have to drag containers in and out from under the bed which requires maneuvering room. Nevertheless, there are plenty of relatively flat items that require storage and are for occasional use. The trick is to make this relatively inaccessible area as accessible as possible.
Here are some suggestions for storage under a traditional bed with box spring.
Comforter storage bags…
These comforter storage bags from Veamor are one of the simplest under bed storage hacks. They are versatile and come in various sizes and colors to suit your unique storage needs. They can store far more than comforters, blankets, and pillows. They can be used for storing out-of-season clothing such as your summer clothes during the winter months and your collection of sweaters and fleece during the summer months.
Just stash them under your bed and free up space for your in-season clothing for easier access.
These bags have come in various sizes and colors to accommodate your specific needs.
- Small: 19.7″ x 11.8″ x 7.9″
- Medium: 21.7″ x 13.8″ x 7.9″
- Large: 23.6″ x 15.7″ x 9.8″
- X Large: 23.6″ x 19.6″ x 11.8″
- XXLarge: 27.6″ x 19.7″ x 11.8″
Remember that the amount of headroom that you have from the floor to the box spring can vary greatly. So be sure to measure well prior to purchase. You get two per pack and they fold up easily when not in use. A win-win for anyone trying to save space.
In addition to the above, these bags are insect-resistant, breathable and eco-friendly. They have a nice zip closure and good pull handles for easy access. I really like the fact that there is a portion that is transparent, so you can see what’s in it.
All in all, these had really great reviews and a minimum of complaints regarding durability. This seems to be an issue with some of the other brands out there. This is something that can only be considered by looking at the relative number of complaints. I don’t make that kind of judgment from personal experience.
Under-bed wooden organizer with wheels…
For those who want what amounts to a storage “drawer” under their beds, this under-bed drawer on wheels is a possible solution. An added plus is that it is also on wheels which makes access to your things far simpler than the storage bags above.
This is a better solution if the items you are storing are things you are going to access frequently such as in-season clothes or shoes. The drawer concept is far easier than pulling out and unzipping a closed storage bag.
The dimensions for this drawer 33.8″ x 26″ x 8″ provide a great deal of storage space. One thing you have to do is measure your under-bed area carefully. Once the casters are added, some people reported that the drawer was too high for their bed frame. The wheels are a nice addition because it makes accessing the storage bin that much simpler.
Another caveat is if you have pets. Most people who have pets know how fur accumulates on the floors and in corners, especially under the bed area. So, if you are not accessing the items stored under your bed frequently, an open drawer arrangement might not be the best solution.
Plastic under-bed storage box on wheels…
Although these plastic under-bed storage boxes are not quite as large as some of the other selections( 31.1″ x 15.4″ x 6.3″) I really like the design of these they…
- are shallow enough to fit under almost any bed frame
- are on rollers which are small enough not to interfere with storage capacity
- seal nicely without awkward zippers
- are unlike the soft bags, they hold their shape
These features make it quite easy to access your contents while keeping the contents dust-free. The only real downside is that they are opaque, so you might want to label them, or purchase them in a couple of different colors.
For items that you want to have regular access to, this is probably my favorite option. It keeps your belongings clean and dust-free while being easy to open and close. The wheels let you easily roll them out from under the bed. This is particularly true if you have carpeting under the bed.
One more thing: please note that the measurements that were given in inches were converted from centimeters by me.
With respect to under-bed storage-hacks, what you choose, depends on your personal preferences and needs. Don’t forget to consider the space around your bed. How much maneuvering room do you have in around your bed? If space is very tight, smaller storage units will be easier to manage.
Getting a rise out of your bed with bed risers…
Not happy with the amount of space your bed frame provides? No worries. The popularity of under-bed storage has created a “new industry” in the form of bed risers. This can add several inches of extra storage space under your bed, making a better fit for the larger drawers and under-bed bags.
A word about any of these bed risers. Many people use them successfully and are thrilled with the added space it gives them. A small percentage have had failures. When a riser fails, it can hurt your bed frame – and worse still – YOU. I do have a feeling that people trying to put these things together themselves may be part of the problem, I don’t think that adding these to your bed frame is a DIY project unless you are very used to working with furnishings and really know what you are doing.
Adjustable plastic bed risers…
These bed risers from Home-it will give your bed an adjustable lift ranging from 3″-8″. They have received excellent reviews. They certainly can help people living in tight spaces get additional storage without adding another piece of furniture.
These are great for small studios and college dorms. But you have to be careful to add enough support to do the job properly. This is particularly true if you have a queen or king size bed. Adding additional risers distributes the weight of the load more effectively and can prevent a collapse.
Aluminum 5.5″ bed risers…
These bed risers by iPrimio support over 9000 lbs per leg making it the strongest of the bed risers that I have seen. These are a bit more pricey than the plastic alternatives, but they are stronger and appear to be a good deal more secure. Although there are a couple of reviews that report failure of the risers, they are few and far between. Most reviews are actually very positive with 89% of them being in the 4- 5-star category. Many of the best reviews came from those who had tried plastic risers and found them lacking.
The main downside is that some reviewers see them as very large and unattractive, but a decent bedspread or long comforter can help deal with that situation.
In spite of the good reviews, l once again suggest that most people should outsource the assembly process to someone who knows what they are doing.
Bedframes with built-in storage…
Of course, there are always platform beds with under-bed storage. They have the advantage of the drawers built right into the bed frame. No need to worry about height constraints or bed-risers. After all, you don’t have to make room for storage that is already there. These have the additional advantage of being simple pull-out drawers for the most part. There is no tussling the bags or boxes that have to be pulled out from under the bed frame.
As a rule, this type of bed does not include the traditional box spring. They are generally associated with a strictly modern look. But this convention is changing to accommodate different personal tastes. As space becomes an increasingly precious commodity, the type and style of platform beds with drawers has expanded.
Bookcase platform storage bed…
This bookcase platform bed by Bowery Hill takes advantage of every storage opportunity. It has six drawers, a bookcase for a headboard, and shelves at the foot. It has a more traditional appearance than the typical platform bed. This bed could make itself at home in almost any decor. This is part of its appeal. It looks like a traditional bed while performing triple duty as a storage unit.
Please note that assembly is either a two-person job or best left to someone who knows what they are doing. If you are not mechanically inclined, paying for “expert assembly” is probably wise.
One thing I do suggest for very tight spaces is that you measure carefully before purchasing. You want to make sure that you have enough floor space to open and access the drawers easily.
Nantucket platform bed with large drawers…
Here is another example of a more traditional looking platform bed. This Nantucket platform bed with drawers by Atlantic Furniture mixes traditional style with modern storage. This particular bed has two large storage drawers, which can easily store away a lot of things including large items like extra blankets, comforters, and pillows.
One thing that should be noted with this particular type of under-bed storage is that the drawers in these beds function very much like dresser drawers. They allow for far easier access than the other forms of under-bed storage than traditional beds with box spring mattresses can offer. Which type of storage system you choose could well depend on how you want to utilize your under-bed storage area.
Cedar storage accessories…
No matter how you decide to store your belongings, added cedar to storage units is a very inexpensive way to protect your belongings. Since cedar is a natural moth repellent, it is particularly important to use in places where you are storing woolens. There were a few storage bags that had some built-in pouches for cedar boards. But cedar really doesn’t need its own compartment to be effective. Sachets and discs can be easily added to any storage solution without taking up much room. Household Essentials has a 71 piece cedar set including hang-up boards, rings, and sachets.
This set of natural cedar products can be added to storage bags, drawers, boxes, and closets. Better still, the cedar is easily “refreshed” by light sanding for the solid pieces and by shaking the sachets. So, with this small one-time purchase, you are purchasing a lifetime of protection from moths. This is perhaps one of the most inexpensive ways you can protect your belongings. Totally worth the effort and it takes up very little space.
So, I am hoping that this post is showing you that there are many ways to increase the storage capacity of a smaller home or apartment. The under-bed area tends to be underutilized when you are living in a larger home. Discovering how to effectively increase storage space while maintaining a smaller footprint is key to keeping your downsized space uncluttered and comfortable.
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