How do you organize a bedroom with little to no storage? 5 ways to tackle compact, cluttered spaces

If you are struggling with organizing a bedroom without much space or storage, these are the design ideas the designers swear by

A bedroom lacking in storage
(Image credit: Nick Glimenakis. Design: The Brownstone Boys)

Organizing rooms that are on the small side and short on storage is no easy feat. But the key to maximizing the storage you do have is simple - it just requires a bit of strategy and honed organizational skills. 

Regular decluttering is key to maximizing the space. By regularly sifting through your belongings, you unburden yourself from the items you no longer need. It's a habit that will serve you well going forward and you'll be amazed at how much space you can create. To help you organize a bedroom that is both functional and aesthetic, and get the most out of even the smallest spaces, we've spoken to home organizing experts and interior designers who share their top tips for tackling bedroom storage problems.

1. Make use of the bed 

A bedroom with under-bed storage

(Image credit: Joseph Kramm. Design: Private Image Inc)

There is no getting away from the fact that your bed is a focal point of the room and takes up the most space. Even in the smallest of spaces, we opt for the biggest bed we can squeeze in, often meaning slithers of space on either side and minimal storage space. Use this footprint to your advantage by making the most of the bed space.

Bed storage can come in a variety of forms. Under-bed storage is the most common strategy, which most commonly takes the form of beds with drawers or ottomans with a spring-like mechanism that flips up to reveal stacks of storage space. The drawer storage bed option is perfect for staying organized, while ottoman beds are at risk of becoming a little more prone to haphazardly throwing in bits and pieces (without the order that drawers command).

You can also make the most of your headboard space with more modern designs that incorporate discrete drawers and shelves, all offering plenty more storage space for your bedroom.

Barry Fox, principal of the LA-based Private Image Inc designed the above bedroom. 'For bedrooms with little to no storage space, dual-purpose furniture is the key,' he says. 'Beds should double as storage. Here, we designed a bespoke bed base to conceal the space beneath the bed.'

For Barry, the space surrounding the bed is also key to an organized room where storage can be maximized. 'Other great space savers are trunks or benches at the end of a bed,' he says. A stylish ottoman is a great place to stash bulky bedding, but can also double up as seating. 

2. Maximize your closet space

Image of closet with white curtain covering it

(Image credit: Interior Design | Avenue Design Studio)

Think smart when it comes to your closet organization. If organized in the right way, you can get more space out of it, no matter the size. Start by giving your closet a good declutter, and being ruthless with what you no longer wear or need - you'll be surprised how much you get rid of if you are honest about how much you truly wear something. Once you are left with an empty closet, it's time to accessorize it with products that help your storage system flow a bit more smoothly. 

Think hanging storage organizers that can hang from the clothes rail, offering more shelving, hangers that offer multiple spaces for more than one shirt at a time, shelf dividers that allow you to stack up and utilize all the height on a shelf and shelf baskets that hang from the shelf and make use of the dead space underneath.

‘Maximize vertical space by adding an over-the-door organizer too, it's a great place to corral shoes and accessories,’ says Marissa Hagmeyer, co-founder and COO at New York-based home organization service, NEATMethod. 

‘Remember to select a closet with doors to hide the visual clutter too,’ adds Marissa Hagmeyer, co-founder and COO at NEATMethod.

3. Downsize your storage solutions

An attic with storage for clothes

(Image credit: Studio Canisius Degenaar)

Be realistic about what you can and can't have in your small bedroom. Storage should be a priority while a cozy reading corner complete with an accent chair might be taking up valuable space. A well-organized bedroom might need some pieces of furniture moved to other rooms to make way for storage. Alternatively, your storage solutions might not be able to take the traditional form of a closet or floor-to-ceiling wardrobe. 

In my previous rental (which came with no storage in the bedroom), I squeezed in this super-cheap IKEA clothes rack into an unused corner. Without anything on it, it looked pretty uninspiring, but it turns out my favorite items of colorful clothes made for the perfect accessory, and with a couple of bags and scarfs slung onto the hook at the side, it made for quite a stylish corner that felt decorative and added an abundance of personality to my bedroom. You can buy racks that are slim enough to fit pretty much anywhere, and they also have wheels making them flexible and easy to move around. Just make sure to go for the same hangers and don't overstuff your rack to avoid it looking chaotic and messy. 

You can also invest in small wire frame storage units, or fabric drawers that are made of wicker that are perfect for small bedrooms, easy to move around and don't involve any heavy lifting. ‘A storage basket made from rattan or wicker materials adds texture and a breezy, beach-house feel to the decor too,’ adds Artem Kropovinsky, founder and designer at Artem.

4. Think vertically 

A bedroom with a shelf

(Image credit: Louisa & Fyodor. Design Studio Officina)

Think vertically when planning your space. So often, we focus on the footprint of the bedroom and don't remember to look up. Your walls hold so much potential for that extra storage space, so make use of this excess vertical space. 

Vertical storage possibilities include installing floating bedroom shelving, niches, hooks and hangers, and wall-mounted floating storage units which allow you to free up precious floor space that can be used for other things. 

Another great idea is adding bedroom panelling on the wall which can act as an extra shelf for displaying those bits and pieces, as seen here in this bedroom design by Brooklyn-based Studio Officina. You'll also score style points if you accessorize your wall panel shelf well.

5. Declutter your nightstand

A bed with floating bedside table and bedside table light

(Image credit: Gunter & Co)

I'm guilty of a pretty cluttered nightstand, with half-read books, paper clutter, candles and discarded jewelry littering the space. But your bedside table is a pretty key piece of bedroom furniture, and a well-organized bedside table means you have all those nighttime essentials to hand, making bedtime all the more relaxing. Start by making sure you have the perfect bedside table. 'Select a nightstand with drawers to provide additional storage for items that don’t fit in your dresser,' says Ashley Murphy of NEATMethod. 

Use height to your advantage and go for three drawers if you can fit a taller unit snugly into the space. Think about all the items that you want close to hand before bed - chargers, decanters, and use that valuable space to your advantage. 

Consider maximizing the storage space on your bedside table by swapping out bulky lamps for wall lights or ceiling-mounted pendants. To do this, think carefully about the amount of clearance needed between the bottom of the light and the top of the table. 

'Remember, the key to organizing a nightstand in a minimal and modern style is to prioritize functionality, simplicity, and clean lines,' warns interior designer, Nina Magon. 'By carefully selecting essential items, incorporating storage solutions, and maintaining a clutter-free surface, you can achieve a visually pleasing and organized nightstand that reflects your preferred design aesthetic,' she adds.

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Oonagh Turner
Livingetc content editor and design expert

Oonagh is a content editor at and an expert at spotting the interior trends that are making waves in the design world. Writing a mix of everything and everything from home tours to news, long-form features to design idea pieces on the website, as well as frequently featured in the monthly print magazine, she's the go-to for design advice in the home. Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.