Whether you’re renting a cosy apartment or looking to set up an extra guest room in your house, a challenge that consistently pops up is figuring out how to create space in a small bedroom. For many, the bedroom is the place where they spend most of their time, so they need it to make the most of it!
In this guide, we’re going to share our very best tips on how to organise your small bedroom so that you can maximise the limited space available to you
What REALLY needs to be in your bedroom?
When figuring out how best to maximise the space available to you in your small bedroom, a change in the way you think may be needed. A lot of the time, we just assume that certain things ‘belong’ there without ever really putting too much thought into it. However, when we break things down logically, we often find that much of what we had assumed all along really didn’t make all that much sense to begin with.
For example, we tend to assume that all of our clothes need to be stored in the bedroom. After all, this is where we typically change our clothes, so it makes sense that we would have them close to hand (in many cultures, it is considered bad form or poor taste to walk through a building in a state of undress whilst looking for pants to wear).
However, some clothes don’t really ‘belong’ in a bedroom. Coats and jackets, especially winter coats and rain jackets, are typically better off being kept as close to your front door as possible. They will be the last item of clothing that you put on before you leave and the first thing that you take off when you return, so a coat rack near the front door is a much more efficient way of storing coats and jackets than putting them in the bedroom.
Hanging them up in the hot press is another good idea, especially during the rainy season (which is ever present in Ireland), as it allows them to dry out quickly so you can wear them more frequently.
Similarly, shoes are one of the last things you put on before leaving the house and among the first to come off when you arrive. While you may not be able to put a Carrie-Bradshaw-sized shoe collection next to your front door, a modestly-sized shoe rack where you can store your most commonly used footwear (work shoes, runners and boots that you might wear several times a week) would be an ideal way to free up some space in your bedroom’s closet while reducing the likelihood of you accidentally trampling mud all over your floor.
Outside of clothes, there are plenty of other items which don’t necessarily ‘belong’ in the bedroom, but always seem to end up there. Collections of books, CDs or DVDs could just as easily be stored elsewhere. Consider if there may be a series of shelves or a cabinet where these items may be better stored, perhaps as a focal point in a living room or study area?
Substitute your clothes based on seasonality
No doubt, your dresser and closet will provide the bulk of your clothes storage space, so you’ll need to maximise their space as best as possible. It can be all too easy to just throw clothes into a chest of drawers or the bottom of a closet without thinking too much about it. While this is certainly the easiest way to go about things in the short term, in the long run, it’ll most likely lead to space issues.
We’ve all been there. You started out with the best intentions, but now your clothes have all become one with ‘the lump’, with pieces you were once very fond of seemingly lost. When winter turns into summer, those breezy shorts that you like so much are nowhere to be found.
Seeing as you won’t need shorts in winter or heavy jackets in the summertime, it’s a good idea to separate your wardrobe by seasons. You can keep the clothes that are in season to hand in your dresser and closet, while storing away that which is out of season until you need it.
If you have an attic, basement or a spare storage room, you can put your unneeded clothes into suitcases or storage boxes and store them there, out of harm’s way. Vacuum packing the stored clothes before you box them will protect them from deteriorating over time (dust and moths can take their toll if you don’t store them securely.
If you don’t have an area to store boxes or suitcases, you should look into storage facilities near you to see if you can store away your extra clothes during their off season.
Use every surface space (even the floor!)
When it comes to maximising the limited amount of space found in a small bedroom, it is important to think outside of the box and be resourceful. For items such as books you rarely read ornaments that still look good from a distance, consider installing shelves that are a bit higher up the wall than normal. If you need them at some point, you can always use a chair or a stepladder to access them.
Window sills are an oft overlooked storage space, perfect for ornaments and trinkets. The abundance of natural light will make such items look even nicer. If you’re feeling inventive and hive a wider than normal windowsill, you could add cushions, converting them into a makeshift seating area for when you have guests over.
While to some, using the floor as storage space may sound like the very definition of the word ‘untidy’ but it can be surprisingly practical. The floor is typically the most space-rich surface in any bedroom, so why let it go to waste? Items which are easily stacked can often look really good when built up from the floor. If space is limited, why invest in a bookshelf when you can build one… out of books!
Use your door for extra hanging space
To many, a door is simply a means of getting in and out of a room, but to the spatially aware, it is a great opportunity to create extra space in a small bedroom. By installing simple hangers, you can save closet space by hanging multiple coats and jackets off the back of your door. The hanging items are invisible from outside the room, or from the inside if you leave the door open.
Alternatively, you can mount a mirror on the back of the door. Not only will this save you the space usually associated with a decent sized dressing table, but it will also allow you to check out your full outfit, assuming you hang the mirror lengthways.
Make your furniture multi-purpose
Just like the above example of the bedroom door, there are plenty of pieces of furniture that can be used for a lot more than their most typical function. A bedside chair can be used as a makeshift locker to put some night time items on, such as your mobile phone (which itself doubles up as most people’s alarm clock) or a glass of water. When you wake up, you can simply pick up the items and go back to using it as a normal chair.
As the centrepiece of most bedrooms, your bed will naturally take up a large portion of your bedroom’s space. If you have the right assortment of cushions, you can easily convert your bed into a makeshift couch for times when you aren’t sleeping but need somewhere comfortable to lounge and relax in privacy.
Consider downsizing your bed
If bedroom space is at a premium, then you may wish to consider trading in your bed for a smaller model. Most people just roll with the bed that their house or apartment came with, and never consider changing it. If you don’t need a double bed, why not save some space and trade it in for a single one?
Use the space under your bed
If you are considering changing your bed for storage reasons, then you should consider purchasing one with built in storage. A bed with drawers underneath it can hold a surprising amount of stuff, from extra linen to entire magazine collections. Alternatively, you could opt for a ‘double decker’ unit with the bed on top and a couch underneath. Why spread out when you can go up in the world?
Who needs a headboard?
While a headboard certainly makes a bed look grander, it doesn’t really add anything to your bedroom other than aesthetic value. If you decide not to go with a headboard, you’ll gain a bit of extra space. While the lack of headboard won’t make the floorspace in your bedroom much bigger, it opens up opportunities to use the space above for extra shelving.
If you’ve had enough of turning every last bit of space in your room into shelving, then you could use the area where your headboard used to go to install some nice wall-mounted lamps. This is a double bonus, as you won’t need to bring in bulky floor lamps or table lamps.
Are you looking to create some extra space in your bedroom by temporarily getting rid of excess clutter? Then why not get in touch with Nesta for a storage solutions quote?