Living Big in Small Spaces: Bedroom (Part 1)

Monday, April 25, 2016

My bedroom is quite small.  It's about 11 feet by 14 feet, with a tiny built in closet.  I've been living in this space for about six years now, and it's been an ongoing struggle to find enough space to live in AND store all of my stuff.  Embarking on this minimalist journey has helped, but not by much.  Even though I've downsized, I still seem to have way too little space.

For all of you out there who have the same challenge, here are the ways that I've managed to maximize my tiny space to meet my needs!  In the next several weeks, I will take you around my room, and show you how I've managed to live large in my little space.

First stop - the bed!

[Picture of bed]

1. Maximize bed storage.

Eliminate the need for extra furniture with a bed that has drawers built in!  Drawers underneath the bed can replace your bedside tables, dresser, or a chest at the end of the bed, giving you some extra leg room.  My bed comes with three HUGE drawers underneath, which is the perfect place for me to store extra linens, craft supplies, old school books, keepsakes, travel bags, and even clothes!

While the bed I have is no longer available, check out these equally functional beds from IKEA!

MALM High bed frame/4 storage boxes IKEA The 4 large drawers on casters give you an extra storage space under the bed.
IKEA MALM High Bed with 4 Storage Drawers
I am secretly coveting this bedroom set ... I would LOVE to own this bed one day!

MALM Pull up storage bed IKEA Practical storage space revealed by lifting the slatted base.
IKEA MALM Pull Up Storage Bed
Perfect for rooms with no room to pull out drawers!
If you already have a bed, and aren't looking to purchase a new one, try purchasing under bed storage boxes to meet your needs.  You can find fabric or plastic containers at Walmart, Canadian Tire, Target, The Container Store, Bed Bath and Beyond, and IKEA.  IKEA even sells drawers separately from their beds, in case you were set on a set of drawers (ha!).

2. Minimize bed size.

If you're just one person, you probably don't need a king, queen, or even full size bed.  I've gotten by on a twin bed for years, and it works just fine for me.  This maximizes space for other furniture, and allows me to have quite a bit of floor space in my room.  These beds from IKEA are ones that I wish I had gotten, since they fit my personal style.
MALM High bed frame/2 storage boxes IKEA The 2 large drawers on casters give you an extra storage space under the bed.
IKEA MALM High Bed with 2 drawers (Single)

HEMNES Daybed with 3 drawers/2 mattresses IKEA Four functions - sofa, single bed, double bed and storage solution.
IKEA HEMNES Daybed with 3 Drawers
This bed is great because it pulls out into a double bed, giving you extra room for guests!
3. Maximize Vertical Space.

Loft beds are also a great option, though not as practical or appropriate for my taste.  I do love the look of loft beds however, and these are a couple options that I would definitely go for!

STUVA Loft bed with 4 drawers/2 doors IKEA You can assemble the desk parallel, perpendicular, or complete with 2 ADILS legs for a free-standing desk.
IKEA STUVA Loft Bed - Bed, Desk, Drawers, and Closet in One!

SVÄRTA Loft bed frame IKEA
IKEA SVARTA Loft Bed Frame
Utilize the empty space under the bed to keep a desk/vanity and chair, dresser, or even to create a cozy sitting area for friends and family to enjoy!  This option is ideal for a bachelors apartment with limited room!

4. Minimize bed clutter!

I know it can be hard to keep the bed made or completely clear of clothes, but I find it's a lot easier to do so if my bed is not littered with pillows, throws, stuffed animals, etc.  The pile of cushions might look cute, but if you're too lazy/tired to make your bed everyday (like me), it's best to keep your bed down to the essentials.  For me, this means 4 pillows (I like my head high when sleeping), my bed sheets, my comforter, and a throw that I cover myself with when it's warm.  That way even if my bed is unmade, it doesn't look like Bed Bath and Beyond threw up on my bed.

[Picture of made bed]

5. Maximize bed placement.

Bed placement can divide a small bedroom, giving you the chance to use the space in creative ways. My bed did not come with a headboard, making it easy for me to center it on the wall opposite my closet.  However my bed felt incomplete without a headboard, so I had to get creative.

Closetmaid 9 Cube Organizer

Enter the Closetmaid 9 Cube Organizer, also known as my $40.00 makeshift headboard!  Though this doesn't sit perfectly centered behind my bed, it is the perfect height to act as a ledge behind my bed, holding a few decorative items, as well as Kleenex and lip balm (my night time essentials).  

[Insert picture of top shelf]

The cubes are hidden behind my pillows and bed, but they are the perfect spot to store items that I don't need to see, but do need to use.  I store hair products, books, candles, body butter making tools and supplies, tea, keepsakes, and odds and ends in this little cubby.  And since this cubby doesn't show, I don't have to worry about making it neat!

[Insert picture of storage cubby organization]

The best part is that this storage cube sections off a little storage corner in my room, where I can temporarily store items such as my bags of clothes for donation, gifts wrapped and ready to be given, empty boxes for recycling, etc.

[Insert picture of storage corner]

If you're not looking to purchase any more furniture, try maximizing the ones you have by placing them strategically to create room dividers!

6. Maximize wall space.

Wall shelves come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and can be a decorative and functional addition to your small space.  Hang a shelf or two at either side of your bed to replace nightstands, freeing up floor space and giving your room an airy feel.  While I have not used this tip personally, here are a few shelves that I've been eyeing lately:

Double Decker Wall Shelf from Urban Outfitters
A good option for anyone who doesn't want to store too much!

Bryn Mountain Display Shelf from Urban Outfitters
Great for storing the bare essentials.

Diamond Cross Planes Shelf
Again, great for the essentials

Invisible Book Shelf
Imagine the fun you could have with this minimal shelf!
If you're feeling crafty (and brave), you could purchase or DIY your own set of floating nightstands.  I personally love this one by www.mylove2create.com:

Floating Night Stand, MyLove2Create
Check out the AMAZING tutorial by clicking here!

I didn't realize this post would be so long!  I had more space-saving tips than I thought!  Stay tuned to find out how a worked my way around my tiny closet, and managed to end up with clothing storage fit for a minimalist diva!!

Cheers to maximizing space, while minimalizing clutter!

xoxo, Jayy

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