How to Make the Most of Small Bedrooms

Small bedrooms are a unique challenge. My youngest daughter’s bedroom is 8 feet by 10 feet. The main pieces of furniture in her room are a junior loft twin bed, a vertical dresser, and a bookshelf, with not much room for anything else of substantial size. I can say without exaggeration that I have never seen a bedroom in another house in the United States that is smaller than this bedroom.

small bedrooms

My daughter’s 8-foot by 10-foot bedroom. What you see in the picture is pretty much the whole room.

It takes careful arranging and organizing to make a small bedroom work, but I enjoy the challenge and I like how small spaces help to simplify life. In other words, small spaces force us to limit our material possessions and serve as reminders that we don’t need as much as we sometimes think we need.

If I could share only one piece of advice on making your small bedroom work, it would be to keep it uncluttered. Americans are notorious for having too much stuff. It often sneaks up on us. Clean out your small bedroom on a regular basis and keep only what is useful and sparks joy. Your space will look larger if it isn’t filled with unnecessary things.

In addition to de-cluttering, I’ve learned a few other methods over the years to help maximize space in a small bedroom.

small bedroom

How to Make the Best of a Small Bedroom:

  • Try a loft bed. Full-sized loft beds allow room to tuck a dresser, desk, shelves, or some combination of those items under the bed. Loft beds free up valuable space in the rest of the room. The only downside is that it can be a pain to make your bed each morning if you own a loft bed, but sometimes the trade-off for extra space is worth it.
  • If the bedroom belongs to a younger child, try a junior loft bed. These beds sit only three or four feet off the ground, so there are fewer concerns about kids falling a long way out of bed. Junior loft beds have nice child-sized spaces underneath that serve as toy storage and play areas.
  • If the bedroom belongs to a very young child, use a toddler bed for as long as is reasonable. Some people view toddler beds as a waste of money because children can only use them for a few years before outgrowing them, usually around age 5 or 6. They are wonderful space savers, though, because they take up less floor space than twin beds. You can find them at decent prices at children’s resale shops or online garage sale sites.
  • Get a bed with built-in storage drawers underneath or with shelving built into the headboard. Maximize storage space wherever you can get it.
  • Use a tall, narrow dresser. It’s pretty clear you don’t want a 4- or 5-foot-long dresser that takes up an entire wall. Look for a vertical dresser with four to six drawers. Don’t forget to anchor it to the wall if it’s in a bedroom that children will use.
  • Utilize storage space under the bed. Use plastic boxes with lids, baskets, or whatever fits and looks tidy. This space is great for toys, shoes, clothing, games, books, or whatever else needs to be stored.
  • Utilize storage space on the door. Use over-the-door hooks to hold coats, sweaters, hats, necklaces, and more. Or use an over-the-door shoe holder for shoes or other medium-sized items.
  • Attach shelves to walls. You can store things right up to the ceiling this way.
  • Install a ceiling light or lamps on the walls. Save your floor and table or shelf space for other things besides lamps.
  • Consider using nesting tables. For a nightstand, invest in a set of two to three tables that tuck under one another. You can pull tables out to use for studying or other projects and tuck them back under when you’re done, saving space when you’re not using them.
  • Place a desk next to the bed so it can serve as both a nightstand and work space.
  • Maximize closet storage. Use hanging organizers and shoe holders, and install extra shelving if necessary.
  • Hang mirrors to give the illusion of a bigger space. Just don’t go all 1970s overboard.
  • Hang curtains higher and wider than the window to make the room look larger. Hang curtain rods near the ceiling and use curtains that drape all the way to the floor to give the illusion of a taller room. Also, hang a curtain rod that is wider than the window and arrange the curtains so they cover just the edges of the window, making the window appear larger and allowing more natural light in.
  • De-clutter, de-clutter, de-clutter. I will say it once more because this is so essential to life in a small bedroom: purge your unneeded stuff. Keep the bedroom for sleeping and perhaps reading just before bedtime, and maybe homework if the room belongs to a student. Decide what’s most important to have in the bedroom, and move all the rest out, perhaps keeping just a bed, dresser, and a desk. If it’s a young child’s bedroom, keep most toys in a separate play room or other space.

How do you make use of small bedrooms in your home? Let us know in the comments.

About Rachael

Rachael is the creator of Shop From Your Pantry. She is a freelance writer and editor, and you can learn more about her work at www.rachaelsjohnston.com.
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