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How To Organize a Small Bedroom To Minimize Clutter | Cottage

Need to organize your small bedroom to gain additional space or minimize clutter? Check out these tips, and your bedroom will feel bigger than ever.
Updated Jan 01, 2018
Small bedrooms don't have to feel crowded! In fact, small bedrooms can be perfect sleeping or study spaces for individuals or even couples, depending on how the room is laid out and organized.
Smaller spaces require creativity, planning, and perhaps some trial and error, but with the right guidance, you can have the home of your dreams. Today’s expert advice comes from our experts at Cottage, who have gained a lot of experience with small bedrooms thanks to our work creating custom-tailored ADUs.
Read along as we share how to organize and clean up small bedrooms:

Practice Working With Small Spaces

The best way to learn how to declutter a small bedroom and expand available space is to work with small spaces frequently.
Cottage’s work building accessory dwelling units (ADUs) for clients has led us to design plenty of economical yet exceptionally comfortable spaces. They know what does and doesn’t work when it comes to smaller bedrooms, kitchens, and single-room spaces like studios.
After years of making big moves in small spaces, we can help you declutter a small bedroom or open up more moving and storage space for your needs (or the needs of future rental tenants).

How Do You Declutter a Small Room? A Few Bedroom Storage Ideas

Small rooms often feel cluttered and cramped because of the lack of storage options. Once you start adding in blankets, clothes, school supplies, games, and other belongings, that bedroom will feel much smaller than it actually is.
Therefore, the best way to organize a small bedroom and minimize clutter is to invest in storage solutions or get clever with storage ideas.
Here are a few tips and tricks to get you started:

Try Under-the-Bed Storage

One clever way to expand storage space in a small bedroom is to store items, like clothing or school supplies, under the bed. You can purchase under-bed storage drawers and boxes designed to fit under most bed frames.
Under-the-bed storage can help to maximize floor space as well. Since these storage solutions take up the same area as your bed, you don't have to use valuable square footage for another dresser or extra storage boxes. This space-saving strategy is perfect for boosting closet space or storing seasonal clothes like scarves.

Make Use of Vertical Space for Storage

Similarly, vertical space can and should be used for storage needs in small bedrooms and other cramped spaces. Vertical spaces, like tall shelves or taller rather than wider dressers and drawers, are advantageous for several reasons.
If the small bedroom has access to the attic, the occupant can store their items in that space rather than in their bedroom itself. With these tips, the key lies in maximizing both vertical and hidden storage space rather than moving storage solutions like drawers and chests across limited square footage. In this case, vaulted ceilings can help keep the proportions even.

Move Unnecessary Items Out

Most people could probably declutter their knickknacks and belongings. If you're trying to make everything fit in a small bedroom and minimize clutter, move any unnecessary items out of the room.
You don’t have to get rid of those things entirely. For example, if you only have limited storage space for clothes, put winter clothes in the attic or basement during summer and vice versa when the weather turns cool again.
If you have a separate office space, try keeping the TV and computer there rather than in the bedroom. This is a smart way to keep a bedroom space reserved for what’s most important—relaxation and deep sleep.

Hang a Clothing Rack or Shoe Tree

If you still have a lot of clothes you want to store in a small bedroom, you can get even more creative by purchasing a hanging clothing rack or a shoe tree. Unlike a traditional free-standing coat rack, clothing racks and shoe trees are better at hiding out of sight, keeping the main room serene.
These products allow you to hang clothes or shoes on your bedroom door or on some other flat surface. This is technically vertical storage; it's also very convenient compared to a set of drawers you store under the bed.
With a shoe tree, you can simply get dressed, then reach for the shoes of the day on your door as you head out of the bedroom. Combine these racks with hangers (both store-bought and DIY) in a small closet to boost organization and separate in-season or out-of-season clothing.

Install a Medicine/Bathroom Cabinet

For a one-bedroom or a small studio apartment, consider installing a medicine cabinet—also called a bathroom cabinet. A medicine cabinet looks like a small mirror, but the mirror swings open like a cabinet door, revealing a stack of shelves.
Not only does this give you a space to get ready in the morning, but it doubles as storage.
You can put medicine, bandages, personal hygiene products, makeup, and more on those shelves. This is a great way to declutter a small bedroom space and prevent items from being scattered over time.

Try Wall-to-Wall Shelving

Lastly, you could install wall-to-wall shelves to elevate your items and clothes rather than hide them away. This might reduce the room for hanging art or plants, but it can look like home decor with minimal planning.
It’s a smart way to ensure that you have enough room to keep all of your must-have items in a bedroom without having to move them elsewhere. Use floating shelves if there’s some bare wall space above dressers or drawers.
One other home organization tip: don’t put shelves over the bed headboard, even if the shelves are of a high quality. You don’t want a shelf full of dividers, books, supplies, and other things to fall on you as you sleep, especially if you live in an area prone to earthquakes.

Make Use of Other Space

If your main living space is small, but you have room to expand, consider adding on.
  • Conversion ADUs can transform an existing space, like an attic, into a standalone bedroom unit.
  • Attached ADUs are attached to the main house.
  • Detached ADUs are ideal if you have extra space on your lot. This floor plan can range from studios to three-bedroom, two-bathroom units. Besides these floor plans, Cottage offers custom models as well.
ADUs are wonderful opportunities to house grown children or senior parents in the country-wide housing crisis or create passive income from a long-term rental ADU.

What Causes Clutter in a Small Bedroom?

Aside from storage issues, small bedrooms may be cluttered or feel cramped because of other factors.
Here are some of the common causes of clutter in small bedrooms that you can identify and fix easily:

Lack of Organization

Generally, small bedrooms feel cluttered and disorganized due to a lack of organization.
The key to maximizing any space is organization. Having plentiful storage space, and getting creative with storage solutions in cramped rooms, is necessary if you want to have as much legroom as possible.
If needed, don’t hesitate to get rid of stuff you don’t use anymore. If you have old clothes, unneeded school supplies, or books and movies you don’t watch anymore, it’s time to donate them.
To keep on top of the clutter, try dedicating five to 15 timed minutes a day to organizing one space.

The Wrong Furniture and Fixtures

The furniture and fixtures of a small bedroom can severely impact its apparent size, its comfort, and other aesthetic factors. The wrong furniture and fixtures will make a small bedroom feel even more cramped.
With that in mind, swap out clunky furniture and fixtures with new, space-creating ones. Say that you live in a small studio apartment that serves as your bedroom, kitchen, and living room all at the same time.
To maximize floor space, consider purchasing an elevated bed frame. You'll have much more space beneath the elevated bed for a desk, a TV, or a couch where you can hang out with your friends. Other space-saving bed options include the classic Murphy bed, a sofa bed, or a daybed or chaise lounger.
Similarly, invest in tall, slim furniture like drawers and shelves. That way, you can store things up high or down low rather than horizontally.

The Wrong-Sized Bed

By far, the biggest determining factor in bedroom space is the size and shape of your bed. If you have a large bed that barely fits in your bedroom, it will take up most of the square footage available for storage or living.
If you live by yourself in your bedroom, it may be wiser to invest in a twin or full mattress and a sleek bed frame. Keeping your bed frame off the floor offers incredible storage opportunities.
With the right bed size, you have more mattress orientation options. Instead of needing to push a king-size mattress next to the wall, a full mattress can sit proudly in the middle of the room.

Live With Intentionality

Ultimately, small bedrooms don’t have to be crowded or cramped. They can feel just as comfortable and spacious as larger bedrooms, making them perfect choices for kids, renters, and even homeowners.
You can take these lessons and apply them to ADU bedrooms you may construct on your property, as well. For instance, if you invite an in-law to live with you and your family, you can build a custom-tailored ADU on your property out of your garage, attic, or a separate structure with Cottage's help.
Apply these tips for organizing a small bedroom to ensure your guest or rental tenant feels comfortable in their bedroom. Contact Cottage today to learn more!

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