How To Organize A Small Bedroom

how to organize a small bedroom


Organizing a small bedroom can be a challenge. The last thing you want is for your bedroom to feel cramped. However, it’s entirely possible to make a small bedroom feel comfortable and roomy. Take it from a guy who lives in a tiny house full time — you don’t need a ton of space to feel at home.

ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

Moving into a tiny home caused me to become very intentional with organizing. I don’t have much room living in 150 square feet, so I am diligent with my small bedroom organization. It helps me feel my best in the room where I start and end my day!

ryan mitchell simple living expert

Simple Steps To Start Organizing Your Small Bedroom

Simple Steps To Start Organizing Your Small Bedroom

When it comes to organizing your small bedroom, the biggest setback is lack of space. It can be hard to organize your small bedroom in a way that feels spacious, comfortable, and neat, despite its small size.

I’ve learned a lot through trial and error in my tiny bedroom. I’m here to walk you through the most effective way to tackle a small space.

Step One: Prepare To Organize A Small Bedroom

Prepare To Organize A Small Bedroom

In order to start organizing your small bedroom, you need to know how much stuff you’re working with. Just because your room doesn’t appear messy to the naked eye doesn’t mean there isn’t stuff piled in the nooks and crannies.

put bedroom clutter all in one placeBefore you’re able to sort the mess, be aware of what you’re working with. What you don’t want to happen is to start sorting everything in your bedroom at once, only to discover drawers and drawers full of items you didn’t know you had.

Choose one central location to be your dumping ground. It’s best if this area is another room entirely so you have the freedom to play around with every inch of space. You may not think you need a ton of storage space, but you’d be surprised how much stuff is hiding away in the crevices.

Open every drawer, clear every shelf, dump out the contents of every trunk, chest, and container. Clear out your entire small bedroom and pile all the stuff in to your central dumping ground area to physically see what you’re preparing to sort.

Step Two: Declutter Your Small Bedroom

Declutter Your Small Bedroom

Before you can organize, you need to purge. The decluttering process is an entirely different ballgame that I talk about in other posts, but I want to note the importance of tackling this step before you try to organize your small bedroom.

prevent clutter from piling upWithout a ton of room in my home, I have to be very strategic with what I own to prevent my clutter from piling up. I like to go with the Four Box Decluttering method when I declutter my bedroom in my tiny house.

I find this method to be incredibly simple, yet highly effective for getting the job done. With this method, you’re creating throw away, give away, keep, and storage boxes to strategically declutter the things in your small bedroom.

Step Three: Consider Large Furniture In Small Bedroom Layout

Consider Placement Of Large Furniture In Small Bedroom Layout

Tackling small bedroom organization is about maximizing space while simultaneously facing the reality that you don’t have a ton of room. Before you put anything back in your bedroom, tackle your largest space sucker: furniture.

Think of your bedroom like a Tetris game and your biggest furniture pieces like those giant pieces that make you groan when they fall from the top of the board. Those pieces still have to fit on the gameboard!

If you aren’t planning to cut your bed, dresser, bookshelf, or desk out of your small bedroom contents, you need to create a gameplan to place them in the best possible locations so it doesn’t feel cramped.

Bed Placement In Small Bedroom

Bed Placement In Small Bedroom

It’s no surprise that your bed takes up the most space in your bedroom. Before I read into tips from the pros, I assumed it would make the most sense to put your bed in the corner of your room, thinking that getting it out of the way would take up the least amount of space.

This isn’t true. Placing your bed in the center of your room with walking space on either side will make your bedroom feel more spacious overall. The ideal position is the center point of the longest wall in the room.

Dresser Placement In Small Bedroom

Dresser Placement In Small Bedroom

Dressers are another huge space sucker. My suggestion is to go with a thin, narrow dresser, but even if you do have a large dresser, you want it to oppose your bed. These are the two largest items, so you want them to sit on opposite walls to create balance.

Side Table Placement In Small Bedroom

Side Table Placement In Small Bedroom

Obviously, you need your side table next to your bed. One trick I didn’t consider when I was first getting ready to organize my small bedroom was turning my table sideways. Flipping your side table will still allow you access to all your nighttime essentials, but will take up less space in your small bedroom.

Bookshelf Placement In A Small Bedroom

Bookshelf Placement In A Small Bedroom

Bookshelves are bulky but essential if you’re an avid reader like me and want to have easy access to as many books as possible. The best way to tackle bookshelf placement is to invest in a shelf or other book storage that doesn’t take up as much ground room, like floating or cube shelves.

However, if you must go with a classic bookshelf, lay it long ways against a side wall or in a corner as opposed to a center wall of your room. Don’t let any aspect of the shelf stick out into the room, make sure it’s entirely adjacent with a wall. Save your longest wall for your bed or dresser to keep your bedroom feeling more spacious.

Step Four: Categorize By Purpose

Categorize By Purpose

Now that you’ve placed your furniture in your small bedroom, it’s time to deal with your excess stuff. I’ve found that the best way to categorize what you own is to sort your items by the specific purpose they serve.

When it comes time to use them or complete that task, everything you need is in one place. Because of this, when you’re short on time and in need of something quick, you know exactly where to look to find it.

Potential Categories

  • Workout Items
  • School or Work supplies
  • Craft or Office supplies
  • Clothing & Jewelry
  • Nightstand essentials*
  • Daily essentials*
  • Memorabilia
  • Kids toys
  • Music / Books
craft supplies
*By nightstand essentials, I mean things like tissues, a journal, booklight, coaster, medications, chargers, and the likes. By daily essentials, I mean the things you need to grab to get out the door, like your wallet, keys, sunglasses, headphones, phone, and more.

Step Five: Assign A New Home To Items In Your Small Bedroom

Assign A New Home To Items In Your Small Bedroom

storage walls in a tiny homeOnce I sort, I write. I’m pretty big into list making as a way to keep my mental clutter in check. After categorizing by purpose, I put pen to paper and specifically assign homes to each of the categories I’ve created.

I literally write out things like: “Memorabilia in storage,” “Extra clothes in bottom drawer and keepsakes in middle drawer,” or “gym equipment at top of closet” to help me keep track of where I want everything to go.

This is the best method I’ve found to guide me so that I don’t get my wires crossed while I’m organizing my small bedroom.

Organization Guide For Each Room Of Your Home

home organization guide

Tips And Tricks For Organizing A Small Bedroom

Tips And Tricks For Organizing A Small Bedroom
It’s important to think about the little things when organizing your small bedroom. You want to make the most of every nook and cranny to keep your small bedroom feeling comfortable and roomy, despite its small size.

1 Make The Most Of Small Bedroom Essentials

A huge part of organizing effectively comes down to your mindset. When trying to maximize space in my own small bedroom, I’m always thinking about how I can make the best use out of every item.

In the bedroom, this means considering ways you can give more than one purpose to essential items. You have to have a bed, but could you invest in a trundle bed to make room for guests without sacrificing much space? Your room has walls — how can you use your wall space to effectively reflect your style and store necessities?

Ideas For Multi-Purposed Pieces

  • Trundle bed
  • Underbed storage
  • Décor on window sill
  • Dresser as a desk, vanity, or craft table
  • Armoire with mirror
  • Side table as bookshelf
  • Bedframe as bookshelf
  • Cube chairs with storage

Think about the value you can gain from each element of your small bedroom instead of buying one item to fill each need. When you do this, the possibilities for organizing your small bedroom are endless.

2 Let Your Furniture Double As Storage Space

When buying furniture for your small bedroom, get creative with ways you can purchase furniture that has extra storage space.

Buy benches or chairs that are hollow on the inside to store blankets, games, or books. Purchase a small side table with storage drawers or space for a basket underneath. Repurpose a trunk at the end of your bed to place odds and ends on while also storing essentials.

You want to make sure your furniture — especially large pieces — has a storage component so space in your small bedroom is not wasted.

how to declutter like a minimalist

3 Allow Yourself Only One Junk Drawer

The last thing you want is for your bedroom to become a disorganized wreck, and that’s easy to let happen when you live in a small space. You don’t want your whole room to be filled with junk, but it’s almost impossible not to have some clutter you need to keep around.

The solution is to assign a space that’s specifically set aside for it! Designate one drawer to function as your junk drawer, and stick to it. That way, your junk space won’t become every extra drawer, closet, or crevice.

4 Create A Storage Corner In Your Small Bedroom

Another tip to keep your small bedroom organized is to assign a specific space for storage things. If you have a small bedroom, you likely have a small closet as well.

If you need extra storage space, my suggestion is to designate a corner where you let the items live that you won’t need to get to every day. You can make the corner attractive and fun by using cube chair storage bins, corner wall shelves, or even stacking old suitcases in the corner that double as extra storage.

5 Think Flat When Decorating Your Small Bedroom

Taking up less space in a small bedroom quite literally means using less volume. You can still achieve the vibe and style you’re going for without taking up a ton of space. To do this, think about ways you can use flat space instead of taking up volume while decorating.

Ways To Think Flat

  • Hang plants from wall without shelves
  • Opt for photo wall instead of frames
  • Stack books along baseboards
  • Hang vinyl on wall
  • Hang books on wall
  • Use back of door
Opt for photo wall instead of frames

Inspiration For Maximizing Space In A Small Bedroom

Inspiration For Maximizing Space In A Small Bedroom
When you don’t have a ton of space in your small bedroom, you have to be creative with the ways you maximize the space that you do have in your room. I’ve tried many different techniques to make the most of my small bedroom in my own tiny house.

Make The Most Of Under The Bed Storage

Make The Most Of Under The Bed Storage

When you think about the layout of a bedroom, your bed is typically the largest piece of furniture in the room. You want to make the most out of every inch, which includes underneath the bed. There are so many ways to utilize this often-wasted space.

When it comes to under-the-bed containers, look for long, low plastic bins that easily slide under your bed frame. You can also use canvas containers or bins with wheels so you can roll it out from underneath your bed.

Just make sure your containers have a specific purpose, otherwise, you’ll likely end up with miscellaneous clutter that just piles up.

Also make sure that whichever items you choose to store under your bed aren’t ones you need to access frequently. Some of the best candidates for under-the-bed storage include clothes that are out of season or memorabilia you want to hang onto but don’t need to use.

Things To Store Under A Bed

  • Books
  • Memorabilia
  • CDs and vinyl records
  • Out-of-season clothing
  • Extra shoes
  • Craft supplies
  • Sports equipment
under bed storage

Loft Your Bed To Double Up On Space

Loft Your Bed To Double Up On Space

When you can’t go out, go up! Lofting your bed is a great way to gain back the space taken up by your bed. When you loft your bed, you’re basically using air as extra space and creating an entire nook underneath.

You can buy a bed that is already lofted or purchase a loft bed extension or conversion kit. These kits can be purchased at furniture stores like Ikea and help to safely raise a standard twin or full bed up to loft height.

Ways To Use Under-Loft Space

  • Desk or study space
  • Cozy reading nook
  • Pet area
  • Space for yoga
  • Hang a hammock for guests
  • Extra storage
  • Hang curtains for privacy
loft your bed to save space

Buy A Hollow Headboard With Shelves

Buy A Hollow Headboard With Shelves

Another element of a small bedroom you can capitalize on that you may not think about is your headboard. Invest in (or build!) a headboard that’s hollow and has shelving. Many people let their headboards double as a bookshelf, but you can also use it for other things like plants, picture frames, or nightstand essentials.

Use A Rolling Cart As Your Side Table

Use A Rolling Cart As Your Side Table

Don’t let the top of your side table be the only space you can use. Consider buying a rolling cart to use as a side table in your small bedroom.

By doing this, you can set things on the top level like you would a regular side table and use the lower levels to store extra necessities, all while taking up the same amount of space. As a bonus, you can quickly relocate your rolling cart in a pinch.

Things To Store In Rolling Cart Side Table

  • Chargers
  • TV remote
  • Lotion
  • Lip balm
  • Tissues
  • Nasal spray
  • Medications
  • Journal
Rolling Cart Side Table

Add Shelves To Your Wall With Hooks

Add Shelves To Your Wall With Hooks

wall shelves save spaceDécor is super important in any bedroom, because it gives your space personality and allows it to reflect your particular style so you can really feel at home. There are so many trinkets, plants (real or faux), candles, and other shelf decorations that can add flair to a room.

However, in a small bedroom, buying a bulky shelf to fill with books, plants, and knick-knacks isn’t ideal. When it comes to décor, utilize your wall space. Use hooks to mount individual shelves to your wall to show off your favorite décor.

Replace Lamps With Wall Sconces

Replace Lamps With Wall Sconces

wall sconce instead of table lampLamps are one category that people may not consider as a space stealer, but can actually take up a lot of room in a small bedroom. Floor and table lamps tend to be the go-to for lighting, but they can take up a lot of space on the floor and tabletops that could be put to better use.

Try investing in wall sconces instead to illuminate your small bedroom. You could also use pendant lights looped over a wall or ceiling hook for a hanging light effect.

Invest In A Wall-Mounted Vanity

Invest In A Wall-Mounted Vanity

vanity tableWall-mounted vanities with a mirror is a super smart way to meet many needs with one furniture item. I can’t recommend these enough to maximize space in a small bedroom. Some wall-mounted vanities have a tabletop with drawers that you can use to set your makeup, jewelry, or other accessories on.

If you want to go a different route, you could also invest in a wall-mounted armoire or jewelry organizer. These typically have the mirror in the face of the door, with a space to store your jewelry or clothing inside.

Either way, a wall-mounted mirror set up is the best way to maximize space in a small bedroom while still feeling comfortable getting ready each morning.

Use A Wall-Mounted Folding Table As A Desk

Use A Wall-Mounted Folding Table As A Desk

wall mounted tableYou can also use your wall space for a desk. Depending on your lifestyle, a desk may not be something you need in your small bedroom. In that case, let it go to make room for other essentials.

However, if you’re a student or actively work from home, you’ve probably discovered that desks can take up a massive amount of space in a small bedroom. I’d suggest a wall-mounted desk or table that folds up onto the wall and drops down when in use.

Use A Pegboard To Organize Miscellaneous Extras

Use A Pegboard To Organize Miscellaneous Extras

pegboard shelvingInstead of shoving all your miscellaneous items under your bed or in your dresser drawers and stealing valuable storage space, consider a pegboard organizer. Using a pegboard is a great way to hang essentials like sunglasses, keys, a camera, headphones, or bags while maximizing your space.

Put your pegboard wall organizer near your bedroom door so you can grab these essential items quickly on your way out the door. You can also use towel hooks or other kinds of decorative hooks to hang these items.

Minimalist Checklist When Organizing A Small Bedroom

Minimalist Checklist When Organizing A Small Bedroom

Our bedroom is one of the most important rooms in our home because it’s where we start and end each day. Organizing your small bedroom in a way that makes it feel comfortable and your own will help you feel your best, day in and day out.


Sort Small Bedroom items

  • Sort by category
  • Make a pile of memorabilia
  • Categorize items you don’t use
  • Sort items you do use
  • Make a miscellaneous pile
  • Sort books and music

Small Bedroom Furniture

  • Note large items
  • Consider multiple purposes
  • Plan storage spaces
  • Ask: How do I get the most from items?
  • List what you have
  • List what you’ll buy

Design Your Small Space

  • Draw bedroom layout
  • Play with placement ideas
  • Use corners with intention
  • Use wall space for shelves and decor
  • Be strategic when placing large items
  • Embellish without sacrificing space

Organize Bedroom Belongings

  • Put daily items by door
  • Hide out-of-season clothes
  • Store memorabilia
  • Store together by purpose
  • Remember tabletops aren’t storage
  • Don’t force things to fit
Your Turn!

  • What systems will you employ to organize your small bedroom?
  • What steps will you take today to begin maximizing your bedroom space?

Leave a Reply