For many of us, our rooms are the place we want to feel most comfortable and at peace. And if you're like me, living in an apartment means it's incredibly important to maximize space in a small bedroom, helping to keep you both zen and organized. And it's not just in your head, either. According to a study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, cluttered living space can actually have negative effects on our mental health, with women who describe their homes as "cluttered," or "unfinished," generally having higher rates of stress and depression than women who described their living spaces as "restful," and "restorative."
The good news is that there are a ton of life hacks for maximizing square footage in a small bedroom without having to actually move (no one wants to do that), and it doesn't have to entail anything lavish or draining on your wallet either. Sometimes the solution can be as as simple as furniture placement or use of colors and light. All it takes is a little creativity and a small amount of time to put that creativity to work, when it really comes down to it. Here are nine simple tips for making the most of your space.
1. Minimize Your Bed Size
A lot of people may not like to hear this one, but lifestyle expert and associate architect Ronique Gibson listed reducing your bed size as her number one tip for maximizing a small bedroom space on Freshomes.com.
I can personally vouch for the fact that a smaller bed completely changed the comfort level of my own tiny room. If you're not someone who wants to crawl up into a wobbly loft bed each night to save space, then reducing bed size to maximize square footage could be your best option.
2. Utilize The Space Under Your Bed
In an interview with HGTV, certified professional organizer Lisa Mark said, "Under-bed space keeps items contained and out of sight and serves as a physical boundary to curtail the number of items coming into the space. It is also convenient because it keeps less-used items out of prime storage space."
Mark also recommended getting storage containers that will allow for easy under the bed access, like rolling drawers, as well as bed risers to give you even more under bed storage space.
3. Make The Most Of Your Closets
Your closets are a super valuable asset for staying organized and maximizing your space. Gibson said, "Storage closets should be organized to utilize all vertical space efficiently. The more you can store in your closets, the less that has to be stored in the main bedroom area."
Danielle Blundell with This Old House recommends installing two rods in your closet — "one well above eye level for longer garments and one a little more than 3 feet off the ground for shorter (or foldable) ones."
4. Utilize Wall Space
Housebeautiful.com recommended utilizing vertical space, whether that be purchasing book shelves that go as close to the ceiling as possible, or hanging shelves for additional storage. Gibson noted wall storage has the added benefit up keeping floor space free for other things.
EKBY ALEX / EKBY VALTER, $54.90, IKEA.com
5. Make Sure All Of Your Furniture Has Dual Purposes
Lifestyle expert Jordan Reid on Ramshackle.com said to try to only purchase furniture that can also act as storage. "Do not buy adorable minimalist nightstands," she says, "Buy ones with drawers." And for extra seating, "pick up one of those ottomans with storage space inside."
6. Use Luggage As Storage
Sometimes we have more tools than we think we do when it comes to maximizing our square footage. Reid said she stacks her luggage one inside the other to economize on space, and recommends using your largest item of luggage for things you don’t use often, "like out-of-season clothing or bedding."
Vintage Stacked Table With Cigar Legs, $85, etsy.com
7. Don't Waste Space On Lamps
Lightlogic.org recommended forgoing your floor lamp and instead opting for hanging or track lighting, as it won't take up any additional floor or desk space. They also recommend maximizing all natural light, which means making sure there are no large pieces obstructing your windows, and even placing mirrors near windows to better amplify the light.
8. Fold And Roll Your T-shirts
New York City organizer Barbara Reich told Real Simple that she discovered she could fit way more clothes in a drawer when she uses the "fold and roll" technique, which literally just entails rolling your tees after you fold them. She also recommends putting inexpensive dividers in drawers that are larger in size to help keep you organized.
9. Use Your Door
Don't forget, the back of your door provides valuable storage space for shoes and other small items. Stephanie Denton, author of The Organized Life, specifically recommended door-hanging storage tools. I can personally vouch for the fact that door-hanging shoe storage was a game changer for maximizing floor space in my room.
Whitmor PEVA Over-the-Door Shoe Organizer, Walmart.com, $9.99
A small bedroom definitely doesn't have to mean constant clutter and piles. With a few life hacks and storage tools, your small space can feel completely organized and cozy, giving you the zen sleeping space you crave.
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