It doesn’t take much for a small space like a bedroom to feel cramped.
To avoid the tendency of clutter buildup, “keep items to a minimum,” suggested Debra McCann, CEO of Delaware-based Organizing Outside the Box.
Here, experts weigh in with strategies to clear out items you don’t need, and maximize the space in a small bedroom to make it feel comfortable, clean and orderly.
1. Tone Down the Accessories.
Start by looking at details to see where you can downsize. “Avoid too many throw pillows on the bed,” said professional organizer Ginny Underwood, owner of Virginia’s Easy Living Solutions in Hilton Head Island, SC.
If you have an assortment of pictures, consider putting your favorites on a wall and storing the rest. Also, keep small accessories, like your phone, keys and change, in a drawer.
For papers you want to keep in the bedroom and access easily, find a decorative magazine holder or box. Store the papers inside the container and place the box on a bookshelf.
2. Slim Down Your Wardrobe.
Before moving into a 480-square-foot home with a master bedroom that measures 10 feet by 10 feet, Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell had three closets for her outfits. To fit her wardrobe into the new space, she kept the pieces she loved and donated the rest.
Now, “I have the one-in, one-out rule,” said Fivecoat-Campbell, founder of LivingLargeinOurLittleHouse.com. If she buys a new piece of clothing, she lets go of another one.
3. Go Natural for Color.
“Avoid bold patterns on your bedding and window dressings,” Underwood said. “They draw the eye and can make a room look untidy.”
Opt for light neutral colors instead.
“They allow the eye to take in the entire space,” Underwood said.
Once you have a natural-looking background, try a few accent pieces. You might add a couple of pillows in your favorite color. If you start with a black-and-white combination, bring in several things in bright colors to complete the setup.
4. Clear Out Seasonal Items.
“Do not store items you don’t need all the time in your bedroom,” McCann said.
This might include off-season sports equipment like ski jackets, pants and boots. It also could consist of swimsuits, tennis uniforms and football gear, as well as seasonal items such as holiday sweaters and Halloween costumes.
Keep these items in a hall closet, in your garage or in a separate storage space.
5. Choose Large Pieces Wisely.
In a small bedroom, the bed likely is the largest piece of furniture.
“A high or four-poster bed will command most of the vertical space, in addition to the floor space, drawing the eye to it and making the room appear crowded,” Underwood said.
To open up the space, opt for a bed that’s low to the floor. You might look for one with a high headboard to provide an accent. Avoid a footboard if possible, as that’ll make it easier to move the bed.
6. Use Furniture for Storage.
Also, take advantage of closet doors.
“Use over-the-door shoe holders to corral your shoes,” Decker said.
For extra storage, try tucking plastic bins under the bed or look for a bed equipped with drawers. For a piece furniture designed for sitting, such as an ottoman, search for one with storage space inside.
7. Pay Attention to Outliers.
If you find yourself turning the room upside down every time you’re hunting for a particular item, that item might need to be put in another place, McCann said. A coat, for instance, might work better on a hook next to a door rather than tossed in the bedroom.
Furthermore, if there are belongings you continually shift around in the bedroom, it could be a sign that they don’t have a good home. Either find a permanent place for those items in the room or move them to a different spot.
Top photo courtesy of Nelsplace.com, photo of bed with drawers courtesy of Head2Bed UK