Organizing a Small Bedroom

Shauna Smith Duty
August 19, 2005

Closet ConversionNeed to tuck your television or computer into a nook so that you have more floor space in a bedroom? This simple closet conversion is inexpensive, functional, and just plain cute. Often the things tucked away in spare room closets can be discarded or stored elsewhere. That extra closet is wasted space.


What you'll need:


Remove and store the closet doors. You may need them if you ever plan to sell your home, or if you convert the space back into a closet. Just store them in the attic, out of the way, with the hardware attached in a plastic baggie.

Measure the shelves or desk you want to use in the space to make sure it will fit without sticking out past the interior closet wall. This conversion looks best if the furniture in the closet fits properly. The shelves in the photo were created by cutting down an old shelving unit. The two doors beneath the television are a pre-existing VCR cabinet slid onto the shelves. Painting the whole unit solid white to match the trim of the closet makes it look custom built to fit the space. Electronics wires can be hidden behind the unit and fed through a hole cut in the shelf, behind the television.


In the photographed entertainment area, lace sheers were hung on a shower curtain rod and pulled back with tiebacks. To conceal the area, use drapes, bamboo shades, or tab curtains and pull them closed.

This project works for not only entertainment centers, but also for bookshelves, computer desks, or a child's dress up area.

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More Solutions

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August 8, 2007

I have a small bedroom and want to not load it up with furniture. I bought a new bed and decided to get one with the built in drawers to save space in that room. This way a dresser is not taking up any space.

Bed for Small Bedroom


February 28, 2005

Old dresser drawers under the bed make great storage, you can even put casters on the bottom if you like.


May 25, 2005

Storing items under your bed doesn't require those expensive boxes for storage. Use the large garbage bags, use your vacuum cleaner to suck out the air.


20 Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

December 15, 2010

I am 15 and am a freshman. I am a straight A student, a cheerleader, a runner, a softball player and I love technology. I cannot seem to keep my room clean, neat, cute, organized and smelling nice! I need help! I have white walls and painting is not possible right now, but definitely in the future. My theme is purple but I have a lot of different colors too.

I have a twin bed, with some space underneath. I have a huge built-in bookshelf, a night stand, a vanity with a mirror, a long dresser with a mirror, a tall dresser, and a closet with a sliding door. The closet is not very big at all, but does have some drawers. My room is very small


! I have a lot of books, a lot of clothes, and a lot of shoes. I need a homework space, a beauty space, and a space for a lot of trinkets. I already went through everything and got rid of a lot of stuff! Help me please. :)

By Ali from AR


December 15, 20100 found this helpful

A good way to get yourself organized is:
Before you start you will need 3 boxes or bags and a bunch of no-slip hangers (they have to all match! You can find it in the Discount store or Dollar stores) A couple of small bins (you can also find this at the Dollar store)
1) Take everything you own and throw it on the bed
2) Get three boxes or bags, 1 for garbage, 1 for donate and 1 for keep
3) Go through everything and decide which bag it goes into...the rule is if you haven't worn or used it in a year, get rid of it.


4) Throw the "garbage" bag out, drive with Mom and give away the "donate" bag. Take the "keep" bag and bring it to the hallway along with anything else that sits on the floor, vacuum your floor very well, corners, under bed, move furniture if you have to.
5) Start bringing in your stuff, hang all of your clothes neatly and loose stuff like scrunchies, pins, socks, use the bins
6) Lay back in your bed and enjoy your organized, clean bedroom
7) keep it that way!

December 16, 20100 found this helpful

Hi and great job on your studies. I would say decorate the same ways as college students do. Frugal and smart. Since you can't paint you can add color using art or your items. You can use command hook-they don't damage the walls. You can use storage containers to store things under the bed. Get some cute containers at the dollar store or Target, Wal-mart. You want neat and organized.


Group things like makeup in a container that maybe has drawers. These are inexpensive.

Use over the door shoe bags and you can even use them on the walls. Put items in the pockets. So long as its neat. everything in its place. Get some potpourri or use febreeze type air fresheners. A big part of the unfresh scent is just dust and needing to organize. Good luck and hope this helps.

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July 23, 2011

I am looking for ideas, suggestions, testimonies of DIY bedroom makeover for a boy, age 12. The room is on the small size. He is sleeping on a full size futon, but that is really taking up too much room. Storage/shelves are really needed, it is a very unorganized room. I also need to make it exciting and clever. My budget is small. I won't have a problem figuring out curtains, bed covers, etc. I just need some practical ideas on how to make a small room more functional.

By Arlinn

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March 16, 2010

My room is 12' by 10'. My wall does a dreadful slant, leaving me not being able to stand in more than half the room nor put furniture in.

I don't know how to move furniture or organize my clothes, store my stuffed animals other than leaving them on display, store doll stuff, or what to put in my empty drawers. I sure have plenty of stuff.

My room is also very dark. It has a window, but it's not on the side of the house with sunshine. I'm looking out on the back yard.

I think I posted this once before, but it didn't get through. Thank you for any feedback.


By Lena from Portland, ME


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March 16, 20100 found this helpful

A lot of houses have rooms like that. The room that my sisters and I had when we were kids was like that. It had two double beds in it with headboards. One side of the bed was against the wall. The only part of the room we could stand up in was in the middle of the room that could almost be called a hallway. Between the beds there was enough room that we could have put another bed, but there wouldn't have been room to get in and out any of the beds.

There was an east facing window, and under that we had an old chest that as I got older I used it for a "hope" chest. There wasn't anything pretty about this chest. Being I was a teenager I had a small dresser, more like the old fashioned commodes, and one of my aunts gave me an old ottoman that she was going to throw away to sit on in front of the dresser. On the west end of the bedroom there was a small kind of an entry way about 3x3. My uncle built a clothes rack for me to hang my clothes on and my little sister's clothes were kept downstairs in my parents bedroom. The floor was painted wood, with no rugs.

Each of us kids had one stuffed animal and one doll. Each doll had two or three outfits. We kept our toys in a cardboard box. Nothing in the room matched, bedspreads or anything. If you have empty drawers, as you stated you are lucky, put whatever fits in them. If you need more storage you can get those plastic carts with drawers in them. They are inexpensive, but not pretty. My opinion is if a person is trying to be economical it doesn't matter.

When I was growing up, we were really hard up. Three of us shared this room and my brother had his own room. He had the slanted ceilings too. He had a double bed and a small dresser identical to the one in our bedroom. For clothes that had to be hung, somewhere along the line somebody had put some coat hooks up on one wall for hanging clothes.

March 16, 20100 found this helpful

Hi Lena,
Since you only have the one window, make sure you put in a blind for privacy at night & white sheers to allow all possible light in, during the day. Then, I suggest you paint the walls in a neutral pale tan color, it will make the room look larger. The ceiling & trim should be white. You can utilize the back of the door with hooks or nails for excess coats & handbags. With the slanted wall I would get storage boxes & stack them up.

You can even get New Free cardboard boxes at the post office & they can be painted on the outside same color as your walls, with regular laytex paint, then stacked to make nooks for your belongings! The would be open facing you & not from the top of the box. Add some hot glue or Elmers to keep them together & in place! There are also bed boosters that increase the height of your bed allowing more storage underneath. Good Luck! Sincerely, Missy in O HI O

March 17, 20100 found this helpful

I liked the suggestions about storage along the 'short side' of the room. Might even find some benches with lids at garage sales or thrift shops/second-hand shops, and paint them in the colors you want? One thing I haven't seen suggested is a mirror. It's always good to have a full-length mirror anyway. IMHO everyone should have one, based on the things I see when out in crowds! ;) You can buy those for $12 or less at a discount store like Walmart or Meijer or Menards or Lowes, or even drugstores like RiteAid etc.! That would definitely make the room brighter AND be useful! IF it looks 'lonesome' just hanging there, you could paint a border around it with whatever contrast color you're using? Ir put hooks up and down the sides and hang your jewelry on them, plus they'd be 'decoration'! Good Luck!


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March 18, 20100 found this helpful

I would cover the intire short wall with deep book cases. You can place baskets on the shelves for storage. This would enable you to use less furnature and give you more room on the other side.


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March 18, 20100 found this helpful

Definitely use mirrors. Places like Wal-mart or home finishing stores sell square or octagonal ones that are meant to be used under plates at tables during the holidays. Place one under your lamps and/or behind the lamps to reflect light out into the room. Since the walls are slanted, making hanging large objects hard to hang, you can have mirror cut to fit picture frames.

You can hang these in patterns to mimic windows (and reflect light). Definitely place your bed under the slope, since you lie down in it anyway, reserving the taller ceiling for things you need to do standing, like getting dressed. We have the lower slopes closed off into closets and storage. Even though they're not too tall, they are just the right height for hanging tops, jackets, pants over hangers, etc.

If you're short on money, you can enclose the areas with rods mounted to the walls and just gather fabric to cover them. It will look like the bottom of the walls are covered with shirred fabric and no one will know it's storage. The bookcases are a great idea, not to mention relatively cheap.

If you push a few them up to the wall, it will look like built-in storage, and you can place seldom used things behind them, like out-of-season clothing. Look for short dressers at garage sales. Paint them white once you get them home to place under the slopes.

The white paint will make them seem to disappear and make the room look bigger. And stick with light wall colors to make the room appear larger; gloss or semi-gloss to reflect more light.

March 22, 20100 found this helpful

There are some great decorating ideas here already. Mine is a little unconventional, but practical. I suggest tucking the foot of your bed under the short side of the room, with your headboard on the roomy side. This would provide as much walking space as possible. Feet don't need height when you lie in bed! Back your headboard with a bench, vanity or narrow desk to hold what would normally be on a nightstand. During the day, you could sit at this table comfortably, too!

April 14, 20101 found this helpful

I like Mikistewart's idea, but it sounds a little impractical when it comes to making up your bed every morning and changing your bed sheets. You'd have to crawl to reach the foot of the bed! My suggestion is to turn the space into a movable closet system.

You can get some wooden cubby crates, set them on their side and stack them two or three high, depending on the height of your wall slant to give you storage room hidden behind the crates. Add some small wheels under the bottom crates and use small screws to secure the upper crates to the lower crates. This will create a movable "wall" of shelves for storing shoes, purses, books, and what-nots. Leave yourself enough room at the end of your "shelf wall" for a hanging bar to hang shirts, pants, and short skirts.

You can get some clear plastic tubs to fit in behind your wall of shelves to give you additional storage for out of season clothes (winter clothes during summer months and vice versa), extra blankets, and items you don't need everyday. The rollers on the shelves make it easy to move them to reach the tubs behind them.

For the hanging part of your closet system, buy some extra long curtains and hang them using the flat, white standard curtain rods or even some decorative round curtain rods with decorative hooks. Mark the curtains where they overlay on the floor with white chalk or a fabric pencil and cut them two inches past this mark. Hem the curtains to create custom sized closet curtains to hide the hanging bar and your clothes.

You can get some large wooden dowels, some white plastic pipes, or even metal rods for hanging your clothes. Add one of those flat, round door stops you see on walls behind the doorknobs to each end of your rod with some hot glue or vinyl adhesive caulking to prevent the rods from slipping out of the chains.

Hang your rod using ceiling hooks (make sure you secure them to studs or they will fall out of the wall) and some medium sized plant hanging chains. Put the first and last links of the chain onto the hooks (cut it with bolt cutters if it's too long) and slide your hanging rod into the loop of chain. Create chain loops for each end of your hanging rod and the middle for extra support if you like.

You can even add small shoe box sized plastic tubs under your clothes for storing things like belts, scarves, and hats. If you don't have any place to store extra toiletries or office supplies, you can use these small plastic tubs for those items as well. Cardboard shoes boxes work well for this too, but you need to label them so you know what's in them.

You can also get a couple of those wire mesh hanging baskets for the kitchen and hang them in your room to display small stuffed animals, hair accessories, or even makeup. You can line them with some old scraps of fabric to keep things from slipping through the holes. You can store hair clips and claws to the chains that suspend the baskets and tie ribbons to the chains for your hair barrettes.

You can even get some small square baskets from Wal-Mart (they come 3 to a pack for around $1 each) and attach them to the wall with small cup hooks in a shelf pattern or go a little funky and hang them in a circle pattern for added fun. You can keep just about any kind of small trinkets, perfume bottles, cosmetics, and hair accessories in them. You can use them for your jewelry by adding some tiny plastic storage containers for earrings and lapel pins, and hanging your necklaces and bracelets from the holes in the sides of the baskets.

One idea I used in my daughter's room was to recycle the rail of an old baby crib. I used some large sized aluminum wire brackets (the kind that form a half circle and attach to the wall at each end) to secure the rail to the wall. Then I used some decorative ribbons to tie her stuffed animals to the rail so they would always be on display and she could still take them down to play with them.

You could use this same idea to hang your belts and scarves instead of stashing them into little plastic tubs or tie your stuffed animals to it. It can also be used to hang dresses, if attached high enough on the wall. Just use some pliers to turn the hook of wire hanger to make the dress hang flat against the rail. You can wrap the wire hanger in yarn or tie some old shoulder pads to the hanger to prevent rust stains on your clothes or hanger impressions on the shoulders.

Your room, as small as it is, has tons of potential storage space. Use your imagination and get creative with your space. You'd be amazed at what you can store in an awkward room.

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May 27, 2009

I am looking for ideas to decorate a small master bedroom.

By heather from Fontana, CA


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May 27, 20090 found this helpful

Well, not knowing your interests sort of hinders. Are you the romantic type, country, ultra modern? Paint is the first thing that comes to mind. Small rooms look larger with light colors. Since it's small, I'd stay away from too much fluff and puff and stick with clean lines. More info, please.

May 27, 20090 found this helpful

When arranging your furniture, try to angle certain pieces so everything doesn't look like it is pushed against the walls. I have my bed angled in a corner and put one of those silk trees behind it to give the room some color. Also, try finding a flat piece of wall art such as a painted canvas or a blank canvas covered in a patterned fabric (really easy and inexpensive to make!) that way you can hang it on a wall that is in the walking path of the room and you will not have to worry about walking by and knocking it off the wall.


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May 27, 20090 found this helpful

I love the idea of hanging a fairly large rug on the wall behind or beside the bed then using the colors of that rug to decorate around. If you're traditional, chose a Persian type rug, if more modern, then choose a geometric rug.

But saying that, the most soothing colors are beige's, grays & earth tones (not orange or red!). To these, you can add a bit of turquoise or any blue (to represent water). These are the colors many spas use to relax their customers.

Saying that, another idea is to soothe ALL your senses. Meaning, have things around that do just that. For example, a fountain will make the soothing sound of water running, & fragrances (like potpourri) will excite your nose. Colored lights (like Christmas lights are also a way to have colored light) You can wrap these around your headboard or around a silk "leaf "tree". I like yellow because it looks like candle light. Of course, there's always the sound of the ocean on CD's & those fragrance plug-in's... Include tiny stones & pebbles around candles for a natural, relaxing look & feel. If you keep your room uncluttered & simple (like a spa does) then you will feel more relaxed. saying this, I would make sure you have lots of closed storage to keep your messes out of sight. (like covered shelves or cupboards)

I like the way old botanical prints look in any space. You can find framed & matted copies of these fairly cheep at discount stores like Ross. (hang 3 across horizontally or 2 up & down vertically) Keep everything in 2 or 3 colors that all match. I like to use one neutral color & one accent color. My place is decorated mostly in a soothing golden beige & since I already had a blue carpeting, I used a bit of blue & with a bit of olive green. These are the colors I look for when buying new things for my room.

And don't forget about plants. either real or fake. If you have a silk tree in the corner, it looks great to place a light at the base of it facing up. (only $10 for an "up" light at Home Depot) This way you'll get the shadow of the leaves all over the wall! Very, very cool! I found my silk tree at Value Village thrift store for only $15. It makes my front porch look wonderful sitting in a corner. Have fun!

May 30, 20090 found this helpful

Curtains or drapes will immediately make the room appear decorated. When I lived in a dormitory during graduate school, everyone always admired my room. The difference was that I raised the miniblinds to the top of the window and hung drapes on a traverse rod. I also put a room sized rug on the floor and hung pictures on the walls. None of these took up valuable floor space in the small room, A bedspread that coordinated with the drapes was the final touch. My dorm room was more like home than any others on the hall.

May 30, 20090 found this helpful

All of these ideas are great. But if you're trying to decorate a small space you will probably want the area to seem larger so it feels less claustrophobic. I hear you can do this by placing mirrors on the walls, so in addition to whatever pictures you decide to put up I would also incorporate a mirror on at least one of the walls.

May 30, 20090 found this helpful

I to have a small bedroom. About 12 x 12. Light colors for the walls always works great. Not white. Hang your curtains higher and wider than your windows. Make your bed your focal point of the room by using some really pretty bedding. I used double box springs to raise my bed and it added some depth to the room. Easy on the wall deco it starts to clutter up the space. Also, less furniture is better. If you have room in your closet for your chest of drawers, that gives a little more walking room. I actually eliminated our chest and found a 4 drawer storage unit that actually holds a whole lot more at Home Depot. It is in my closet. I have a ton of ideas. Feel free to ask!!

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August 24, 2015

I'm 19. I have a small room with no closet. My boyfriend does stay with me, but we need more storage space. All I have is a full size bed, a night stand with 1 drawer, a tall 3 drawer dresser which has all my clothes in it, a mini fridge for drinks and snacks, and a high shelf that we keep our collectable items on.

We need more clothing space for both of us and more shelving space for hygiene, jewelry, pens, notebooks, etc. Any ideas please?

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May 23, 2010

I will be moving in to a home with a small master bedroom and have been trying to figure out a way to make the most of my small space. I don't remember what the measurements of the room are, but the previous owners had a queen size bed, a large dresser and a somewhat narrow armoire in the room. With these three pieces of furniture alone, the space looked extremely cluttered. The only source of natural light comes from the sliding doors that lead out to a small deck. If anyone has any ideas I'd greatly appreciate it.

By Lia from Chicago, IL

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July 16, 2014

dresser surrounded by clutterI had to move out of my apartment due to it being on the second floor. I have a knee injury so I couldn't climb those stairs anymore. My sis-in-law was so kind as to let us in her home.

One problem. The room is really small. We left most of our things in storage, but the things we do have, oh my, it is just that the room looks cluttered. I make cakes as a hobby and I also sew. So I have my craft stuff in our room. Food that doesn't go bad, like bread, cereal, etc. we keep in the room now. We use to leave it out in the kitchen, but our food would be gone before week's end and me without a job made it hard to buy food at a moments notice.

We also have a 6 drawer dresser and two ottomans, we have junk inside there as well. Our closet is a mess and one of the ottomans is blocking the other side of the closet. I tried organizing the room on my own, but it backfired. I just feel like there is more of a mess. There is no way I am able to stick nails into the walls, so we can hang stuff on the walls. We keep doors closed at all times for privacy. I am at my wits end. I don't know how else to keep this room organized and free of clutter. Help! I went from a full apt to a small tiny bedroom for two people :-( wall shelves filled with clutter


By Nataly from Whittier, CA

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December 27, 2011

I live in a room very small; any organization ideas? I don't have much clothes and not much "junk" per say. Oh and I'm fourteen so keep it limited!

Thanks for the help!

By Charlie B.

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March 24, 2010

How do you build a built-in, full size bed for an adult?

By Joyce from MO


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March 24, 20100 found this helpful

Google for directions, go to the library and see if you can find a book that tells how, or go to the site and see if they have anything.


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March 27, 20100 found this helpful

Tim Carter might know or at least be able to tell you where to look for how to's: He knows of which he speaks and even has a column in The Washington Post :-)


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March 27, 20100 found this helpful

Go to & do a search. You'd be amazed at all the things you can learn to do on this website & they have some great bed instructions!

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August 5, 2014

How can I organize my very small bedroom in a rental when I have no closet and a limited income? I have a twin bed, chest of drawers, 2 night tables, a plastic unit w/3 drawers for my underwear, a folding table for my TV, computer (can't afford internet access), sewing machine, and a lot of craft stuff.

By Robin from Norfolk, VA

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June 21, 2013

I'm 18 and my sister and I share a bedroom (still!). The problem is between the two of us we have way too much stuff to fit in a room the size of ours. Even between the two of us we can't seem to come up with a solution that's both organized and cute. The solutions I've seen are great, but there isn't enough room for bins and boxes. Any suggestions?


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June 1, 2011

I have a pretty small room. The walls are bright and colorful, but I have a bed, a desk, a wide dresser, and a tall dresser. My room's so crowded so I put one of my dressers in my closet. Please help organize my room!

By Michaela J.

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August 30, 2013

I have a very small bedroom, I mean 9 feet by 8 feet with a lot of stuff. There's a double bed, night table with drawer, a 3-4 foot clothes rack, TV stand with 2 shelves, and an Ikea 9 cubby organizer with a 30 gallon fish tank on top. How can I organize my room so I have a little bit more space?


By Marleigh M

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

May 23, 2010

I have a small bedroom and cannot seem to come up with a good plan for organizing it.


March 13, 2010

I have a very small master bedroom: 12 x 12 with a closet that measures 3 1/2 x 2.


July 15, 2009

I'm 14 and I have a very small bedroom that never seems to stay clean. I have a twin size bed, a small 3 shelved book shelf (that is full) and a dresser type thing.

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