5 Cheap(ish) Things to Maximize a Small Bedroom


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A small bedroom is a delicate ecosystem, often teetering on the edge of total chaos. After Ping-Ponging from coast to coast, and from one tiny apartment to another, I’ve learned the value of doing regular audits to keep my stuff under control. (Pre-Marie Kondo, my purges were out of necessity, not to spark joy.)

But the experience has also made me a master at efficiently storing what I own. Some of my small bedrooms have also doubled as living rooms, offices and a nursery, making space-saving, double-duty gear even more essential.

It may feel counterintuitive to add more to a space that is crammed full, but these organizing tools can give you the upper hand against overstuffed closets and awkward floor plans. In collaboration with Wirecutter, a New York Times company that reviews and recommends products, here are five cheap(ish) things to help make the most of every inch.

A super-slim nightstand

Every adult deserves an adult-size bed, but in a small bedroom, sometimes that means the frame stretches nearly wall-to-wall, and many nightstands won’t make the cut. An extra-slim bedside table can squeeze into spaces others can’t, and it can keep your nighttime essentials close at hand.

Wirecutter recommends the slim but sturdy IKEA Nordli for small bedrooms. It’s less than a foot wide, so it fits in tiny spaces, but still has extras such as a deep drawer and a cutout in back to hide cords.

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A damage-free room divider

The easiest way to carve out privacy in an open floor plan is with a room divider, but some — like a chunky bookshelf, for example — can take up a lot of room. A curtain divider, on the other hand, makes for the most efficient use of space. You can mount it to the ceiling or hang it on a frame, but the easiest way to use one without damaging your walls is to put it on a tension rod. Wirecutter’s pick for a curtain divider is the RoomDividersNow Tension Rod Room Divider Kit because it installs in minutes, fits spaces up to 12 feet wide and comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns.

A floating shelf

You don’t need to forgo bedside storage when floor space is tight. A shelf or cubby that mounts to the wall can create enough room for a small lamp, an alarm clock and a few small items, and its sleek silhouette can make a cramped room look less crowded than models that sit on the floor. Another bonus: If you have a space-maximizing storage bed, a floating shelf doesn’t get in the way of the drawers as a nightstand with legs might.



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