Here's how to organize a small bedroom

Because size shouldn't matter

A picture of a colorful bedroom and a picture of a colorful shelf with rainbow colored decorations
(Image credit: @marydarlingxoxo)

Here's the truth: our bedrooms are our sanctuaries. It’s where we rest, relax, and (if we can’t sleep) occasionally watch TV on our laptops. Even a small bedroom can function as a place of refuge. But if your bedroom seems cramped or busy, you might be in need of a serious organizing overhaul. 

By decluttering, concealing, or just finding the right place for your items, you can impart that feeling of relaxation you should be feeling in your cozy space.

With these helpful tips from professional organizers, you can transform your small busy space into one that better suits your everyday life. 

Scroll on down to see what the pros had to say...

12 ways to organize a small bedroom, according to the professionals

From tailoring your room to you to making the most of the space, these are the best ways to organize your small bedroom, according to the professionals. We've also rounded up products that we love and that shoppers rate to help you along your organizational journey. 

The prices below were correct at the time of publishing this article. 

1. Establish your flow

Imagine your morning routine. You wake up, head to the dresser to find something, then head to the closet to find something else, then look for your keys and before you know it, it’s taken half an hour just to leave your bedroom. Way too much work. “With my clients, I discuss what issues they are having with keeping their space organized and what sort of systems can be incorporated that flows with their daily routine,” says Renee Wright, professional organizer and founder of the Austin, TX-based Space Restored.

In terms of creating a flow that makes sense for each day, it’s a good idea to keep many of your necessities in one space. For example, a large dresser can function as the space for your workout clothes or a catch-all bowl can keep your keys and other necessities all in one place.

2. Declutter the space

While you don’t have to dive head over heels into stark minimalism, removing items that you no longer need will help instantly declutter the space. “Start with decluttering your clothing, shoes and accessories — it's helpful to gather all items from one particular category together and assess what it is you wear and what you don't,” says Lauren Saltman, professional organizer at Living. Simplified. This is def the time to donate items that don't fit or that you no longer enjoy wearing. Any items that are worn out, you can then dispose of.

3. Start with linens and clothing items

Once you’ve decided what stays and what goes, you may notice that you have a lot of linens and clothing items to work with. Getting these items to look tidy in your room could mean organizing your closet by color, grouping outfits by occasion on each hanger, or having the right storage options.

“I recommend using non-slip hangers and using ones that are all the same color. This simple detail will bring a uniformity to your closet space,” explains Saltman. As you hang items up, or place them in your dresser, she also recommends putting like items together. What does this mean? Hang your pants with your pants. Fold your sweaters with your sweaters, and so on until everything has been put away. Sorted.

4. Hide unsightly cords

Nowadays, the cords of our electronic devices can be a hassle to deal with. For unsightly electronics and jumbles of cords, consider organizing them all in one easily-accessible space using a cable manager. “A charging station by the bed or on your nightstand is a real game changer,” explains Wright. While a nightstand can help conceal cords, there’s also the option of finding a furniture piece with a built-in charging station. The goal is to have your devices in a place where you can reach them when needed, but where they don’t present too much of a visual distraction.

5. Maintain uncluttered surfaces

I’m absolutely terrible for leaving mugs and half-empty drinks all around my bedroom. But in a small bedroom, this clutter can really make the space feel even tinier. “A messy sleeping area can contribute to a more cramped atmosphere,” says Artem Kropovinsky, interior designer at Arsight. “Aim to keep your bedside tables, dressers, and other areas free from clutter to foster a spacious and open environment.”

To do this, have a weekly audit of the items on your TV stand, desk, and nightstand, carrying around a trash bag and putting in any trash. Once you’ve done that, you can then tidy up any items that you still need in the room.

6. Opt for multi-functional furnishings

I absolutely love anything that can be used in more than one way. And when you’re in a small room with limited space for much furniture, multi-functional furniture is such a useful idea. “For example, a bed with integrated storage or a drawer unit combined with a bed frame can assist in conserving room,” Kropovinsky explains. “Additionally, consider ottomans or side tables featuring storage compartments.” Ottomans can also be used as both extra seating and as storage — major win. 

7. Create a storage wall

If you’re living in an apartment you can customize or a rental where your landlord is super chill, professional organizer and founder of Minimize My Mess Ema Hidlebaugh suggests creating a whole wall of storage. “You’ll need to have a spare wall, with no doors or windows, and 90 degree corners at each end. You could go for high end built ins, or section the area off with a curtain for a cost effective version,” she explains. “You can even still have your bed up against that wall if you go with the curtain option — just leave enough space to access storage behind the bed head frame.” It’s all about optimizing what you've got to the max.

8. Use vertical space 

When you don’t have much width space, it’s time to think about the vertical space. “In a small bedroom, it's essential to use every inch of this,” Barbara Oldham, professional organizer at The Inspired Home By B says. “Install floating shelves or bookcases to store books, accessories, and decorative items.” She also suggests putting hanging hooks (go for adhesive ones if you can’t drill) onto the walls to hang jewelry, scarves, or hats. You could even try and make them into a color-coordinated display, for an aesthetic AF look. 

9. Make use of the space under the bed

The best part of the bedroom is obvi the bed (clue’s in the name, folks) — but it does take up a hell of a lot of room. Luckily, there’s ways you can make the most of this. “The space under the bed is often overlooked but can be used for additional storage” Oldham explains. “Use under-bed storage containers to store off-season clothing, shoes, or extra bedding.” For smaller beds, opt for long boxes with small heights that are easy to slide out. 

10. Utilize over the door storage

Another fab way to use vertical space is by hanging items over the door. “This can be a great option for accessories, socks and smaller items,” Juliana Meidl, owner of home organizing company Serenity At Home Detroit explains. “We love the Elfa Over The Door Rack from The Container Store, as it attaches to the door and can be used for additional storage.” As well as this, hanging shoe organizers and mesh shelves are also great options for creating space.

11. Keep your nightstand tidy

Whether you’re going to sleep or blearily waking up, you don’t want to be knocking over all your nightstand essentials when trying to find things. “Keep your nightstand clutter-free by using a bedside caddy to store books, electronics, and other essentials,” Oldham explains. “ You could also use a small tray to corral your watch, jewelry, and other small items.” I have the IKEA APTILIG Bamboo Board by my bed, which is such a steal at $3.79, and makes it so easy to see where everything is.

12. Use labels to organize your boxes 

Channel your inner Pinterest feed by getting all your storage containers and boxes labelled up. “Labelling your drawers, bins, and storage containers will help you know exactly what's inside,” Oldham explains. You could do this with a dry erase pen, so you can wipe off the ink when you change up what’s in your box, or bag cute labels that stick on. 

Eve Smallman
Content Editor

Hi there! I’m a content editor at Real Homes. I've been a lifestyle journalist for over five years, previously working as an editor across regional magazines. Before this, I graduated from Nottingham Trent University a degree in journalism, along with an NCTJ gold diploma. I love running, decorating my rented Victorian home, and discovering new cheeses. For Real Homes, I specialize in interior design, trends and finding the best viral buys.

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