by Susan McCarthy
Declutter under the bed so you can find things that may have gone missing in this space. Then make some intentional decisions about what you want to keep under here (if anything).
My cat sleeps under the bed. We have wall-to-wall carpeting in the bedroom. If you’ve ever shared your life with a furry, under the bed napper, you know where I’m going. There’s probably enough fur on the inaccessible parts of the rug that are under the king bed to knit a sweater. Yes, I have fur bunnies (dust kitties, fur kitties?).
Every so often I get ambitious enough to lie on the floor and make feeble, awkward attempts to scrape away some of the fluff with a fur removal broom (did you know such a thing existed?). This also means that I can find used tissues, lost bookmarks, and the occasional lost sock that made its way under there.
I tend to not store things under my bed, but I know a lot of people who live in apartments and small houses rely on this space. However, you don’t want to forget about the things that end up under here.
Is It Good to Store Things Under Your Bed?
If you store things under the bed, I think a twice a year cleaning is warranted. Why? Chances are you end up with dust, dried skin cells, fur, and other potential allergens collecting under here. If you store stuff under the bed, then even if you push a dust mop or the vacuum under here you probably aren’t cleaning much of the floor.
And all this dust is building up on the items under the bed. (If you wake up in the morning with a stuffed nose, see if cleaning out this space changes that.)
So, yeah, storing stuff under your bed might not be the best thing to do. However, as I mentioned, if you don’t have a lot of storage space where you live, keeping stuff here might be a necessity. You will want to be deliberate about what gets stored here. (Another benefit to decluttering this area a couple times a year is that you can see if you want to keep these things or if it’s just a bunch of stuff you’ve forgotten about.
Tips to Declutter Under the Bed
Cleaning this area counts as a Quick Decluttering Win since you’ll likely be able to tidy this space in under an hour. Of course, if you have boxes filled with a lot of small things it’s going to take longer to go through those boxes.
And if you have a box or boxes filled with sentimental items, consider if you feel emotionally ready to go through these things. But also keep in mind that you may never feel ready. Could you open the boxes and look at the items if you knew you could put everything back in the box?
This is your opportunity to access the usefulness of the items intentionally or unintentionally stored here. If it wouldn’t matter if you forgot all about this stuff, then it might be things you can pass along.
How Can I Hide Junk Under My Bed?
Don’t think the easy solution for dealing with stuff is an under-the-bed storage box (or a dust ruffle). Remember, for that box to be useful, you need to slide it out from under the bed and put items in here. Is that going to be more hassle than it’s worth just to hide random stuff?
If you’re going to keep things here, be intentional about what you store. This may be the best place for off-season clothing, holiday decorations, or even past tax returns that you need to hold onto. Pulling out a box once or twice a year is doable.
If you decide that this is the best place to store, let’s say, extra shampoo and toothpaste, are you really going to make the effort to put things in this storage bin after a shopping trip? If in a rush you’re just going to shove things from your trip to the pharmacy on a shelf in your closet, then the things under the bed will get forgotten.
So, while you can easily find storage bins that will slide under your bed, consider if this is a convenient option for retrieving and replacing items. If you have bad knees, a creaky back, balance issues, or other health concerns that make reaching under your bed inconvenient or impossible, then don’t hide junk under your bed.
How to Declutter Under the Bed (and Keep It Organized)
If you need to store things under your bed, use the space for things that you’ll need once or twice a year. Be intentional about what you keep. Are you holding onto stuff because you use it or because you’re avoiding deciding about the items (“I should really toss, sell, donate this stuff”)?
Just because this isn’t a visible area doesn’t mean that you can store things that you don’t want to think about under the bed. Decide if this is the best place to keep the things you use.
Hi, I'm Susan
I'm a former teacher who became a professional organizer (and not because I'm a natural-born neatnik). I live with my husband and fluffy cat on a river in Massachusetts. I crochet, make handmade cards, and love reading young adult novels. Learn more about my decluttering journey here.