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It’s sort of an old cliche, but do you remember seeing cartoon characters have to clean their room, and then they just magically fit everything under their bed?

Did you ever try that? Better yet, did you ever actually get it to work?

Even as adults, a lot of us wind up using the space under our bed as storage for things that we just don’t want to think about anymore, but after a while that can just lead to greater clutter. If this is starting to sound a little familiar, being stuck at home during quarantine could be the perfect opportunity to clear out the space under your bed, and even add a little more storage under there for next time.

 

Cleaning Out From Under Your Bed

 

Largely speaking, the things you’re going to find under your bed can be boiled down into one of three broad categories: things you didn’t know were down there (phone chargers, lost socks), things you put down there and forgot about (that dress you haven’t worn in years, that ukulele you never learned how to play), and crud (dust bunnies, crushed empty water bottles).

Let’s tackle each one of these individually:

 

  • The Crud: This will be the easiest one to handle. Grab a favorite broom or a vacuum, pull everything out from under the bed, and handle that loose debris once and for all.
  • Things You Didn’t Know Were Down There: Sort through all this and see if it’s still useful. Do you still have whatever that charger goes to, or have you moved on from iPods? Do those earbuds still work, or do you even still need them? Did you give up on that book because it was too boring and it just got brushed under the bed afterward? Look through what you find and see if you actually need to keep any of it, and go from there.
  • Things You Put Down There And Forgot About: Similar to the last step, this is a good opportunity to take stock of what you find and see how much of it you still need. Are you actually going to wear those clothes you found anytime soon? Is it time to give up on that dream of playing the ukulele on YouTube? Don’t be afraid to show a little tough love – you can probably afford to get rid of most of this stuff since it’s just been under your bed the whole time anyway.

Hopefully by now you’re off to a good start with getting stuff out from under your bed, so now we’re on step 2: putting stuff back under your bed!

Er, wait, what?

 

Adding Storage Under Your Bed

 

That’s right! The space under your bed can still be an effective storage solution if used correctly, but sometimes it takes the help of the right tools.

Take a look at anything from the previous steps you declined to get rid of, or anything in your bedroom that you haven’t quite found a home for yet, and consider putting it under your bed. Smaller items can go in short plastic storage containers to keep them organized – think things like shoes, unfinished books, or DVDs you’re still hanging onto. For larger items like extra blankets or something you never took out of a drycleaning bag, consider finding a short single wire shelf to slide under the bed, creating above and below storage.

It’s important to remember that you don’t want to get back in the habit of just kicking stuff under there when you’re done with it. Make sure to think about what goes under there the same way you think about what goes in your closet or dresser, so you know you’re really making the most of the space.

And remember – the next time you lose a phone charger, you probably know where it went.

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