It is, alas, a feng shui no-no. But when space is at a premium, storing items under the bed can be the key to harmonious living, as long as you keep it organized.
Dawn Falcone, an organizing/design expert based in New York (dawnfalconelifestyles.com), offered some pointers for turning the home where the dust bunnies roam into an orderly storage area.
Know what belongs. Though she doesn't subscribe fully to the feng shui theory that keeping things under the bed disrupts energy flow and slumber, Falcone recommends against using the bed to store electronics, personal memorabilia such as letters and photos, and random clutter haphazardly pushed under. What you could consider storing under the bed: shoes, off-season clothing, extra bed linens, blankets, extra pillows, kids toys, books, gift wrapping supplies and luggage (if you put your bed on risers).
Try a built-in. If you plan to access the items daily, consider buying a bed with drawers built into it. They come at all price points, from Design Within Reach's Matera bed (from $1,800 for a twin to $3,255 for a California king) to West Elm's Storage Bed Frame ($1,119 for a full) to Ikea's Malm bed frame (from $379 for a full to $449 for a king).
Pick the right bin. Purchase bins that are meant to be stored under the bed because they will maximize the space; don't just use the random cardboard box from your latest Amazon purchase. Falcone prefers plastic bins with lids rather than canvas, wood or cardboard because they are the best defense against dust and bed bugs. If bed bugs are not an issue, any material is fine. Opt for wheels if you plan to access the items in storage regularly. Otherwise, a deeper bin without casters might make more sense.
Make it pretty. If you don't want the storage bins to be visible, get a bed skirt. If they will be visible, use a higher-quality material for the bins, such as wood. Or if you are using cardboard boxes you can paint them according to the color scheme of the room. Another idea is to use wine boxes as bins, which give a vintage, rustic feel.
Get crafty. For a DIY storage option, take out the drawers from an old dresser, paint them and add casters to the bottom so that they can roll in and out. It is best to have a lid to keep dust out, so you can make one by stapling muslin along the back edge or just laying drawer liner or acid-free tissue paper on top.
The Container Store's Tweed 16-Pair Underbed Shoe Organizer has a clear zippered cover to let you see what's inside while still protecting your shoes from dust. Handles on three sides let you pull the bin out from any direction. $19.99; containerstore.com
Ikea's Dilling under-bed storage box has a secure plastic lid and gives almost 8 inches of depth so that you can store bulky items. $14.99; ikea.com
Ikea's Malm under-bed storage bins are free-standing but overlap with the bed frame in such a way that they look like built-ins. Wheels allow for easy access. $100 for a pack of two; ikea.comCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun