Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

5 Inventive Ways to Get the Most Out of Small Spaces

Look Under the Bed

Even a small bed takes up a lot of floor space. Use the space under it for something better than collecting dust bunnies.

A bed of ordinary height will hide a good amount of storage space. Inexpensive lidded plastic storage boxes can hold sweaters, T-shirts, seasonal items or even papers and photos. Some under-bed drawers roll out. If you buy sheets or a comforter in zippered plastic bags, you should save those bags to store other items.

Want more space? Buy a set of four inexpensive risers designed to make the bed even higher. College students have been using cinder blocks to do this for years. You can even try a loft or bunk bed. These elevated beds aren't just for little kids anymore.

A loft bed, with the bed atop a platform and open space beneath it, offers enough room for a study area with desk underneath, or a sitting area. Another option is to place shelves or storage cubes under the bed.

Bunk beds with one bed stacked above another have long been used to save floor space in children's rooms. You can also find bunk arrangements that combine one raised bed atop drawers and storage compartments that take the place of a separate chest of drawers.

Going vertical with the bed is only the beginning of ways to squeeze more space out of your furniture. How about using pieces that do double duty? Learn more on the next page.