How to maximize storage space in a small bedroom

Hi friends! We have a tiny room on the first floor that we'd like to turn into a "mother-in-law" unit. On some months, my parents may stay with us, so we needed to maximize storage space in the small room, and on a tight budget. With that in mind, our go-to furniture store is IKEA where the furniture is inexpensive and practical. The materials aren't the best, and it's frustrating to piece the furniture together (especially during the heat waves we're experiencing this summer!).

This small room did not come with a built-in closet. The builders of the house intended this room to be an office. Because it's next to a full bathroom, we thought that it would be perfect as a bedroom, especially for those who have trouble using the stairs to access our second floor.

Choosing the right bed frame

For the bed frame, we chose one that comes with storage: a MALM with four storage boxes. My parents (and other guests) could put linens or pajamas, or file their shirts in the storage boxes. This is a queen-sized bed frame. A queen-sized bed is about six inches wider than a full-sized bed, affording the sleepers just a bit more sleeping area.

(And in case you're wondering, the bed is a Casper bed. I'm still debating as to whether or not we return the mattress to Casper. The mattress is a bit too soft in my honest opinion. My parents like firmer beds...)

 MALM bed with 4 storage boxes: $339 for the bed frame

MALM bed with 4 storage boxes: $339 for the bed frame

Adding a "closet"

We built a closet that has sliding doors using the PAX wardrobe system. Sliding doors are perfect for maximizing space. You don't take up space with swinging doors. (When I say we, I meant the hubby. He builds everything in the house. He's amazing <3.)

We like the PAX wardrobe system because you can customize the compartments and shelves to your liking. The glass doors also have a modern-look and it looks very classy!

 PAX pair of sliding doors $379, PAX wardrobe- $390

PAX pair of sliding doors $379, PAX wardrobe- $390

Additional storage

Finally, we added a narrow dresser (MALM 6-drawer chest) that could be used to store underwear, socks, and jewelry. Though this room is small, our guests could store a lot of clothing and other items within it. I will also recommend to my guests to fold using the KonMari method. 

 Work in progress MALM 6-drawer chest - $199

Work in progress MALM 6-drawer chest - $199

Decorating the room

To decorate the room, we will be adding book shelf ledges. We will place picture frames and books on those ledges to give the room some character. On top of the 6-drawer chest, we will also place a lucky bamboo plant. 


Placement of the furniture

Due to the small space of the room, we parked the bed against a wall, and all the storage furniture against the wall. If we had just a bit more space in the room, we would prefer to place the bed in the middle of the room, to be able to use all four of the storage boxes of the MALM bed frame. 

To make the room appear bigger, we could place a mirror on one of the walls; however, my parents don't like having mirrors in their bedroom. Something about that being bad Feng shui? 

Total cost

It cost us around $1400 to purchase all the storage furniture for this room. With this room, it is a fully functioning guest room with plenty of walking and storage space!

What do you think of our "mother-in-law" unit so far? I can't wait to show it to you when it's fully finished! I would love to hear your tips on maximizing storage space, and how you decorate your rooms!