Buying Guide: How to Choose Storage Furniture for Your Needs

We could probably all use a bit more storage and organization in our homes. But it can be overwhelming to start—not to mention knowing what you need to help you get organized! But you don’t have to hire a professional organizer to get your home in order. You simply need to identify what it is you want to organize, and we’ll help guide you to the best solutions.

Today, we’re breaking down all the best storage furniture and organizational options based on your needs. Whether that’s stashing clutter so you don’t have to look at it anymore or finding organization solutions for kids’ toys, and everything in between, we’ve got you covered.

For Corralling Clutter

Sometimes you just need to corral your clutter so there’s a semblance of organization in the midst of the chaos. We have some great options, both for items you want out of view and those things that you want on display.

best storage furniture

Trays and Boxes

Trays are a great way to corral items that you still want on-view. By placing a tray on your coffee table, dining table, or dresser, you can help a random collection of objects look intentional. Rather than a pile of books, candles, and a bud vase, you suddenly have an intentional and beautiful display.

If you’d prefer concealed storage, opt for a well-designed storage box that you can place on your bookcase or a floating shelf. The box will be pretty enough to have on view and is a great place to stash items like magazines, cords, sunglasses, and more. Both trays and boxes look good and have multiple uses, offering organizational versatility throughout your home.

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best storage furniture

Furniture with Drawers

We’re probably all guilty of having a junk drawer (or three) throughout our homes. But drawers truly are a great place to stash clutter—whether that’s a drawer on a console table, credenza, your nightstand, or an extra kitchen drawer. But it doesn’t have to be messy! You can have an organized drawer by using small boxes and simple drawer organizers—so you don’t have to dig for whatever you need. Utilizing furniture with drawers is a great way to stash small items that don’t have a home, like takeout menus, mail, pens, phone charges, loose change, and remotes.

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For Homes With Young Kids

When you have young kids, it can feel like a battle to stay organized every day. You may clean up at the end of each day, but by 7 a.m. it seems the house is already littered with toys, books, clothing, and every other imaginable item. We have some great storage furniture and accessories that can help your kids take a hand in clean-up and give you more peace of mind.

best storage furniture

Baskets and Bins

Baskets and bins are an easy and versatile organizational tool—and an absolute must for homes with young kids. Kids can easily add toys to a basket themselves and can also easily access it to get things out on their own. You can keep baskets and organizational bins throughout your home; basket storage solutions can live on the floor, under beds, in cabinets, on shelves—anywhere you need a bit of organization and stashable storage. We also love them because they’re soft and baby-safe. And a woven or felt basket looks nice out in the open—perfect for stashing toys, baby blankets, books, kids clothing and shoes, and so much more.

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best storage furniture

Storage Ottoman

Including a storage ottoman in your living room or playroom design offers a ton of practicality. First, it’s a soft piece of furniture, so it’s kid-friendly and safe but also stylish. It offers a surface for kicking up your feet when reading or watching TV, or offers an extra seat for your kiddo to sit on. But that’s not all. By opting for an ottoman with built-in storage, you also have an easy place to hide remotes, nice blankets, books and magazines, or any decor you don’t want your young kids to mess with. Or, in a playroom, it’s a great place for kids to stash their toys, so they can take ownership of clean-up time and you can feel a little less crazy. Wherever you use it, we love that it hides what you don’t want to look at all the time, but doubles as a practical piece of furniture.

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For Stashable Storage

Sometimes you need extra storage space, but you simply don’t want to look at whatever you’re trying to organize. For that, there’s hidden storage options.

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Dressers as Storage

Dressers aren’t just pieces of bedroom storage furniture for your clothing. They’re actually great for other rooms and items, too! In a playroom or craft room, you can use a dresser to store art supplies and crafting items, and categorize items by drawers! In a small kitchen, adding a three-drawer chest is a great way to store pans or other flat items, and gives you another surface for storage or food prep on top! In a small bedroom, you could also consider skipping a nightstand in favor of a three-drawer chest or tallboy dresser to squeeze in extra storage!

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long modern wooden buffet table with two chairs on the sides

Credenzas and Sideboards

Credenzas are great for dining room storage. Their closed cabinets are perfect for stashing napkins, table linens, silverware, and other entertainment items. Conveniently, they also offer a surface for placing food when hosting! Sideboards are super versatile and, while they’re great for dining room storage, they can also go in your entryway, to a large hallway, or even a living room. They offer stashable storage to any space, offering internal, as well as a surface for additional organization and display. Many sideboards have both drawers and cabinets, which gives extra versatility. Simply stash things away behind closed doors—out of sight, out of mind!

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wardrobe style dresser with floor mirror next to it

Armoires and Wardrobes

Armoires and wardrobes can be used as storage cabinets far beyond your bedroom. In fact, they’re perfect for use in a mudroom or entryway that doesn’t have a coat closet! Use them to store coats, boots, umbrellas, bags, pet supplies—whatever you don’t want to look at every time you come and go from the house. You could also use an armoire or wardrobe in a playroom to store larger toys and board games, or in a living room or guest room to stash extra pillows and blankets!

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For Small Spaces

Small spaces require you to get a little more creative with storage and organization. So, it’s important to make use of some sneaky storage tips like utilizing vertical square footage and finding multi-purpose furniture.

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Dual-Purpose Storage Furniture

In a small space, investing in furniture that can pull double duty is an absolute must. Bonus points if it also offers storage! Some of our favorite dual-purpose storage furniture pieces include benches with built-in storage, storage coffee tables, storage beds, and even storage or sleeper sofas! All of these pieces look aesthetically pleasing in their design but also store items in an easily accessible manner. For storage coffee table ideas, consider stashing books, photo albums, pens and pencils, small electronics, chargers and cords, and remotes. Storage benches or storage sofas are great for bulkier items like shoes, kids toys, games, and extra blankets and pillows.

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Vertical Storage

Making use of vertical space is also essential in a small space. That’s why we love vertical storage solutions like a wall-mounted bookcase. It doesn’t take up much horizontal space or floor space, but it offers ample vertical storage—giving you more storage space with a smaller footprint. Use the bottom shelves for baskets to incorporate some stashable storage or place larger items like records and a record player. Higher up shelves are great for a mix of books and decorative items.

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For Sneaking in a Tiny Bit More Storage

Want to make the most of every square inch of storage space you can get? We have some simple ways to sneak in a tiny bit more storage in your home.
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Wall-Mounted Shelves

Great for tight spaces, like a kitchen or bathroom, wall-mounted or floating shelves are a perfect way to add a little extra storage to a room without taking up floor space. Want some floating shelves design ideas? You can mount them above other furniture and store items that you don’t need to access as much, like certain books or office supplies.

Under-Bed Baskets

The perfect place to sneak in a tiny bit more storage? Under your bed. What else will you use that space for? But you don’t just want to throw things under your bed. Instead, use long but short baskets or bins with covers (to protect your stuff from dust build-up). This is a great way to store handbags you don’t currently have in rotation, or seasonal clothing and shoes. You can also use this space for luggage if your bed is a bit taller.

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For Flexible Storage

Sometimes you need storage space that you can move around, or that can sometimes be used for storage but sometimes offer a more practical use. Don’t worry—we’ve got your flexible storage needs covered.

bar cart and woven stool

Bar Carts and Utility Carts

Naturally, a bar cart can store beverage items, glassware, and drink mixing tools. But have you ever considered using a bar cart or a utility cart for books, kids items, kitchen utensils, games, or art supplies? Yup, it can be done. These pieces offer a ton of flexibility, since they’re on wheels and you can move them around to wherever you need them. And it’s easy to change up their use. Right now, perhaps you’re using a bar car to keep your kids’ school supplies organized and on hand. But you could easily turn it into a mobile bookshelf or back into a traditional bar cart if you’re going to have guests over.

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A trunk is a sturdy piece of furniture that can be used to store many items—and it also offers a decorative look. It can double as a coffee table, be placed at the end of your bed like a bench, be a hallway or entryway piece, with hooks hung above it, or even as a kid’s toy chest. Since trunks are so versatile, you can use them in many ways as you redecorate over the years and they can easily travel with you if you move! (After all, that’s what they were originally used for!)

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For Display Storage

Not all organizational needs include items you want to hide away. If you have a collection you want to show off—whether that’s a personal library, your grandmother’s china, items from your travels, or other keepsakes—you’ll want to consider one or more of these display storage options.


Collectors rejoice! Étagères (a fancy French name for open shelving or display bookcases) offer the perfect place for showcasing collectable goods. They can be used to show off anything you want—but they’re best for aesthetically pleasing collections since the shelving is so open and really draws your attention to what’s on the shelves.

best storage furniture


Bookcases are, of course, great for displaying books. But we love to style bookcases with photo frames, artwork, and decorative objects to help visually balance out the shelves. These pieces of furniture are super flexible and can look at home in any space—from a living room or home office to a child’s room or your own room.

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best storage furniture

Glass Door Cabinets

A storage cabinet with glass doors is perfect for displaying collections that you want to keep out of reach of childrens’ hands. The closed doors offer an added layer of protection from breaking—plus they keep collectable items safe from dust. But you can still quite easily enjoy what’s on display. A glass door cabinet with storage is great for more formal settings, like formal living and dining rooms, where you can display collections of objects or special china and dinnerware.

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7 Sneaky Storage Ideas for Small Spaces

storage ideas for small spaces

Whether you live in a tiny apartment or a small family house, you probably have a small room or corner you don’t quite know what to do with. Well, we’re big believers in coming up with storage solutions for small spaces to make the most of them! And adding storage doesn’t have to mean adding an entire new shelving system or purchasing a big ticket item, like a credenza; all it takes is rethinking your spaces with the right pieces.

If you have a small space in need of some rethinking or want to optimize your storage options in a small space, read on! We’re outlining some of our favorite small space hacks, as well as some great design tips for small apartments to help you maximize your space.

Read on for 7 of our favorite storage solutions for small spaces.

Storage Ideas for Small Spaces1. Work Storage Into Your Entry

Looking for interior design ideas that will breathe new life into a small entryway? Use a  small desk or narrow console table in your entry as a functional storage piece and catchall. Just make sure it has a drawer or two! This gives you a place to stash mail and on-the-go accessories, like sunglasses, hats, and totes.

The surface can hold a tray for keys, a table lamp, and a mirror for those last-minute outfit checks before you dash out the door. And opting for a furniture piece with an open base means you can also maximize the space beneath for baskets or shoes.

Storage Ideas for Small Spaces2. Choose a Multipurpose Coffee Table

For a busy space like your living room, consider working storage into your coffee table. (Storage coffee tables are such great workhorses for small spaces that they’re first on the list of essentials in our small apartment furniture checklist!)

If you’re wondering how to choose storage furniture, know that there are some great storage coffee tables out there that offer hidden storage. But you could also opt for a two-tiered table which allows you to stash trays, magazines, and coasters on the lower shelves. A repurposed trunk or a coffee table with a lid is great for stowing away big books, board games, and even kids’ toys. And a coffee table with drawers are stylish design details that can also keep remotes, wine openers, and other small items out of sight.

Storage Ideas for Small Spaces3. Find New Use for Nightstands

No need to relegate a nightstand to just your bedroom. Pull one into your living room to use as a side table. One of our best home storage solutions for small spaces, nightstands are a great way to pack in extra storage without adding clutter.

Most nightstands come with two or three drawers, so you’ll have extra storage space for everything from additional cords and candles to throw blankets and games. On top, you’ll have room for a lamp as well as a place to put down a drink.

Storage Ideas for Small Spaces4. Add Seating with Storage

Super-functional storage benches and ottomans are perfect in any living room, but especially if you’re short on living room storage space.

Giving you both style and storage, these benches serve as pretty and comfortable seating when you have guests over and also as hiding spots for anything and everything. Try using a storage bench under a living room window to create a reading spot, or tuck it behind your sofa.

Storage Ideas for Small Spaces5. Go Big with Baskets

Easy to tote around, baskets are storage catchalls. They’re the easiest of our small space storage ideas to implement and they can be easily brought to a larger space if you move!

Looking for ways to organize with baskets? They’re very handy if you have kids that tend to spread out their toys across the living room; stashing them in baskets makes clean-up easier and will help conceal what can be a mess on the floor. Plus, baskets tuck nicely into cubbies or can be set on the floor by a chair to hold blankets and books.

Try multiple baskets spread out in one room on the floor for a few storage touch points.

Storage Ideas for Small Spaces6. Make Your Bed Do Double Duty

If you’re working with small square footage, a platform bed with drawers or one with storage space underneath can help you make the most of an otherwise unused space in your bedroom.

It’s a great small-space solution for stowing away winter bedding, clothes, and extra sheets, linens, and pillows.

Storage Ideas for Small Spaces7. Rethink a Bookshelf

We love making use of shelves for small spaces to add storage space vertically. Try an open bookcase beside your bed instead of a nightstand or table. This ups your storage (literally) by making use of wall space that’s often left empty next to your bed.

Essentials—like an alarm clock, your iPhone, bedtime reading, and a glass of wate—can go on the lower shelves, while books, jewelry boxes, and even clothes can be stored on the upper ones. And since most open bookshelves are narrow, you’ll also be saving floor space.

Need to rethink storage in your small space?