We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.

In my 275-square-foot NYC studio, I’m fortunate to have a relatively large closet—8 feet wide, if you can believe it. It’s spacious enough to accommodate a season’s worth of clothing and accessories, and very little else. With limited storage opportunities at my disposal, I knew I had to get creative when I first moved in. And let me tell you, finding a place to store all the random odds and ends in a studio apartment can get tricky. Especially when you’re a minimalist like me.

Bulky, under-the-bed containers were not an option (that would attract way too much dust), and the idea of having to succumb to bed-risers in my “grown-up” apartment was, more or less, out of the question. I reluctantly realized that I would have to embrace some sort of bed with a built-in storage situation, which would allow me to keep clutter cleverly concealed.

IKEA, the purveyor of affordable Scandinavian-inspired furnishings, led me to find a product that hit all the right points: the Malm storage bed.  

Understated and streamlined, the Malm is a seamless extension of my existing decor (read: it fits right in with my minimalist aesthetic and isn’t a total eyesore). It’s definitely not your run-of-the-mill bed with built-in drawers. The lift-up frame offers an unbelievably generous layer for storage underneath the bed.

Bedrooms photo
Malm Storage Bed, Ikea ($499)

Not only can I stash all my off-season clothing, but there’s also room for all of my heavy winter coats—and it doesn’t stop there. Let’s break it down:

  • 2 folding chairs, for when I need extra seating
  • 2 Vardo storage boxes to house my off-season clothing and shoes
  • 6 (!!) soft storage boxes in which I stockpile bed linens and extra towels
  • 5 framed pieces of art I have yet to commit to hanging on my walls
  • 4 pillows, 5 throws, and a comforter, stored in these handy space bags
  • A stack of books
  • Luggage and a weekender, plus three more weekenders stored within said luggage
  • A toolbox, because I can be pretty crafty
  • 2 shoeboxes, in which I hoard my growing candle collection
  • A 4-by-6 rug, for my future apartment

I always love seeing a visitor’s face when I lift the frame up to reveal what I keep hidden underneath. Otherwise, no one would ever be the wiser.

Read on Clever IKEA Buys That Make Small-Space Living a Breeze Prep for Summer Now With IKEA’s New Outdoor Essentials 7 IKEA Kallax Hacks You’ve Probably Never Seen