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Under-the-bed bins, by design, are meant to fit in awkward places. Yes, literally under the bed, where they typically hold out-of-season clothes and extra linens. But they can work wonders elsewhere, too. Take Josh and Jenna Densten’s living room. The Melbourne-based parents of two use shallow braided-rattan baskets to store toys, fireplace wood, and vinyl records below a floating plinth. “Originally we liked the idea of being able to see the floor underneath the structure,” says Jenna. “We soon realized, as we sat on the sofa, that all we saw were dust bunnies.” 

Not wanting to waste time or money on designing something custom for the nook, Jenna went to IKEA and purchased a bevy of Römskog bed storage boxes. The $50 pieces were practically made for the cranny. “They’re unfortunately discontinued now, so these are almost more valuable than my babies,” jokes Jenna. The containers have small handles on the ends, so the Denstens’ little ones can easily access them during playtime and scoot them back in at the end of the day. 

Unlike a standard basket, many of these organizational tools have seamless, zippable lids, meaning pointy Lego pieces are less likely to spill out. Plus they’re flat, so you can see all your things in one go—no digging around necessary. 

Before you pick the bins that are right for your living room (they can go under a sofa or freestanding TV unit, too), be sure to measure the width, height, and length of your space first. Some boxes are designed to be extra deep, and you wouldn’t want your genius hack to turn into a tripping hazard. 

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