In a small space, like a university residence room, your bed can offer some valuable storage space. Rooms in university residences will usually contain a bed that is raised off the floor. You may be tempted to shove larger objects into this space to keep them out of the way. Instead of this rather haphazard arrangement, you could make the space under the bed much more useful, accessible and organised by putting drawers under the bed.

It may be possible to purchase ready-made drawers that will fit. If not, you could design the specifications for custom-made drawers that will fit into the space.

Any drawers you put in under your bed must be on caster wheels to make them easy to get in and out.

How to design the drawers to fit under your bed

For the base of the drawer:

Measure the space under your bed. You can do this most easily by measuring the dimensions of the bed itself, inside of the legs or head and foot boards.

Divide the length of the bed into two. Take five centimetres off the length of each half. The dimensions that you have left will be the size of the board you will need for the bottom of the drawer. You will need two pieces of wood of these dimensions.

For the sides of the drawer:

Measure the height of the lowest point of the bed from the floor.

Visit your closest hardware or home-building store. Measure the height of a caster wheel.

Take the height of the caster wheel plus two centimetres off the height of the bed from the floor. This measurement will be the width of the boards you will need for the sides of the box.

You will need eight pieces of wood for the sides of your drawers. Four pieces must be the correct length to fit along the width of the base of the drawer. Four pieces must be as long as the length of the drawer.

Constructing the drawers

Take the dimensions of your drawers to your local hardware, timber, or home building store. Consult a salesman who works with wood to choose the type of timber most suited to your needs – and to your budget. You should be guided in your choice by what you are planning to store in the drawers. If this is going to be books and papers, you will need a stronger base than if you know you will store items of clothing or shoes. It may be the best idea to choose a strong wood so that you have the option to store a variety of objects of different weights in the drawers.

Arrange for the drawers to be constructed, either at the store itself or through a contractor they will recommend.

If you have the tools and the skills, you may choose to construct the drawers yourself, which will be the most cost-effective solution.