I've heard some organizing experts discourage under-the-bed storage. I understand why. It can be all too easy to just shove things under there, intending to deal with them "later." Of course, "later" doesn't come around very often. I have my own theory. I happen to think it's fine to use that empty space for storage if I follow couple of self-imposed rules:
-Be intentional. Don't just shove any 'ol thing under the bed. I know exactly what's under there. My gift wrapping supplies are on one side. My oversized dishes and a couple stacks of trade magazines are on the other. That's it. And I feel confident that it's the best place for those few items. You might keep your bulk purchases of paper products or your out of season clothes. Whatever you put there, think before you stash.
-Clean it out occasionally. Every now and then, pull everything out, sort, organize, and decide what to put back. Because of the "out of sight, out of mind" principle, you may have forgotten what you put under there six months ago. Some things may be ready for the "give away" box, and other things may simply need straightened up a little (like the stack of gift boxes I tore through at Christmas time). And be sure to vacuum before you put everything back in its special hiding place.
Don't forget to have the kids pull everything out from under their beds, too. They might actually enjoy finding their long lost toys. And you may finally solve the "mystery of the missing socks." Encourage them to either keep that space cleared out or to use it intentionally. It may be the perfect spot for storing oversized boxes, but if they aren't careful, it can easily become a toy grave yard. Are you ready? Let's set a timer, put on some music, and get to it! Have fun!
Photo credit: olgashik