Easy DIY Bedside Storage Solution for Children’s Room

17 Materials
1 Day

My young son used to fall out of bed – a lot! We often heard a loud noise and found him sleeping on the floor instead of in his bed. One of the primary reasons why this happened was because he slept with about 11 massive books! He literally did not have room to sleep! When we put him to sleep for the night, he read books in his bed until he was tired. When he got tired, he just set the books in his bed and fell asleep. Then all night long he rolled over and over the books, until he fell out of bed. What was my solution? A bedside storage caddy for all his books, toys and more!

This is a very simple build that even beginner woodworkers can tackle. I’ll share the step by step tutorial here and of course feel free to reach out with any questions!

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Tools & Materials

For building:

  • Miter Saw
  • Drill
  • Random Orbital Sander & Sandpaper
  • Tack Cloth
  • Two 1″ x 12″ 8′ Pine Boards
  • One 1″ x 6″ 8′ Pine Board
  • About 2 5 1 1/4″ Wood Screws
  • Wood Glue
  • Clamps
  • Measuring Tape

For finishing:

  • Minwax Stainable Wood Filler
  • Minwax Water Based Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner
  • Minwax Wood Finish Water-Based Solid Color Stain in Gentle Olive
  • Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish – Clear Matte 
  • Synthetic Pad
  • Rags
  • Purdy 2” Nylox Paintbrush 


Using a miter saw or table saw, cut the boards to the right lengths

You will want to cut out the following: two 74″ pieces from the 1″ x 12″ boards, four 4″ pieces from the 1″ x 12″ boards and one 74″ piece from the 1″ x 6″ board.

Of course you can modify the dimensions if you want your storage cubby to be longer, shorter, wider or skinnier. An important note: My son’s bed is a platform bed. The mattress sits on a frame that is 6 inches tall. In other words, his bed is very low to the floor. I chose the dimensions of the cubby partially based on this fact. If your child’s bed is farther off the floor, you will want to consider how your cubby might work with the height of your child’s bed and modify your plans accordingly.


Sand the boards smooth using a random orbit sander with 120 and then 220 grit sandpaper

When you are finished sanding, use a tack cloth to remove all the sanding dust.


Assemble the boards using clamps, wood glue, screws and a drill.

The best way to assemble this is to apply wood glue to the places where the wood will come together, clamp it together and then drill in screws to secure everything in place.

The combination of the wood glue and the screws will ensure a solid assembly.

I had some issues with bowed boards when I created this so this if your friendly reminder to always check for bowing in your boards before purchasing them. If they are not straight when you look down the end of the board, do not buy it. You will regret it!


Fill in screw holes with wood filler.

Make sure to overfill the holes a bit, allowing for sanding down of the filler once it’s dry. Once you sand down the filler, use a tack cloth to remove all dust from the surfaces.


Apply Minwax Water Based Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner

This step helps prep your wood so that your stain will go on evenly. It helps you avoid blotchiness when staining. Apply this with a rag. Allow the wood conditioner to penetrate the wood for 1-5 minutes. Wipe off the excess with a rag.

Allow it to dry for 15-30 mins. Then lightly sand with 220 grit sandpaper to remove any raised grain. Only one coat is needed.


Apply Minwax Wood Finish Water-Based Solid Color Stain in Gentle Olive

Using a synthetic or foam brush, apply the stain to the wood.


Apply Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish – Clear Matte 

Applying polycrylic will help protect the wood from damage if water or other items are placed on it that would normally damage bare wood. It’s best to apply 2-3 coats, sanding between coats with 220 grit sandpaper.

Allow this to dry and your piece is set to go into your child’s room!

I placed the cubby snug against the wall and pushed the bed up against it. It doesn’t take up much room and my son loves having it to store all his stuff in!

Interested in other home DIY projects? Check out my easy DIY mountain bookend tutorial  here!

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Jaswan
    on Feb 22, 2021

    The obvious question.... how painful to clean inside the "bins"

    it's a great idea to make them that direction, I expected to be more like a shelf but this is genius!! One suggestion I have is I would mount some tap lights inside- especially if you get the color changing ones- would be cool!!

    • Linda
      on Feb 26, 2021

      Lights......excellent idea, Jaswan! You are one of the reasons I like this site. So many projects that I would never think of, but I love hearing about other's ideas.

Join the conversation

3 of 15 comments
  • Linda Abate
    Linda Abate
    on Feb 24, 2021

    Way to go. What a great idea. A great place to store favorite books or favorite stuffed animal(s). LOVE IT.

  • Flipturn
    on Mar 3, 2021

    I see that you have an electrical outlet close to the storage unit.

    I would suggest putting a little lamp on a small corner floating shelf, or on the side wall, high enough that he can still sit up in bed and read without bumping his head on the lamp. No need to worry about having to stand up to turn the light off (or to find the lamp in the dark to turn it on)- just plug it into a rocker switch, which can be easily reached at hand.

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