Budget-Friendly Pieces Of Furniture That Can Also Maximize Your Storage Space

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Furnishing your living space can be expensive. According to Furnishr, setting up an apartment with the basics can range from $3,500 to $5,800. But those basics still might leave you looking for more places to keep your stuff. Whether you live in a dorm, an apartment, or a house, you want to maximize your storage space without going broke. After all, you're probably already paying a lot to be in that space. No matter your square footage, it seems like we're all looking for extra storage around the house.

Before buying cubbies, carts, and other storage solutions, inventory your living space to see what storage you really need. Have a kitchen cluttered with extra dishes and cooking utensils? Is your bathroom messy because there's no place to put anything? Living room overrun with toys and knickknacks? Next, set a budget and prioritize which storage area you want to tackle first. Luckily there are many affordable furniture storage options in stores and online — here are just a few.

Bench with storage

Perfect for an entryway, a bench with storage allows you to stash away things such as hats, gloves, shoes, and blankets. Storage, moving, and packaging experts SimplyStoring say benches are smart for extra storage because they're both fashionable and functional. Plus, they act as additional seating if needed and work in various rooms, including living rooms, bedrooms, home offices, and more.

While luxury benches can cost hundreds of dollars, some aren't so pricey. Walmart's 4-Cube Storage Bench is $99 and has a cushioned top for seating. It can be used for open storage, such as shoes or boots, or with baskets for more discreet storage. This velvet storage bench with metal legs from Overstock is well rated, available in two colors, and is under $131. Another option, this tufting storage ottoman bench from Target, is a bit more costly but still a deal. Available in three colors, the bench has a hinged top and retails for under $152.

Shoe racks in hallways or closets

Shoes can be messy unless they're organized. Sure, you could pile your shoes in a basket, but there are many better storage options. The Container Store breaks down some of the choices, including tiered shoe racks and cubbies, shelf storage with bins and drawers, shoe cabinets or rolling racks, and under-the-bed storage.

Shoe organizers are relatively affordable, and there are many choices depending on your needs. IKEA's shoe cabinets start at under $40 and offer discreet yet practical footwear storage. Looking to pair up your fave heels or sneakers, so they're in sight and ready to grab? Consider this standard two-tier shoe rack that costs under $23 on Wayfair. If you need something bigger, look into this 9-tier shoe rack with a dustproof cover that sells for under $30 on Amazon — it stashes approximately 27 pairs of shoes! Serious shoe lovers may want a storage solution that protects their shoes' shape and fabric. That means investing in sturdy, stackable, clear shoe boxes like these from The Container Store. The case of six costs under $60.

A baker's rack in the kitchen

Whether you want to use a baker's rack for storage, decoration, or both, you're in luck. The Shelving Store says baker's racks are versatile. They recommend using hooks to hold baking tools like spatulas and oven mitts and storing smaller items like spices on the top shelf. Keep containers of sugar, flour, oil, and other baking essentials there too. Store more oversized items like cookbooks, a toaster, a crock pot, pots and pans, or a stand mixer on the lower shelves.

Baker's racks can be pretty affordable, and many are available for under $200. This 5-tier baker's rack on Overstock is under $150, is available in three colors, and is highly rated in reviews. One of Wayfair's most popular baker's racks is this standard rack with microwave storage. It's under $133, has 4.8 stars out of 5 with over 350 reviews, with many reviewers praising it for its sturdiness.

Side tables with shelving

While side tables, also called end tables, are generally small, the right ones combine form and function, including storage. Coaster Furniture says side tables help homeowners get organized so they can relax. They're multipurpose pieces of furniture. You can use a side table for lamps or display items like books, candles, a plant, or a candy dish. Or you can use the table's baskets, drawers, or shelves to tuck away items not in use, such as a deck of cards, extra magazines, and reading glasses.

This round sofa side table from Walmart has a fabric storage basket and a rustic wood top. It's well reviewed and a deal at $39.98. This 3-tiered end table selling for under $60 on Amazon is available in two colors, has a farmhouse style, and is ready to charge with two USB ports and two plug outlets. It can also hold 44 pounds on the top and 22 pounds on the middle and bottom shelves.

Nightstands for your loose odds and ends

Nightstand storage is important, especially when you have many items that could clutter the space. Merry Maids recommends having an organizing strategy for your nightstand. Start with drawer dividers to keep things tidy, then use your nightstand's top drawer to stash the stuff you use most, such as remotes, chargers, hand lotion, and tissues. Next, they say the second drawer should store your bedtime essentials like pajamas and sleep masks, as well as supplies for your nighttime hobbies like reading or drawing.

This IKEA 3-drawer chest, available in three colors, is under $170. Choose from five colors when buying Overstock's mid-century 2-drawer nightstand, which has an open shelf and sells for under $123. Get storage, style, and savings on Amazon's 2-drawer dresser with fabric bins. It's under $40 and the number one bestseller in the category, with 4.4 out of five stars and over 8,700 ratings.

Coffee tables with nooks

Ballard Designs says the coffee table is the most important piece of furniture in your living room after your seating. That's because it does so much, from storing remotes and holding drinks and food, to being a relaxing spot to put up your feet. Coffee tables come in various shapes and sizes, so you'll have options when shopping. Measure your space so you know the width, depth, and height you want. Coffee tables can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars or more, but budget ones with storage are out there. 

For example, Walmart's modern farmhouse coffee table has one shelf for storage and a lift top — perfect for elevated table use, and it still has room inside for storage. It's $149 and is well-rated. This rustic Wayfair coffee table with two drawers is under $140. This 2-tiered round center table on Amazon features an open shelf. It's a deal for under $100, and coordinating end tables are for sale too.

Ottomans for secret storage

Stash blankets, toys, or anything else in this generous storage solution. Ambiente Modern Furniture says ottomans serve many purposes, including being an alternative to a traditional coffee table and providing additional seating and storage. When shopping for an ottoman, make sure they have storage because some styles don't have a hinged or removable lid. Also, note that ottomans come in different sizes. The single size can serve as both storage and a footrest, while the larger sizes can act as bench seating.

While some ottomans look fancier and pricier than others, many budget-friendly options exist. Target has a few nice choices, including the double storage ottoman, which is $80 and rated 4.6 out of 5 stars, and the single storage ottoman, which is $75 and has 4.7 out of 5 stars. Overstock's tufted fabric storage ottoman starts at around $128 and comes in many colors. Plus, it's well-rated, with reviewers praising the ample storage.

Rolling storage carts

Whether you call them rolling carts, utility carts, or something else, these stacked trays on wheels work wonders. Use them to hold cleaning, craft, school supplies, and more. They're also convenient as a drink cart, storing mugs, coffee, tea, and cocoa supplies, as well as a bar cart for cocktails and bartender essentials like ice buckets and tongs, glassware, and napkins.

Blogger Nadia Tayob of Fun with Mama uses an IKEA rolling cart for an art station for her family. She says the cart is convenient and that it helps her kids actually use the supplies they have. Plus, her kids watch less TV because they're creating art. Another consumer uses a storage cart in her bathroom, helping her keep her wash clothes, towels, shampoo, and other shower tools tidy (via Today).

These multifunctional carts are available at most retailers. Michaels sells this classic 3-tier rolling cart for under $30.00. Available in 14 colors, the cart has 4.8 stars out of 5 with over 6,300 ratings. Reviewers rave about its sturdiness, color choices, and easy assembly. For added style, Target's 3-tier round metal utility cart combines fashion and function for $40.

Bathroom bins and baskets

From towels to hair dryers to beauty products, storage solutions for the bathroom are a must. Remodeling experts Virginia Kitchen & Bath say bathrooms always seem to need more storage. They recommend overhead bathroom storage for holding towels and other bath necessities. But they caution: Be sure to look for products made with waterproof materials since the water and humidity in a bathroom can be problematic, resulting in rust or mold.

This wire and steel open shelving unit on Wayfair is a versatile piece for just over $100. It's well-rated, with customers saying they use it for their bathroom, laundry, kitchen, and other rooms. Available in three colors, it has adjustable shelves and holds up to 350 pounds. Smaller bathrooms need smaller storage solutions like this 3-tier ladder open shelf on Overstock. Available in two colors, it's rated 10 out of 636 in bathroom organization items on the site.

Desks with plenty of drawers

These days many desks appear sleek, but look closer and you'll realize the majority are table-like and don't have many (or any) shelves or drawers. Before buying a desk, ensure it has the proper storage for your needs. Matter Brothers Furniture advises being realistic about the desk storage you need, not just what looks good. Otherwise, you'll have an aesthetically pleasing desk, but you won't have enough drawer space. Then you'll find yourself cluttering your new desk with papers and office supplies like staplers and scissors that could have been tucked away in a drawer.

This farmhouse desk on Amazon, available in three colors, has four drawers, a large open shelf, and a hutch with smaller shelves. It's under $160 and has great reviews. Overstock's small computer desk is under $130 and features a hutch with storage, a drawer, a cabinet, and a pullout shelf for a keyboard or laptop storage.

Pet supply storage

If you have trouble organizing toys, food, leashes, and other pet supplies, you need an affordable storage solution. Chewy has tips on storing pet supplies, including grooming items, pet carriers, litter, food, and toys. While some pet owners store everything in one zone in the house, others store items where they're used, such as pet food in the kitchen or leashes by the door.

Check out this pet feeder station sold on Wayfair for under $170. It has a pull-out drawer for feeding as well as food and water bowls, and holds 25 pounds in an angled storage bin. This pet feeding station, sold at Walmart for under $160, has a pull-out drawer on the bottom that fits two bowls for food and water. Both have shelves for extra supplies. For smaller spaces, this pet diner with storage under $96 could be an option. There are two bowls on top of the bin, and the lid slides open and closed and works for storing food or supplies.

Toy boxes discreetly tucked away

Out of sight, out of mind. Parents know the adage is ideal when thinking about cleaning up toy messes. As Forbes explains, a toy box can make toys essentially disappear. But even if you don't have kids, a toy box can be a great storage option. Use it to store out-of-season clothes like sweaters and pants, as well as extra blankets and bedding.

Check out this versatile toy box with shelves and wheels sold at Walmart. Photos show it used in kids' and adults' rooms, as well as closets. It's under $122, has removable cubbies, and omnidirectional wheels. It has 4.9 out of 5 stars with more than 500 reviews, including praise for its sturdiness, easy assembly, and organization. One reviewer says she uses the toy box to store her shoes. This IKEA bench is versatile, works in many different rooms, and sells for $90. Reviewers praise its adaptability, with many using it to stash bedding, clothing, and more. It also doubles as extra seating. You can even build your own toy storage.

Bookshelves and bookcases

Bookcases and bookshelves can hold a lot more than books. They can also display decorations and collectibles, as well as pictures and plants. Bookshelves also double as a great background for Zoom calls and Instagram posts.

There are lots of book storage solutions, too, including open shelving units and traditional bookcases. This modern 5-tier bookshelf sells on Amazon for under $140 and is available in three colors. The open shelving unit is highly rated, too, with customers saying they love how sturdy it is. IKEA's bookcase, in black or white, is also under $140. It has three shelves and two drawers, which reviewers say provides ample storage for books, papers, and other items. If you need smaller, shorter bookcases, consider Target's 3-shelf bookcase, which is an affordable, stylish solution. Available in three colors, the design features three adjustable shelves, and it costs just $25.