15 Genius Ways An IKEA Rolling Cart Can Add Extra Storage Around Your Home

Maximizing storage space in your small home can be a struggle, but with the help of one ultra-useful item from IKEA, you can take advantage of even the most awkwardly-shaped nooks and crannies in your space. Adding a rolling cart into your home décor might seem a bit strange or industrial at first glance, but IKEA's line of options are a far cry from the utilitarian plastic or metal options you might see hauling cleaning supplies or merchandise in stores. With some smart shopping and proper styling, an IKEA rolling cart can become a storage hero in just about any room in the house, and we've listed 15 creative ways to use them below.

Take IKEA's RÅSKOG utility cart, for example. This three-level cart costs about $40, has a sleek, minimalistic design, and even comes in several different color options to ensure you can find a best match for your space. It's about 30 inches tall but only a little over a foot wide, so it doesn't take up a ton of floor space, and the wheels mean you can easily move it around if it's in the way. Essentially, these carts can act as a fashionable and portable mini shelf to help you stow items that you otherwise wouldn't have room for, whether you're working out how to divide items in a shared bathroom with limited cabinet space, moving into a tiny dorm, or making the most out of a cramped kitchen. 

1. School supplies storage

If you homeschool your children or like to incorporate additional learning aids during the times they're not in class, you know that the sheer amount of supplies you need can get overwhelming. To keep everything contained, consider storing all of your most-used items on a storage cart. The large shelves can keep all of your workbooks, note cards, games, and school supplies in one easy-to-access location. You can even stow it away during times you're not using it, then wheel it into the room once you're ready to start teaching a lesson or it's time for your kids to begin their homework.

2. Storage nightstand

Nightstands are one of the most commonly-used items to help cut back clutter in the bedroom, but many of the options on the market are surprisingly low on storage. If you're on the hunt for a bedside table that's low-profile but can still hold all of your nighttime essentials, it might be time to think outside of the box. An IKEA utility cart is about the same size as your average nightstand, but it boasts a ton of additional storage space. As an added bonus, these carts are also much less expensive than a lot of other choices, so they're a perfect alternative if you're on a budget.

3. Bathroom essentials cart

Organizing your bathroom vanity can be difficult, especially if you're working with a cramped space or are sharing with a partner or roommate. A utility cart, however, can present the perfect solution. Keep your most-used items — toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash — by the sink, then store the rest, like your makeup, hair styling tools, and nail polish, on a cart. These carts are often small enough to fit in the awkward spaces between your toilet and the wall, but they can also be wheeled around if you prefer to do your makeup or style your hair in another room. 

4. Command center

Having a household command center is a great way to keep you and your family on track, but sometimes you need more storage than a simple whiteboard or magnetic calendar can afford you. To create an easy storage add-on, simply slide a utility cart under or next to your family's existing command center. This cart can act as a catch-all for your necessities, whether that means a planner that you can easily reference when adding dates to your calendar, your dry erase pens, or even items that you need to remember to grab before the day ahead.

5. Sewing cart

Sewing supplies usually include a mix of a lot of small, easy-to-lose items, so a storage cart is a fantastic solution to keep everything in one place and ensure you don't end up with pins, fabric scraps, and needles scattered around your house. With this idea, however, you can take the functionality to the next level by adding a mini ironing board on the top shelf. The metal cart is resistant to heat, so you don't have to worry about accidentally melting any plastic, and you have a convenient place to press seams, fold pleats, and even cut pattern pieces for your project.

6. Mini bar cart

Bar carts are a fun piece of décor and a great way to free up storage space in your kitchen, but if you don't have room for one of the larger options, consider using an IKEA rolling cart instead. Place taller bottles of liquor, liqueur, and mixers on the top shelf, then fill the bottom shelves with glasses, smaller cans, and garnishes. The cart can be used as a stationary drink station, but if you're hosting an event, it can also be conveniently wheeled into the room to give your guest the ability to whip up their own drinks throughout the night.

7. Plant shelf

Houseplants can be finicky, especially if you living somewhere with limited natural light, so it can be a serious help to store them on a shelf that can be easily moved to follow the sun. An IKEA utility cart is perfect for the job. Store your houseplants on the shelves, then move them around as necessary to ensure they stay healthy and happy. The IKEA RÅSKOG utility cart even has shelves that are made of a metal lattice rather than one solid piece of material, so you don't have to worry about water pooling underneath the pots after you water your plants.

8. Book cart

Avid readers know that you can never have enough books in your collection, and if you find yourself running out of space, a rolling cart can act as a mini bookshelf to add some supplemental storage. These carts are small enough to nestle next to a chair to create a cozy reading nook, but they can also be easily transported from room to room if you want to take your collection into the bedroom or living room. Additionally, the shelves can help to divide your books into ones you've already read, ones you're actively reading, and ones that are up next, helping you keep track of your progress.

9. Coloring supplies storage

If you or your kids enjoy a dose of low-stress creativity, consider turning an IKEA utility cart into a coloring station. The multiple shelves are great for holding onto all of your different markers, pens, and pencils, and you can even keep your paper and coloring books in the same space. While this is definitely useful if you're just on the hunt for a better storage solution, it can also be fantastic if you want to give younger kids access to their art supplies without them having to ask. IKEA's carts are fairly short, so kids can reach, and they can be wheeled into any room.

10. Snack cart

Breakfast might be the most important meal of the day, but snacks are the real heroes when you need a pick-me-up. If you're looking to create a convenient station in your home office with all of your favorite snacks, try using an IKEA cart as a base. The three shelves are perfect to give you a wide selection without taking up a ton of room, and it can be easily wheeled into the pantry when it's time for a restock. This little cart can even help to streamline the process of making lunches for school, especially if you have younger kids that still need some guidance.

11. Paint storage

If you like to paint, you know that things can get messy super easily. To help prevent this mess from spreading further than necessary, consider making a paint cart for your supplies. The top shelf can be used for things that need to be easily accessible like sketching pencils, brushes, water, and tape, while the lower shelves can be used for paint, extra canvases, and miscellaneous materials you might not use as often. This cart can be easily tucked away when not in use, but it's perfect to roll up next to you and your canvas when you're creating.

12. Pantry extension

In many kitchens, pantry space is either limited or completely nonexistent. If you need a bit of extra room to store your go-to food items, a utility cart can be a serious help. This rolling shelving unit can act as a fantastic supplement — or even replacement — for your pantry storage, and it's a great place to store non-refrigerated items that you reach for on a daily basis, whether that's oats for breakfast, rice for dinner, or your favorite snacks throughout the day. If it gets in the way when you're cooking, all you have to do is roll it to a different spot in the room.

13. Charging station

All the cords required to keep our various devices charged and ready to use can get overwhelming, but a simple charging station can make the process much less chaotic. Wheel your IKEA cart next to an outlet, then place an extension cord on one of the shelves. This will give you an easily-accessible spot to attach your chargers without having to fumble around in the dark or behind furniture. From there, you can place your phones, laptops, and tablets on the other shelves to give them a proper place to sit while they charge, helping to minimize potential damage or the chances you'll forget them around the house.

14. Medical supplies cart

Whether you're caring for someone with an illness, are working on prioritizing your own physical health, or just have kids that frequently need first aid, a medical supplies cart can help to make sure that what you need is easy-to-find and accessible. These utility carts are perfect for storing meds, first aid supplies, and other essentials. They can easily be wheeled bedside or pushed out of the way depending on what you need in the moment. Use the top shelf for things that need to stay accessible, like lotion and lip balm, then use the lower shelves for items you don't reach for as often.

15. Movie night popcorn cart

Bar carts are a ton of fun for adult parties, but if you want a dry alternative that's perfect for kids and adults alike, consider making a popcorn cart for a movie night. The top shelf can be used to hold a large jar or bowl of popped popcorn along with some individual buckets for each person. On the lower shelves, add some beverages, additional snacks, and blankets to complete the home theater experience. This idea is perfect for a casual movie night with friends, a date night, or even a more involved movie-themed party for you or your kids.