An Easy, Effective Guide to Better Bathroom Organization

Many homeowners dream of having a sprawling spa-like bathroom, with ample space for a luxurious bath and a walk-in closet. But in the majority of homes, bathrooms are actually the smallest rooms in the house.

This can pose major problems for storage — especially when trying to keep the space stocked up with toiletries, towels and toys. Fortunately, creative storage and organization techniques can maximize space and reduce clutter, and even allow for a little zen-like feel.

Making a Storage Strategy

Creating room for storage can feel like an overwhelming task, especially when you have lots of things to store and very little space. However, there are a multitude of ways to make a bathroom more organized, Elizabeth Stamp at Architectural Digest writes. Homeowners can opt for a remodel that includes a space-saving sink and built-in storage or choose a simple shelving update that doesn’t break the bank.

With strategic space-saving elements, proper storage upgrades a bathroom in terms of both form and function. The team at home design software RoomSketcher says that homeowners can mix and match both wall storage and cabinet space for a dynamic look. Switching up storage options also offers a variety of places to put things away, meaning there will always be space for the things you need to store.  

Vanity Storage

To start, it’s important to find a place for toiletries and tools that are used daily. Lauren Piro, a senior food editor at The Food Network, suggests making use of kitchen storage tricks, saying that cabinet doors are great for hidden storage. For instance, hide large hair styling tools in plastic bins that attach to the back of the door. She also shows how a magnetic knife strip can be added to the back of a door to hold small metal items, like bobby pins and tweezers.

When working with a more spacious cabinet, DIY blogger Serena Appiah suggests opting for a Lazy Susan. Appiah shows how to make one in wood, but any upcycled or new Lazy Susan will do. The idea here is that the turntable keeps your products elevated and accessible, so they can easily be grabbed when needed. If there’s a floating vanity or sink in a bathroom, consider taking advantage of the space beneath it. Home improvement service Sweeten suggests using shallow baskets to tuck extra essentials away under the sink. This keeps items like towels and toiletries accessible, yet organized in a way that doesn’t cause clutter.

Wall Storage

Wall storage is a no-fail way to amp up the storage space in any bathroom, and for an extra small space, shelves are always a smart option.

Interior stylist Gabrielle Savoie shows how a shelf holding small items can also be styled with plants and art. These little details, she says, add both personality and function to a small bathroom that’s lacking in storage space.

To go beyond traditional shelving, design blogger Carmel Phillips of Our Sixth House suggests using window boxes for bathroom wall storage. Phillips put three wicker window boxes in a row on the wall, where they hold rolled up towels, toilet paper and more. StyleCaster deputy editor Hannah Hickok rolls towels too, saying it’s a great space-saving technique. Rolled towels eliminates the need for towel racks, which take up valuable wall space in a small bathroom. She says that rolling them up on shelves that are easy to reach from the tub or shower ensures maximum functionality.

When wall space is hard to come by, don’t forget the space above the toilet. Productivity writer Donella Crigger gives 17 options for adding storage to this space. One of the most unique ideas on her list is a rustic shelving unit, which can be made from old dresser drawers or wooden boxes turned sideways.

This same approach can be achieved using a vintage box picture frame. Since the space above the toilet is often narrow, turning these frames portrait style maximizes space. Jaimielyn Nye suggests outfitting a large frame with boxes and boards that can serve as shelving. This approach works especially well in a guest or kids bathroom, where playful trinkets can be added to the shelves to infuse more fun into the space.

Storing Small Items

After deciding on what type of shelving and wall storage to put in a bathroom, it’s time to think about jars, containers and trinkets. Small items like makeup and hair accessories can clutter a bathroom quickly, so it’s important that all toiletries and belongings have a designated home.

Desireé Campbell of The 36th Avenue filled her wall shelf with cork-topped glass containers. These jars add a sophisticated look to ordinary bathroom items like Q-Tips and cotton balls. Glass jars can also be used to create a shabby-chic or vintage inspired apothecary cabinet. Medicines bottles, bandages and other first aid products work well in glass jars too, as seen on the Tidbits blog, owned by interior DIY expert Mandi Tremayne. This approach can used whether using a long, tall cabinet or a wide, shallow one.

Another option for storing small essentials is to add a small wooden shelf that doubles as a toilet paper holder. Style blog Hint Hacks shows how this cute little shelf can hold tiny plants, room freshener spray, and even electronics like a phone or small speaker. In addition to adding storage, this technique also adds sophistication to ordinary toilet paper holders.

Bathroom Drawers

Never underestimate the storage and organization power of a bathroom drawer.

To keep tiny hair accessories in check, the DIY blog One Crazy House recommends using acrylic trays or upcycled silverware trays in a bathroom drawer. They say that this helps organize things like tiny hair elastics and bobby pins, which are often lost around the bathroom and the rest of the house. They also suggest putting bobby pins in a paper clip holder, where a magnetic strip keeps them easy to access.

Another creative way to improve drawer storage is to add an outlet inside the drawer. As seen on the blog Creating My Happiness, an outlet inside of a drawer eliminates the need for outlets near the sink, which can promote messes when things get left plugged in. The outlet in a drawer approach also creates a designated space for hair styling tools, making them easy and quick to access when needed.

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