Small houses and small bathrooms go hand in hand. If you are blessed with one, you are challenged by the other.
There just never seems to be enough storage space for all the towels, shampoos, lotions, and toothbrushes. Counters end up covered in makeup, showers littered with shampoo bottles, and drawers jammed with hair products.
Clearing the clutter and reclaiming the space isn’t as hard as it may seem. Adding some additional storage and minimizing the items stored in your bathroom will go a long way in creating a bathroom that feels relaxing and rejuvenating.
Today I’ll share 10 tips for adding storage and creating organizational systems that streamline your small bathroom and create a space that can be shared by the whole family.
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1. Utilize the storage space under the sink
Many bathroom vanities have an open cabinet under the sink to allow space for the pipes. Don’t let this go to waste!
Since there are no drawers or shelves in this area, consider adding some! Not only will you gain usable storage, but no tools or construction is needed.
This freestanding unit from Target is perfect for sliding in underneath a sink and utilizing that deep cabinet space. The drawers slide out allowing you to store things you may not have had room for before, such as makeup, hair products, face creams, first aid, medicines, and bath toys.
2. Slide in a lazy susan to organize plastic bottles
You know I love a good lazy susan in a pantry, but did you know they are amazing in a bathroom as well? This humble tool is perfect for coraling those plastic shampoo bottles, mouthwash, and lotion bottles under the sink. It’s super easy to access what you need and it prevents bottles from being shoved to the back.
I found this 12″ lazy susan was the perfect size for my small bathroom vanity cabinet. It fills the awkward space between the pipes and the cabinet door and makes my lotion and face wash easy to access (meaning I actually use the products instead of forgetting I own them!)
3. Minimize products stored in the tub or shower
With multiple family members using the same bathroom, the number of shampoos and body washes can multiply out of control. Even though each person has their own preferences, it may be worth coming together to see if there is any flexibility in sharing products.
I like to look for soaps that can solve multiple purposes, like a 3-in-1 that kids can use for shampoo, body wash, and bubble baths. My kids like Everyone Soap 3-in-1 and I find that I don’t mind using it as well.
Can you share a shampoo and conditioner as a family? What about switching to bar soap or bar shampoo? These decisions can help minimize the number of bottles cluttering the tub and shower.
I edited down my supply by refilling existing containers and using up the bottles with just a tiny bit remaining. Every little bit you can take out of your bathroom, either by using up, donating, or recycling helps your space feel bigger and less constricting.
4. Flexible drawer dividers give each item a home
Bathroom drawers come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s helpful to find flexible dividers to organize all the little things you find in a bathroom. These soft plastic dividers from Target come in 3 different sizes and can be squeezed to fit or even cut slightly in order to fit a shallow drawer.
In our two small drawers, I was able to fit three long dividers to hold toothbrushes and toothpaste. Not one to let any space go to waste, I squeezed a medium divider into the back for contacts and flossing picks.
I even like to use drawer dividers in the organizer under the sink. It helps prevent items from sliding around and keeps similar items like makeup and face cream together.
5. Clear clutter from counters
I can’t tell you how many years our toothbrushes have sat on top of our vanity and how much it has bothered me. I’ve never liked how close they are to the toilet (ahem…) and how they were always in the way when I needed to give the counter a quick wipe.
With this reorganization, I was determined to get them in a drawer. Since they are electric and require charging, I know I needed a solution that brought electricity into the vanity.
I finally took a drill and made a large hole in the side of the vanity. I was able to feed a small extension cord into the cabinet that now allows us to charge our toothbrushes in the space below the sink.
Would I have done this with a brand new vanity? Probably not. But since ours is nearing the end of its useful life I didn’t feel bad about making it work until we can upgrade.
6. Is there space for shelves? Or an additional storage unit?
Many small bathrooms have pedestal sinks without closed cabinet storage. These bathrooms provide additional challenges since there is literally no place to store a toothbrush or an extra roll of toilet paper.
If you are facing this situation, don’t panic! Look around the bathroom to see if you have any space you can utilize.
Do you have any wall space? Shelves can be a great way to add storage where there once was none. You can store extra towels, toilet paper, and even storage baskets.
If you can’t add shelves, consider investing in a freestanding shelving rack designed to go over the toilet. Some have closed cabinets and others are simply shelves. Either way, it’s a great way to add storage without a full bathroom remodel.
We have two small shelves above our toilet and utilize them to hold a basket with extra toilet paper, a clock, and a canister that holds our razors.
7. Add labels to help
Does your family have a hard time remembering where things go? Do you need a reminder? (I do sometimes!) Labels can help everyone ‘see’ where things go.
It’s an easy way to identify if an item is out of place and helps designate a defined space for each type of item. If you don’t have space for more than 3 hair products, you may think twice before purchasing a 4th type to try!
8. Consider relocating items
Take a hard look at some of the categories of items in your bathroom. Is there anything you could move out to make space? Vitamins and medications may do better stored in a kitchen or pantry, away from the steam and heat in a bathroom. First aid may be more accessible from a linen closet.
I recently realized I kept first aid and medications ALL OVER THE HOUSE. Some in the bathroom, some in the kitchen, and some in the pantry. This meant I had no clue how much I actually had and I ended up buying duplicate items repeatedly. Removing the items from the bathroom for consolidation in the pantry made life much simpler and more organized in our house.
9. Hooks are your friend
If you have walls or a door, you can hang hooks! Over-the-door hook racks can hold an extra towel or a robe that is easily accessible from the shower. You can even switch out your towel bars to hooks like I did in my bathroom.
If you are renting or can’t drill into the tile, consider hooks that can be attached using suction cups or 3M Command hooks. Use them inside the shower to hold bath toys or inside the vanity to hang hair tools.
10. Use every inch of your small bathroom
Don’t let any space go to waste. If you have a funky narrow drawer below your vanity like I do, brainstorm ways to use this space to store something useful. Perhaps long skinny things, like hair straighteners and curling irons. Or, add small dividers and use the space to organize all the small things – hair bands, q-tips, nail clippers, nail polish, etc.
Remember, the best thing you can do for a small bathroom is to reclaim the space for good by adding additional storage and editing, editing, editing your belongings down to a manageable amount.
By creating systems where everything has a designated home, you will find it’s easier to keep the bathroom clean and organized, even if the whole family is constantly in and out of the space.
And because everything is better in video, here is our small bathroom in action:
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