How to Make Your Bathroom Better for Your Morning Routine — 6 Steps for a Seamless Start to the Day

The ease of your morning routine can have a huge influence over the rest of the day, so make sure you optimize you space for a stress-free start to the day

A bathroom floating shelf with neatly folded towels
(Image credit: Barbara Kraft. Studio credit STUDIO PCH)

Most of us don't cope well with mornings. If you're anything like me, little can be achieved before that first sip of caffeine passes your lips and, even after that, contending with the busy morning rush is no mean feat. That's why a little organization goes a long way in streamlining your routine for a more successful start to the day.

Second only to the kitchen, the bathroom is an important space when it comes to hectic morning schedules. As a space where we spend so much time before the hour of 9AM, it only makes sense that we take some steps to organize to guarantee smooth sailing of our daily routine, whether that means curating your cosmetic collection for a more orderly application or clearing out the clutter so your essentials are easier to access.

The ultimate treatment will be based on your specific needs (as well as those of the other people who use your bathroom) but some steps will apply across the board. 'A well-organized bathroom can make a world of difference in your morning routine,' explains professional organizer Di Ter Avest. 'From effortlessly finding your favorite skincare products to avoiding the desperate search for your toothbrush, a clutter-free space can set the tone for a productive day ahead.' Below are six steps that guarantee a more seamless morning routine in any modern bathroom - after all, the ease of your morning routine can have a huge influence over the rest of the day that follows.

1. Pare down your morning essentials

a bathroom vanity with a marble countertop

(Image credit: Gavin Cater. Design: Davide Casaroli)

As with any organization project, optimizing your bathroom for a successful morning starts with an audit of your existing stuff. 'As always, the first step will be to declutter the space,' notes Di Ter Avest of Di is Organized. 'Dispose of expired products, empty containers, and items you no longer use. Clearing out the clutter will create a clean slate for your organization efforts.'

When it comes to how to organize a bathroom, simplifying your skincare routine will also make your mornings so much easier, helping to free up your time as well as cut the clutter. As Di suggests: 'Invest in multi-functional products or opt for minimalist skincare and makeup routines.' 

2. Assess your storage

Of course, you can't throw everything out of your bathroom. We each have various soaps, serums, and moisturizers - multiply those by however many people use your bathroom, and that equates to a lot of cosmetics. That means that finding appropriate bathroom storage is the next step to streamlining your space for a stress-free routine.

'Assess your storage needs and identify areas where you can add storage solutions such as cabinets, shelves, or drawer organizers,' says Di. 'Designate specific areas of your bathroom for different parts of your morning routine. Create a dedicated space for skincare, hair care, and makeup application. Establishing a routine will help streamline your morning tasks and maintain organization.'

3. Group similar items together

a shower room with large format floor tiles

(Image credit: Anna Stathaki)

The KonMari method revolutionized the world by encouraging tidying up by category, and the same applies when organizing your bathroom. 'Group similar items together to make them easier to find,' says Di. 'Separate skincare products, haircare essentials, makeup, and toiletries into distinct categories. This will streamline your morning routine and minimize time spent searching for specific items.'

For example, if you keep your dental accessories in one spot, your daily cosmetics on a shelf, and your medications in a drawer, you'll know exactly where to go when you need something, and exactly when to turn when it comes to storing said items. Designated organizers, like this bamboo storage divider from Target designed for storing hair products, can be a huge help when sorting your separate categories.

Ben Soreff of House to Home Organizing adds that sorting your stuff by category will help prevent us from acquiring duplicates. 'We want to store all items together by category so we cut down on multiple purchases and find what we are looking for,' he says. 'We typically, see floss in ten different bathroom drawers and cabinets, plus the more stuff that is hidden the less you are going to use it.'

4. Keep daily cosmetics within easy reach

'The morning routine is the very definition of things you often need to be easily accessible,' Ben says. 'The bathroom typically is a small space in the home and has less storage, but after tossing and donating bathroom products, you're now left with items that you will use.'

With these items, Di suggests arranging your bathroom essentials based on frequency of use. 'Keep everyday items within easy reach, such as toothpaste, face wash, and hairbrushes, and store less frequently used items in higher or lower shelves,' she says. A bathroom vanity counter or a mirror shelve is perfect for this - next time you reach for your cleanser groggy and sleepy-eyed, you'll be able to grab exactly what you need within easy reach.

Amanda Wiss, founder of NYC-based home organizing company Urban Clarity, agrees. 'The fastest way to improve your morning routine is to simplify the high touch areas of your bathroom,' she says. 'Keep your toothbrush and toothpaste close together, and keep often used items out on the counter.' She also suggests using a small acrylic tray to keep your daily skin care and makeup essentials within easy reach. 'You’ll save time if you’re not searching through your entire inventory every morning, and you’ll reduce visual clutter, which can ease anxiety and brain fog,' she notes.

5. Make the most of vertical space 

marble and dark wood bathroom with built in shelving

(Image credit: Roger Davies)

'Make the most of vertical space to maximize storage capacity,' says Di. If surface space or discreet storage is at a premium, turning to your walls is the next best thing. Bathroom shelving or a simple shower caddy can make it so much easier to categorize your items while also displaying them out in the open so you can easily find what you need when you're half asleep (and so can your guests). We also love wall-mounted soap dispensers like these ones from Walmart which not only slim down your daily cosmetic collection but give them a more stylish, uniform look in the process.

As Amanda points out, hooks and shelves are your friends. 'If you shower in the morning, installing peel-and-stick shelves under your shower head can give you one drop zone for your shower essentials,' she says. 'Instead of reaching to the four corners of the bathtub whenever you need something, they’ll all be at eye level and an arm’s length away. If your bathroom didn’t come with hooks for your hair and body towels, command hooks are a quick and easy fix to make sure you’re covered as soon as you step out of the water.'

Utilizing vertical space can also help reduce visual clutter on surfaces. 'The bathroom is a room that should represent steadiness and self-care, but which can quickly start to feel grimy and busy due to the number of soapy products, pastes, and liquids we store there,' says Gyve Safavi, Co-Founder of SURI, a sustainable toothbrush brand that's revolutionizing bathroom sinks.

'We’ve thought carefully about ways we can reduce the clutter you have on your basin, which led us to create our mirror mount accessory,' he continues. 'By attaching the magnetic mount to your mirror, wall, or inside of your bathroom cabinet, you clear your basin of clutter and toothpaste rings, helping to create a clearer, calmer, and more beautiful space. It's this combination of features which together help us turn a mindless chore into a mindful ritual, helping people feel calm, connected, and grounded as they start and end each day.'

6. Demote infrequently used items to other storage

Last but not least, find a rightful place for anything that you don't use daily as part of your morning routine. That stack of spare toilet rolls or the expensive serums you only use once a week don't need to take up valuable space on your shelves or storage systems.

'All backup items should live in the linen closet or elsewhere in your space,' says Di. 'The bathroom should now have only daily or weekly items by category. Here it's not hypothetical - if you use it every morning it should be ready to go. While we don't want to clutter our counters, if you use an item every day it is fine to live on the counter and if it can't be containerized then being loose is even fine.' Anything else can be tucked away out of sight (just don't forget to use things once you've found a new space to store them!)

Color & Trends Editor

Lilith Hudson is the Color & Trends Editor at Livingetc. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.