8 Things You'll Never Find in Organized People's Bathrooms — 'Follow Their Lead for a More Streamlined Space!'

They're common denominators among the organizational elite

a wooden bathroom vanity
(Image credit: Tom St Aubyn. Design: Hodgkinsgon Design)

Organizing a bathroom is a task easier said than done. It's one of the smallest spaces within the home and yet home to so much stuff, which makes storing everything you need a real challenge. Combine that with the practical priorities of a bathroom, where you need easy access to all the things you use daily, and you have a perfect storm for a visually cluttered, disorganized space. 

So, what do we do when we need tips on how to restore order to highly functional areas of the home? We look to our ultra-organized peers, of course. You can spot a type-A friend as soon as you walk into their home: they'll have organizational systems for every need, oh-so-satisfying storage, and you'll know exactly where to find something without even having to ask. 

Alongside these identifiable markers, there are also some standout habits or items the more organized among us never do or own. For the most streamlined space possible, they know exactly what should be avoided when it comes to how to organize a bathroom, and that encompasses what not to include for the tidiest, most enviably arranged space possible. Here, we caught up with some professional organizers to learn exactly what they are.

1. A lack of hidden storage solutions

Happy bathroom cabinet

(Image credit: Duravit)

Everyone knows that good organization starts with proper storage. Without a designated spot for groups of stuff, you'll be fighting a never-ending battle trying to organize it. Bathrooms, by virtue of their size, are one of the trickiest places to find space to store all the things you need, but bathroom storage solutions are a common factor among the organizational elite. 

'Whether it's a lack of space or inadequate storage solutions, many bathrooms suffer from clutter simply because items don't have designated places to go,' explains Di Ter Avest, owner of Di is Organized. 'People with organized bathrooms invest in storage solutions such as shelves, cabinets, baskets, and drawer organizers to keep everything in its rightful place.' 

If you want the most visually seamless storage possible, hidden or disguised storage solutions are your best friend. This could encompass a hidden vanity cabinet behind a slab door, or a stylish basket for your spare towels.

You'll also want to make a conscious effort to keep more unsightly bathroom items hidden from view. 'An organized bathroom should not include having every toiletry or makeup option out on the counter, or even in plain sight,' explains Amanda Wiss, founder of home organizing company Urban Clarity. 'The key to an uncluttered bathroom is to prioritize having your daily essentials in easy-to-reach places, your lesser-used products nearby, and your rarely-used products stowed away.'

2. A Build-up of clutter

Disorganization and clutter come hand in hand so, in order to stay on top of your stuff, you'll need to take regular audits and commit to frequent decluttering. This is why one thing you'll never come across in an organized person's bathroom is a build-up of clutter.

'I like to regularly sift through my items, parting with those expired or unused,' explains Christian Pfeiffer owner and lead organizer at Valley Organizing And More. 'This small habit makes a big difference in overall storage space and, most importantly, keeps a space organized and neat for longer.'

'If you have two or more people using a bathroom and those people use the following categories: dental, medical, cleaning, beauty, and hair care, then we are talking about a lot of products,' adds Ben Soreff of House to Home Organizing. 'Additionally, all these items are not in the same size box, rather all shapes and sizes that do not lend themselves to easy storage, so the first step is to review everything.'

As Ben touches upon, not only does decluttering free up space for your essentials, but a regular review of your existing stuff will allow you to invest in the best organizational systems that cater to those times. For example, if you realize that you have a lot of hair care products, you might want to purchase a specific organizer, like this one from Target, to keep it all contained. 

3. Empty cosmetic bottles

a modern bathroom with a vanity unit

(Image credit: Nate Berkus Associates. Photo credit Christopher Dibble)

How many times have you gone to use your shower gel, only to realize you used up the end of the bottle weeks ago? We're all guilty of allowing finished cosmetic bottles to accumulate in our bathroom caddies or vanities, but organized people will always dispose of them as soon as they're finished. Not only will this save you the frustration of reaching for another empty bottle, but it will also help reduce visual clutter in your space, too. 

'It's a common oversight to leave empty shampoo, conditioner, or body wash bottles lingering in the shower or cabinets,' explains Di. 'One of the things people with organized bathrooms do is make it a rule to promptly discard empty containers to avoid clutter buildup. They understand that holding onto these empties not only takes up unnecessary space but also makes it harder to distinguish between full and empty products.' 

4. Cords on display

They're easy to overlook, but the bundle of cords from your electronic devices is an unsightly mess that visitors are bound to notice. If you want the most organized bathroom aesthetic possible, you should make an effort to disguise them. 

'Cords should not be hanging around your bathroom if you want a streamlined, uncluttered space,' says Amanda. 'Unplugging and storing your hairdryer or hair straightener every time may be a pain at first, but after some time, it’ll be as natural as any other chore, and will leave your bathroom looking a lot less cluttered.'

'There's also an element of stress that underlies having cords of any kind in the bathroom, as we associate this room with water, and we all know that electricity and water don’t mix,' she adds. 'Save yourself the stress and put away your hair accessories, and charge your watch in the bedroom.' And if you decide to keep your essential devices plugged in within your bathroom, one of the best ways to tidy cables is with a cable management box like this one, from Amazon.

5. Non-bathroom items

A marble shower room with matt black brassware

(Image credit: Anna Stathaki)

One thing organized people never do is keep items unrelated to the bathroom inside this room. It might seem an obvious idea, but it's something many of us do, sometimes unwittingly, and it's especially pertinent if you already have a small bathroom

'Depending on how small your bathroom is, I wouldn’t want to see anything that isn’t used in the bathroom being stored in the bathroom,' notes Amanda. 'Extra cleaning supplies and other household items can find a place under the kitchen sink or in a closet. Your bathroom gets so much use every day - it’s best not to make it your workhorse storage room, too.'

The same applies to surplus bathroom supplies as well. If you can, store them outside the bathroom, but at the very least you should make sure they're not in view. 'Any extras you have of your toiletries, paper goods, and towels should live under the sink or stowed away in a cabinet or bathroom shelving system,' adds Amanda. 'Don’t be afraid to simplify.' 

6. Hoarded samples or out-of-date items 

'While it's tempting to hoard those tiny shampoo bottles from hotels or free samples from beauty stores, people with organized bathrooms resist the urge,' explains Di. 'Instead, they either use these samples promptly or donate them to shelters. Accumulating a stash of unused samples only adds to clutter and makes it harder to find what you actually need.' 

The same ethos should apply to those out-of-date medicines you're holding on to.  'People with organized bathrooms understand the importance of decluttering and make it a habit to discard expired medications, beauty products, and toiletries,' adds Di. 'This not only frees up valuable space but also ensures that you're using safe and effective products.' 

Ben encourages you to take this one step further, too. 'Expired products should be an indicator of how often the items are used,' he says. 'With all household items, we want to ask, how expensive is it? How hard is it to get? We don't want to live in the future.'

7. Under utilized vertical space

Built in downstairs toilet

(Image credit: Rowland Roques O'Neil)

It might not be glaringly obvious, but people with super-organized bathrooms always make use of vertical space when necessary. Whether bathroom shelving or large wall cabinets, the vertical space inside your bathroom offers ample opportunity for extra storage.

'A problem I see in client's bathrooms is the lack of available storage space, which can make a bathroom feel cluttered, so I like introducing products that can increase storage space to house bathroom items in these cases,' says Christian. 'This usually consists of over-the-door organizers, simple wall shelves, or in-cabinet door organizers. Having a designated space for everything begins with having the room to house all of your items, and increasing available storage space is a great way to help stay organized.' 

8. Too many containers 

It might seem counterintuitive, but the most organized bathrooms don't rely on loads of containers or organizers. 'In a world of endless organizing products, less is truly more,' says Christian. 'I often see clients bring in too many products, even before the decluttering process. I understand why, but too many products, containers, or bins can decrease storage space and make organizing harder.'

Instead, Christian recommends starting small when it comes to bins and containers, only incorporating more products as needed. 'Once you incorporate some products, I recommend labeling them using rather broad categories instead of super-specific ones,' he says. 'It's a common issue that leads to containers or bins not being fully used to their capacity.'

Now you know exactly what organizers always avoid in their beautifully ordered bathrooms so you can follow their lead for a more streamlined space.

Bathroom organizing essentials 

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.