It's a common problem for bathrooms to be a little on the smaller side, so a lack of built-in storage is an issue that is all too familiar. But there are so many ways to make the space feel less stressful and cluttered, with just a little bit of strategic organization, even if you don't have endless
drawers or cabinets at your fingertips. ‘Organizing a bathroom with limited or no storage space can be a challenge, but there are creative solutions to make the most of the available space,’ says Jenni Lauri, founder of Lauri Design Studio. To help you out, here are some of our favorite methods for how to organize a bathroom, approved by designers.
1. Use boxes, baskets and bins
A common problem that occurs with bathrooms of all shapes and sizes is that clutter accumulates. Empty bottles build up, and a mismatch of packaging and brightly colored shampoo and shower gel bottles can look cluttered, littering the room.
'Using baskets or bins is a great way to organize items on shelves,' says Jenni Lauri, founder of Beverly Hills-based Lauri Design Studio. 'This not only adds storage but also helps to keep things visually tidy and achieves a harmonious look.'
If you want bins for open shelves, cleverly conceal that clutter by picking a style of storage bin that works with the wider style of your room. Fabric can be malleable and easy to slot into small spaces, while wicker baskets are a bit more durable and bring a farmhouse feel to the space. Clear plastic works across all styles, but if your aim is to hide away all that packaging, they might not be the best option for open shelves in a minimalist bathroom.
In drawers, clear bins are the best option as you can see what you're looking for. 'Not only does a clear container set a limit on the items you own but it allows for quick inventory checks to cut down on multiple purchases,' says Ben Soreff from H2H Organizing. 'Deep cabinets and linen closets create black holes, but containers keep items from disappearing.'
2. Hide the trash can
Another item that adds to the feeling of clutter in a small bathroom is the trash can. Overspilling with toilet roll tubes, discarded toothbrush heads, and empty bottles, your bathroom trash can ends up amassing an abundance of unsightly trash that only makes the room feel messy, so organize the space by hiding your trash can out of sight, out of mind.
'If you can, store your trash in the sink cabinet,' advises Samantha Struck of StruckSured Interiors. 'The less you have out in a small space, the better.' You can attach the trash can to the door of the cabinet, so it comes out with ease, or there are more aesthetic trash can covers available to buy with lids that can keep your trash out of sight.
There has also been a real trend for concealing trash cans and unsightly rubbish with sink skirts too, this can add a little frill to your bathroom vanity and bring texture to the space.
3. Drawer dividers
Organizing a bathroom cabinet is crucial for a managaed space, so declutter those drawers and get on top of with the little space you might have under the basin. The first step is to take everything out and group by category and review. 'Consider putting all extra backup toiletries and medical items in the linen closet,' advises Ben Soreff from H2H Organizing. 'We want items to go in easy and come out easy. There is a difference between where things fit and where they belong. If everything is lined up but tight you simply can't access them.'
Tackle the problem drawers by investing in drawer and cabinet organizers to prevent things from becoming cluttered. ‘A cut-out drawer to wrap the plumbing and give you those extra inches is a great way to give you the extra,’ says Samantha Struck.
‘Stackable drawers that slide are also your best friend in this area,' adds Meredith Goforth, professional organizer and founder of House of Prim. 'Especially handy because they’re clear so you can easily see what’s inside.'
Make sure you have a grip lining material added to the base of your drawer to prevent your things from sliding around every time you open the drawer.
4. Make the most of the doors
Make the most of your bathroom doors, using the dead space to your advantage as an extra spot to store your everyday bathroom bits and pieces. 'Use visually pleasing hooks for hanging towels, bathrobes, or other items,' advises Jenni.
There are some great over-the-door organizers available at Amazon, not only do they remove the need for tools and screws, but they can be swapped around the home, making them a flexible storage addition.
If you want to go more subtle and not run the risk of cluttering the door too heavily, a simple and stylish bathroom door hook is a great option for spare hand towels or a towel bar, like this one from Amazon, for easy hand drying. A more minimalist over-the-door rack (we like this one from Amazon) has room for all sorts of bathroom necessities and can help a small bathroom look stylish.
5. Think vertically
I'm a big fan of bathroom shelving. Walls are so underused but provide valuable space to store all those bathroom necessities, not to mention offering the chance to add a spot of bathroom decor. In this example by Well x Design, the shelves have been cleverly added to the gap between the wall and the shower unit, providing a useful space to store fresh laundry. Alternatively, a narrow storage unit that stretches to the ceiling can work to make the most of the vertical space.
'Consider tall, narrow storage to utilize vertical space without taking up much floor space and make it blend it with the rest of the space,' says Jenni Lauri, founder of Lauri Design Studio. 'At a previous project, we plastered the tall cabinet doors to match the beautiful wall plaster not to overpower the space and make the storage beautiful blend in.'
Another good idea is to make use of the space above the WC. This area often goes unnoticed, but is a perfect place for shelving. ‘One of my favorite organizers to purchase for a small bathroom is an over-the-toilet storage unit,' says Lauren Saltman, professional organizer - and this over-the-toilet organizer from Amazon is particularly stylish. 'Meant to add shelving above the toilet, they add either open shelves or storage behind doors to hide your more personal items. There is no installation needed, so if you are renting your home, there is no need to add shelves directly into the wall (although these are a great option if you own your home).'
'If your bathroom is short on storage, adding a small storage tower, like those offered at IKEA, can be a practical solution for maximizing storage space in your bathroom,' says interior designer, Kimberley Harrison. 'These towers can be customized by painting them to match your bathroom decor, adding a personalized touch.'
6. Freestanding decorative storage solutions
Another place for storage for your soaps, shampoos, and conditioners is a tasteful bath tray, which works well to marry style and practicality. A bath caddy is a simple tray that fits across the top of the bath and is there to hold your bathtime shampoos and conditioners while you soak.
The best bath caddies are not just a place for your essentials, but a great storage solution for your bathroom luxuries like a bathtime candle, they might even have a slot for you to hold your bathtime glass of wine. You might even be able to prop a book on there for some bathtime reading.
A side table is another chic option for a more decorative storage solution, propped up next to your freestanding bath, providing another place to put your bathtime essentials while bringing that element of luxury to the room.
7. Remember shower storage
When it comes to your shower storage, showers that have been fitted with storage niches are a great addition to the space, making use of the wall for a handy space to place shower time necessities. But if you don't have a niche or shelving built into your shower, a caddy is the next best thing.
These additions keep all your shower necessities in one place and in easy reach, you can get corner styles that don't take up much space, just don't forget to buy suction cups too that stick the shower caddy to your tiles and at a convenient height for you. A tension rod is another great way to make sure it stays in the right place and doesn't end up sliding down the screen.
3 buys for organizing a bathroom with no storage
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Oonagh is a content editor at Livingetc.com and an expert at spotting the interior trends that are making waves in the design world. Writing a mix of everything and everything from home tours to news, long-form features to design idea pieces on the website, as well as frequently featured in the monthly print magazine, she's the go-to for design advice in the home. Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.
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