Small bathrooms in older homes, such as ours, come with a charm and quaintness that we all love, as well as some not-so-great “charming” issues, such as space! The only way I’ve been able to get through making sure our two small (as in very very veryyyyy small) bathrooms work for us is through learning how to organize them. It might come without saying, but a small bathroom teaches you all about what you really need in a bathroom and what is just going to create more clutter. If you are ready to maximize space in your home, then organizing your small bathroom is the perfect place to start!
In This Post
- 7 Ways to Organize a Small Bathroom
- Make-Up Organizing in a Small Bathroom
- More Home Organizing Tips and Tricks
7 Ways to Organize a Small Bathroom
1. Use height to your advantage.
A great way to start your organizing journey is to maximize the small amount of space you already have, thus creating more space. Starting with height is key! Visualize the areas of your bathroom that hold items but that have additional height that can benefit from adding a tier. For example, a basket under your sink is great for holding products, but there is still a lot of headspace above that basket. Consider investing in storage units that can stack, thus creating double the amount of space you had before. This can work in any area, such as with a rolling cart by your sink or even a deep window sill.
Also, consider the space above where your normal eye looks such as above doorframes. Adding shelving to these areas can create tons of space for items you don’t need every day such as additional guest towels or toilet paper. Even a small bathroom can benefit from using all the length of the wall, right up to a ceiling!
2. Break up your items into categories and label.
Without knowing it, we collect tons of bathroom items that end up taking up much-needed space in our tiny bathrooms. Take out all these items (yes, including the tiny soaps from your last trip) and decide what is a duplicate, what can be stored perhaps outside of your bathroom such as in your linen closet, and what is something you use every day. You’ll quickly find that your everyday items take priority in terms of proximity!
These items should be easily accessible such as on a space-saving rolling cart or sink caddy. Designating a space for these items will keep them from taking over since you use them on a daily basis, plus you’ll know exactly where to get and put them back to keep tidy.
For duplicates or items that aren’t of everyday use, consider adding baskets to your linen closet and labeling them appropriately. If you have the space, keep your items grouped together (such as guest items, hair care, or medicinal) and place them into labeled baskets or containers in a cabinet or on a shelving unit. Knowing what you have and where it is is half the battle of organizing a small bathroom!
On that same token, make sure you only keep what is of use and donate or throw out the rest. Small bathrooms stay organized by only keeping the essentials!
3. Use your sink space fully.
The sink space can be of huge use if you know how to use it to its fullest potential! While small bathrooms tend to have only a limited amount of sink storage, using these hacks can help keep you organized.
If you have underneath sink cabinet space:
- Add a tension rod- most cleaning products go into this area of the bathroom. By adding a tension rod you can hang spray bottles or a small basket for smaller items to keep the bottom of the cabinet space clean or free for other items.
- Use the inside of the cabinet doors– it’s so easy to overlook a huge space saver, the cabinet doors! Cabinet door organizers are a great way to organize your extra shampoo bottles, cleaning supplies, or random items that need tethering. Items such as a hair blow dryer or curling iron really benefit from being tucked away into a cabinet for easy access and stowaway.
- Use acrylic drawers– Clear bins, especially clear pull-out drawers, are a smart way to keep smaller items like extra nail polishes, medicine, or small washcloths out of the way and easy to see. The biggest mistake in organizing is stashing things away into bins without labels. We end up not knowing where things are or what we have, then we buy more and the cycle is perpetuated! By using clear drawers you know what you have and exactly where to find it.
If you don’t have underneath sink cabinet space (such as a pedestal sink):
- Consider adding a pedestal sink cabinet– a huge way to instantly add space and organization to a small bathroom is by adding a standalone pedestal sink cabinet. There are many different kinds and can be as simple as an open shelving type, or the true cabinet kind. Add a small curtain or keep it open space with baskets and you have doubled your storage space!
- Try a rolling cart- standalone rolling carts aren’t just for craft or art studios. Add a three-tiered rolling cart with sections or dividers in place of an underneath cabinet, and keep it close to the sink. This creates extra countertop space and is easy to maneuver out of the way, which is great for a small bathroom.
- Use wicker baskets– wicker baskets can play beautifully in a small bathroom by keeping things neat and tucked away. Consider using stacking baskets for items like cleaning supply, and larger baskets with lids for clothing or towels.
4. Consider your over the toilet and bath area.
Small bathrooms have to use every inch in order to stay organized and maximize space. If your bathroom doesn’t have a cabinet over the toilet, try adding one! If a true cabinet with doors won’t fit or work, then adding simple shelving can do the trick, especially shelves that are floatless. From there adding baskets, some simple decor, and your extra towels will help alleviate bathroom floor space. Make sure you roll your towels instead of fold flat for a maximum space-saving technique.
The bath area is also often overlooked, but it can be a great way to keep the family organized. Hang hooks on your tiled bathroom wall within the tub area and add waterproof baskets. From there you can add individual family member baskets so that those items (such as specific shampoos, additional creams, etc.) won’t take up space outside of that area. It can be a great way to involve the family, keep wet items within their confines, and even hideaway bright-colored kid products!
5. Free up counter space.
Your counter space is the first thing people see! With too many items on the counter, it can seem cluttered and make a small bathroom look even smaller, no matter how important those items are. Keep your counters free by having only the essentials such as hand soap or lotion atop. The other items such as toothbrushes, floss, mouthwash, or perfumes can be tucked into the mirror cabinet above. If there is no mirror cabinet, add a single under mirror shelf where these items can live. This still frees up the underneath counter-space allowing for more room to get ready in the mornings.
If you are used to applying your make-up on in the bathroom sink area, consider a make-up caddy or a make-up bag to bring to the sink area, then take it out and store it elsewhere. This not only keeps your make-up in one area but also keeps it from taking over the counter space!
6. Use hooks versus towel racks.
Hooks in a bathroom are great! In a small bathroom, they become essential. If you want to keep your floor clean and clear of clutter, then adding hooks behind your door, near your shower area, or even near your sink area will give everything that could end up on the floor in place. Towels take up a lot of room, especially if they are folded or hung on a towel rack. By adding them to a hook versus a rack, you’ll get to add more towels in one area and you’ll take up less real estate. The same goes true with hand towels (near sink area) or towels that are drying (near bath area).
7. Keep your decor simple.
Not many people think about their decor when it comes to small bathroom organizing, but it is a large part of tricking the eye. A small bathroom can be fun and bright, but it should also strive to be simple in order to keep the clutter to a minimum! Here are some tricks to add simple decor to your small bathroom:
- Start with lighting and paint- By changing out dark lighting to a bright light, you’ll make the bathroom seem brighter and airier. From there, changing your paint color on the largest walls to bright, light colors will compliment. You can use dark colors to accent, such as in cabinet color, or the color of your towels. It used to be that you needed to buy glossy paint to combat the moisture in a bathroom, but now you can just ask your local paint store to mix in an additive to your matte paint to stop mildew. Any clean color such as whites or the like will make your bathroom seem huge!
- Change out bulky fixtures– Not everything in a small bathroom is meant to stay. What might have been popular before can get changed out with new, cleaner, more streamlined fixtures and will help with the open airy look of your bathroom.
- Add plants– A quick and easy uplift to any small bathroom is the addition of plants! These natural beauties not only keep your bathroom fresh but can also help take up moisture. Hanging a few ferns or moisture-loving plants near a window or light source can boost your decor without even trying. Don’t have a lot of natural light coming in? Add a fake plant!
- Use pops of color – Adding pops of color with your shower curtain, bath mat, and towels will help break up a one-toned small bathroom. Choose colors that complement instead of compete and keep it to the basic areas. This is also helpful when you want to switch out your color scheme since these fabric items can easily be replaced and updated. You can also add wall art that can tie your whole bathroom together.
Make-Up Organizing in a Small Bathroom
Organizing your make-up in a small bathroom can be a challenge, but not impossible. Here are some tips to keep you organized:
- Pare down and only keep on hand what you use. This includes throwing away cheap, expired, almost finished, broken, and muddled make-up!
- Organize by most used. This should go into your make-up bag that you access every day. Other make-up, such as something you would use for special occasions, should then go into clear acrylic containers.
- Make-up brushes can live in glass containers- Throwing your make-up brushes into clear cylinder containers such as a mason jar or the like will keep them clean, give you vertical space, and keep them all grouped together.
- Drawers, drawers, drawers! If you have the space on a shelf in your small bathroom to add clear acrylic drawers, then you are in luck. These are the best for small make-up organization and will save you time and energy when getting ready!
Whether your small bathroom just needs a quick face-lift, or you don’t know where to begin, organizing a small bathroom starts with maximizing your space! We love our small bathrooms but it has taken us a while to find our groove in using them to their fullest. By changing a few simple things you’ll be on your way to organizing your small bathroom in no time!
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