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10 Ideas to Organize a Small Bathroom

Our “Master” bathroom isn’t tiny; but it’s definitely not large either. It’s not even really a true master bath. There is a second entry that provides access from the hallway and it’s the only bath on the second floor — which is where all of the bedrooms are located. So, it’s really our shared, family bathroom {there is a guest bath on the main floor}.

Here’s a little sketch…

Before we completed the renovation there was just a single sink {and it was a smaller vanity}. Switching to double sinks and a larger vanity was a much better use of space for this shared bath. It was the best and most influential decision that we made — in terms of making this a more functional space. However, there are plenty of other ways that we are maximizing our storage and function in this small bathroom!

#1 Open Storage

I stained and painted some shelves for storage next to the shower and directly over our towel hooks.

We actually freed up space in our linen closet by storing some towels in the bathroom {both on these shelves and over the toilet}! Plus the crisp, white towels look nice when stored on the shelves. Our cotton balls and q-tips are stored in clear, lidded jars. We do keep a handful of each directly by the sink and then replenish from these jars as needed.

#2 Over the Toilet Storage

Don’t forget to utilize the space over your toilet. We hung an old window-turned-shelf in that space.

This out-of-the-way shelf also gave me a spot to place a few pretty items, as well. The vanity mirror is directly across from this spot which makes for a pretty reflection {you know, as opposed to just a toilet}.

We even store extra toilet paper on this shelf. I think this is actually a pillar candle holder; but when I saw it in HomeGoods I knew it would be perfect for toilet paper. You wouldn’t have found this candle holder or the window-turned-shelf in the Bath Department, so make sure to think out of the box when it comes to furnishing and decorating your home!

#3 Container Storage

So, what’s in those containers?

I picked up this wooden box from a yard sale. The rustic finish, potential for storage and military vibe made it a really unique find. It looks great sitting on those shelves and holds bath salts, fizzies and fragrances.

All of our bar soap gets stowed in this cotton bin. It’s right next to the shower, so even if the soap is out and you forgot to grab a bar before climbing in… it’s right at arm’s reach 🙂 That was not planned… just a happy accident!

The small cotton bins over the toilet hold specialty moisturizes and small toiletries. Most of them I’ve received as a “free gift” from Lancome when I purchase powder. They come in handy when I’m traveling or run out of my everyday products.

This small green dish holds several matchbooks for when we’d like to light a candle.

#4 Store Items by Category

One of my favorite toiletry solutions ever has been this simple solution:

I don’t know about you; but I have my simple, everyday makeup.. and then I have this stash of eye shadows, lipsticks, etc. that I grab for special occasions. When I want to venture outside of my standard basic blush/slightly-shimmery-but-still-neutral eyeshadow/pink lip gloss routine, I reach for this stash. However, they were all just mixed together and that just further reduced the chance I’d actually go looking for a special shade of eyeshadow.

So, I used all those freebie makeup bags {like the ones that I get from Lancome} and labeled them with a simple initial:

L for lips, E for Eyes and F for face

Then I just stuffed them all in a large cotton bin and stored it on the shelf above the toilet. This is prefect because it is handy; but out of the way — since I don’t use these products on a daily basis.

#5 Under the Sink Storage

Not everything looks great stored on shelves. Plus, we needed our most-used items near the vanity and sinks.

Since the space under the sink is large, this is where we keep many of our larger toiletries, as well as stacks of hand towels and washcloths. You’ll notice that we’ve used a variety of wire shelving to custom fit that awkward space around the pipes. It may seem logical to buy all one brand of organizing racks/shelves/bins; but I find that a mix of products often works best.

Under the other sink you’ll see some of the same principles {larger toiletries and a mix of storage containers}.

We’ve kept the far left side open to stack extra rolls of toilet paper and then we stow bathroom cleaning supplies in the back. I find that I am much more likely to clean regularly when the supplies are all nearby.

#6 Vanity Drawer Storage

Since we store the larger stuff under the sink, you can probably guess that we keep smaller items in the drawers.

I bought a tray from the dollar store {you can read more about that here} to give us a second layer of storage across the top of the drawer.

It sits towards the back and gives us access to all of the items below. Again, you’ll see that several containers come in handy to sort out the smaller items by category.

#7 Hooks

No organizing post is complete without mentioning hooks, right? They really are one of the best ways to add function in a space. Why?

1. Hooks don’t require much space and
2. Hooks are easy to use {aka… we are more likely to put an item where it goes!}.

A small command hook is attached inside the vanity door. It holds a microfiber cloth. which is easy to grab when we need to wipe off the counter.


We hung more than enough towel hooks. There are 4 wooden hooks to the left of the shower and another oil-rubbed bronze hook to the right of the shower.

Next to the toilet is a small hook for our little guy’s potty seat. It’s not visible from the entrance to the bathroom, yet is still nearby and easy to access.

#8 Vanity Top Storage

Obviously, some bathroom items are best kept near the sink.

A silverware basket holds our toothbrushes, toothpaste and hand soap — along with a handful of cotton balls and q-tips. The basket keeps the vanity looking organized and attractive, as opposed to cluttered with stuff. This was also one of our “staging” tricks when selling our house.

#9 Storage Under Furniture

Don’t forget to consider storing items underneath larger furniture pieces.

This vintage scale slides right underneath our vanity so that it doesn’t take up any additional floor space in our small bathroom.

Similarly, we store the bath stool under our bench. Most often it sits by the vanity for our son; but when we need to push it out of the way, there is a place for it.

#10 Behind the Door

Since our Master Bedroom is directly off this bathroom, we hung an over-the-door ironing board holder.

The “traditional” place for an ironing board is in the laundry room. However, we don’t have a lot of clothes that need ironing. Mike typically does the laundry and most of the clothes that might need to be ironed are mine. Therefore, I’m more likely to iron before getting dressed and after I pull the item out of my closet. So, for our family, having an ironing board next to our bedroom makes the most sense. For your home, it’s probably a different solution. In either case though — the back of the door can be valuable space!


As much as I like our bathroom renovation and the way the room “feels” now {as opposed to this very busy before photo}; I’m even more excited about how it functions. The fact that this small-ish bathroom can feel spacious for our whole family… as well as hold daily toiletries and some linens for 3 people… makes me so proud of this renovation.

Do you have small bathrooms? What other tips can you share for keeping them organized and functional?


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Friday 3rd of October 2014

A combination of Bed Bath & Beyond and Amazon {we've used them under the sink for years so I can't recall exactly which stand was from each store}. Anyways, I tried to find tall, thin pull-outs for the right & left side of the plumbing. Then underneath the plumbing I used a small rack {probably like the ones you can find in the kitchen section for inside kitchen cabinets} that is only a few inches high to slide in front/slightly under the plumbing. You can see that in the first under-sink photo. I hope that helps!! Sorry I don't have exact sources.


Thursday 2nd of October 2014

Where did you get the shelves under your sink? I'm looking for something to put under mine as well but am having a hard time finding something that will fit around the plumbing.