When it comes to organizing a home, the bathroom is one of the most commonly overlooked spaces—at least until your drawers are overflowing with myriad hair accessories and cleaning supplies exploding out of your cabinets. If that sounds a bit too familiar, don’t worry—organizing your bathroom, whether you’re downsizing, moving into a new home, or just trying to bring some much-needed order to your home, doesn’t need to be a daunting task.
A well-organized bathroom is more than just aesthetically pleasing—it’s also more functional. We do a lot in our bathrooms, and organizing our belongings in a convenient way can make accomplishing these tasks much easier. Organized bathrooms are also more relaxing to be in, and they’re more sanitary as well. Keep reading for our tips on getting control over your cluttered bathroom.
The first step in organizing your bathroom is to purge. You can do this by:
- Tossing expired or unusable items, such as old medications, dried-up bars of soap, or old hair products. Before you throw away expired medication, speak to your pharmacist or look for U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency take-back programs. Not all medications can be flushed or disposed of in your normal household trash.
- Donating or otherwise getting rid of accessories and tools you don’t use, such as hair accessories or products, linens that have seen better days, or other personal care products that have fallen out of favor.
- Saying goodbye to bulky packaging. If you picked up 16 toothbrushes or 32 bars of soap on your last visit to Costco, take these items out of their bulky packaging and store them in streamlined containers.
As you purge, sort the belongings you decide to keep into categories. Sorting as you declutter will help you figure out what sorts of storage tools and supplies you’ll need. Common categories include:
- Hair care
- Hair tools (brushes, appliances, etc.)
- Skin care
- Prescription medications
- Over the counter medications
- Cleaning supplies
- Paper goods
- First aid supplies
|PRO TIP: Keep cleaning supplies handy as you purge. Decluttering is always a great opportunity to scrub out those hard-to-access nooks and crannies. You’ll also get an idea of what cleaning supplies you actually use, so you can toss the rest.|
Invest in Organization Supplies
Bathrooms are usually small and lacking in storage space, especially if you’re renting. To make up for a lack of storage space, you may need to invest in some organization supplies like shelves, baskets, and containers.
Before you rush out to the store, take stock of what items you have to organize (this should be easy following your purge!), and brainstorm some ideas on how you think it’ll work best for you to arrange these supplies and tools. Go to the store with a plan and stick to it.
Instead of tossing empty containers and investing in new storage supplies for her cluttered drawers, Maegen at Love Maegan emptied her bathroom drawer by upcycling old face cream containers into a pretty, stylish receptacles for facial cleansing pads and other bathroom essentials:
The Family Handyman turned some plain PVC pipe into this creative solution for storing razors. "To be even more organized, color code or write names on each piece of pipe so your family members know which razor is theirs. You could also add a bead of hot glue along the bottom of the assembled piece to secure it to your cabinet or drawer."
Keep these tips in mind:
- Always measure your closets, shelves, and cupboards before you buy any new containers or baskets to make sure they will actually fit.
- Clear bins and jars are often the most useful because they allow you to quickly and easily see what’s inside.
- For open shelving, you may prefer to opt for something more attractive, such as wicker or cloth baskets. Open shelving can be a hotbed for dust, so if you hate cleaning, opt for closed shelving instead.
Now that you’ve purged and stocked up on organization supplies, you can get down to the actual business of organizing your bathroom. Here are some common problem areas:
Your medicine cabinet, if you have one, is your #1 tool for a clean countertop, and it’s often the best place to start when you’re unpacking in a new home or re-organizing your current space. Medicine cabinets are more ideal for items you use frequently, such as grooming supplies or toothbrushes, rather than actual medicines. Moisture can actually ruin medications, so it may be better to store these items in the kitchen or bedroom where there is less humidity.
Bathroom drawers tend to become catchalls for random items, from hair products to makeup to first aid supplies, or even just random junk. When it comes to organizing your drawers, your best bet is to embrace drawer organizers, whether you invest in custom-fitted trays or opt for budget-friendly baskets from your local dollar store.
|PRO TIP: Moisture can ruin makeup, too - the steam from your shower can accelerate bacteria growth. If possible, store your makeup in a cool, dry place outside of your bathroom. Acrylic containers and letter organizers make great storage tools for makeup.|
Store everyday items in top drawers, and items you use infrequently or on special occasions out of the way in lower drawers or in cabinets. If you’re short on drawer space, an over-the-door shoe caddy is a great tool for storing lotions, brushes, and other bathroom supplies and tools.
When it comes to your counters, it’s a good idea to keep them as empty as possible (or at least try to). Empty counters mean your bathroom will be easier to clean, and they also create a streamlined look that leaves you with more space to go about your business.
|PRO TIP: If you do opt to store things on your countertop, keep them organized using trays. Pick up pretty trays from thrift stores or garage sales, or make use of those old silver trays everyone’s grandma has lying around.|
If you don’t have any counters in your bathroom (if you have a pedestal sink, for example), consider investing in movable storage carts or wall shelving. Suction cups or removable hooks can also help you stick organizers right to your wall.
The space under your cabinets is often the biggest culprit for bathroom clutter. Luckily, solutions abound for organizing this space:
- Roll out trays and shelves can help you take advantage of vertical space, and they also make accessing items stored towards the back of your cupboards more convenient to access.
- Lazy susans are a great low-cost alternative, and are ideal for tall items like hair products or cleaning supplies.
- Labelled plastic containers can be used to categorize and easily stack your toiletries and tools.
- Plastic drawer units can help organize your belongings by category. You could also give each member of your family their own drawer.
- Shower caddies can be hung from cabinet doors to maximize vertical space.
- Office file storage containers, like the ones used by @sophisticatedorganization below, can be used to store hair appliances like blow dryers and straighteners. You can also hang these tools from cupboard doors using removable hooks.
If you don’t have cabinets:
- Capitalize on door space by using a hanging shoe caddy.
- Make use of the space above your toilet.
- Look at mini-shelves you can install over your faucet.
- Add an extra curtain rod to hang things from, such as towels or bath supplies. You can hang the curtain rod inside or outside your shower curtain, depending on what you need to store.
- Make sure any counter space is well organized using caddies, trays, and containers.
- Use shelf risers to maximize storage capacity in medicine cabinets or other shelves.
If you have a linen closet, your first step will be to determine what you store in the closet versus what you store in your bathroom. It can take some time to iron out what to store where, so don’t worry if you don’t get it right straight away.
These tips can help you organize your linen closet:
- Arrange items so that the most frequently used items are towards the front and center of the closet.
- Combine smaller, related items into labelled bins or boxes. “While this habit might take a little extra effort, it is very worthwhile”, says Flavia from Neat House Sweet Home. “You don’t need to label everything in your home, but labeling those baskets, bins, or shelves that store items that aren’t used on a daily basis, will help you keep the area tidy for months (if not years!) to come. Plus, those labels are a visual reminder of where things are stored and that makes it easy to bring things back to the place they belong to.”
- Group towels and sheets by size, set, or color.
Showers and Bathtubs
Yes, you need to organize your shower and bathtub too! Start by taking a moment to think about what bath products you actually use, then purge any old shampoos or body washes that don’t get used regularly.
Regularly-used toiletries like shampoo, conditioner, soap, and body wash should all be kept within easy reach. If you purchase tools like shower caddies or corner storage units, make sure they are sturdy. Shower products can be heavy, and the last thing you want is for that corner organizer that claims to stand perfectly upright to come crashing down on you in the middle of a relaxing bubble bath.
5 More Bathroom Organization Tips
These general tips can help you keep your bathroom organized, no matter how small your space is, or how many family members use it.
- Think vertical. Maximize vertical space by hanging organizers on cupboard or medicine cabinet doors, or hooks for things like hair dryers or other accessories.
- Make the most of your door. Hang a shoe caddy over your door, or hang towel racks to save wall space for things like shelving or other storage.
- Look up! The space above your door is often overlooked. If your ceiling allows for it, try building a shelf over your door and use it to store excess accessories, extra linens, or other toiletries. Keep this area organized using plastic containers or baskets.
- Above the toilet. Invest in an over-the-toilet storage cabinet, or a custom-built ladder shelf for a more modern look. Hanging medicine cabinets or shelves also work well. Opt for cabinets or closed shelving to avoid bacteria and spray from a flushing toilet.
- Containers such as mason jars or other glass jars are invaluable tools for organizing toiletries and other bathroom accessories, whether you keep them on your countertop or on another shelf. Bonus: They can be styled to suit your design scheme.
A well-organized bathroom is convenient and functional, as well as relaxing and just plain nicer to look at. Adding order to your cluttered drawers and cabinets is easy with our organization tips.
Get more tips for organizing your home:
How to Organize a Small Kitchen
Whether you’re just starting your move, are in the midst of unpacking, or are simply updating your current system, try these tips for organizing your small kitchen.
All images used with permission.