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When you have a tiny bathroom with little or no built-in storage, you’ve got to get creative. Even if you forgo decor like plants and candles, you still need somewhere to put your towels, washcloths, personal care items and room fresheners.
If you want to maximize storage space in your bathroom, the experts suggest to start by weeding out anything that’s not 100% necessary.
“When you have a small bathroom, it’s important to only keep things you actually use on a regular basis,” says Carrie Ypma, the Michigan-based founder of ClutterKeeper.com. Extra towels, special occasion jewelry and that third bottle of perfume may have to be sacrificed in the name of tidiness. Stash them somewhere else, and focus on finding a home for the items you need to wash and dry yourself and prep for the day at hand.
Once you’ve culled your belongings down, she says it’s time to maximize every inch of space you have available. There’s almost always an overlooked space that can be put to use for storage.
“When you’re looking to add storage to any room, you have a few options,” says C. Lee Cawley of Simplify You, a certified professional organizer serving the Washington, D.C. area. “Generally, that’s on the wall, behind the door or on the floor.” Since the floor of a small bathroom can be extremely limited, Cawley tends to start with the first two options.
Luckily, there are home products created just for those space-saving spots. Here are some specific recommendations from organizing experts.
Cawley recognizes that many people may not be able to drill into a bathroom wall — whether they’re renters dealing with building restrictions or homeowners whose wall materials aren’t amenable to drilling. So she recommends adhesive wall hooks, which can hold towels, scrub brushes, hair dryers, robes and more. These hooks come in attractive metal styles and can hold a surprising amount of weight. Cawley tends to use 3M Command Hooks, though the sleek-looking ones pictured above are by KIBI and can hold up to 17 pounds.
Buy the Wall Mounted Robe Hookat Wayfair for $21.70.
Cawley also recommends using suction shelving in a bathroom shower for items like shampoo bottles. She notes that there are myriad varieties to choose from, though the appealing one above is currently on sale for 42% off. It works through a combination of suction and adhesive that attaches to marble, tile or metal. Your bath items rest on corrosion-resistant metal bars that allow for drainage.
Buy the Shower Organizer Suction Storage at Amazon for $14.99 (was $25.99).
If you need to hang several towels in a tiny bathroom, you can add a second towel rack (like this one from Mainstays) over the bathroom door.
“But some doors don’t have enough clearance,” Cawley says. In that case, she suggests the Hinge-It valet. You can attach this metal valet to the hinges at the top and bottom of your bathroom door, turning that unused space into a place to air-dry four towels. The rods can swivel independently of the door and allow for six feet of hanging space.
Buy the Hinge-It Clutterbuster Valet at Walmart for $32.99.
What do you do with extra towels and washcloths — and no linen closet to put them in?
“Hang them on the wall!” says Ypma, who loves the towel holder pictured above. “You just roll the towels and display them. Smaller sections near the top work for washcloths and hand towels.”
Buy the SODUKU Wall Mounted Towel Shelf at Amazon for $22.99 (was $29.99). You can also apply a coupon that will give you an additional 30% discount at checkout.
“When you’ve got to make good use of every space you have available to you, use a hanging organizer with pockets on the back of your bathroom door for hair accessories, make-up and even jewelry or hair care products,” says Ypma.
Cawley likes this Elfa over-the-door organizer because it’s customizable. Just attach the “spine” down the middle of your bathroom door (no tools are required), and you can add as many bins to it as you’d like — then reposition them as needed. “And if you move, you can easily take this with you to your next house,” she adds.
Buy the Elfa Mesh Over The Door Rack at The Container Store for $133.99.
If you’d like a less expensive behind-the-door option, Cawley loves this mesh shoe bag from the Container Store.
“It’s good for so much more than just shoes,” she says. “You can put it in bathrooms for hair tools, brushes, gels, sprays, cosmetics — there’s literally 24 pockets for all of that stuff. In a tiny bathroom, you can reach anything you need.”
Buy the 24-Pocket Mesh Over The Door Shoe Bag at The Container Store for $21.99.
Ympa says that if you’re lucky enough to have a cabinet under your sink, make the most of that space with baskets, bins or sliding drawers.
“You can even hang organizers on the inside of the cabinet door,” Ypma says. To maximize cabinet space, she recommends this pull-out organizer, which holds up to 50 pounds. That’s a lot of shampoo!
Buy the Hold N’ Storage 2 Tier Pull Out Cabinet Organizer at Amazon for $105.89.
Ypma urges her clients to try to minimize the tools and supplies they use to get ready.
“For example, instead of having both a curling iron and a flat iron, use a multipurpose hair tool so you only have one tool to store instead of two. And try not to stockpile supplies, or try to keep your backstock of extra in a closet or storage area outside of your bathroom,” she explains.
If you have any counter space, she recommends a tiered lazy Susan like the one above to store your cosmetics, hair tools and accessories. It happens to be on sale now for 46% off!
Buy the Sanipoe 360 Spinning Makeup Organizer at Amazon for $17.84 (was $32.99).