The bathroom, the washroom, the powder room — whatever you call it, this private space in your home can be difficult to keep organized (especially if it’s small!). Towels, laundry, beauty products, simple decorations to remind you that you’re in your home, not a dreary office park — these items all eat up space, and that can be dangerous in a room that is also especially important to keep fresh and sanitary.
So what do you do when life (or your landlord) deals you a small bathroom? You get creative. We’ve put together 10 small bathroom ideas that we think will change your life — or at least keep your towels dry.
10 Small Bathroom Ideas, Tips and Hacks
1. Install floating shelves.
If letting a sink counter overflow with cleansers, moisturizers and other chaos were a crime, most of us would be doing hard time. Instead of cluttering your counter space, go vertical — floating shelves are available in multiple sizes, so they can add additional bathroom storage in even the tightest space.
2. Use the space behind your door.
It’s a universal problem: whether you have a family of four or you’re living alone, you probably find yourself looking for places to hang your damp towels. A wet towel quickly turns into a smelly towel if it’s left in a heap or sloppily folded over an equally-damp shower curtain. The solution? It’s stunningly simple: a towel bar affixed to the back of the bathroom door.
“Few bathrooms have enough places to hang towels,” the gurus at MarthaStewart.com explain. “Stacking towel bars behind closed doors is a great way to remedy the shortage and use space efficiently.”
3. Paint stripes on your walls.
There are many ways to design your small bathroom. Sure, you could get a generic landscape painting from a discount store — or you could break out your paintbrush and get symmetrical. Adding horizontal or vertical stripes to your bathroom gives the illusion of a wider or taller layout — and it looks pretty cool, too.
“Stripes — especially on walls and floors—promote order,” Real Simple’s Nicole Sforza says. “They have an almost architectural power to redirect the eye and reshape a space.” Looking for more style inspiration?
Check out these designer small bathrooms.
4. Declutter your beauty products.
- Mascara: After three months.
- Face wipes: After two months.
- Lipstick: After one to two years.
- Sunscreen: After three years.
“Like food products, some cosmetics have the month, date and year printed on the package,” note the experts at Seventeen.com. “Others have a symbol of a jar with an open lid, number and letter. The open lid means the expiration date applies once the product is opened or the seal is removed. The letter is usually an ‘M’ for Month or ‘Y’ for Year. So if you see ‘12M’ on the symbol that means the product will last up to 12 months after it has been opened.”
5. Organize your existing inventory.
Once you’re down to the necessities, try using these makeup organizing hacks:
- Hang spice racks on the wall and fill them with your hair products.
- Attach StickOnPods to the inside of your medicine cabinet for tooth brushes, Q-Tips, and other small items.
- Place a stacked plate rack on your counter to add vertical storage with a decorative flare.
- Make a magnet board and stick to stick all of your makeup, keeping everything in one place.
6. Use hanging baskets.
Ever get ready to step into the shower and realize you’ve forgotten your towel? You have to make that awkward decision of putting your used clothes back on, or risk giving anyone glancing into your window a free show as you race to the closet. Move extra towels and washcloths back into the bathroom — try organizing them in hanging baskets on your wall.
Extra tip: “Rolling clothes helps you fit more of them in the suitcase. Same thing goes with towels,” writes Buzzfeed Contributor Natalie Brown. “ When you roll them instead of folding them, you can fit more of them in the same amount of space. It’ll also make your bathroom feel more like a spa.”
7. Utilize the space above your door.
One area of the bathroom that is commonly ignored is the space above your door. It’s a great place to add a shelf, which can be used to store extra toilet paper, towels or other products. To support the weight, rest the shelf on top of the door molding. Just make sure to keep small items in handled boxes so they don’t roll around!
8. Be smart with your cabinet space.
Ever get sick of just throwing things under your sink cabinet, and never finding them again? Get organized with roll-out drawers and lazy susans. These simple features will save space and allow you to easily access small items.
Another tip: hang your curling irons and straighteners from Command hooks affixed to the inside of your cabinet door. This will keep them protected and free of tangling.
9. Make the most of your toilet paper.
Buy a floating square shelf (see image) and hang it around your toilet paper holder. This design will give you two extra shelves to stock small items, such as books and decorations.
You can also create a DIY toilet paper holder to hang extra rolls. Check out the tutorial here.
10. Use unique spacing.
Surround your toilet with storage — small, vertical shelves or storage boxes work well — or even build miniature cabinets to stock with toilet paper, magazines and other bathroom necessities.
This tip works well especially well for businesses, allowing staff and customers to easily access extra supplies.
Have any other small bathroom tricks and tips? Share them in the comments below or tweet us @LifeStorage.