Small Bathroom Storage Ideas (Designer Tips You Can’t Miss)

different storage ideas for small bathrooms

The key to maximizing your space in a small bathroom is having smart and practical storage systems. Under-sink shelves, pegboard shelves, and ladder storage are only a few bathroom storage ideas you can incorporate into your home.

Bathrooms are the perfect spaces for rejuvenation and a space meant to be the perfect place for a breather, before or after a long workday. At the same time, though, this personal space is also where we stash all our necessities for our daily hygiene, together with personal pieces that give life and character to your bathroom.

With all of these in mind, it is a challenge to fit everything in such a limited space, especially if you have a tiny bathroom. [toc] 

Maximizing Vertical Space

bathroom with tiled wall and cabinet

A popular space-saving strategy is to utilize the available vertical space. Slim and tall shelving cabinets with multiple tiers are the most common way to use the vertical space, as you can fit it through tight spaces or corners. 

 Slim and Tall Storage Units

 Stackable Storage Bins 

 Adjustable and Removable Shelves

Don’t let those awkward, narrow spaces go to waste – that’s the message from interior designer Katie Monkhouse. Her innovative solution? Transform them into convenient, useful shelving.

“Take that cramped gap at the foot of the bathtub,” Katie Monkhouse advises. “Instead of an eyesore, build it out with open shelving to maximize every square inch.”

The designer is quick to emphasize the spatial benefits of going shelved and open. “It’s a trick that can actually make a small bathroom feel larger and more open,” she notes approvingly.

However, Monkhouse also issues a cautionary word of advice: “Cluttered surfaces can negate that open, airy effect you’re going for.” Her styling smarts kick in with a simple fix – “Using identical baskets to corral belongings is the smartest way to rein in disorder.”

As evidenced in one of her signature designs, it’s a philosophy Monkhouse lives by. Sleek, matching baskets top the open shelving surrounding the bathtub, stowing away essentials while maintaining streamlined sight lines.

For Monkhouse, those compact, awkward alcoves aren’t design challenges – they’re aesthetic opportunities waiting to be maximized. “Build in shelving, stash it all in baskets, and watch that cramped eyesore transform into a tidy, pulled-together vignette,” she explains. From the woman who turns design constraints into styling wins!

Multi-functional Furniture

bathroom with wood walls and indoor plant

Multifunctional furniture reduces the need to purchase additional items while freeing up space in your bathroom. For instance, a mirror can be opened to reveal a storage nook behind it. It can serve as a medicine cabinet or store other toiletries that should be hard to reach by young children.

An ottoman, which serves as a storage hamper, is a popular option not only for bathroom areas. You can opt for an ottoman that also has caster wheels for easier movement, especially if you plan to store heavy items. 

With the advent of cell phones, an accessible shelf or table to place your cell phone while doing other activities is already a must. A multifunctional tissue paper rack with a mini compartment and shelf is a practical solution for securing your cell phone while having a shower or using the toilet.

toilet paper rack

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You can either place your accessories on the shelf or inside the compartment. Most of these organizers have a see-through cover, so you can easily peek through if you want to check for a call or message on your phone. 

 Mirror and Shelf Cabinet. 

 Seat and Storage. 

 Toilet Paper Rack with Mini Compartment and Shelf. 

Creative Use of Corners and Nooks

white bathroom with cabinet and window

Corners and odd-angled bathrooms can be perceived as unusable spaces, especially if you only have a few inches to spare for a storage cabinet. A caddy or telescopic corner shelf with multiple tiers is a practical way to utilize the floor-to-ceiling area of a corner while not being visually overbearing.

Moreover, with open shelving, it’s easy to access the shelves. Another version of the corner shelf is the angled multi-tier shelf with a rotating compartment. You can hide items on each shelf and rotate them again to reveal their contents. This leaves a neat look while keeping items secure. 

Alcove shelves are niches with an arched top. This is perfect for homeowners who are still planning to build their bathrooms or are in the process of renovating. A niched wall is practical if you have a thick wall that is not adjacent to the exterior, as a niche opening can reduce your insulation. Alcoves can be placed in the shower area to hold shampoo, soaps, and other toiletries that are needed to be accessible when taking a shower or bath. 

 Caddy or Telescopic Multi-tier Corner Shelf. 

 Alcove shelves

 Angled Corner Shelf with Rotating Compartment

 Use your corner as your vanity area. 

Organizational Hacks for Small Bathrooms

white bathroom with sink shower and window

 Storage within storage: For storing smaller items, subdivide your storage system, such as by adding divisions to a drawer or storage basket. 

 Use transparent or translucent materials: It’s easier to locate and organize items when you have a translucent or transparent storage material. 

 Create a labeling system: Having labels prevents you and other family members from placing or accessing the wrong item. In addition, labels on containers or other storage systems make it faster and easier to locate items.

rack bathroom storage

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 Make your storage system decorative: You can create fun and decorative storage containers and systems that will encourage you to keep your bathroom items organized. 

 Minimal use of floor space: A floating vanity and water closets not only make it easier to clean underneath your toilet fixtures but also free up space, giving gives an impression of more space. It’s also an opportunity to place storage baskets and hampers that you can move or replace anytime. 

 Use Adjustable and Expandable Storage Items: A three-arm swivel hook for instance makes it more flexible for hanging different types of garments or towels. Choose storage systems that offer more flexibility, such as those that have adjustable and expandable features. 

 Make your own storage containers: You don’t need pricey containers to organize your bathroom space. Reuse mason jars and relabel them to organize items. 

Over-the-Door Solutions

bathroom with wood door and blinds

Lock-type suction hooks: To prevent any drilling into your door, you can choose lock-type suction hooks to install over your door. These are perfect for hanging your shower robes, towels, and clothing, as they are farthest away from your wet areas. Choose lock-type suction hooks that are made for bathrooms or kitchens. 

Over the Door Drying Rack: There are compact drying racks that are made to be hung over your door with flat hooks that allow you to close your door even with the rack installed. You’ll find foldable racks where you can drop down a mesh rack to dry out small garments and fold them neatly when not in use. 

Cloth Laundry Hampers: Laundry hampers made of canvas, or any type of fabric are perfect for temporarily holding laundry or other types of garments. Macramé laundry hampers are popular and can add a decorative element to your bathroom area. 

hanging hamper

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Multi-tier Rack Holders: These are typically made from thin wires assembled to create multi-level racks that can hold a variety of items. Like your over-the-door drying rack, you’ll find versions of these rack holders with thin hooks that can be hung over your door without preventing your door from closing. This allows you to use almost the full height of your door, but you can also find multi-tier rack holders that can be installed using screws. 

Innovative Storage Accessories

bathroom with beige cultured marble shower surround walls

Induction Toilet Paper Holder: Toilet paper boxes help keep your toilet paper dry, and versions with USB chargers allow you to charge your phone. Other options have heat and motion detection that signals the device to disperse toilet paper when needed. This minimizes the need to hold the whole paper roll after using the water closet. 

Magnetic Strips: Pins, nail clippers, scissors, and other magnetic toiletry items can be stored neatly on a magnetic strip attached to a wall. You can DIY by cutting magnetic paper into the desired strip size or by purchasing a magnetic strip that usually comes with self-adhesive backing. 

Wall Peg System: A flexible wall storage system that allows you to adjust the position of your bracket or rack is the wall peg system. A wall peg or pegboard is usually made of metal or wood with hooks that can be inserted into the rows and columns of holes across the board. These are great for smaller items, such as hanging ribbons or hand towels. 

Using Above the Toilet Space

bathroom with tub glas divider and mirror

Open Floating Shelves: The easiest to install and maintain is an open shelf installed above your toilet area. This is usually a single ¾-inch or 1 1/4-inch plank that is installed through concealed brackets that have extended rods that fit through almost the entire width of your shelf.

This hardware prevents any sagging on your shelf and holds it firmly against the wall. You can place décor pieces such as candles or figurines, or toiletries, towels, or tissue rolls, as they’re easy to access.

floating bathroom shelves

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Built-in Cabinets: Build customized cabinets and shelving. This maximizes your space and creates a storage system that fits your needs. Built-in cabinets can be an attractive focal point in your bathroom. you can add a mirror, an arched heading, or LED lights below each tier. 

Floating Wood Trays: A variation of your open floating shelves, the floating wood trays are more secure as they have raised edges that prevent items from falling. You can place heavier items, such as containers, storage bins, baskets, etc.

A 6- or 7-inch depth is a typical size to prevent you from bumping your head on your floating wood trays or shelves when using the water closet. Also, aim for 2 feet, or 24 inches, between the rim of your toilet bowl and the lowest part of your shelf or rack. 

Float Countertops Over Toilet: One of the major problems with a small floor plan is the lack of counter-space. You can increase your usable countertop by floating it over the toilet. Just make sure you have  way to remove the toilet tank lid, as you’ll need to occasionally repair or replace the assembly inside.

Hexagon Wood Shelves: These are wood shelf compartments that come in a hexagon shape. This can be an attractive storage décor, and with its honeycomb shape, you can stack each shelf together to create multiple compartments. 

Built-in Storage Ideas

bathroom with storage options and toilet

Custom Niches or Alcoves: In a small bathroom, you can free up or create space if you don’t have enough space. This is timely for bathrooms that are to be renovated or are going to be built. The most common areas to place niches or alcoves are the walls behind your shower or tub area as you can place smaller items such as soap, shampoo bottles, and other common toiletries. 

Multi-level Towel Holder Compartments: If you’ve got extra space along the length of your bathtub or shower, you can fit a slip built-in cabinet with multiple compartments vertically stacked to hold clothing, particularly towels.

Hidden Medicine Cabinet: Like your niche walls, a hidden medicine cabinet behind a mirror is a classic built-in design but is still popular as it keeps your medicines and other items away from young children while you maintain seamless and neat storage. 

Built-in under-bathtub Bathtub Slide Drawers: If you have a high floor-to-ceiling height in your bathroom, you can utilize the unused vertical space by installing slide drawers under your bathtub slide drawers. These drawers are great for storing body towels, linens, and other larger items.  

Space-Saving Sink and Vanity Options

bathroom small storage for essentials

Wall-mounted Vanities: Floating bathroom countertops and wall-mounted sinks with bottle traps or concealed traps are popular nowadays, and you’ll find it a practical option as it frees up space underneath your sink and vanity countertops. The free-up space is perfect for placing storage hampers or stacking storage boxes. 

Extendable Hanging Hamper: Like racks hanging over the door, these extendable hanging hampers can be placed over the top of your cabinet door without preventing it from closing or open. The extendable hanging hampers can be further opened with their accordion-like sides, so you can fit larger items when needed and easily press and fold them after use. 

Tension Rod: Bathrooms with the traditional base cabinet under the sink offer enough space to store cleaning items or toiletries. The challenge, though, is how to organize and maintain this area. Since you don’t need to drill through the sides of your cabinet, renters can use this for their bathroom vanities. Use hooks to hang bottled detergents or cleaning solutions for easier access. 

Vanity With A Shelf: When it comes to maximizing bathroom space, interior designer Charmean Neithart is dishing out some words of wisdom. She recommends homeowners “select a vanity with one shelf” for the ultimate blend of form and function.

According to Neithart, that single shelf is a styling and storage win. The designer admits she’s a long-time fan of the pedestal sink’s minimalist look. But she insists even these styles have leveled up with convenient shelving.

“A pedestal with one shelf can hold towels or a basket for toilet paper,” Interior Designer Charmean Neithart.

Her affinity for the one-shelf setup goes beyond just practicality. “I personally love the way fresh, clean towels look folded neatly in a bathroom,” the designer admits, letting her penchant for aesthetic appeal show.

In Neithart’s view, the days of bulky, overstuffed vanities are gone. Her modern minimalist mantra? “One shelf is all you need to keep things tidy yet accessible.” She also recommends, mounting a towel bar on the back of the door saves space.

DIY Storage Solutions for Small Bathrooms

DIY storage for small bathrooms

Use Wicker Trays as Shelves: One of the easiest ways to add storage to your bathroom is by installing wicker baskets or trays to serve as storage compartments on your wall. You have the option to use pilot screws, brackets, or wood glue to attach the base of your wicker tray to your wall.

Choose wicker trays or baskets with deep sides if you plan to store towels or toilet rolls. An alternative is using spice racks and installing them on the side to hold different bathroom essentials, such as lotions, shampoos, and other tube containers.

The size of the bathroom storage facilities depends both on the space available in other nearby closets and on the purposes the bathroom is likely to serve. – Closets and Storage Spaces, Elma Edwards 

Repurpose vintage Racks: You can easily find old vintage racks online and at thrift shops that you can repurpose as a vintage rack. Paint it with oxide paint to protect the existing metal, then give it another coat of metallic paint, such as bronze, gold, or chrome paint color. 

repurposed mason jars

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Repurpose Mason Jars: Organizing smaller items such as cotton buds, makeup brushes sachet soaps, or shampoo is one of the challenges in organizing bathrooms. Used mason jars are perfect for housing smaller items as they have transparent material. You can hang them on a wood plank and affix them with a wide-diameter pipe clamp. You can also opt for apothecary jars. 

Food Tray Organizer: Multi-tier food trays are great for keeping smaller storage containers together. You can place it in your vanity space or choose a two- or three-tier lazy Susan for easier access to your toiletries.

See more related content in our article about tile size for small bathroom on this page.

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