How to Organize Your Bathroom

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How to Organize Your BathroomDo you want to easily make a fresh start in your home now and for months to come?

Are you looking for some practical tips on how to organize your bathroom…and keep it that way?

If you’ve been meaning to organize your home, but want to take things slowly and surely, organizing your bathroom is a wise choice.

Not only is the bathroom typically one of the smallest rooms of the home, it’s also one of the most frequently used rooms.

Your organizing efforts will be readily visible and perhaps even heartily welcomed.

After all, there’s nothing like being able to use a bathroom sink, shower area, or vanity drawer with ease!

In this post, I offer nine key tips to help you organize your bathroom.

When it comes to keeping things organized in the bathroom, think functionality first.

You need to be able to locate, retrieve, and use items in the bathroom both quickly, and easily.

Now, let’s go on to the post!


Declutter the bathroom.

While you may be eager to organize all the lotions, potions, and notions in your bathroom, you’ll find it helpful to do some decluttering first.

Space truly is at a premium in this small of a room, so you’ll want to remove any items hindering your ability to wash your hands, take a shower, or find a pack of dental floss.

Before you set off on your decluttering mission, you may find it helpful to have a trash bag or two on hand, along with a bin for plastic and glass recyclables so you can easily dispose of items.

Generally speaking, you’ll first want to remove any products that are old, damaged, cracked, broken, leaking, rusted, or have a foul odor.

Next, you’ll want to remove any products or items that have already been opened that you no longer have a need for or want in your home.

Lastly, you’ll want to relocate or dispose of non-bath related items that have somehow found their way into the bathroom.

Be sure to check with your local municipality for instructions on how to properly dispose of bath appliances, cleaning supplies, personal care products, personal grooming tools, and medications.

Still stumped when it comes to what you should declutter in your bathroom?

Here are some bathroom decluttering ideas to get you started:

  • Threadbare, worn, or torn bath and hand towels, wash cloths, bath robes, and bathmats
  • Old, rusted, or unsalvageable personal hygiene tools such as razors, scissors, combs, hair brushes, nail clippers, small mirrors, worn out elastic hair ties, shower caps, bath or shower poufs, and bath brushes
  • Empty shampoo, conditioner, lotion, hand soap, perfume, cologne, or cleaning product containers
  • Old or damaged makeup such as lipstick, lipliner, eyeliner, eye shadow, mascara, blush, concealer, foundation, powder, and nail polish
  • Personal skin care products such as deodorant, facial moisturizer, toner, spa masks, soap, and powders
  • Old or expired medication and vitamins
  • Old or expired first aid products such as cotton swabs, cotton balls, adhesive bandages, antibacterial creams and lotions, hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol
  • Damaged or unwanted children’s bath toys

Consider the different zones in your bathroom.

You may not think about it on a daily basis, but your bathroom is made up of different zones.

Each of these zones do double and triple duty, which can be quite challenging when you think about using and storing products in each of the zones.

Simply being aware of this fact will help you when it comes to organizing bath products and tools, as well as identifying storage solutions for your needs.

Here’s some sample bathroom zones to get you thinking:

Sink area: washing hands and face, brushing one’s teeth and flossing, applying makeup, shaving beard and trimming mustache, applying facial, hair, and body care products like lotions, creams, and gels

Shower or bath area: daily bathing, including washing face and hair

Counter area: styling and blow drying hair, applying personal care products, and applying makeup

Identify designated storage locations for items.

Keeping a bathroom neat and tidy is much easier when you’ve designated specific storage locations for bath products and items. You can easily locate items when you need them, plus you know exactly where everything goes at the end of the day because you’ve taken time to identify storage locations.

It’s important to keep in mind that even if items aren’t necessarily placed inside of a cabinet or drawer, but are simply inside or beside an area, such as the bathtub or shower, it still counts as a storage location. Areas such as on top of the bathroom counter and in the corners of the shower stall, for example, count as storage locations.

You’ll definitely want to keep both function and usage in mind when you create storage locations for items. For instance, you’d probably want to keep your toothbrush and toothpaste in a location somewhere near the bathroom sink, and not on the other side of the room near the door to the bathroom.

Here are some general storage locations for items:

Sink area: hand or bar soap, hand lotion, hand towels, toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, and floss

Bathtub and shower area: shampoo, conditioner, bar soap, shower gel, shower pouf or wash cloths

Vanity area: comb, hairbrush, razors, shaving cream, makeup, and other lotions

Store like items with like.

The next step in organizing your bathroom is to store similar items with one another. While there are countless ways to organize items, the simplest way to do this in the bathroom setting is to organize item by function. Examples of this include storing toothpaste with toothpaste, and shampoo with shampoo.

Why should you organize items by function? There’s a few good reasons for this.

First, since bathrooms are relatively small in size compared to the rest of the home, you want to make it as easy as possible for you to see what you own at a glance.

Second, having items organized by function ensures you’ll actually use the products you purchased.

And third, having items organized by function makes it easier for you to keep track of bathroom product inventory.

At this point in time, you should have a better idea as to how much bath and beauty products you actually own. You may decide to put some long-forgotten products into your daily care routines, such as those samples of lipsticks you tucked away from last season, or the luxurious shaving cream set you received as a gift.

You may even decide you no longer want to keep unexpired and unopened bath products and donate these items to people in need.

Keep frequently used items within easy reach.

Because of the diminutive size of most bathrooms, it makes perfect sense to keep everyday or frequently used bath, grooming, and personal care items within easy reach. For the most part, these items will be used on a daily or an almost daily basis.

Broadly speaking, frequently items should be located on top of a sink, counter, or vanity, or one step away from your reach, such as in a nearby drawer, cabinet, or shelf. You should be able or retrieve an item in question quickly and easily, without having to move lots of bath product around in order to find what you need.

Here’s some ideas on where to store frequently used items:

Behind the bathroom mirror: toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, comb, brush

Bathtub or shower area: shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, bar soap

Sink, counter, or vanity: hand soap, hand lotion, bar soap

Drawers in the bathroom sink or counter area: comb, brush, hair styling products, tweezers, nail clippers, nail files, hair ties and barrettes, makeup, hair dryer, curling iron, flat-iron, personal care products

Under the sink, counter, or vanity: plunger, toilet brush, cleaning gloves, small utility bucket, toilet cleanser or gel, cleaning powder

Bathroom closet: bath linens, kids bath toys (fully dried out), bulk bath products (see tip below)

Store infrequently used items out of the way.

In contrast, it’s a good idea to store infrequently used bathroom items out of immediate your reach. This way, you’ll be able to use the different areas of your bathroom with ease (i.e. no more constantly wrestling with your entire bath salt collection near the sink).

What constitutes an infrequently used bath item? Well, it’s anything that isn’t used on a daily or otherwise regular basis. This will of course vary from person to person, so you’ll have to use your best judgment when identifying infrequently used items in your bathroom.

Tuck away items towards the rear of cabinets and drawers so they are properly stored and out of the way of your normal routine. Whenever you need a particular item, be it weekly, monthly, or yearly, you’ll know exactly where to look.

Select storage solutions with care.

Once you’ve decluttered and matched like items with like, it’s time to find storage solutions that meet your needs. Many bathrooms have limited storage areas (behind the bathroom mirror, under the bathroom sink, and limited drawer space), so you’ll have do some thinking when it comes to how you’ll store items.

There are a variety of bathroom storage solutions on the market, though it’s worth taking a look around your home to see if you have any previously purchased bathroom storage units or containers on hand before heading to the store or shopping online.

Here’s a few storage solution ideas for you:

Rolling carts. Rolling carts can be especially helpful if you have limited space inside a bathroom. You can store bath products on the cart and roll into the bathroom as needed.

Hanging shower baskets and shower caddies. Keep bath products off the floor and edge of the bathtub by using shower baskets and caddies. You can choose from over the shower head or wall mount options.

Freestanding stacking containers. These containers make it easy to create instant storage for bath linens and bath products. Some models have drawers, so you can place items inside, just like in a traditional bathroom vanity or cabinet.

Small shallow containers. This is a great way to keep small items, such as hair bands, barrettes, bobby pins, nail polish, makeup, and the like contained and organized inside a drawer. Using different shaped containers (wide, narrow, square, and rectangle) allows you to come up with a variety of storage combinations for each of your drawers.

Small round containers. These are great for storing frequently used items on top of a bathroom counter or in a drawer, such as cotton swabs, cotton balls, and the like.

Wall mounted mirrors. Mounted magnified and lighted mirrors take up less space than freestanding countertop mirrors, plus they leave your hands free so you can shave, tweeze, apply makeup, and the like.

Transfer bath items into smaller containers.

Shopping in big box stores makes it easy to snag deals on bathroom and personal care items, but dealing with unwieldy big box packaging can be cumbersome.

Even if you’re fortunate enough to have a decent sized bathroom in your home, you probably won’t want to spend your days wading through oversized product containers and packages in your bathroom.

The solution? Simply set aside smaller quantities of product for daily use and place the remainder in dead or out of the way storage.

Here’s some examples of how to store bulk product into smaller storage solutions:

Bulk shampoo and conditioner. Decant product into smaller plastic containers for use in the shower and bath. If you’re already using a smaller size of a particular product (say, Acme Brand Shampoo), and the container has an easily removable lid, you can decant some of the bulk product into the smaller container. You can also purchase small to medium-sized plastic containers if you need them.

Bulk toilet paper. Remove several toilet paper rolls and store them underneath the bathroom vanity or in a toilet paper storage unit next to the toilet. Place the remainder of the toilet paper in storage such as in a bathroom closet, linen closet, or laundry room.

Bulk hand soap. Decant hand soap into a smaller-sized soap dispenser or plastic container. Store the bulk product underneath the bathroom vanity or in the bathroom closet. If you’re short on space in the bathroom, you could store excess soap in an outside linen closet, laundry room, or broom closet.

Bulk cotton balls or cotton swabs. Place cotton balls and swabs in separate lidded plastic container or sturdy apothecary-type glass jars. Store the remainder of items in a bathroom or linen closet.

Tidy the bathroom daily.

The easiest way to keep your bathroom looking tidy is to place items back where they belong when you’re finished using them.

This sounds ridiculously simple (and it is), so why not give it a try?

All you have to remember is this: after you’ve removed an item from a cabinet, drawer, or shelf and used it…put it back where it belongs.

Besides putting items back in their designated storage location, you can do a few things on a daily basis to keep your bathroom tidy.

Just a few small actions will have a big impact when it comes to keeping things looking neat.

  • Be vigilant about removing and properly storing products and tools from bathroom counter tops, vanities, and sinks.
  • Remove extraneous bath product packaging and dispose or recycle properly.
  • Place trash or refuse directly into trash bins, and recycle bottles and containers when empty.
  • Put used washcloths, bath poufs, bath towels, hand towels into the hamper or washing machine.
How about you? What do you find to be the most challenging part about organizing your bathroom? Why? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!

How to Organize Your Bathroom
Follow Rashelle:
Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based professional organizer and productivity consultant who helps people get organized so they can stress less, have more fun, and be happier at home. Her work has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 10 Simple Ways to Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective, by clicking here.