Storage, there never seems to be enough of it anywhere in the home and especially not in the bathroom, which is usually, quite literally, the smallest room in the house. 

Fortunately, our experts have plenty of storage option ideas for bathrooms of all shapes and sizes and can give you some advice on how to make the most of them

Position your appliances first

At a pinch, you can take all but the barest of necessities out of a bathroom, if you really need to.  We agree it’s not ideal and it’s highly unlikely to be necessary if you follow our tips, but in principle, you can. 

It’s therefore far more important to site your appliances where they can be used most comfortably and unless you have a really substantial budget.

You want to stick within the capabilities of the existing plumbing (or very close to them) as reworking plumbing is usually expensive, time-consuming, and inconvenient.

Having said that, whenever you put in an appliance, see if there’s any way, you can also make it work for storage.  WC units and vanity units are obvious examples of this. 

You need a toilet and sink anyway, so make full use of the space by adding storage to them.  If you have a small bathroom and you need to make the most of every last centimeter, try using a vanity and WC combo unit. 

This creates a very streamlined look, which is important where space is tight, but it also squeezes out the maximum, possible storage, which is another key consideration.

Choosing the right vanity unit

These days, there’s a massive choice of vanity units so you have an excellent chance of finding one which is just perfect for your needs and wants – provided that you’re clear about what they are. 

In particular, do you want cupboard space, drawers, or a mixture of both?  Cupboard space can be a bit more flexible, but it does take a bit of skill to strike a balance between making the most of the storage area and keeping items accessible. 

Drawers make it easy for you to access everything inside them, even the items which are right at the back, but they don’t have the same degree of flexibility as cupboards.

Give high priority to installing a mirrored cabinet

Even though, in principle, you can undertake personal grooming in pretty much any area of the house, in practice, the bathroom is often the first choice of location when it comes to personal care. 

That means that a mirror is, if not strictly necessary, certainly very close and per our previous comments, if you’re going to take up wall space with a mirror, make it one with storage, hence a mirrored cabinet.

For most bathrooms, prioritize closed storage

Closed storage conceals, open storage reveals.  In principle, you can turn open storage into closed storage by using containers, however, in a bathroom (where water is constantly in use), it’s generally best to opt for actual closed storage as much as possible. 

The reality is that while you certainly can add decorative elements to a bathroom, the limitations of space will mean that these are typically essential items performing a dual function, for example, waterfall taps, which are both practical and beautiful. 

There can be a place for purely decorative items, but in many bathrooms, this space will be limited and will need to be fitted around practical considerations (literally and metaphorically).

Organizing your bathroom effectively

So now you have all your storage in place, it’s time to think about organizing it so it works for you.  Here is our five-step guide to making that happen.


We know this is probably the number one piece of advice given in any organizational guide anywhere on the internet (or in books), but the fact is that it’s the number one piece of advice for a reason. 

Most of us accumulate clutter and therefore need to keep scheduling time to deal with it and room updates are a perfect opportunity to reassess what we have and where we have it.

Relocate items elsewhere in the home

The basic principle of organization is that you need to make it less hassle for yourself to keep organized than to be disorganized and this holds at least doubly true if you have children and want to persuade them to buy into the idea of organization. 

If at all possible, you want to turn your home into a collection of “activity zones” so that all items are kept as close as possible to where they are needed. 

If your bathroom is holding items, which aren’t used in or near it, then see if you can move those items elsewhere similarly if you have bathroom-related items elsewhere in your home, stay alert for opportunities to move them into the bathroom itself.

Start by finding a place for your basic necessities

Remember what we said earlier about functionality?  Start your bathroom reorganization by choosing appropriate places for bathroom essentials such as toilet paper, a toilet brush, soap, a towel, and toothbrushes/toothpaste. 

These are items you’re going to use regularly so give them first claim on your bathroom space and work everything else around them.

Don’t just let shampoos and shower gels just live in the bottom of the shower enclosure, mess will only attract more mess

Once your essentials have a home, prioritize your other needs and wants

While the basic concept of a bathroom is much the same in homes all over the world, everyone uses their own bathroom in their own way.  

You need to think about how you use yours in order to decide which items get priority space and which are either put in out-of-the-way storage or into another room (or out of the house completely). 

Whenever possible, groups like items together, like items being a matter of practicality and definition, for example, some people might see hair-care products, skin-care products, and cosmetics as being like items, whereas other people would see them as different.

Use lidless and/or clear containers whenever possible.

Here’s the ultimate key to bathroom organization (and it works in many other parts of the home), used closed storage to hide containers that keep their contents visible in some way. 

As a rule of thumb, look to store larger items, such as towels, in baskets so you can literally just pull them out of their storage unit and see what’s inside at a glance.  

For smaller items and/or items that need to be kept in containers with a lid, then use clear containers for the same reason.  There are plenty of these for sale all across the internet, or you could simply repurpose items from your own home, like jars that were originally used for food. 

If you really must use containers with lids, then try to use containers of different colors.  

This goes against the standard advice of using items in the same color, or at least, the same color palette when you need to place them near to each other (as is typically the case in bathrooms), but in this case, it doesn’t matter because they will be hidden inside closed storage.  

That being so, the priority is to make your life easier by allowing you to identify what container you need without even thinking about it, and just glancing at boxes of different colors is much quicker than having to stop and read labels or open them up and look inside.