7 Clever Storage Ideas to Make the Most of a Small Bathroom

Brian Hogan
Jun 10, 2021 8:30:00 AM

A well-organized bathroom isn’t just inviting and functional, it’s also a lot easier to keep clean. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to organize the smallest room in the house — especially if your bathroom is even more compact than most. 

Powder room bath with apron sink and round mirror to match the round window. Wood and wicker adds texture and brings the natural world into the neutral, minimalist space.

Living in a house with smaller rooms may inspire you to take a more minimalistic approach to the amount of “stuff” you own, but creative storage solutions can be just as helpful. After all, it’s not about how much space you have, it’s about making the most of the space you’ve got.

As we explored in a recent blog about storage solutions for small kitchens, learning how to recognize the possibilities within a small space is key to maximizing its storage potential. Here are a few clever ways to do exactly that in a small bathroom:  

1. Take Advantage of Vertical Space  

Your tiny bathroom may be low on square footage and floor space, but it probably has plenty of unused (or under-used) wall space. Take advantage of that space any way you can: install a “ladder” of floating shelves on an empty wall, get a pro to carve out a bit of corner space for a floor-to-ceiling built-in, or hang a narrow cabinet over your toilet. 

If wall space is scarce, a mini built-in can give your bathroom extra storage and architectural interest.    

2. Make Good Use of “Found” Space

A floating vanity or pedestal sink may help a small bathroom feel open and airy, but it doesn’t provide much in the way of under-sink storage. Adding a wide floating shelf below your vanity gives you towel storage without making your space feel tighter. 

Custom shelving can increase your storage potential just about anywhere — over doors and windows, in an unusual nook, or on either side of the medicine cabinet or mirror.  

Small bath with dark wood cabinets and  quartz countertop vanity.

3. Repurpose the Perfect Cabinet

Unless you have zero extra floor space in your bathroom, chances are there's enough room for a tall, slim cabinet. Whether you put it in a corner, behind the door, or between the shower and the tub, an extra-high cabinet with a compact footprint can make a major difference in a small bathroom. 

To really maximize your newfound storage zone, look for a cabinet that has a shelf as well as few drawers.  

4. Install a Recessed Medicine Cabinet 

Sure, you can opt to hang a mirror over the bathroom sink, but a recessed medicine cabinet gives you a mirror and perfectly accessible storage. A classic solution to everyday bathroom clutter, the right medicine cabinet can hold — and hide — all your everyday essentials with style. And with countless style options available, you really can’t go wrong.   

5. Use the Inside of Cabinet Doors

Wherever you’ve got a door — be a medicine cabinet, a cabinet-style vanity, a stand-alone cupboard, a closet, or all of the above — you’ve got extra storage potential. Luckily, there’s a wide array of organizing products to help you make good use of that space. 

Hang hair tools (flatiron, hairdryer) inside your vanity cabinet with hooks or narrow mountable bins, use a magnetic system to keep smaller cosmetic items in reach but out of sight inside your medicine cabinet, or install door-mounted bin shelves inside a closet door to house extra rolls of toilet paper.   

6. Get Creative with Tiered Furniture

If you don’t want to drill holes in your wall to hang shelves and you don’t have enough square footage for a compact cabinet, try adding a piece of tiered furniture. Set next to a stand-alone bathtub, a multi-tiered table (etagere) takes up very little space and provides ample storage for toiletries and towels. 

You could also transform a bar cart — they have multiple levels and wheels — into your daily cosmetic and hair care cart: simply roll it into the bathroom when you’re ready to use it, then store it in a nearby closet or spare room when you’re done.

7. Go Big with Pull-Out Storage 

If you’re thinking of renovating your small bathroom, consider adding hidden, pull-out storage features. As the best kind of storage (the kind you don’t see), pull-out storage wins on every count — design, organization, innovation, and charm. 

Hidden storage is sleek and magical, creating ample concealed space for toiletries, towels, and other daily necessities. Because it makes use of wasted space that would otherwise be empty, it won’t make your small bathroom feel even smaller, either. In fact, keeping everyday items out of sight will probably make your space feel bigger. 

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