Do you have a small bathroom? My kids have a small bathroom and to get it organized can be challenging due to lack of space. I am sharing my tips for how to organize a small bathroom with tips I have learned after organizing many clients’ homes with small bathrooms.
Where We Started
After we painted the vanity in the kids’ bathroom, along with hanging the window valance, I knew it was time to do a refresh of our organizational system in the bathroom. I created an organizational system back in August before we started school, but after a project, like painting the vanity, I wanted to check things out to see if there was anything I needed to change or update.
And, since we had to take things out while we painted, I could just refresh the system quickly. I like when I can get things organized quickly! Especially in places where I have taken time to create a system that works, but I just need to tweak a few things. So, I started to organize the bathroom, just as I would any project…empty everything!
Empty the Space
It’s always best to start any organizational project by emptying the entire space. Start with a clean slate. Because when you have a clean slate, you are able to visualize different ways to store things, rather than keeping up with what you currently have. I also feel that when you have a totally empty space, it is like you are starting fresh. So, empty everything from your bathroom vanity, drawers, cabinets, etc.
I did talk about how to organize a medicine cabinet a while ago, in case you need some ideas for how to keep your medicine cabinet organized!
Once everything is out of your space, clean EVERYTHING! Seriously, you are starting with a clean slate, so why not make it sparkly clean?! I encourage you to wipe all the outsides and insides of the cabinets, drawers, medicine cabinets and even wipe down the floors. It makes everything feel much fresher and new.
Line Shelves and Drawers
I love to line the shelves and drawers with either shelf liner or wrapping paper and clear contact paper. I recommend doing this because it not only makes your shelves look pretty, but it actually keeps them cleaner. It is easy to wipe off or just change out the liner if there is a really big spill. It makes things super easy to maintain and keep clean. Especially if you have little kids who love to spill things all over your cabinets and drawers. This has been incredibly helpful and a huge time-saver for me as my kiddos do love to make messes in the drawers of their bathroom vanity.
So, if I do use wrapping paper to line a shelf or drawer, I measure the shelf and cut the wrapping paper to that size. Then, I cut the clear contact paper a little bigger than the wrapping paper and wrap the wrapping paper in the clear contact paper. And there you go! I have a shelf liner in a style that works with my space.
When the shelves and drawers are ready, I suggest turning your attention to the items you want to organize. Go through all the items and sort them into piles like keep, trash, and donate. Typically bath towels or extra toothbrushes are items that end up in the donation pile when going through a bathroom. Make sure to dispose of medications by bringing them to your local pharmacy.
Then, throw all your trash items in the garbage. Don’t wait until later, just do it now so they are out of your space. You will feel so much lighter once you clear that clutter!
Also, if you have any items that you want to keep but don’t need to be stored in your bathroom, put those items where they belong. Don’t worry about trying to organize that new space: we can do that at a later time. I have found that some of my clients get stuck on this part because they tend to get overwhelmed when they see more things to organize. My advice is to just put the item in that area and walk away. That is not your project for today. Today, we are organizing your bathroom. That’s your focus!
All you are left with is the remaining items to put away, which means we are almost done organizing your bathroom!! Yay! So, take your remaining items and group them into categories. There are two ways you can categorize your items. The first way is by type of item. The second way is by a person who uses those items. For example, in our master bathroom, I group everything together based on the product type. So all of our hair care products are grouped together. While in my kids’ bathroom, I can categorize based on each kiddo. I group all my daughter’s toiletries together in one pile and all my son’s toiletries in another pile.
To determine how you should categorize your items, look at your space. If you have a lot of space in your bathroom, it might work to categorize by the person. That way you can spread out all the toiletries. But if you have a smaller bathroom, it might make sense to categorize all similar products together. My kids have two drawers in their vanity, so each kiddo gets his or her own drawer. But under the vanity is one large space. So I can categorize different products together due to the amount of space I have under the sink.
Look at your space and determine if you have ample space to store each individuals’ products separately, or if you need to group all products together to save space. I always recommend that you never cram tons of products into one space either. Leave yourself space so you can easily find what you need, and add an extra product if needed.
Once all the items are sorted into categories, it is time to put the items back into the vanity, drawers, and medicine cabinet. Find bins or containers that can hold your items that you categorized together. This will help from overcrowding products in bins. We want to find every item that is being stored in the bathroom a “home”, or location that is where you can find it.
For drawers, I love using drawer organizers. They have a variety of sizes and are easy to clean. I will add one or two pieces of double-sided tape to help hold the drawer organizers in place.
Under the bathroom sink, I love using different types of expandable under-sink storage similar to this one. I like these because they add shelves if your vanity doesn’t have any. And they fit around the pipes to the sink. I also use shoe box containers to hold items such as razors, and items for our dog. By stacking shoe boxes on top of each other, I can store things we don’t use all the time, like the haircutting supplies. Mesh stacking bins are ideal for holding things like hairdryers, headbands, and other bathroom items.
I like keeping the majority of bathroom products in bins to keep them contained, but some things, such as mouthwash, don’t need to be in a container. I like to put smaller items in bins, but bigger items or things that are used frequently don’t always need to be stored in a bin. Make sure you can get to everything quickly. If there are too many steps to get to an item you use frequently, it probably isn’t the best storage solution. For example, if you have to open a cabinet, then move a container to open another container to get your band-aids, you might want to find another location for your band-aids. Because, honestly, you won’t keep up with that organizational system…I’m not speaking from experience or anything!
Once everything has found a “home,” it’s time to label! I shared some of my favorite ways to label things here. In the bathroom, I rarely change my bins once I have found some that work, so I go for more permanent labels, such as vinyl or stickers. I always say to label so you know what is in your bins. It is just another step to keeping up with the organizational system you have spent so much time creating through this entire process. Once all the bins are labeled, you can find everything quickly and easily.
Tweak as Needed
And just like that, you organized your entire bathroom! The final step will actually be completed in a few weeks. You have to live with the space as-is for a while, then you might need to tweak some things as needed. Like I said earlier regarding the band-aids, I created an organizational system where I had our band-aids in a bin with a lid. It got really old having to always open that bin to get out one band-aid, so I simply removed the lid of that bin and stacked that bin on top of another bin that isn’t used as frequently. That simple tweak was all I needed to keep up with that organizational system.
Now, it’s your turn! Get your bathroom organized. Clear out the entire space, clean the space, and line the shelves and drawers. Then, sort and categorize your items. Put everything away by storing in bins and making sure to label each bin. Finally, tweak things that aren’t working for you.