When you don’t have the space or the funds for a dream bathroom upgrade, and none of those TV organizers has magically appeared at your local home improvement stores to come and “makeover your bathroom” for you, you’ve got to get creative with what you do have and what you can afford.
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Small Bathroom Organization
Oh, to have my dream bathroom. Double sinks, tons of storage space, gorgeous tile, a tub big enough that my knees and upper body aren’t above the water line…. I’m sorry, what were we talking about?
All kidding aside, that’s not my current reality. Bathroom upgrades like new vanities are on our list of things we’d like to improve with this house, but we’ve been concentrating on bigger “must-do” projects. (See my siding post for details on one of those projects.)
In the meantime, I’ve gotten creative with bathroom organization. Depending on your setup and what you need to organize, you may not need to spend a dime if you don’t want to. There are also some inexpensive items that can quickly make your tiny bathroom more functional.
When you’re trying to become more organized or you’re getting ready to go shopping for organizational items to install, the first thing you need to do is purge. Get rid of anything in your bathroom that is expired or just doesn’t look/smell right anymore. Toss the old makeup that is two shades off your actual skin tone, and find a new home for any bath or hair products you no longer love. When you’re down to the stuff you’re keeping, then it’s time to organize. Here are my tested recommendations:
Add Shelving Under the Sink ($10-$25-ish each)
The original vanities installed in two of our bathrooms have no drawers. They’re probably the cheapest to install, and I’d bet that many houses in my neighborhood got the same ones. They’re such a pain in practice! I will admit that I have WAY too much stuff under that sink. But come on, a girl has to organize her hair dryer, flat iron, curling iron, facial cleansers, hair products and brushes… you get the idea. Oh, and I guess my husband needs some room under there, too!
To solve this problem, we have two shelving variations in place under our sink. The first one to go in was a simple wire grid stacking shelf that is identical to the one below-
Underneath it, we have a simple, clear plastic basket that is just narrow enough that it slides in and out when we need to get to the extra deodorant or toothbrushes stored down there. The one below is just about the same as the one I have. I can say it’s great – easy to wipe down, and also keeps things up off the bottom of the cabinet. You never know when you’re going to have to deal with a plumbing leak (we’ve been replacing those shut-off valves in our bathrooms recently), so it’s nice to not have any cardboard down there where it could get wet.There’s also enough room in front of that basket that we can stick a few rolls of extra toilet paper inside the cabinet.
The model added later is very similar to the one below, and gives the shelf/drawer combo I wanted.
Both of these options gave us the room for the pipes for the sink, and added much-needed organizational potential. No, they don’t match each other. But you know what? They’re under my bathroom sink, so no one has to see it but us!
Add a Hanging Basket ($10-$15 ish)
I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand thinking that our toothbrushes are out on the counter in the same room as a flushing toilet. Just thinking of those germs in the same airspace grosses me out. So counter top toothbrush holders are out. But without drawers in our vanities, I needed a place to put brushes, paste and floss. I found over-the-door hanging baskets that work great! I dropped in a little plastic organizing tray from the dollar store, and now no toothbrush gets lost through the grates. Plus, the tray can easily be pulled out and wiped clean when needed. I found a pack of two of these baskets at a local store, and I divided them up between our bathroom and the kids’ bathroom.
Corral Smaller Items ($1-$10)
Like I said, a hanging basket as made better for my use with a dollar store organizing tray. I’ve also discovered how some of those little plastic trays with the slots on the sides can be hung on the inside of your cabinet with Command hooks. Mind. Blown. This means I can use the space in front of my little shelf/drawer combo, and I don’t have to move anything to open up that drawer!
A cheap craft organizer is great for organizing hair ties and clips! Grab one at Jo-Ann Fabrics or Michael’s when they have coupons, or check out your local big box store to see what they have that doesn’t cost a lot. You can even find these organizer bins at Amazon. When my girls started amassing tons of tiny rubber bands, medium-sized ponytail holders, barrettes and more, I needed something to contain the chaos. This little tray keeps them organized and closes tight so we can store it on its side or even take it with us on the road.
Spend Nothing & Reuse Packaging ($0)
Back when I was in college, my best friend showed me how she disguised her feminine products in her room – with a shoebox covered in wrapping paper. Genius! I STILL have my version under my sink, and I’ve been able to fit all the various products I need in there, all wrapped up in a pretty Impressionist painting. Just wrap the base and the lid separately using your favorite wrap. Do I really need the cover at this stage in life? No, I don’t… but it does make it look nicer, and I can toss the store packaging as soon as I get home, as I pull the products out and stick them inside this one box. Anytime you can eliminate multiple boxes, you’re making progress.
I currently use a plastic tray for my makeup, but back in the day I either couldn’t find or was too cheap to buy a smaller plastic tray that would nest inside the main one – I can’t remember which. I needed something to separate my brushes from my shadows and other makeup. So I cut the end off a granola bar box and taped it up so it wouldn’t come apart. It fit the length of my brushes and mascara perfectly, and it cost nothing! Cracker boxes are great for this, too.
Want to display cotton swabs or cotton balls and keep them dust-free? Use Mason jars! Paint the lids and glue a pretty jewel button on the top to make them pretty. Have an old ice cube tray you don’t use anymore? Sort your earrings in the wells. (You might want to stack and store those trays in a clear plastic shoe box, just in case you’re clumsy like me….) Hang an old shoe organizer on the back of your bathroom door to contain your hair and skin care products. If that old shoe organizer is mesh, you could even hide it on the inside of your shower curtain to keep your shampoos, loofah, shaving cream and razor off the shelves in the shower – no more worrying about that shaving cream can leaving a rust spot. Get creative!
How have you creatively solved your bathroom organization issues?
Be sure to check out these other helpful bathroom organization posts for even more ideas:
- How to Make a Wall Hanging Jewelry Organizer You Will Love – Sunflower Mom
- How to Organize a Guest Bathroom – Busy Lifestyle Gal
- Add More Storage to Your Tiny Bathroom – Single Girls DIY
- How to Organize Bathroom Items // Get Ready Faster! – Love Our Real Life