At first you thought it was just a rumor, but then you actually saw one while flipping through Architectural Digest: a bathroom big enough to house your entire family. You drooled over the 24-karat gold toilet paper, gasped at the built-in dressing room that could double as a three-car garage, and pictured yourself doing laps in the Olympic-sized tub.
Meanwhile, your water closet is so small that the shower door hits the toilet every time you open it and the only free space available to keep your hair dryer is in the hall. Storing your stuff under the sink would be helpful if it weren’t for that damn plumbing getting in the way, and the medicine cabinet doesn’t hold more than a travel-sized container of Q-Tips.
But if renovating your bathroom is out of the question because of the cost — or the fact that your neighbor is too stubborn to let you tear down the wall and commandeer his apartment — here are some simple storage hacks to maximize the loo.
Toilet Paper and Other Cleaning Supplies
Tired of stumbling through a dark house in the middle of the night to get that extra roll of toilet paper out of the garage?
- Make use of the space above the toilet with a shelf to stock those bathroom essentials, like toilet paper, cotton balls, towels, or reading material (you know who you are).
- Install a bookshelf above the bathroom door for stashing less essential items such as cleaning supplies.
Makeup and Personal Toiletries
Here are some ideas for storing personal care items (and no, booze is not a personal care item).
- Hang a simple wooden spice rack on the back of your bathroom door to conveniently keep all your beauty and personal care items, like makeup, deodorant, and razors.
- Adhere StickOnPods to the back of your medicine cabinet door for smaller items like lipstick, under-eye concealer, and ibuprofen. When you wake up with a hangover, you’re going to want to easily access them.
- Magnetic strips attached to any free space such as the back of a medicine cabinet door or inside of a drawer is a great hack to keep track of bobby pins, tweezers, or the bottle opener you refuse to keep in the kitchen.
Drawers and counter tops are no place for your hair appliances, especially those with lengthy cords — unless you are deliberately setting a trap for your unwelcome houseguest.
- Peg board from your local hardware store can be cut to whatever size you want, painted, and fixed to a spare bit of wall. If your brushes are mounted on the wall, maybe you’ll finally be inspired to clean the hair out of them.
- Install a file box to the side of your sink for your blow dryer, curling iron or crimping iron (if you’ve forgotten to get out of the ‘80s).
- An over-the-door shoe organizer with see-through compartments makes for an inexpensive and functional way to display all your hair necessities, your simple hair necessities.
Leaning Towel of Pisa
The floor is no place for your collection of wet towels, but when properly hung they can take up a lot of space in a tiny bathroom.
- Now that you’ve finished the last bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, use the empty wine rack in the bathroom. It makes an excellent storage shelf for rolled towels.
- Mounted hooks are a great alternative to racks for hand towels.
- Why stop at just one towel bar on the back of your door? Use three, and whichever family member is in the doghouse has to use the one on the bottom.
According to the American Dental Association, you should be storing your toothbrush upright to avoid contamination.
- Cut small slots in one of your medicine cabinet shelves (unless, of course, they’re made of glass) to hang your toothbrushes upright as well as keeps them out of sight.
- What to do with all those old bottle caps now that you’re thinking about rehab? Adhere them to the bathroom wall and hang your toothbrushes on them.
Shampoo and Conditioner
If you’ve ever used a shower caddy, you know that suction cups are overrated. One minute you’re shampooing your hair and thinking of Warren Beatty; the next minute a full bottle of conditioner comes crashing down on your foot.
- Consider mounting a shelf around the perimeter of your tub. Store essentials like shampoo, body wash, and loofahs, or decorative candles for relaxing baths.
- If you’re a handyman, make use of the space around the bathtub with “tubboards” (tub cupboards, get it?).
- Use a second shower curtain rod to hang plastic baskets for your hair care, mesh poufs, and rubber duckies.
- Save space and multi-task while in the bathroom: get ready for work and catch up on your daily news with this TV embedded into the mirror.
- Relieve stress by hanging eucalyptus in the shower: the steam releases natural oils which are not only beneficial to your health but will provide a natural air deodorizer.
- Prevent the bathroom mirror from fogging up by wiping it down with shaving cream. Like the best magicians, you’ll give the illusion of more space with smoke and mirrors. Or at least clear mirrors.