13 Ways to Do Storage in a Small Bathroom

Storage space in any small apartment or dwelling is always a struggle. Small spaces are already generally lacking in built-in storage, and the bathroom can often be the worst offender. What if you're only gifted with a medicine cabinet, then what? Combine that with sharing your bathroom space with a partner or roommate and your small bathroom has become a toothpaste and moisturizer war zone. Here's how you can do storage in even the smallest of bathrooms:

1. Utilize the walls.

Ikea suction mounted storage in bathroom.
credit: Ikea

If you have one of those standing sinks with no counter space or cabinetry, take advantage of the walls. Consider whether or not you can hang or mount something on the wall. Does your bathroom wall have studs? If you have a tiled wall surface, this Ikea storage set stays on the walls with suction cups.

2. Don't ignore the corners.

corner shelf by Ikea in bathroom.
credit: Ikea

A corner shelf might make more sense than a traditional shelf. It provides slightly less storage than a normal shelving unit, but it takes up less space. This is great for a dorm or smaller shared bathroom. This one from Ikea is just $39.99.

3. Narrow shelves are your friend.

narrow vertical bathroom shelf.
credit: West Elm

If you don't have to compromise on space so much so that you can only fit a corner shelf, a tall and narrow shelving unit might do the trick. If you're only storing towels and toiletries, you probably don't need storage with much width anyway.

4. Don't forget about shower storage.

standing shower storage.
credit: Target

If you find that you have extra standing room in your shower that you don't have in the bathroom, then put your storage inside the shower. Of course, this kind of storage only works with things that can get wet, but it's a nice alternative to suction based storage. This Target ( $20.81 ) storage unit is a good buy. Here are some tips for cleaning your shower storage.

5. Build upwards.

metal rack mounted above bathroom door.
credit: Ikea

If you're already decking out your walls with storage components, don't just stop at eye-level. The space above the door is an often underutilized storage area. It's best when used to store items you aren't grabbing that often, like extra towels or overflow toilet paper, etc.

6. Invest in a toilet rack.

pottery barn toilet shelf
credit: Pottery Barn

We can't stress enough the merits of expanding vertically. If the space above your toilet is bare, invest in a toilet shelf, like this one from Pottery Barn. If you don't like the look of your stuff on display, filling the racks with baskets is another great storage solution.

7. Don't use an entire medicine cabinet.

partial medicine cabinet.
credit: All Modern

All Modern sells these column-style medicine cabinets ( $349.00 ). They don't take up as much wall space, and feature shelving units both behind the mirror and on the side to maximize space.

8. Try "S" hooks.

S hooks shower rod bathroom
credit: Ikea

S hooks are a fantastic way to turn the shower pole into storage. Use the hooks to drape more blankets, hang a shower cap, or store a bathing suit. Instead of one towel taking over the entire width of your shower pole, break it up with individual hooks.

9. Put shelves everywhere.

Build as many shelves as your walls will allow. Typically, we think of shelves as a unit for the living room to store books or house non-functional decor items. Use shelves in your bathroom for both decor and function. Or, turn a shelf into a vanity.

10. Countertop organization is key.

grey jars bathroom countertop
credit: CB2

The number one rule of small space storage is that it stops working when things get messy. If you're already short on counter space, find ways to keep the countertop organized. Keep makeup brushes in one canister, toothbrushes in another. No matter how you decide to organize, keep it orderly.

11. Baskets!

Baskets are your storage BFF in any room of the house, but they are especially great in the bathroom where toiletries aren't the most aesthetically pleasing items.

12. Build above the bath.

Oftentimes, the area above the bathtub is mostly empty space. Take advantage of all that wall space and build out a shelving unit. You could even build an entire linen closet above your bathtub. It might be weird to climb in the bath to grab a towel, but hey, whatever works. This blogger documented how she DIY'd her own bath linen closet.

13. Use ladders as shelves.

A ladder as a shelf gives you more space to hang towels. Unlike a shelf, the ladder takes up less space in the bathroom. This Pottery Barn knock-off DIY for a towel ladder is exceptionally classy.