Bathroom Storage Ideas and Recommendations

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No matter how big or small, the bathroom never seems to have enough storage space, but there are many creative bathroom storage ideas and strategies to make it easier to stay organized and still keep everything you want to have in the room—including all of those extra products you may or may not need. Luckily, bathrooms in almost every home are full of dead space that can become usable storage if you just know the right way to transform them.

Add a Medicine Cabinet

Clutter in the bathroom can be cleaned up with a medicine cabinet. Medicine cabinets come in a variety of styles, including circular designs and sleek frameless models. If you don't like the way medicine cabinets protrude into the room, you can always cut a hole in the drywall and install a recessed medicine cabinet that will sit almost flush against the bathroom wall.

Medicine cabinets are a great catchall for smaller bathroom items. Use jars to store cotton swabs, cotton balls, razors and other small essentials. To double up on storage within the cabinet, you can also add a magnetic strip to the inside of the medicine cabinet or right on the cabinet door to hold tweezers, nail clippers and other metal items.

When choosing a medicine cabinet, remember that you need to have plenty of space under the cabinet to use your faucet and to store items on the bathroom counter. Pick an appropriate size relative to the sink and vanity so the medicine cabinet doesn't overwhelm the area.

Use Doors for Storage Purposes

With self-adhering hooks, you can create all sorts of bathroom storage ideas that work wonders. Place hooks inside your bathroom vanity cabinet doors to conveniently store hair tools like curling irons and hair dryers. Mount towel racks or hooks directly to the bathroom and closet doors so you can hang your towels or robes in a space that would normally be unused.

With hooks and towel racks, no part of your bathroom has to go unused—because everything can be a storage area if you have bars and hooks.

Give Furniture a New Purpose

A rolling bar cart, which would ordinarily be used to store liquor and glasses, is an easy way to add extra bathroom storage without taking up a lot of space. Add wire baskets to store small items or stack towels on the shelves. The beauty of a bar cart is that it has wheels, so you can move it around the room as needed.

If your bathroom can carry a rustic look, consider adding a wooden ladder. Propped against the wall, a ladder won't take a lot of space, but it can provide some good bathroom storage. Add hooks to the rungs to hang baskets that can hold towels, toilet paper and other bathroom essentials. You can also hang towels directly on the rungs to dry or to set up for guests.

And although a paper towel holder isn't furniture, it can still be repurposed for the bathroom. Instead of paper towels, use this handy device to store extra rolls of toilet paper right out in the open. This way, guests won't have to go searching for toilet paper, and the rolls won't take up space elsewhere.

Over-the-Toilet Storage

You may have a sink outside the room or a small shower with no tub—or you may not even have a linen closet—but the toilet is always there no matter what, so you might as well use it!

There are all sorts of options for over-the-toilet storage units, from freestanding units designed to provide shelving and/or cabinetry above the toilet to wall-mounted cabinets and shelving units. You can install floating shelves, hang a cabinet or even get creative and nail some storage baskets directly to the wall for a DIY option.

Over-the-toilet storage units may be tall or short and as simple or elaborate as you want them to be, but the area above the toilet provides you with lots of real estate for bathroom storage.

Use Every Inch of the Vanity

Most bathroom vanities are designed to include some sort of bathroom storage—though some are more generous than others. Standard vanities and freestanding vanities (which have feet to resemble furniture) typically offer the most storage, since they're essentially large cabinets that stand on the floor. Floating vanities, by contrast, are designed to hang on the wall, leaving an empty space below. This adds some visual space to the area, but it comes at the cost of reduced storage space. There are also corner vanities, which are made to take up as little space as possible for small bathrooms.

How much storage your vanity will have will largely depend on how much available space there is in your bathroom (the larger the vanity, the bigger the storage space). Standard vanity styles are available in 24, 30, 36, 48, 60 and 72-inch designs.

The area under the vanity will be impeded by plumbing pipes; however, there is still opportunity for some storage here. A storage caddy, narrow plastic bins and even standing dish racks can be placed in the vanity cabinet for keeping items like towels, cleaning supplies and toiletries.

If you opt for a floating vanity, you'll have floor space beneath the vanity. This is a great place to put baskets or bins where you can store toilet paper, magazines and other items you may want to have handy.

Don't be afraid to get creative with your vanity storage. For example, install towel racks across the top of each cabinet door to hang hand towels and free up some wall space for other storage solutions.

Organize the Linen Closet

Many bathrooms have linen closets included to provide space for towels, bottles, toilet paper and all the items that you might need for your cleaning and grooming routines. But no matter how big the closet, you can always use more bathroom storage space. Some tiny bathroom designs, however, often don't include linen closets at all, which can pose a problem when you're trying to find a space for your hair products or extra toilet paper.

There are many freestanding linen closets available that you can place in the bathroom just like any other piece of furniture. Get a cabinet with doors, drawers, open shelves or any other style you like depending on the type of bathroom storage you need and the amount of space available.

You can also get creative and repurpose an armoire or entertainment center and turn it into a linen closet. Add shelves, storage bins or bars to the inside so you have places to stack items or hang towels. An antique armoire can become a truly beautiful linen closet, as seen in Decoist.

If you aren't working with much space, get a tall, narrow cabinet to make use of vertical storage. Instead of shelves, you can always place hooks inside the cabinet to hang things rather than trying to stack them. You can also find a corner linen cabinet to turn a usually empty spot into a great bathroom storage solution.

Get organized to make the most of the storage areas you do have. Make your linen closet neat with shelf dividers that keep everything in place. This will make it much easier for you to use all of the available space in the closet, and it helps to keep everything looking nice too. Instead of standard shelf dividers, you can always use an office file sorter, a plastic paper tray or a pot rack for linen closet storage. These small organizers are perfect for items like hand towels and washcloths.

Image Credit: Hunker in partnership with Acme Real Estate

Install Shelves for More Bathroom Storage

When you're low on bathroom storage, look to the walls. Shelves can be put in all sorts of areas to give you some extra places to put things. Mount a shelf over the top of the door, over towel racks and anywhere else you can see a usable spot.

And don't forget about the corners. There are lots of corner shelves available on the market, and even a tiny shelf can relieve some of your storage burdens.

While you're at it, don't neglect your tub and shower area. Many bathroom shelves are designed to go right in the shower to give you space to store shampoo bottles and other bathing essentials.

Is there a window in the room? Consider mounting a shelf to sit flush with the windowsill or to sit directly above it so you can extend the sill and add a touch of extra storage. This is a great place to store plastic bottles and other items that can get wet if your window is in the shower area, which is pretty common in bathroom design. Add hooks to the bottom of the shelf and you can store hanging items there as well.

When mounting shelves, always look for the studs in the wall and place shelves there. You want to use the studs because this allows the shelves to support the weight of whatever you're going to put on them. If you mount a shelf to drywall with no stud behind it, the shelf won't be able to hold much weight and may even break away from the wall if too many heavy items are placed on it.

If you have limited space and you just can't have shelves protruding into the room, build recessed shelves. Cut directly into the drywall between studs and make use of the space inside the wall. It's not difficult to cut and hang new drywall, install shelves and paint over it all to create storage space that sits directly in the wall.

Additional Bathroom Storage Tips

Look around the bathroom with a critical eye and you'll find all kinds of bathroom storage ideas. You could add a second shower rod across the back wall of the shower and use shower curtain hooks to hang sponges. You can even hang a metal basket off the hooks to easily store shampoo bottles.

If you have a vintage tub and no shower, add a tub shelf to the mix. Tub shelves are designed to stretch across the tub, with each end resting on either side of the tub. This is a great way to store essential items like soap, sponges and bottles. If you can't find a bathroom shelf that will fit, try a plate rack. You can rest this right across the top of the tub to add some extra storage.

Pick accessories that come equipped with storage space when you're shopping for bathroom additions. There are plenty of towel rack and toilet paper holder designs that have a little shelf on top to give you yet another spot to place things.

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KC Morgan has been a professional freelance writer since 2006. Over the last decade, KC has published thousands of articles and blog posts that have been read by millions. A DIYer in her free time, KC has written hundreds of how-tos, guides and tutorials for different DIY and improvement projects around the house, all while turning her words into reality inside her own home. KC shares her DIY passion by creating original articles so others can pursue their own home improvement goals and ideas.

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