When buying a home we don’t always consider how much bathroom storage exists in the current layout. Very often buyers are overwhelmed with how outdated a bathroom is or they’re blown-away with a remodel that offers beautiful fixtures, amazing tile and the decluttered illusion of space.
But live in a bathroom—especially a family bathroom that caters to more than two people each day—and you’ll quickly see how little storage space there is in this well-used room.
That makes storage solutions critical—and aside from a full gut and remodel, it often means turning wasted space and nonfunctional areas in the bathroom into storage solutions.
Here are 7 tips for taming the tangle of everyday bathroom living:
1) Install floating shelves
Inexpensive to buy and install, floating shelves are a great storage option even for small bathrooms. Hang a pair above a toilet to keep towels and toilet paper in one easy to reach place or hang one just below a mirror to create more vanity space.
An alternative to the floating shelves is to use inexpensive crates (found at craft stores). Paint or stain the crates and then hang on your wall for additional storage. They’ll save you space and add a decorative touch to your bathroom.
2) Flea-market finds
We’d all love a custom built-in but we can’t always afford that option. Instead, consider flea-market furniture. Older pieces will often have lots of nooks and crannies that make great storage options. For example, a small secretary desk offers cubbies to store Q-tips, washclothes and cotton pads, while the hinged door is a great prep station.
3) Re-claim floor space
If you have a wall-hung, console or pedestal sink then reclaim the floor beneath the sink with a large woven basket or similarly pretty container. Store clean towels in the container, extra toilet paper or use it to wrangle all the dirty clothes your family leaves on the floor.
4) Think niche
Squeeze out extra storage space by converting an unused, tucked in empty wall into custom storage. Built-in shelves in a niche wall not only adds a decorative touch, but can also be used for functional storage.
5) Put your counters to work
Wrangle all the items that are housed on your counter on long, shallow trays. Not only do you keep clutter under control, but this dedicated storage helps you transport them from drawer to counter, should you decide to put away the every day essentials (say, when company is coming). Keep in mind, though, that plastic trays aren’t ideal if you store small appliances that heat up and cool down, like blow dryers or curling irons. Instead, consider metal or glass trays.
6) Add appropriate-sized storage
Since space is at a premium, consider adding size-appropriate shelving racks. Shallow racks—in wood or metal—are sturdy, while offering space to store towels and other bathroom supplies without overwhelming the room.
7) Think custom for irregular shaped bathrooms
While a more expensive, custom-made built-in shelving is one of the best options for an irregularly shaped bathroom. The different-sized shelving compartments allow for storage of a variety of items without making the space feel cluttered.