Has your bathroom ever felt more like a water closet? If you have a small bathroom – and I mean really small, like squeezing around your door small, not like “where will I put this hot tub” small – it can be hard to find a place to put all your basic bathroom stuff while keeping the room looking nice. But even if remodeling isn’t feasible (or wouldn’t help – and I’ve been in bathrooms that small!), that doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a room full of piles of hair care products for all eternity. With the right accessories and one simple piece of advice, you’ll have no problem stowing or camouflaging your unmentionables while keeping your bathroom in model shape. What is it? Simple: use your vertical space!
This is probably the biggest thing you can do to create more storage space in your bathroom: don’t build out, build up! Especially in a bathroom that uses a pedestal or wall mount style sink to save floor space, the lack of a vanity really kills your available storage. Depending on your bathroom, you might not have space even to put drawers or other storage containers. The simplest solution is to put up some shelves, and the shallower they are, the better. Shelves can be mounted at any height (or with several one above the other), giving you tons of extra surface space in an area that would otherwise be wasted.
Layered glass shelves are especially good for a small bathroom, over or alongside your vanity or above your toilet. Not only are they elegant looking alone or in layers, but they tend to be very narrow (so you won’t run into them!). Because you can see through them, they won’t make the room more claustrophobic than it already is.
For a double whammy, make the lowermost shelf one that’s both a shelf and a towel bar. Not only will this save you having to mount both separately, but it’ll let you squeeze that little extra bit of storage space into what little room you have to spare. If you do have to install additional towel bars (one for hand towels, one for bath towels, say), make sure to make it one with a Double Bar – once again giving you twice as much storage in about the same amount of space. A Swivel Bar will take up even less space, but might be a little too modern for some bathrooms.
Of course, while an aggressive use of shelves and towel bars will go a long way, there are a lot of smaller problems that can be solved by better utilizing your wall space. Having a small bathroom vanity or none at all presents the pressing problem of not being able to have at hand the things that you use every day – like your toothbrush! Rather than trying to cram all your stuff on the edge of your sink, try installing something like a wall mount toothbrush holder and it’s brethren soap dish and tumbler holder. Not only will these help clear up your already limited space while keeping your necessities close at hand, but they also add a simple touch of elegance in an extremely compact package.
One of the easiest and most straightforward ways to increase your storage space in a small bathroom, though, is to make the best use of that all-important real estate over your sink. A plain mirror, no matter what size, is simply wasted space; if you don’t already have one, installing a medicine cabinet is a fairly minor renovation that turns the space taken up by your mirror into storage, without taking away the mirror. In fact, many large medicine cabinets actually add MORE mirror than you’d have from a standard framed mirror.
If you’re more concerned about your head room than your wall space, or if it won’t interfere with the space you want for shelves, a wider medicine cabinet – especially one with a slide door rather than one that opens and closes – can be a really great choice. Not only will it give you more (hidden!) shelf space, but you won’t have to duck around it every time you need to get something out of it. As well, a wide cabinet like this gives you more mirror, which is another commodity that tends to be in short supply in small bathrooms.
If you don’t want or have room for a full medicine cabinet, or if you’d like the added storage but don’t want to have to cut a hole in your wall to recess a full sized cabinet, consider getting a mirror with a built in shelf. These mirrors are part medicine cabinet, part shelf, and part famed mirror. They mount directly to your wall and have exposed wood shelves for storage. Some have medicine-cabinet style storage, but others are simply mirrors that come with a little extra surface space attached to the edges in place of a more traditional frame. Some even come with built-in toothbrush holders!
If you have a really small bathroom to start, chances are your sink is already either in a corner, facing one, or adjacent to one. If that’s the case, a corner mounted medicine cabinet can not only give you all the benefits of a regular medicine cabinet, but it can do it while making the most out of probably the most inconvenient space in your whole bathroom. Better yet, if your sink ISN’T immediately taking up the space in the corner, you can add a small piece of furniture or several Corner Shelves to make the most of the space underneath it, too.
Just remember, when you’re short on space, you have to milk whatever you can out of what you’ve got – and in a small bathroom, that means maximizing the utility of your wall space in any way you can – there’s probably a whole lot more of it than floor space! What are some of the ways you work around your small bathroom? Anything I haven’t listed here? What’s the hardest thing you’ve had to find a place to store? Let me know in the comments!