Small Bathroom? No Problem! The Magic Rule To Maximizing Your Storage Space

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!

When You Don't Have Much Floor Space, You Have To Make The Best Of Your Wall Space
When You Don't Have Much Floor Space, Make The Best Of Your Wall 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 sink style to save floor space, the lack of a vanity really kills your available storage, and 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, but the shallower they are, the better. Sagehill’s Drawer Shelf can be mounted at any height (or with several one above the other) and can be used both as standard drawers, as well as having a usable shelf surface on top.

Clear Glass Shelves Can Increase Your Storage Space While Keeping Your Space Looking Open
Clear Glass Shelves Can Increase Your Storage Space While Keeping Your Space Looking Open

Layered glass shelves like Rhol’s Vanity Shelf 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!) and because you can see through them, they don’t make the room more claustrophobic than it already is.

Wall Mounted Glass Shelf with Towel Rack
Wall Mounted Glass Shelf with Towel Rack

For a double whammy, make the lowermost one one like this Glass Shelf With Towel Rack, which will not only save you having to mount a towel bar, but also has a nice rim around the edge of the shelf to keep you from knocking over your trinkets when you dry your hands. If you do have to install a towel bar, or another one in another spot (one for hand towels, one for bath towels, say), make sure to make it a Double Bar – you only have to install it once, but can use it twice as much, in about the same amount of space. A Swivel Bar will take up even less space, but might be a little too modern for a country bathroom.

Wall Mounted Toothbrush Holder from the Perrin & Rowe Series
Wall Mounted Toothbrush Holder from the Perrin & Rowe Series

Of course, while an aggressive use 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 this Wall Mount Toothbrush Holder and it’s brethren Soap Dish and His/Hers 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.

Broan Octagon Beveled Medicine Cabinet
Broan Octagon Beveled Medicine Cabinet

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. This huge¬† Octagon Medicine Cabinet actually adds MORE mirror. It also makes a nice pair for the wall mounted toothbrush holder and its ilk, as the clipped corners add a little extra room for you to mount the other hardware.

Broan Slider, Stainless Frame Medicine Cabinet
Broan Slider, Stainless Frame Medicine Cabinet

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, like this Slider Medicine Cabinet – 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.

Broan Float Glass Medicine Cabinet
Broan Float Glass Medicine Cabinet

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 shelf. Like the storage drawers I mentioned earlier, this small mirror-fronted Shelf-Sized Medicine Cabinet can either be coupled with an existing mirror or, like this Sliding Medicine Cabinet Shelf, can be installed on its own to add both shelf space and private cabinet space, as well as a little more in the way of reflective surfaces, which can make a room look a little larger.

Broan-NuTone Chrome Trim, Chrome Frame
Broan-NuTone Chrome Trim, Chrome Frame

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 – and if that’s the case, a Corner Mount 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!