5 items pro organizers say are must-haves in small bathrooms

Non-negotiables for a small bathroom, according to home organizing professionals

White small bathroom with marble vanity and bath
(Image credit: Future)

Bathrooms are an essential part of the home, however, they are prone to becoming cluttered and untidy, especially when you are struggling with space.

Clever and simple small bathroom storage ideas can transform your bathroom into a functional space that is easy to use and maintain.

So what do the experts recommend? With some tips from professionals on ways to organize a small bathroom, you can conjure up space from nowhere so everything runs more smoothly, whether you are getting ready in the morning or taking a long soak.

5 must-haves for a small bathroom

Home organizers have shared essential bathroom organization items to make the most out of your space.

bathroom with sink and mirror

(Image credit: Future PLC)

1. Over the door storage and hooks

‘I always recommend an over-the-door organizer, at Wayfair, whatever the size of your bathroom,’ says Millie Hurst, section editor at Homes & Gardens. ‘I use mine to store toiletries and a surface spray and microfiber cloth for quickly cleaning the sink and counter before guests come round. I find it frees up space on countertops, which quickly attract clutter, and avoids having anything on the floor. If you often end up with towels or dressing gowns strung over the door, look for an over-the-door unit with hooks for a convenient place to dry them.'

Installing over-the-door storage is especially helpful when your vanity does not have drawers or shelves. People often overlook the potential space on the back of the door, but it is a very simple and quick storage solution that helps to keep bathroom countertops organized.

millie hurst news writer
Millie Hurst

Millie Hurst is Section Editor at Homes & Gardens, overseeing the Solved section, which provides readers with practical advice for their homes. Millie has written about and tried out countless cleaning and DIY hacks in the six years since she became a journalist, and has worked in both London and New York. 

2. Under the sink storage

Red vanity unit with mirror over

(Image credit: Future / Mary Wadsworth)

It is a great idea to take advantage of any existing space under the sink, especially vertically. One way to maximize this space is to get bins and containers that stack, at Amazon. Stackable containers mean that you can use every bit of space that is under your sink. 

It usually helps if they are translucent too so that you can see exactly what is in them, says Jan Arkwright, Founder & Owner of Before & After Organizing. ‘If you want a sleeker look, pull-out stackable drawers, also from Amazon can be arranged to fit the space, too.’

Jan Arkwright
Jan Arkwright

Jan is a professional organizer with over 10 years experience offering custom sustainable organizing solutions for homes and offices. She loves working with clients to help declutter and maximize their space and storage. Jan is also on the board of National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals, as well as the Institute for Challenging Disorganization.  

3. A storage cart on wheels

A bathroom cart is essential when you are trying to maximize space, as they are great for storing towels, personal care products, and other bathroom essentials. 

‘Often, there is a small, usable space between the vanity and the toilet. This is the perfect spot for a narrow cart on wheels,’ says Amy Bloomer, founder and owner of Let Your Space Bloom.

Carts on wheels are also easy to move around the bathroom, especially practical for when you need to clean. They come in many sizes and colors. These carts from Amazon are perfect for fitting into any small space.  

4. A mirrored cabinet

bathroom with sink and mirror

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Combining a bathroom mirror and storage space in one means more space with fewer things cluttering your cabinet tops and sink area. Having a mirrored cabinet offers a convenient way to store your skincare, toothbrush, and everything that you do around the sink area. 

‘They are often discreet and stylish but most importantly functional,’ says Amy Bloomer. ‘A mirrored cabinet also means that a lot of your products do not have to constantly be on display offering a polished finish to your bathroom.’

5. Draw organizers and dividers

Draw organizers, at Amazon are the perfect tool to use so that you know where everything is at all times. Having a designated place for bathroom essentials in your drawers means that there will be less clutter in the room overall. 

‘Everything should be contained, never floating around a drawer. It’s only a matter of time before drawers without separators become a place for clutter,’ says Shannon Krause, Founder & Owner of Tidy Nest. Drawer dividers help separate items like make-up and grooming tools allowing these everyday products to be easily accessible.  

Shannon Krause
Shannon Krause

Shannon Krause is a professional organizer who holds a specialist certificate in Brain-Based Conditions from the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO), and is a Certified Reiki Master which she incorporates into her work with clients. Tidy Nest has helped dozens of clients bring order into their lives and has won local awards recognizing their work. 

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How do you organize a cluttered bathroom?

The first thing to do when organizing a bathroom is to declutter the space first, grouping things into categories is a good way to understand what you have and how much of it you have too, says Amy Bloomer, founder and owner of Let Your Space Bloom. ‘I usually go through everything and separate them, this step also helps when it comes to putting things back in a permanent place.’ 

A small bathroom can be just as functional and stylish as a larger space when you use it to your advantage. The key is to give yourself storage by using the correct products that work for the space. This can transform your previously cluttered bathroom into a sanctuary.

Seraphina Di Mizzurati
Contributing Editor

Seraphina is a contributing editor at Homes & Gardens, writing Solved features on organizing and storage. She loves to decorate and also grow her own produce from her home in London. Her previous experience includes working at Women's Health and Fabulous Magazine.