Organizing a bathroom – 10 tidy tips to establish order

Apply these organizing tips to your bathroom to create a calm and stylish space, whatever the size of your room

A standalone wooden shelving unit beside a sink with a lamp on top / A roll top bath in a window with a large curtain hanging beside it / A wooden bathroom drawer vanity with two sinks and matching mirrors
(Image credit: Original BTC / Tori Murphy / Davey Lighting)

Organizing a bathroom is essential if you want to avoid daily frustration when trying to get ready for work or enjoy a soothing shower at the end of the day with the added benefit of having the power to completely transform the space. 

Indeed, there are plenty of bathroom ideas to help you organize your room, from hooks for robes to custom-made vanities that optimize the space. 

Whether you are trying to organize a bathroom with no storage or organize a bathroom with too much stuff, this is how to get this essential high-traffic spot in order. 

Organizing a bathroom

'Well-planned bathroom storage ideas have become an absolute essential in bathroom design today,’ begins Yousef Mansuri, director of design at CP Hart. ‘Somewhere to stow toiletries and cosmetics out of sight allows surfaces to be kept clear of clutter, allows for easy cleaning, and enhances calm and order – perfect for a spa bathroom vibe.’

We’ve put together the bathroom organizer ideas that’ll make it functional and beautiful.

1. Make space under the sink

modern bathroom vanity and cabinetry by Studio LIFESTYLE

(Image credit: Studio LIFE/STYLE)

Your best friend when organizing a bathroom? Bathroom vanity ideas

'Toiletries and cosmetics need to be contained and put away out of sight; find space in bathroom cabinets and drawers and keep spares together somewhere,' urges Gillian Gudgeon, APDO member, professional organizer, and founder of Restore the Calm.  'These should be kept in a cool and dark space, such as in an organized bathroom vanity, to prolong their life.  

'These small jars, bottles, and products laid out on top of a cabinet are one of the quickest ways to make your bathroom look very cluttered, and they are difficult to clean around,' she explains.  

Gillian Gudgeon

Gillian helps her clients declutter their homes with peace and calmness in mind, curating a functioning home that helps them find order in everyday chaos. 

2. Keep must-haves in a convenient caddy

Bathroom with storage caddy alongside bath with wood panel

(Image credit: Future)

Keeping bottles and products around the rim of a bathroom is one of the worst bathroom organizing mistakes that make your room look cluttered. A great way to counter this while keeping your products close to hand is to use a moveable caddy, suggests Gabriella Dyson, Solved section editor at Homes & Gardens:

'For me, the perfect solution for organizing a bathroom is a smart caddy – you can stack it with your favorite bath salts, essential oils, face masks – even a candle – and keep it near the bath, neatly tucked away when not in use.'

Gabriella Dyson
Gabriella Dyson

Gabriella Dyson is Head of Solved at Homes & Gardens, editing and writing practical advice for homeowners in the process of cleaning, decluttering, or attempting home improvements and DIY projects. Gabriella previously worked on, writing features about issues surrounding historic and listed building projects.

3. Hide general clutter behind cabinet doors

Bespoke bathroom storage in walnut

(Image credit: Waterworks)

Like the idea of a bathroom with no clutter in sight? Make use of vertical space, as well as horizontal. Organizing a bathroom closet successfully can optimize the room’s potential. 

Professional organizer Heather Aiello recommends using clear containers in linen closets to contain backstock products so that you can keep an eye on everything you have to avoid overspending. This minimizes bathroom clutter and waste, helping you to save money at home too. 

This kind of unit can hold everything from bottles to towels – and is perfect if you are looking for small bathroom storage ideas. The most efficient pieces will be built in – these can fit awkward spaces best; choose half-depth units for bottles so that everything is always on view; towels will need deeper cabinets.

Heather Aiello
Heather Aiello

Heather Aiello is the founder of home organizing company in the Boston area, The Organized You. She believes in creating solutions that you can live with when she and her team leave your home – her goal is to develop a customized solution for you to maintain now and in the future. She is also a member of the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and various Boston area business groups.

4. Use a niche to display pretty products

Alcove shelves in the bathroom with towels, flowers, soaps and a white dish above a white bath.

(Image credit: Polly Eltes)

Organizing bathroom shelves and cubbies needs to result in a display that’s aesthetically pleasing as well as practical. So, while you might hide away anything from hair bands to nail varnishes in pretty baskets, it is still worth leaving space on your bathroom shelves for elements of display. This will make your bathroom feel calmer, more curated and more luxurious.

'In a small space, the pieces on display can be beautiful bottles filled with your favorite bath salts or bubbles,' says Andrea Childs, editor of Country Homes & Interiors.

You could also leave a few of your fluffy towels on display with help from a towel rack or rail. 

5. Label family essentials

Labeled baskets in bathroom

(Image credit: Future)

If you are looking for family bathroom ideas that are all about good organization, the key is to follow the maxim: a place for everything and everything in its place. Using labels or designated areas for each family member's items helps to avoid confusion and disagreements while also teaching children responsibility for their spot, says Nicole Gabai, certified professional organizer and owner of B. Organized:

'If there are multiple people sharing one bathroom, assign each member of the family a different towel rack or hook to hang wet towels to avoid confusion. You can also assign each person their own toiletries bucket or bag to keep in their bedroom and use to tote grooming supplies to and from the bathroom each morning to help organize a bathroom for a better morning routine.'

Labeling items and storage baskets can also help reduce your mental load by preventing people from asking you where things are rather than looking through containers themselves. 

DYMO Label Maker | View at Amazon

DYMO Label Maker | View at Amazon
Compact and lightweight for portability, making it easy to label just about anything, anywhere. 

Nicole Gabai

Nicole founded B. Organized over 20 years ago and is a Golden Circle member of NAPO – the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals. She's also the author of the best-selling book The Art of Organization, available at Amazon.

6. Keep items close to where you use them

modern bathroom design with zellige tiles and marble

(Image credit: Emily Lauren Interiors / Photography Madeline Harper)

Not everything in a bathroom should be hidden away – shampoo and soap should be close to hand in the shower, and a wall niche is the perfect organization solution. 

Neater and more convenient than having to juggle bottles on the floor or in a caddy, often not large enough to accommodate all the toiletries required, a purpose-designed shelf can be as wide and tall as you require. In this shower by Young Huh Interior Design, the simple white niche provides a crisp contrast against the mosaic wall tile and brass fittings.

7. Make use of wall space

bathroom cupboard with mirror door

(Image credit: Paul Craig)

‘Pipework and other services are often hidden behind stud walls which can reduce the overall size of a bathroom, so we always seek to make the best possible use of this space – often done through recessed towel radiators and concealed storage,’ says architectural designer Richard Hastings of RJHArchitecture, who designed this clever bathroom cabinet idea

‘Here, we were able to create a large cupboard with internal glass shelves for organizing toiletries, while a continuation of the stud walling was used to create a wall niche in the shower, which you can see reflected in the mirror.’

Organizing a bathroom cabinet well is important even if the contents are concealed when the door is closed. Group items and make sure never to overfill the space making them hard to access.

And if you are organizing a medicine cabinet, ensure it is high enough on the wall to be well out of reach of young children, or lockable.

8. Make visible storage aesthetic

Intricate, gray tiled wall, square white mirror above a black and light wood sink unit, dark wood flooring, light wood towel ladder with white towels, two wall lamps either side of the mirror

(Image credit: Neptune)

Not all of your storage has to be purely functional. Some can be used as bathroom decor, too, for a practical touch that doesn't add to unnecessary clutter. 

For instance, beautiful glass canisters – and even Kilner jars – stood alone on a shelf or grouped together on a vanity unit can help in organizing a bathroom countertop and add a pretty vignette, too. Perfect for storing everything from soaps to cotton buds, antique finds, and colored glass adds extra interest.

Using nice woven baskets on shelves or in cabinets is another great way to keep bulkier items, such as towels and hair accessories, contained without messy piles. 

Woven Storage baskets | $34.95 for three at Amazon

Woven Storage baskets | $34.95 for three at Amazon
These woven storage baskets come in sets of three for a uniform organizing scheme and are available in four colors to match any space 

9. Hang items where they can dry

Peg board and hooks with accessories in bathroom

(Image credit: Future)

Bathrooms are hotspots for moisture, so using wall hooks and pegboards to hang items where they can dry is a must if you want to avoid mold and mildew and make a bathroom smell nice. 

David Janovic, founder and managing director of RJ Living says: 'If you don't want to block the whole area with a cabinet, you can still increase your storage with decorative wall hooks. Choose moisture-resistant hooks to hang towels, plants, or other items, keeping the bathroom organized and adding a decorative touch.' 

10. Declutter and keep towels together

Towel storage

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

Towels are often the bulkiest items in a bathroom and can be the most difficult to keep organized neatly. The trick to towel storage is not only to declutter the thread-worn ones but to fold the others neatly so that they look perfect on display and fit wonderfully into storage without putting up a fight, says Joanna Ross, general manager of design at Sheridan:

'My favorite technique when it comes to displaying towels in the bathroom is similar to what you see in a hotel. It’s one of the simplest and least time-consuming methods and involves laying the towel flat and then folding each long edge into the middle, so both long edges meet in the center. This leaves you with neat sides, hiding the various labels. 

'Then simply lay the towel over your towel bar and if you are feeling really fancy, order your towels by size starting from the largest at the bottom and working your way to the top with smaller towels.'


How do I keep my bathroom organized?

When organizing a bathroom, always start with decluttering to help minimize how much you have to store. Get rid of any half used products you don't like, travel sized toiletries or items you have taken from hotels that you haven't used in over two years, and empty bottles to help take stock and assess what you might need more of. Then, when everything has been taken out and edited, you can start putting things back into storage, using bins and containers to keep like items together and easy to find when you need them. 

Be aware that you may not be able to stash everything you want in the bathroom itself without overfilling the space. If that’s the case, try organizing a linen closet to include bath linens can take the pressure off the room while still leaving them easy to access when needed.

How do you hide toiletries in a bathroom?

While you might want to have a few pretty glass jars of cotton wool and bath salts on display, most toiletries and personal kits look less attractive and can be more neatly organized in drawers and cupboards – especially if you’re organizing a small bathroom, which can quickly become cluttered. 

Opt for shallow trays in drawers so that it is easy to see the contents at a glance, while organizer bins are a good choice for taller items, such as shampoo bottles. Choose designs that are quick to wipe clean for easy maintenance.

Planning your requirements at the outset of your bathroom project will help you select the right bathroom organization ideas for your needs. This is especially true because a basin in a vanity unit will need to be plumbed in and many bathroom furniture options tend to be fitted and often wall-hung. 

‘You arrange your home how you want and can instantly move furniture around but that’s not so easy in the bathroom,’ says Danish designer Cecilie Manz. ’That’s why I think that people’s decisions are a lot more conscious when selecting bathroom furniture.’

Chiana Dickson
Content Editor

Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for two years, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.

With contributions from