How to organize a bathroom for a better morning routine: how tidy bathrooms help us destress

These six tricks can help you destress and achieve pre-breakfast bliss

A bathroom with wooden cabinets and dual sinks
(Image credit: Minthouse)

Mornings are difficult at the best of times, but when we can't find our hairbrush or we have run out of toothpaste, they can get significantly worse. 

How we organize a bathroom can have a big impact on how smoothly our day starts, impacting our well-being and stress levels from the moment we get out of bed. 

This is how to organize a bathroom for a better morning routine and a more mindful start to the day. 

How to organize a bathroom for a better morning routine 

Whether you are organizing a bathroom with too much stuff or trying to organize a bathroom with no storage at all, there are some simple switch-ups you can make to tidy this space and positively impact your state of mind. 

1. Declutter to create calm

Neutral bathroom

(Image credit: Arsight)

The first step in simplifying any daily routine is to declutter. 

'Decluttering a bathroom with intention can help to create the sense of calm every morning routine needs,' says Melissa Gugni, professional organizer and owner of Melissa Gugni Organizing. ‘Ask yourself "How do I want to feel when I get ready in the morning? Calm and collected or stressed and scrambling to find things?'

‘If you feel like you can't find your essentials underneath too many perfume samples and old hair products, it is time to do some culling,' Melissa continues. 'Make space for the things you use and enjoy, and remember, almost all bathroom products expire eventually. If you haven't taken a discerning look lately, consider giving it a try.’

Melissa Gugni professional organizer
Melissa Gugni

Melissa Gugni is the owner and lead organizer of Melissa Gugni Organizing, based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is also co-owner of Union Larder, an award-winning wine bar and Little Vine, a wine and cheese shop also in San Francisco.

2. Establish homes for all your essentials

A neutral bathroom with plaster walls and countertops and a large mirror.

(Image credit: Julie Soefer / Marie Flanigan Interiors)

The next key step to perfecting your routine is to nail your home organizing

'If you don’t know where things are, you can’t breeze through your routine,' reminds Melissa Gugni, professional organizer. Melissa likes to have an intentional home for everything in the bathroom – ‘I love pretty storage for disposables like Q-tips, cotton balls, and tissues. Not only does it make for always knowing where they are, but it is also a visual cue for when it is time to buy more, and it's attractive to boot.’

Melissa also recommends single-drawer dividers to help split up existing bathroom storage. ‘Drawer storage in the bathroom gets too messy without dividers,’ she says. ‘These bins can be configured to work for nearly any sized drawer and will fit whatever you need to store, from hair ties to floss to makeup.' 

Make sure you place something like this Gorilla Grips drawer liner from Amazon in the drawer first to keep items from sliding around.

3. Group and label family items

bathroom storage, bathroom cabinet

(Image credit: Habitat)

One thing the most organized families have in common is designated family zones for each family member. 

'This helps to streamline everyone’s morning routines and encourage independence,' explains Brenda Scott, professional organizer and founder of Tidy My Space. ‘Organizing a bathroom for a smoother morning involves having the items you need within easy reach and a quick grab. Look at what items are needed for each task for each person, and if possible, group them so that you don't have to go searching through drawers or cabinets to find what you need.' 

Try storing each person's items in a name-labeled basket in the bathroom. Set out any needed towels and inspect items to make sure you have enough and they're ready to go.

brenda scott home organizing
Brenda Scott

Brenda Scott is passionate about home organizing, decluttering, and creating a safe home. At Tidy My Space, she helps people to keep their homes tidy when life gets busy. Brenda shares useful tips and gives practical help with sorting and editing her clients' spaces.

4. Keep your routine simple

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

(Image credit: Polly Eltes)

Amelie Saint-Jacques, professional organizer and founder of Amelie Organizes, emphasizes that the simpler your routine, the less stressful it will be – it can even help you to become a morning person.

‘I like using a tray to corral items on the countertop,’ she shares. 'This prevents them from looking messy and will also help when it's time to clean your bathroom. You can also use a bin with dividers for lotion and cosmetics. If you have no room on the countertop, I suggest pull-out drawers or a caddy so that things are still accessible.’ 

5. Split up morning items and evening items

bathroom with double vanity, mirror and drawers

(Image credit: Future PLC)

'If you have space when organizing a bathroom cabinet or drawers, it can be worth splitting up your products into your morning products and evening products,' suggests professional organizer Brenda Scott. 

‘This separates morning skincare, makeup, and care products from items not needed for the morning, thus eliminating having to select which item is the right one and reducing the time needed to get ready for the day.' 

If you don't have the space, she also suggests using an over-the-door organizer on the back of the bathroom door to group your morning routine items for ‘a quick grab and get it done.’

6. Remove anything not related to getting ready

modern bathroom brass wall sconces by emily lauren interiors

(Image credit: Emily Lauren Interiors / Photography Lindsay Brown)

'When cleaning a bathroom it helps to remove anything that doesn't belong in there. Not only does it remove distractions to promote a more productive morning routine but it improves your bathroom hygiene too,' says Elizabeth Lulu Miranda, professional organizer and founder of Mercury Organizing. 

‘Personal tech, books, and magazines tend to land there, so it would be beneficial to designate other areas for these items, leaving the bathroom solely for grooming and self-care.

‘Once distractions are removed, set up the bathroom for its intended use. Organize bathroom supplies in the order needed and group similar items together. Utilize vertical space with storage cubes or carts for efficient storage.’

Elizabeth LuLu Miranda
Elizabeth Lulu Miranda

Elizabeth Lulu Miranda is the heart of Mercury Organizing. She is an innovative and resourceful organizer who loves to help people create a better way for themselves. Elizabeth’s passion for organization and efficiency started as a child. Her mother would find her in the kitchen, rearranging the silverware and utensil drawers.


'It's not just your bathroom that impacts how smooth your morning routine will be. Organizing a bedroom and organizing a kitchen can also help relieve some of the stress of waking up,' says Brenda Scott, professional organizer. ‘For example, selecting and setting out clothing the night before is another way of creating a smoother, stress-free morning routine.’

Chiana Dickson
Writer

Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for a year, 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.