How to organize a bathroom with too much stuff

Bathrooms can accumulate so many things, but they needn’t be messy – find out some key ways to keep your full bathroom tidy

bathroom with tub and storage alcoves for baskets and towels
(Image credit: Netflix / Dream Home Makeover)

Whether you have a habit of buying lots of products, you share the bathroom with many people, or it’s simply become a super multi-functional room, fear not – there are many bathroom organization ideas that will create a calmer atmosphere.

You wouldn’t be alone if your bathroom started off somewhat sparse and suddenly became a catch-all complete with everything from the necessary toothpaste and toothbrush to the not-so-necessary spare bobby pins and more shampoos than you care to think about.

It might seem like a daunting task to get started with decluttering and organizing, but take it from us – there is a way!

 How to organize a bathroom 

Every bathroom comes with its own challenges, but we have a range of solutions that should help. Perhaps you are trying to organize a bathroom without enough storage space, perhaps it’s on the small side, or it’s got an odd configuration – whatever the cause, we’ve got you covered.

double vanity with cabinetry and mirrors

(Image credit: Future PLC)

1. Remove any expired products

‘Given the products and medications that are often stored in a bathroom, it is important to go through a bathroom and check expiration dates once or twice a year. Too often there are many expired items in the bathroom that need to be thrown out.

‘No matter the space we are organizing, the first step is always to purge what is no longer needed or wanted,’ says Juliana Meidl from home organization company Serenity at Home. 

Juliana Meidl

Juliana Meidl has been a professional home organizer for many years, having found that the key to a serene home was finding the perfect organization techniques that work for the family. 

2. Chip away at bathroom clutter

Organizing a medicine cabinet black cabinet on grey wall

(Image credit: Future)

Beyond a place to keep clean, the bathroom often becomes a place to keep our towels dry, to store medication and spare bathroom products and so much more. At some stage, we over-accumulate to the point that it’s overwhelming and we don’t know where or, perhaps more importantly, how to start.

According to Lauren Saltman, professional organizer and owner at Living. Simplified., the first thing to do is declutter: ‘Creating your organized home always starts with decluttering the area you are working to improve. How you go about decluttering the area will look different for each person. One way to declutter an area in your home would be to set aside several hours in one day to tackle the entire area.

‘Another way to remove the clutter is to set a timer for 15 minutes each day and only work for that amount of time. You might want to invite a friend over to help or even hire a professional organizer to work alongside you and help you make the many decisions regarding what to keep, what to discard and what to donate or sell.’

Lauren Saltman
Lauren Saltman

Lauren Saltman is a professional organizer and owner of Living. Simplified., a professional organizing company serving the greater seacoast of New Hampshire, southern Maine, and Massachusetts areas.

3. Be intentional about what you store

A bathroom decluttering checklist may help reduce time deliberating over whether something should stay or go. Meredith Goforth, founder of House of Prim, says we should be very picky about what we keep in our bathrooms and argues that this is key to keeping it organized: ‘The first step to creating an efficient bathroom is identifying the items you use daily. You may have to prioritize by relocating the items you use less frequently.’

4. Embrace smart storage options

bathroom with tub and vertical storage with baskets under the vanity area

(Image credit: Future PLC)

One of the main reasons for our disorganized bathrooms is the misuse of storage, but it’s often mistaken as a lack of storage space.

Some easy ways to make the most of the bathroom space are to do the following:

  • Use vertical space to store items
  • Ensure all items are accessible
  • Clear countertops

Serenity at Home’s Juliana Meidl had wise words to help with vertical storage as well. She suggested: ‘To maximize the vertical space under a sink, we love using The Home Edit Drawers, at Amazon under the sink. They are stackable which allows you to maximize that vertical space.’

5. Group similar items together

Meanwhile, Lauren Saltman emphasizes ways to make everyone can access what they’re looking for with ease and knows where to find it: ‘It's important to group like items together so that you, and others living with you, can find exactly what they need when they need it.

‘In your bathroom, you might want to have a dedicated bin to help organize a bathroom for a better morning routine, and another bin to hold over-the-counter medications and a shelf to hold towels.’ 

6. Use drawer dividers

Lifestyle blogger Chantelle Hartman Malarkey encourages you to have multiple layers of shelving and use dividers as another way to keep the items accessible and not forgotten, which could lead to purchasing them again: ‘This will help so you can get the most effective use out of the space by using the entire cabinet without losing items in the back that you cannot see and then becoming hard to access.

‘These shelves set products up in rows so that items in the back can be seen over items in the front. Great for bottles of products.’

7. Keep counters clear

bathroom with marble surface, white sink and mirror

(Image credit: Future PLC)

She also highlights that though worktops can be great for quick and easy accessibility, they can also make a space look messier, especially if not maintained: ‘for a space to feel and look organized, keep as many things off the countertops and in cabinets and drawers as possible.

‘Visually, your bathroom will look cleaner and more organized if your countertops are not full of products.’ 

8. Increase accessibility with organizational products

We’ve mentioned The Home Edit’s drawers, but there are plenty of ways to organize your shelves. Perhaps you have space for the drawers but would like something more compact. Alternatively, it may simply be that you’re looking for a way to keep the space tidy once you’ve got your space decluttered. Below are some more tips for you.

Juliana Meidl suggested Lazy Susan, found at Wayfair, which can help both with keeping products with like products as well as ensuring they’re accessible, much like this: ‘We also love using a lazy susan under a sink for cleaning or beauty products. This keeps products from being pushed to the back and lost in the cabinet.' 


How do I categorize toiletries?

Put like with like. One of the common themes when it comes to a cluttered bathroom with too much stuff is that everything becomes hard to find. So, separate the medication and make sure they’re all together, then mouth i.e. toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash etc should be grouped together, creams and moisturizers together, and seasonal i.e. allergy products and sunscreen.

Where do I store things if I have no cupboard space?

Besides the vertical storage, often the nooks are overlooked. One of the key places can be behind a door. Though necessary, a door takes up a chunk of wall space but that doesn’t mean it can’t be used. Hanging door racks can be used to store bathroom products as well such as this over-the-door storage rack from Target.

Elsewhere, professional home organizer Sarah Dunn makes the point that generally people only use a fraction of the things they own and so bearing this in mind, buy less and the organized space will follow: ‘Only fill your drawers and cabinets ~80% full, otherwise you'll never be able to maintain the organization.

‘Work with the constraints of your home. Come to terms with the fact that you only use about 20% of what you own at any given time.’

Ije Teunissen-Oligboh
Contributing Editor

Ije Teunissen-Oligboh is an NCTJ qualified journalist with a love of home decor and design, who has written for a range of publications ranging from The Sun to The Independent. While designing and replanning her own home, Ije enjoys baking, cooking, sports, and is studying for a garden design diploma.