5 mistakes to avoid when organizing a bathroom cabinet – experts have these warnings

Professional organizers share the 5 common missteps preventing you from having an organized bathroom cabinet

bathroom with freestanding tub and cabinetry
(Image credit: Future PLC)

Our bathrooms are busy places, and products soon pile up if we don't empty out our cabinets now and then. 

Organizing your bathroom cabinet really is one of the most effective ways to tidy and bring order to the bathroom. It allows you to put in place a system so you can easily store and retrieve the right bathroom items when you need them. Because they hold lots of different items, it is necessary that your bathroom storage spaces are primed and ready to make the most out of the space.

Fortunately, our experts have declared 5 of these mistakes people make so you can fix them as soon as possible, whether organizing a small bathroom or larger, family bathroom..

Experts share 5 mistakes people make when organizing a bathroom cabinet

Listen to our experts and turn your bathroom cabinet from disorganized chaos into functional furniture that is fit for purpose.

1. A lack of categorization

An example of small bathroom storage ideas showing a close-up shot of a single bathroom vanity with storage drawers

Photography: David Giles

(Image credit: Future)

One mistake that people make is not spending the time grouping their bathroom cabinet items. To maintain an organized bathroom cabinet, it is crucial to group similar items together. 

For example, store all skincare products in one section, hair care products in another, and so on. We recommend adding basket label clips, at Amazon to your storage bins so that you can locate and store items easily. This will make it easier to find what you need and prevent items from becoming disorganized over time. 

Sorting bathroom items into categories is particularly helpful if you're currently trying to organize a bathroom with too much stuff, as it will highlight duplicates.

2. Not utilizing vertical space

bathroom with tub and cabinet space

(Image credit: Future PLC)

We also often make the mistake of not taking advantage of vertical space when organizing bathroom vanities and cabinets.

‘Instead of just pushing things back into the cabinet, consider using bins, shelves, and other storage solutions to maximize space,’ says bathroom expert Aidan Smith at Hello Bathrooms. ‘This will help to maximize the vertical space and create additional storage options for smaller items.’

Utilizing vertical space can help you make sure that everything is organized neatly and easily accessible. Try these great storage bins from Amazon that can be stored on top of each other.

Aidan Smith
Aidan Smith

Aidan Smith is a passionate bathroom expert and the author behind Hello Bathrooms. With extensive experience and a thorough understanding of the industry, he prides himself on providing reliable and insightful tips to help you create your dream bathroom.

3. Keeping expired products

Green bathroom with green tiles, showing modular string shelving unit in white, shelf, cabinet, mirror and hook sections, shelf positioned above small white sink

(Image credit: String Futniture)

Many people hold onto expired medications, cosmetics, or personal care items. This mistake often occurs as people purchase toiletries without ever looking at the expiry date and will keep the item until it has run out.

‘Toiletries really do have a shelf life,’ says professional organizer Mary Jo Contello. ‘It is nice to put a date you acquire or open something so you can help to determine how long it has been in the cabinet.’

Regularly purging these items can free up a lot of space and make it a lot easier to organize.

Mary Jo Contello
Mary Jo Contello

Mary Jo Contello spent years in the corporate world, when downsizing and layoffs left her with a sudden need for a new direction in life. Passionate about organizing,  she started Organized by MJ with the goal of cleaning and organizing people’s spaces in Houston, TX and the surrounding communities. MJ is also a member of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing (NAPO).

4. Not using organizers

Not using containers, dividers, or bins can lead to a jumbled mess. Invest in storage solutions that help separate and categorize items.

‘Remember, the goal of organizing your bathroom cabinet is to make your daily routine more efficient and enjoyable,’ says professional organizer Bonnie Borromeo Tomlinson. Customize the organization to suit your lifestyle, and be open to adjusting your system as needed to maintain a clutter-free and functional space.

Stop buying bins book cover
Bonnie Borromeo Tomlinson

Bonnie Borromeo Tomlinson is the author of Stop Buying Bins & other blunt but practical advice from a home organizer. She was the principal of Bonnie Lia Interiors, a home organizing and interior decorating firm with clients in MD, VA, DC.

5. Not making use of dead space

Traditional, country style bathroom with tiled flooring, blue painted paneling and matching, wooden sink unit, rounded mirror with cream frame, two metallic wall lights either side, wooden ladder acting as shelving unit, towels stored on each section

(Image credit: Polly Eltes)

The areas around the door, hinges, and corners are often neglected when it comes to organizing a bathroom cabinet. Make the most of these areas by using slim storage solutions such as shelves, baskets, and bins. 

This will help you make use of every inch of space in your bathroom cabinet and keep everything well organized.


What color is most flattering in a bathroom?

Soothing neutrals in blue, green, and gray will help create a relaxing, spa-like vibe for your bathroom. Look for colors inspired by nature like soft sage, sky blue, and ash gray. If you prefer warmer colors, opt for a pale yellow, warm beige, or even a delicate blush color to give the space a welcoming glow.

Organizing a bathroom cabinet is not a one-time task. We often forget to maintain the organization we have established. It is essential to regularly reassess the contents of the cabinet, discard expired products, and reorganize as needed. This will help prevent clutter from building up again and maintain an organized space in the long run.

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.