For many of us, the bathroom is an inner sanctum that sees a lot of action over the course of a day. It's also the repository of the essential stuff that keeps us clean, dewy fresh and coiffed to perfection.
If your bathroom is groaning under the weight of more potions, appliances and perfumes than your shelf space can accommodate, it's time to take action. Intimate spaces don't have to be space challenged. If that charming pedestal sink wiped out all your useful storage, or your vanity isn't large enough to conceal the telltale signs of your quest for the best moisturizer on the planet, there are ways to make the most of what you've got -- spacewise, anyway.
5: Skinny Shelving
Think of skinny shelving as a tower of power. These super-narrow shelves spread up rather than out. For a bathroom, they're an ideal fit for bottles, tubes and other small items. Because the shelves can be as little as 8 inches from side to side and stack five to 10 shelves high, they're a good size to fit between a commode and vanity or a commode and tub. They can also add height and a focal point to your room. Want to conceal a few of your necessary items? Place them in narrow decorative baskets before shelving them.
4: Utility Shelving
It's amazing how many different types of shelves and utility containers are specifically designed to fit the existing landscape of your bathroom. From shelves that straddle the commode to wire racks that fit over your showerhead, these small bathroom must-haves make life easier by adding task-specific storage where you need it. They don't have to look cheesy, either. With the addition of decorative items, like folded mini-towels and woven baskets, you can have style and storage, too. Need more options? Check the housewares aisle of your local home improvement store. You may be able to add shelving to the doors on your vanity or even replace your medicine cabinet with a deeper or taller unit.
3: Corner Units
If you have an older home or your bathroom is an add-on, you might have a nice empty corner that can house a small wood or wicker cabinet. These stand-alone units can look quaint and charming too. Instead of choosing a rectangular unit, though, try a triangular corner unit. It'll streamline the space and look like it's been custom-fit. If you can't find a corner unit designed for a bath, try your local kitchen supply outlet for a few likely candidates.
2: Hide Items in Plain Sight
When bathroom space is at a premium, you can always take the direct approach and keep your personal items on countertops and on standard wall shelves. To ensure privacy, conceal your necessary items in wooden, wicker or wire containers. Most craft and home improvement stores carry reasonably priced boxes, baskets, bags and hampers designed for open shelving applications. The only taxing part will be choosing storage containers that are a good match for your personal grooming inventory.
1: Purge, Consolidate and Organize
You can't always buy a solution to the problem of finding enough storage space. Keeping bathroom clutter to a minimum, corralling like items so you know where they are when you need them and getting rid of what you don't use are all part of an efficient bathroom storage strategy. Rotating seasonal items to another room can be a space-saver, too. After all, when there's snow on the windowsill, do you really need four bottles of sunscreen in your medicine cabinet?
Taking a quarterly bathroom inventory can help you get rid of expired prescriptions, crusty lipsticks, dull razors and all the other by-products of an active and stylish lifestyle. Just think of all the space you'll free up for other things.
Lots More Information
- Bathroom Facts. "Bathroom Facts." Undated. 6/15/10.http://www.randomfacts.org/bathroom-facts-328/
- Better Homes and Gardens. "22 Bathroom Storage Ideas. Undated 6/12/10."http://www.bhg.com/home-improvement/storage/bathroom/bathroom-storage-ideas/
- Hennen, Leah. "Create Utility in Small Rooms." Undated. 3/14/10.http://www.hgtv.com/decorating/create-utility-in-small-spaces/index.html
- Home Depot. "Decorating 1-2-3." Meredith Books. 2000
- Kitchen Bath Ideas. "Maximizing Bathroom Storage Space." Undated. 6/12/10.http://www.kitchenbathideas.com/plan/bathroom/design/maximizing-storage-space/
- My Great Home. "Storage Solutions For Your Home." Undated. 6/12/10.http://www.mygreathome.com/indoors/organization/storage.htm
- Petrowski, Elaine Martin. "How to Design Small Baths So They Feel Roomier." Undated. 6/15/10.http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/article/0,,337003,00.html#
- Walton, Stewart and Sally Walton. "The Complete Home Decorator." Anness Publishing Ltd. 1997
- Wolf, Buck. "The End of Quiet Bathroom Time." ABC News. 6/14/01. 6/14/10http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/WolfFiles/story?id=93103&page=1