Big Storage Ideas for Small Bathrooms

folded towels in a basket
What You'll Need
What You'll Need

No matter how small your bathroom is, there are solutions to your storage needs. Small bathrooms leave very little floor space so the only way to go is up! There many decorative, innovative and fun ways to do that. Bonus: they can help keep you organized too.

Now combine the vertical idea with re-purposing used and/or antique items and you will have the most unique and DIY accomplished bathroom in the city!

Look at All that Wall Space

bathroom hooks

Your bathroom may seem too compact for some of these ideas if you only look at the measurements of the floor plan. Instead, go vertical and measure the wall space from top to bottom and width wise to see how much space you really have. This will help you plan out storage options for hanging items. Knowing how much wall space you have will tell you how much head room you may need to leave as well.

Baskets and Crates

Hang or attach a basket to the wall so that the bottom of the basket is against the wall. You can roll your washcloths and towels to fit snuggly in the basket. If you have the space and an extra basket, hang one over the other, leaving some space in between and using that space as an extra shelf.

The same can be done with wood crates or metal crates. Essentially you’re just creating a set of shelves without all the hassle of building a shelving unit. This is a great alternative to a bulky towel rack that is too large when bathroom space is at a premium.

Tip: Use “S” hooks to hang brushes, hair dryers, and other odds and ends from the bottom of one of the crates. If you arrange things with care, it will provide another avenue of storage to keep items off the ground and look like proper décor as opposed to a hanging mess.

Shelves and Shoe Boxes

bathroom shelves

Narrow (6-inch deep) shelves can be put just about anywhere in your bathroom to provide extra storage. Find a handful of shelves of the same type and install one above the doorframe. Chances are that if your bathroom really is so small that you’re using these tips, you’re not using that space for anything other than gathering dust at the moment.

Now, hang the remaining shelves over the toilet, evenly spaced. You can use them for extra toilet tissue, decorative items, or anything else you like.

Alternatively you can paint or cover sturdy shoe boxes in fabric and label the outside with the contents of the box and place them on your new shelves. They will both be decorative and purposeful. If you do decide to paint the boxes, get a can of chalkboard paint for the ends. This is a great way to label in the event you want to change the contents in the future.

Certain smaller objects won’t require something as large as a shelf. Get a unique looking spice rack and hang it near a mirror to keep hairspray, make-up, and many other small items. Mounting a magnetic strip on the wall is also a smart and space-saving way to hold barrettes and bobby pins.

Inside the Shower

Install a spring loaded shower rod a couple of inches off the back wall of the shower. It’s a quick trick and a great place to dry used towels out of sight. Another use for the extra shower rod is to hang plastic baskets (similar to the ones you get berries from the market in) to store sponges, shampoo, and other shower necessities. A few zip strips around the rod and through the basket and you're done. Both the plastic berry bins and zip ties will stand up well to the watery conditions inside your shower, and the berry bins will allow for good drainage so your wet sponge doesn’t become trapped and at risk for mildew.

Jars, Tin Cans, and Boards


The most eye opening thing you can realize when trying to maximize bathroom space is that anything you’d normally set down on a counter or floor that would undoubtedly create cramped quarters, can be mounted and moved out of the way. The same holds true for custom painted mason jars.

Start with some hose clamps and mount them to a board using screws. Then place the mason jars into the hose clamps and tighten until just snug enough to hold the jar in place. Now, just hang the board on the wall and suddenly you’ve got a place to put cotton balls, swabs, toothbrushes, and many other little things.

Mounting boards can also be used for the same purpose with tin cans instead of mason jars, or the board on its own can be an alternative to towel bar.

For the Experienced DIYer

These options require a little more expertise and effort.

Did you find an old briefcase or small suitcase at the flea market? Clean it up and mount to the wall and use as an impromptu medicine cabinet.

If you’re really confident and dying for more bathroom space, you could cut through your drywall, between the studs, frame it out, paint it, and you have a built in shelving unit with a unique look.

Just keep thinking vertically, choose the idea that suits you best, and before you know it your little water closet will be a proper home bathroom.