Tips for Tidy Tiny Bathrooms

Do you have a tiny bathroom? They can be stressful, because there are certain necessary items you can’t just declutter to make more room. At the very least, a half-bath needs a toilet and sink. A full bath requires those plus a tub and/or shower.

And then you’ve got medicine cabinets, linen closets, waste bins, and more to fit in there. In my last apartment, I also had a litter box in my tiny bathroom! So what’s a minimalist to do when there’s too much bathroom in the space?

1. Know your storage limits. Is there a medicine cabinet built into the wall, or a vanity with storage space under your sink? These may be your limits for bathroom “stuff.” In our bathroom, we have a medicine cabinet and a built-in linen closet but no vanity.

2. Only keep relevant items in the bathroom. This is one that I need to work on, because I have a “cleaning supplies and tools” shelf in our linen closet, and I should really relocate those items.

Our linen closet, in descending order, has:
-First aid items sorted into 3 bins: bandages and gauze, medications, and “other” first aid type things such as hot water bottles, cotton swabs, etc.
-Towels and washcloths: I try to keep the towels organized in three piles: Bath/body towels, hand towels, and washcloths. When I clean the bathroom, I swap out the dirty towels for clean ones that are quite handy right in the linen closet.
-Personal toiletry items: We each have a bin of our bathroom “stuff” like backup body wash, deodorant, etc. I like using the bins because it keeps things from just sprawling all over the place and making me a crazy person.
-Cleaning supplies and tools: I am working on finding new homes for these things, besides things that I use to clean the bathroom. Those are bathroom-relevant.
-Toilet paper: We order a case of toilet paper every few months from Amazon.com, so we have a lot of it at once after we get our shipment. It is neatly stacked at the bottom of our linen closet. The only bad thing about this is that when the roll runs out, it’s too far away to reach so you have to do the dangerous crab-shuffle over to the closet before you accidentally pee on your own leg. I know you know what I’m talking about.

I have also organized our medicine cabinet, although it sometimes accumulates random stuff that needs re-decluttered and put away. Right now it holds my Darth Vader electric toothbrush (jealous?), raw honey (I’ve been known to wash my face with it), floss, the man’s razor and blades, and various man-things that he puts in there to use. As long as it stays relatively orderly in there, I’m not too bothered.

If you have a vanity cabinet with storage, you could also make use of that space.

3. Decorate with lighter colors. Dark colors in a small space will make it look even smaller. Open up the room with light colored paint, shower curtain, etc. My personal favorite is a crisp, clean white. Use the bath mat, shower curtain, or curtains on a window to add a splash of bold color.

4. Clean regularly. I try to clean the bathroom every week. This has been hard to do in the past, because I am one of those people who needs routine to stick with a habit, and I have yet to find my precise bathroom cleaning routine, but last week I may have found it! I have been exercising 6 days per week, in the morning before work. Friday is a rest day, so last Friday I decided to clean the bathroom before work instead of my usual workout – and it went well! It took me about half an hour to scrub down the tub and shower walls, toilet, and sink.

5. Small habits make a big deal. Two of my small bathroom habits are closing the lid before I flush the toilet and making sure the shower curtain is completely spread out (in the “closed” or “in-use” position) after a shower. The toilet lid thing is to prevent the spread of germs. When you flush with the lid open, all the toilet germs go everywhere. It grosses me out. The shower curtain thing is to prevent mold and mildew from growing on the curtain if it’s all bunched up and wet. No good! I also plan to get a spray bottle so that we can spray vinegar water on the shower tile after we shower, just to keep it a little more clean and fresh between cleanings.

What do you do to keep your bathroom tidy?

11 thoughts on “Tips for Tidy Tiny Bathrooms

  1. Lois Field says:

    Hi Caitlin, I too have a relatively small bathroom with zero storage space. It has helped me to keep my possessions in their to a bare minimum. Like you I order the case of toilet paper from Amazon and had to come up with a solution. I have a small 2 tier shelf that fits nicely under my vanity to store the paper and the rest of my stuff in. I keep my daily hygiene products in a wicker basket that can easily be pulled out and put back with no mess.

    • Caitlin says:

      I love little baskets like that. They are so handy. We are blessed with decent storage space but on the other hand it’s easy to have too much and overfill the space. It’s a constant battle!

      • Lois Field says:

        So true. I may be moving in a few months and the apartment has three, count them three closets. That’s in addition to kitchen cabinets and two storage areas in the bathroom. I have no idea what I will do with it all, besides storing my spare wheelchair.

      • Lois Field says:

        Ah, that’s a long answer. Basically there is too much that is wrong with how my apartment is being maintained and managed and a move would allow me to have a more functional home for my disability and be closer to my youngest grandchildren for a while.

      • Lois Field says:

        I really did think I would stay here forever. The next place will be temporary, maybe three years and after that I want to buy land. I really thought having a landlord was what I needed but it’s been frustrating.

      • Lois Field says:

        That’s what I would love to build. Back in the early 90s I even drew up plans for my own earthship and was already to build one. I had source the materials and everything but then couldn’t find a place to build one due to zoning regulations.

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