Bathroom Vanity Organization: The Ultimate Guide

It doesn’t seem to take long for a bathroom to descend into chaos. It happens so quickly – you’re rushing to work, so you don’t pack away your things properly. The next day, the same thing happens.

Given this scenario, and our constant need to try out new products, you will soon have a potential disaster. That’s why I’ve created this post on organizing your bathroom. Maybe you have space for a couple of bathroom vanity organizers. Maybe all that you can fit in is an over-the-toilet wood cabinet. Perhaps a shower soap holder would be the perfect addition if you need some shower storage ideas. It doesn’t matter, I’ve got a ton of tips on how to organize a bathroom.

Are you ready to find out more DIY bathroom organization tips and information about how to organize drawers? Then let’s get started!


How to Organize Your Bathroom

how to organize bathroom

The first question is where to start. That’s up to you. What makes the most sense for you? What’s going to be easiest? I suggest starting with an easy win. That means clearing up something that doesn’t take much time. Installing a toothbrush holder is an excellent way to get your toothbrushes organized and off the bathroom vanity.

Most of us would get stuck in difficult tasks first. I don’t recommend this. Starting with something that will offer excellent results within a few minutes is far more motivating. It could be cleaning the cruddy toothpaste off the tube or throwing out that shampoo that you never use.


Do a Quick Purge

You know that lipstick that broke off, and you’ve wanted to fix for the last six months? Bin it. If you haven’t sorted it out yet, you’re not going to. Go through the items you already have.

What about those expensive treatment products that didn’t work for your hair? You’ve been hanging on to them because of the cost, but they don’t do you any good. Get rid of them and use the space for something else.

Ladies, throw out expired makeup, please. Toss any makeup that looks discolored, or that is older than six months. Powder eyeshadow has a longer shelf life, so give that a year. You should bin mascaras and eyeliners, though.

Be ruthless. Figure out when the last time you used something was. If you can’t remember because it’s been too long, bin it. If you only used it once in this last year, does it deserve to take up space? Also, check expiry dates. Anything that’s expired has to go.


Who’ll Need to Use the Bathroom?

Your next question will be to consider how many people are going to use the bathroom. It’s essential to answer this before you learn how to organize a bathroom. After all, you need to make sure that everyone has their own space.


What Needs to Be in That Space?

Now, look at what items you really need in the bathroom. For example, does that fake nail kit need to be there? Not really – why not put it in your bedroom instead? Think of making the space as pragmatic as possible. Only have what you need in there.

Next, make a list of what’s left. What storage containers might you need? If you have a lot of makeup, it makes sense to create a makeup vanity organizer or a makeup wall organizer. Can you take advantage of the wall space in the shower by using a wall mount soap dispenser?


Now, Divide Your Bathroom into Zones by Use

soap holder

The shower and tub are for washing yourself. So, it makes sense to keep items to wash close at hand. The toilet has a different purpose, so it makes no sense to leave your body wash there.

You’ll also want to add storage options that work for each zone. Toilet paper baskets offer a simple and easy way to keep toilet tissue in control. A shower soap dish can be easily set up on the wall of the shower. Consider The Benjamin, a silicone soap holder with drainage holes.

Need a loofah for the bath? Then why not look into bath storage ideas like bathroom hooks to hang it up with? There are tons of different ideas for storage. All you need to do is to pick the one that's most convenient for you.


Small Bathroom Storage Ideas

razor holder

Storage space is even more critical when you have a small bathroom. It’s in these instances where making use of the vertical space is going to become essential. Here are some ideas for you to think about:

• A hanging shower basket: This is easily affixed to the wall and keeps your shampoo, body wash, etc., within easy reach. Don’t have a lot of toiletries to keep there? Then try a simple shower basket with suction cups.

• An over-the-toilet vanity or set of shelves: Why waste the space above the toilet? Consider using a vanity with a set of divisions or install shelves quickly and easily. Or why not repurpose a crate to store toilet tissue in?

• A countertop vanity tower: These, as the name implies, are higher than they are long. The size gives you more space to store odds and ends without cluttering up the countertop.

• A bathroom wall organizer: There are several types and combinations available to you. Some have shelves, hooks, cabinets, cups, and so on.

• An over the sink shelf bathroom organizer: These are great when you don’t have a mirror over the sink. They allow you to store several different items. Try The Harvey, a toothbrush and razor holder that you can affix to your shower wall or over the sink.

Want even more bathroom organization ideas? Check out my post, “27 Small Bathroom Storage Hacks.”


Bathroom Storage

Now that we’ve spit-balled some ideas for smaller bathrooms, let’s have a look at the general types of storage for bathrooms. We’ll look at various types of wooden bathroom storage.

Before we get started on that, though, it’s worth thinking creatively here. In Japan, it’s pretty common to have a sink over the toilet. The sink is built into the cistern of the toilet. When you wash your hands after going to the bathroom, the water fills the cistern.

The sink above the toilet was initially designed to help the environment, but it is also an excellent space-saving idea.

Get creative and see if you can make something out of things you already own. A basket wall organizer, for example, is simple to set up. You need something to attach the baskets to, to hang them, and you’re done.


Bathroom Shelves

Shelves are easy to install, even for those who are not DIY aficionados. The hardest part is ensuring that they’re level. Floating shelves in the bathroom are the most useful because there are no brackets to take up space.

Why not consider incorporating a small drawer organizer made of wood that has a hidden compartment as well? These drawers look the same as a floating shelf, but you can use the space inside as a compartment. No one will ever know the difference.

If you don’t have a big budget, have a look around second-hand shops or auctions to find reclaimed wood. If you’re handy with DIY, it’s a snap to create the shelves. If not, you can always find someone to convert your finds into actual shelves.

There are a lot of creative options here. Why not use a sturdy wooden ladder to create shelves? You’ll need to remove some rungs to that it fits over the toilet properly, but that’s not difficult.

Some people convert an old crate to use in place of toilet paper canisters. Naturally, you’ll want to sand it down properly first if you don’t want splinters in your nether regions.

Bathroom shelves range from the wood shower (storage) through to wrought iron-based models.


Bathroom Cabinets

Here again, you can get creative. You can turn a standard bathroom medicine cabinet into an attractive piece for storage. The size of the room will dictate how deep the cabinets are.

Generally speaking, though, your over-the-bathroom sink organizer or cabinet is shallower to save space.

Help cabinets do double duty by installing hooks on the bottom to hang washcloths on. Or consider adding on a small shelf underneath if space permits.

Have fun with the design of your cabinets. If you want something bold and funky, paint them in bright colors. You can always repaint them if you don’t like them.

If you’re using raw wooden cabinets, you’ll have to varnish them properly. Bathrooms are very hot and humid, especially in winter. This doesn’t bode well for wood that you haven’t properly sealed.

Don’t be confined by the idea so that you must use a plain old medicine cabinet. Why not bring in a small metal cabinet instead? Get creative here and let your imagination run riot.

When fitting the cabinets, ensure that there’s enough space for a bathroom sink organizer to fit underneath.


Bathroom Drawers

If you’re using a bathroom sink caddy, you’re already ahead of the game when it comes to organization. The problem is that any toiletry caddy takes up space. If you have one of the smallest sinks for bathrooms known to man, you might not have space for one.

That’s where under-sink drawers and sink organizers could come in very handy.

If you have a standard round pedestal sink, the pedestal might get in the way of the drawers, so a cabinet would work better. Drawers might also not work well if you have a very deep bathroom sink. In that case, you’d be better off installing a cabinet underneath instead.


Bathroom Organization Ideas

bathroom towel storage

Bathroom organization means that everything has its set space. Don’t let all your toiletries duke it out on the bathroom sink shelf. You’ll want to create separate areas to keep all the toiletries well-organized.

Again, a little creative thinking can save a ton of space. An over-bath caddy, for example, makes use of the wasted space on the edge of the bath. Place items that you’ll use in the bath on it, and you won’t have to waste space in drawers or cabinets. How about some useful bathroom towel storage? Try The Arnold, a sleek set of reusable bathroom towel hooks.

With organization, there are plenty of ways to create inexpensive, DIY versions. For example, it’s easy to make your dividers for drawers.


Make Your Drawer Dividers

All you need is some sturdy cardboard. I recommend covering it with shelf-liners to make it look a bit more polished. I also find that this waterproofs the dividers and help them last longer. If you want to skip that step, though, that’s also fine.

From there, it’s easy. Measure the length, width, and height of the drawer. The divider should be a little shorter than the height of the drawer. It’s simple enough to create equal compartments.

Decide how many compartments you’ll need. You want them to be small enough so that you have a lot of compartments. You also want to ensure that you can fit what you need into each compartment.

Just cut lengths of cardboard that will fit in snugly across the width of the drawer. Along the bottom, mark out where you want the crosses to be. Then cut the cardboard to the length of the drawer. Again, mark along the bottom where the cross will be.

Now that you know where the boards must interlock, you can start cutting. Cut from the top of the longer strips of the card to around halfway down. You’ll need to make the cut wide enough for the interlocking piece to fit in snugly.

Next, take the shorter strips and cut them from the bottom up. Cut them halfway up and make them wide enough for the interlocking piece.

Then slot each piece together. By cutting into the cardboard, you’ve made it possible for the pieces to lock into place correctly. If you’ve used sturdy cardboard, it will hold up quite well. And, best of all, if you get the boxes at your grocery store, it’s not going to cost you anything.


Bathroom Vanity Organizers

toothbrush holder

These come in a range of different types and sizes so that you can find one that will work for you. It could be something as simple as a toiletries’ organizer or a complete white bath storage system.

If you’re looking for a solution that’s highly practical and stylish, The Henry, our toothbrush holder, attaches firmly to any glossy surface. Stick it to the mirror to make shaving and brushing your teeth more convenient.

Alternatively, why not put it up in the shower? Then you can save time by shaving and brushing your teeth while in the shower.


Shower Storage

shower caddy

Shower baskets are not baskets in the wicker weave sense. They’re usually made from plastic, metal, or silicone for obvious reasons. What’s cool about them being made from plastic or silicone is that they’re lighter.

Choose an option that suctions onto the walls for the ultimate in convenience. If you’re looking for a more long-term, elegant option, silicone won’t discolor as easily as plastic. The Frank, our shower caddy with silicone grip technology, is ideal for all your bath accessories.

Shower baskets come in many different styles. Some suction to the wall. Others need to be nailed into the wall. Some need a bathroom hook to hang on.


Bathroom Accessories

organizing toiletries

Bathroom accessories could fill a book all on their own. Like with all things, though, it’s easy to get caught up in the thrill of buying a new gadget. The problem, then, is where to store all the gadgets.

There are not a lot of entirely necessary accessories. Most items in your bathroom should have a practical purpose or be used for storage.

Two bathroom accessories are vital:

• A toilet brush; and

• A silicone squeegee.

The toilet brush is obvious, but why the squeegee blade? A squeegee blade makes it so much easier to clean mirrors and shower doors. Just wash the mirror shower and swipe the squeegee along it to remove the soap. Follow up by wiping the mirror or shower with a piece of newspaper so that it dries completely streak-free.

Best of all, the squeegee is compact and can be easily stored in your toilet caddy or in your chrome bath caddy.

Aside from these two essentials, keep your bathroom clutter-free with ingenious ways of organizing toiletries. The toilet brush will typically come with a holder. Keep this set separate from any toilet caddies to prevent germ transfer.


Shower Soap Dispenser

With the shower, most of what we want is something to keep the shampoo and soap or body wash neat and tidy. A shampoo dispenser is a great way to save space and can help make things easier when showering. If you use conditioner, get a shower dispenser with two compartments.

I’d suggest getting a dual model anyway, especially if you own your home. Having both compartments might not be essential for you. It might, however, make sense for the next person to come along. You can always fill one side with shampoo and the other with body wash.

If you prefer a solid bar of soap, then you’ll need to find a shower soap holder. The average soap dish has had a stylish overhaul in the last few years.

The modern bar soap holder has clean lines and is designed to be unobtrusive and space-saving. A plastic or ceramic bathroom soap holder is the more traditional option. That said, I’ve also found a silicone soap holder for a shower that is both elegant and practical.

The key here is to look for a recessed soap dish that drains well. Almost anything can be pressed into service as a soap bar holder, though.

If you want to make a DIY soap dish, it’s simple enough. I’d advise using something with a ridged bottom that holds the soap out of the water while it’s draining. I’d also recommend using something with holes in the bottom.

Organizing your bathroom doesn’t have to be a constant chore. All you need is to find the right storage options. I’ve given you a place to start looking with the bathroom organization ideas at Tooletries. All you have to do is go and get that bathroom in order.

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