Bathroom taps

How Much Storage Do You Need in A Bathroom?

Author: Lauren Coleman

It seems to be the time of year when we have to chat about decluttering. Everyone is clearing out their drawers, loading up the bin bags and on a mission to become more streamlined. My area to tackle; the bathroom.

I’m sure you’ll be pleased to know my bathroom saga is almost over. We’ve come up against pretty much every problem possible when putting this room back together but now I’m on to the good bit. Oh hello finishing touches.

The previous bathroom didn’t have any storage to speak of as such. We’ve kept the layout of the new bathroom the same so these ‘before’ snaps give you an idea of the floorplan. If you look back at the before snap you’ll see a wicker basket next to the sink which I used to store my make-up in and everyday toiletries. The new bath is longer yet slimmer than the old one and the new toilet is a similar size to the old so their footprint is almost identical. The new basin though, is considerably bigger so space is at even more of a premium than before.

So how much storage do I actually need in the bathroom? Turns out a lot less than I originally thought, which is handy.

How Many Bottles?

Last night I went through all my toiletries. Marie Kondo would be proud because gone are the days when I’d work through a basket a night. I got EVERYTHING out; all the lotions & potions. I discarded, decanted and recycled leaving me with a much smaller collection. (There’s a post I wrote three years ago on decluttering beauty products if you want to take a peek).

We have a shower room across the landing which has a good sized storage unit so the not-so-essentials are stored in there. Yes I realise it’s not particularly handy to say my greatest storage tip is to have another bathroom to store all the crap but I’ve farmed out items to other sensible locations too. All the medical supplies are now under the bed and my hair paraphernalia is far more useful in the spare room with my hairdryer. Voilà, a slimmed down collection of products in far more practical homes.

How Much Space?

When we first moved house I had a notebook with dimensions of various room, nooks and crannies so that I didn’t get carried away and splash out on a mega piece of furniture to fit in a mini place. Somehow I completely forgot my own tip and originally planned to get a metal wall cupboard which I’ve since realised would look utterly ridiculous in the space as it was humongous.
I am so glad said wall unit was permanently out of stock therefore forcing me to keep an empty wall until the suite was in place. In turn I realised I was working with a much smaller space than I anticipated. Always measure ahead, and take account of depth as well as height and width because it can catch you out. The one below from Rebecca’s Minimalist Home Tour would have been a far better fit.

Small Bathroom Cabinet

Wish List

It’s hardly rocket science but once I’d got all the toiletries together I realised I needed far less storage than I originally thought, so given my new steamlined collection I’ve decided I need:

  • Functional yet attractive basket for make-up and skincare products to store next to the sink. This has to have some form of lid on it as I want to be able to clear away the clutter.
  • Smallish shelving (again functional yet attractive) to hang on the wall over the bath to display fancy bath supplies, obligatory designer candle and a very necessary flower stem or two. No one needs to see my three-for-two boots shampoo but it’s nice to flash the Cowshed.
  • Stylish shower caddy. As the shower is neatly hidden away in the corner I was hoping I could get a bit creative with the storage in here and store a few more bottles.
  • Bath caddy. For no other purpose other than to look nice and to hold a glass of vino when I’m relaxing in the bubbles.

The Short List

For the basket, I found one in HomeSense that ticks my boxes. Ali Baba style so on-trend, with a lid to hide the clutter and the right size to be able to get my hand in and store things neatly. Plus it was only 20 quid as I’ve seen ones for three or four times that amount! You can see a pic of it over on my Insta.

Bath Caddy
I’ve just bought this one from Amazon as it’s one of the few I could find where the full length was utilised. I’m not sure why I want the full length, maybe to hold another glass of wine?! A few more below which might take your fancy.

  • Dunelm White Pine Bath Rack
    Dunelm White Pine Bath Rack
  • The White Company Bath Tidy
    The White Company Bath Tidy
  • Ko Pi Pi Bath Tray
    Wayfair Ko Pi Pi Bath Tray
  • Woodluv Luxury Bamboo Bath Bridge
    Woodluv Luxury Bamboo Bath Bridge

Attractive shelving unit
I’ve not got much room here. I’m thinking a max of 60cm otherwise it’s going to be too overpowering. I love a picture ledge or two and was contemplating making my own after we knocked up a few in our hall. However I’ve notice House Doctor do a white metal version of the brass one I used in my dressing room which could also work although I’d much prefer a chrome version.
Charlotte has put me on these handy waterproof boxes from John Lewis which are the perfect size for their shelves. However the shelves seem to have disappeared from their website so that’s put an end to that. Nice box though.
On the subject of shelfies, I was wondering if something like this cheeky above-the-door shelf would be a good idea would be a good one for storing towels?

  • House Doctor White Ledge
    House Doctor White Ledge
  • House by John Lewis Bathroom Storage Box
    House by John Lewis Bathroom Storage Box
    Cox and Cox Wire Shelf Rack with Hooks
  • Cox and Cox Industrial Shelf With Hooks
    Cox and Cox Industrial Shelf With Hooks

Shower storage
As much as I love the pinterest-worthy recessed shower shelving and cubbies, there was no way I was going to give up valuable space to account for a cavity. However, where the devil can one find metal shower shelving that doesn’t rust and is practical and stylish? Answers on a postcard (or in the comments please).

Anyone else underestimated the amount of storage they need? How are you storing your bathroom products and do you have any ingenious solutions for your lotions and potions?

Lauren likes Paris, Prosecco and Paint Charts
Follow Lauren on instagram @mrslaurencoleman
This post may include affiliate links.
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16 thoughts on “How Much Storage Do You Need in A Bathroom?

  1. Your bathroom is looking fabulous on instagram – this is pertinently timed for me Lauren as yesterday I loaned my side-table-acting-as-bathroom-storage-unit to my sister to use in her living room to dress her house for sale. We are really struggling even more now for storage in our bathroom. That’s ok for now as our bathroom is falling apart and due to be refitted (at some point) this year but losing that piece of furniture has brought into sharp focus the potential storage issues in our bathroom when we DO come to do it up.

    We currently have a despicable built-in shelving unit of sorts at the end of the bath but that is earmarked for the chop as our bath position is being turned through 90°. Your post has made me realise that I would be wise to incorporate an equivalent cupboard though if I can. You’re right though, cutting down on products is key, but that’s super hard when your husband is a potion junkie and your toddlers hair is longer than your own (and mines pretty long!).

    I hadn’t considered until your post that we will have an en suite too by the time our bathroom is refitted and how that will reduce the product count in the main bathroom. I love the over-the-door shelf idea for a tight bathroom too. And that bath caddy is perfect – you can spend so much on those but that one is the ideal shape and a good price too.

    It’s lovely to daydream about caddys and alibaba baskets when my reality is a planning application 7 weeks past target decision date so thank you for the distraction!

    1. I’m also pretty sure that toiletries mutate too – that one bottle of dry shampoo will miraculously turn into three over the next few months and I’ll need a load more baskets!
      Exciting times ahead on the renovation Philippa, really hope your planning application comes through very soon. x

  2. I got in as much storage as I could when I did my bathroom a few years ago, but we were tight on space and money. We have a vanity unit with two deep drawers, then a tall wooden towel/shelf holder thing and a massive but shallow mirrored medicine cabinet. The towel holder has a basket on the bottom shelf to hold small things. The bath toys are in one of those mesh drainer bags along the inside of the bath, so it can’t be seen unless you stand above it. Bigger bath toys are also stuck along that side to make them less visible. Shower scrunchies and wiper blade also live along there. We have a metal shower toiletry shelf which is stuck on with suction so it won’t be too bad to replace when it eventually rusts. I wouldn’t exactly call it stylish, but it hasn’t rusted in two years and is easy to take down and clean. It has these two big suction pads on the back, so I decant my toiletries into brown bottles from muji and make sure they’re hidden behind. Have a fairly minimal looking towel holder over the top of the door. That is juat about enough storage for us, but I keep hair and makeup things in my dressing table area and the humongous bag of toilet rolls in my wardrobe. I really hate to see things in there, so things on display are only pretty and on trays. Not that the rest of the family respect these rules! I also have one of those baskets from homesense, and I love that they have a lid to hide everything. I bought one of the large ones and use it to store toys in the corner of the living room.

  3. My storage is only a small cupboard with a built in sink and my shower gel sits on the window sill next to the shower. Even though it is a small cupboard it fits a lot stuff in it. I really need to sort out the toiletries in there! It is nice knowing all of my bathroom items are easily hidden away. My dressing table has four drawers so my cosmetics and hair stuff can hide away too.

    1. A friend of mine has huge deep drawers under her sink and it’s amazing how much you can hide in there. Sink storage is such a good idea to make use of the space underneath.

  4. Looking lovely! I always find it amazing how much rubbish ends up accumulating in the bathroom, or those spare purchases you forget about which languish in the back of the cupboard for years… We have an extremely “bijou” family bathroom, which has to fit the bath with shower overhead, toilet and sink, and I think about 1m squared floor space is remaining if that. Actually definitely less than that. It is TINY. My top tips are definitely make sure you can fit a cupboard under your sink (and one that is floating so that you can stand right under it, also gives the illusion of space – and somewhere to stash the potty training stuff as appropriate :)). We also have a mirror that doubles as a bathroom cabinet – only about 12cm deep but it is enough. It also has a shaving point inside the cupboard to make things look nicer. We bought ours a few years ago but it is like this one: Ours wasn’t very expensive, and I’m sure other brands do similar things, but it is invaluable in a smaller space.

    1. Thanks Annie.
      Excellent tip on the floating sink storage (on both points!)
      The floor to sink ones can often overpower a room but flashing off the floor is a sure fire way to bag yourself some space back.

  5. Lakeland have a freestanding shower caddy that i bought a few years ago that seems to be withstanding the rust!not cheap i think it was £100 but its better than continually cleaning those brown stains so worth it in the long run…

    1. We have this in our shower. We’ve had it about 4 years and still looks good. Not totally chic but it’s nit gone mouldy!!49!3!245547961342!!!g!43865364725!&ef_id=Wl0SKwAABJmTeARP:20180115204219:s

      We’re lucky to have a separate shower cubicle and bath and a built in cupboard (which houses ALL the crap -toiletries, toilet roll, cleaning products etc). I also have an IKEA trolley next to the laundry basket for the toddlers bath stuff (not toys!), my cleansers (☺️), flannels and cotton wool!).

      And I’ve just realised my bathroom sounds bloody huge.

  6. Great tips, Lauren. We’re really lucky in the sense that our bathroom has not one, but two cabinets to hide all the yucky stuff that nobody wants to see in the bathroom – Dove Body Wash smells great, but it just doesnt go with the decor, does it!!
    The problem is, we didn’t choose these cabinets – in fact, we didn’t choose this gaudy bathroom and believe it or not, when we moved in last March, the bathroom was the best decorated room of the lot! We plan a bathroom makeover this year, so this post has really come in handy!
    Also, loving your bathroom floor tiles! Cant wait to see more pics on Insta.

    1. Oh no, that’s bittersweet! Are you going to keep them when you do the bathroom?

      Thanks for the tile love. We’re really pleased with them, even if the grouting was a pain!

  7. I have a small bathroom, but when the times come for renovation I will need at least one big cupboard to hide all this 100 bottles 😉 It is hard to find one which also have the style…. I love vintage!

  8. Your bathroom is looking fabulous. At present i have a small bathroom but i need a big storage bathroom for flexibility also make my home gorgeous. When i remodeling my bathroom i will must follow this tips. Thanks for the sharing such kind of informative article.

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