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4 Ways to Deal With a Small Bathroom

A clean light blue and white bathroom with light coming in from the window.
Diana Rui/Shutterstock.com

You want to keep your bathroom neat and organized but still have access to what you need. That can be difficult when your bathroom’s small, but you can keep it practical and make it more inviting at the same time. Let’s take a look.

If you have a small bathroom, it’s frustrating trying to find a place for everything and still have room for you. Before you grab the sledgehammer and start a major remodel, though, why not try some basic organizing and decorating redesigns first?

If you’re ready to turn your small bathroom into a room you love, instead of a tiny space you only deal with every day, these are the things you’re going to need to do.

Get Organized

organized bathroom drawers full of different bathroom items like toilet paper, washcloths, hair tools, etc.
Kostikova Natalia/Shutterstock.com

Making the most of your small space has a lot to do with your organizational skills. Small spaces don’t have to be so confining if you know how to sort, store, and organize the items you need to fit in your tiny bathroom.

  • Organize drawer and cupboard space: Think of the plastic silverware holder in your kitchen and let that be a guide to organizing drawers and cupboards in your bathroom. By using small containers to arrange your hair clips, combs, and other smaller bathroom stuff, you’ll find yourself digging for things far less. You can also organize larger items in bins and baskets within cupboards (and even under the sink)
  • Fold towels strategically: If you haven’t watched Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix yet, you should. The KonMari method of organizing the home will help you make your tiny bathroom a less stressful place. Her ways of folding towels are inspiring and will bring joy back to your bathroom and linen closet. You want things to look nice, but you also want to be able to pull a towel or washcloth out without the entire pile falling out of the cupboard.
  • Keep everything that goes together in one space: A considerable part of effective organizing is making sure your stuff is where you can find it. If you have shampoo in three different places, you might spend more time than you’d like looking for a new bottle when you run out in the shower. Keep shower items together, medicine items together, etc.
  • Store extras somewhere else: You might feel like all your toilet paper should be stored in the bathroom. But if you buy lots at a time to save some money, keep only what you need in the bathroom—maybe the roll you’re using and a spare refill—and store the rest somewhere else. The same goes for towels, cotton swabs, and so on.

Get Creative with Storage Space

A white bathroom shelf with soap, washcloths, and towels on it.
Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

When the space in your small bathroom is limited, you need to use what area you do have more creatively. Don’t rely only on just the drawers and cupboards—create more room on your own. Savvy designers and DIY folks have been using clever storage gadgets for years.

  • Put shelves on the walls: It’s simple and opens you up to more space for bathroom storage. You can create DIY shelves by investing in some square or rectangle baskets (weaved, plastic, metal—that’s up to you) and attaching them to the wall. Fill them up with your hand towels, Q-tips, and whatever other bathroom items you use often. Whether you make it yourself or buy something premade, you can attach old Mason jars to a board to create a wall hanging for smaller bathroom items.
  • Put the roll away: You don’t want to put your rolls of toilet paper on the floor, but what do you do if you don’t have wall space for your toilet paper roll? You could invest in a sleek toilet paper stand or attach the roll to your vanity. Use whatever space you have.
  • Hang things where you can: Add an over-the-door style hook in between shower curtains to give you an extra place to hang loofahs and other shower necessities. You can also put one on the bathroom door for an added place for a robe or wet towel storage.

Create the Right Atmosphere

A modern bathroom sink decorated with a wooden ladder, a round mirror, and a plant.

The right wall color and decor can make even the smallest room look bigger than it is. The three primary considerations for creating the illusion of a larger space are mirrors, bright colors, and lighting. And to be honest, even the bright colors and mirrors are all about the light.

  • Mirrors: Mirrors make a room seem larger than it is, and your small bathroom should have at least one. Bigger mirrors work great, but if you can’t do that, even adding other mirrored surfaces can help reflect light and make the room feel larger.
  • Colors: Bright colors, including white, reflect light. By doing so, they make a room look bigger, brighter, and more welcoming. Darker colors absorb light, so they make a room seem smaller and more confined. Pick a bright color—white, yellow, bright blue, or whatever strikes your fancy for your bathroom.
  • Lighting: When it comes to lighting your bathroom, you’re looking to strike a balance. Having too little light makes things look dingy. In small bathrooms, many people try to compensate by adding lots of light, but too much can make things look glaring. What you’re aiming for is enough light to see what you’re doing while still maintaining that cozy feeling. Go for a soft, natural lighted bulb, and make sure you keep covers on light bulbs.

Make the Room Inviting

Once you’ve stored, organized, painted, and made sure you’re lighting is right, you can turn your attention to decor. You can’t add too much to a small bathroom without making it feel cluttered, but some nice little touches can make the room more inviting and even make it feel bigger.

Add the appearance of more space by picking a bright or light colored shower curtain (and keeping it closed at all times). Make it stand out with matching bathroom rugs. If you have the wall space, consider some cheerful art as well.

And while we’re on the subject of shower curtains and rugs, take advantage of the opportunity to add a little luxury. Just because the bathroom is small doesn’t mean you can’t make it comfortable. Treat yourself and go for the extra thick and soft rugs or the pretty fabric shower curtain.

Your small bathroom might be hard to deal with. It might feel like there isn’t enough room for even one person in there. Even so, you can make it a comfortable room with a bright and cheery style that makes your bathroom appear much bigger than it is. These simple steps will give you a bathroom makeover that will make you less stressed about the lack of space and happier about the open area you do have.

Yvonne Glasgow Yvonne Glasgow
Yvonne Glasgow is a professional writer with two decades of experience. She has written and edited for nutritionists, start-ups, dating companies, SEO firms, newspapers, board game companies, and more. Yvonne is a published poet and short story writer, and she is a life coach. Read Full Bio »
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