Unless you’re reading this from the spacious comfort of your sprawling penthouse on Fifth Avenue, your apartment was probably carefully designed to be optimally space-efficient. That’s a nice way of saying that a brilliant architect was probably tasked with the job of allocating more space in the rooms you’re likely to spend a lot of waking or sleeping time in and less in the place that you spend most mornings hurrying in and out of at breakneck speed. It’s also a nicer way of saying that your bathroom might be a postage stamp.
Okay, so maybe “postage stamp” is a bit harsh; but there’s no denying that most apartment bathrooms aren’t lavishly spacious. In fact, if the word spacious could be applied to your apartment’s bathroom at all, it’s usually within the context of having a full-sized tub vs. a shower stall, just enough room to wrap yourself in a full-sized bath sheet without pulling a rotator cuff and maybe enough square footage to brush your teeth while somebody else shaves—provided you both keep your elbows to yourselves and nobody has to sneeze. The good news is that with a few tips and tricks—including some inventive storage options—you can maximize that space; fit all of your bathroom stuff neatly and effectively where you need it; and still have room to do all those things that your bathroom is the best place to do.
Use a multiple towel-rack on the back of your door. This is an especially great solution for bathrooms without linen closets because you can hang several sets of fresh towels at a time. If you’re not able to actually hang rods on your door, check out these great over-the-door options from The Container Store … no hardware needed and instant multi-towel storage right within reach.
Add a space-saving shelf. You can find wooden or metal shelves like this one at most discount or bed & bath stores. They’re a perfect place to line up containers or baskets that can be used to “unclutter” (or take the place of) vanity tops, cabinets and drawers while still keeping needed items within reach.
Roll your towels instead of folding them. Seasoned travelers know that you can fit more into a suitcase if you roll your clothes instead of folding them and the same goes for towels. Buy a large basket to place on the floor, toilet tank or a shelf and fill it with an assortment of fresh, fluffy, rolled towels. We love it when functional solutions are decorative, too!
Hang a row of Mason Jars to store little things like cotton balls, swabs, flossers and makeup sponges. Mason Jars are everybody’s favorite DIY craft supply these days, and if you believe Pinterest, your apartment just isn’t inhabitable without them. You’ll need a little bit of blank wall space but this little DIY project will make that space about five times more useful, as well as making your apartment way hipper than your friends’. Check out the How To, here.
Use a stacked plate stand to multiply counter space. This is a no-brainer … when you can’t go wide, go up. A tiered plate stand, like this one, is not only decorative, but it’s super practical as a landing spot for soaps, small bottles and jars, shaving supplies and other small toiletries. You can even use one plate as a catch-all for jewelry—just remember not to leave it there because the humid environment will keep your bling from looking its best.
Add a second towel rack for hanging storage. This is especially brilliant for storing kid’s bath toys so they’re up and out of the way during grown-up bath time, and can drain and dry when not being used. You’ll need an ordinary tension rod, some curtain rings and a few hang-able storage baskets, like these. Check out the full visual, here.
Make best use of your doors and drawers. Buy drawer organizers to help keep things organized and in place inside of your vanity drawers and cabinets. You can also make awesome use of the inside of your medicine cabinet or linen closet door with these handy little StickOnPods, an awesome way to organize little things like makeup pencils, nail polish bottles, toothbrushes, grooming tools and other small items in small places.
Go vertical with magnets! While floor space in most apartment bathrooms is at a premium, wall space is a more plentiful and practical option for storing your stuff. You can DIY a decorative makup-organizing magnet board with a frame and a sheet of magnet-friendly metal from your neighborhood home improvement store or pick one up from a crafty crafter on Etsy and save yourself a few steps. The next step is to add magnets to all of your makeup containers … hit the craft store for a roll of inexpensive, self-adhesive magnetic tape. Tip: decorative metal signs make great magnet boards, too!