Knowing how to declutter a small bathroom is crucial for ensuring that you’re able to make the most out of the space. After all, bathrooms are usually notoriously small rooms (unless of course, you’re living the penthouse dream) and any clutter (regardless of how minimal) makes the room feel even smaller, which means ensuring that you know how to keep the space clear and clutter-free.
Living in a home with a rather small bathroom, I know just how easily the space can become overwhelmed. One minute it’s neat and tidy, the next it’s packed full of all sorts of mess, from half-empty shower gel bottles to piles of dirty laundry, it’s amazing how much you can pack into a small space.
Feel like the time has come to declutter and organize your bathroom? I’ve spoken to experts to find out the best ways to approach the task, ensuring that you see the results you want.
6 tips for decluttering your small bathroom
Follow these steps for decluttering your small bathroom and your space will look so much better.
“Just because you have a bathroom on the smaller side does not mean it can't be organized and efficient," says Leslie Kilgour, professional organizer and founder of Get It Straight.
"While it's true that organizing a small bathroom can be a challenging task, with the right strategies, you can make the most of the space. Decluttering is key. In a limited space, excess items can quickly lead to chaos. By decluttering, you create room for the essentials and maintain a sense of order.”
Leslie Kilgour is the founder of Get It Straight Professional Organizing. She lives on Long Island and is the mother to two children.
1. Go through everything in the bathroom first
The best way to start the decluttering process is to start by going through everything. It might be a boring task but it sure is a necessary one. "Number one thing I always tell my clients is to go through everything in the bathroom first," says Shantae Duckworth, professional organizer and founder of ShantaeIze Your Space. "Literally, take everything out, throw it in bins, or toss it on a table and start going through everything."
“Toss any garbage and expired beauty items, and place expired medicine aside to throw away in a safe way. Once all garbage and expired items are gone, start organizing the remaining items by type: beauty, medicine, hair, etc. Once everything is organized into groups, take a look at the space you do have in the bathroom and decide what you can do with it.”
2. Limit the amount of towels in your bathroom
“Also, be mindful of the towels you keep in the bathroom. Do they really need to be in there? Obviously, you will have a hand towel near the sink, but you don't have to store excess towels in the bathroom," Duckworth explains.
"Keep extra towels in the linen closet, or if you don't have a linen closet, in a plastic bin (like these Rubbermaid Storage Containers available on Amazon that have over 10,000 five-star reviews) under the bed. I also take this approach on items for guests; you don't need to keep your guest items out at all times, you can store them in a plastic bin and only take them out when needed.”
3. Utilize small plastic bins to store things
Having adequate storage space is vital for keeping the clutter at bay, which is where cheap storage bins can be a total game-changer. Duckworth says, “I like to use small plastic bins (like these IRIS Stackable Bins available on Amazon) and organize items by their type. One drawer for hair items, and put rubber bands, bobby pins, and clips in a small bin, brushes, and your daily hair care items in the same drawer. If you have excess hair items, or appliances you only use occasionally, store them in another space, or under the sink.
"The bottom line is to keep like-items together, to make your life as stress-free as possible, and think outside the box when it comes to storing items you don't use daily in the bathroom."
Shantae Duckworth is a professional organizer and founder of Shantaeize Your Space in Seattle, Washington. She is a Member of National Association of Black Professional Organizers, and Member of Black Girls Who Organize Group. She is a public speaker and writer about organization as well.
4. Understand that it’s an ongoing process
It’s easy to assume that once you’ve decluttered your bathroom that’s the end of it, but it’s not, it’s actually a continual process (or, at least, it should be). Eric Bramlett, owner of BramlettResidential.com, says: “When it comes to keeping a small bathroom organized, remember it’s an ongoing process. It’s important to consider how you use the space and try not to neglect regular decluttering and reorganization, to make sure it remains tidy and functional.
5. Opt for vertical storage
Your small bathroom might lack floor space but the chances are that it has plenty of vertical space, so make sure that you’re utilizing every inch of it. “With a bit of strategic planning and creativity, you can make the most of any limited space. When it comes to storage, look up. Maximize the vertical space (with shelving like this Homykic Self available on Amazon) in your bathroom with tall narrow units or by placing shelves or racks up high. This frees up floor space and is a great way to store items that you need to access every day,” explains Bramlett.
6. Utilize storage accessories
For keeping your bathroom storage neat, tidy, and ordered (think: drawers, units, and shelving), it’s important to invest in adequate storage accessories. Bramlett explains: “You may only have room for one storage unit, so it’s really important to keep it organized using drawer dividers and boxes. Go through all your items and only keep the ones you need and use regularly. Get rid of any outdated medicines and if you have more than one product, try and find a home elsewhere for it until you need it. This will keep your unit and bathroom countertops clean and free of the clutter that normally makes a small bathroom feel even smaller.”
Eric Bramlett is a realtor, and owner of bramlettresidential.com, a mid-sized real estate brokerage in Austin, TX. Eric has extensive experience in staging homes, including advising clients on home organization and decor that helps homes sell faster.
Kilgour agrees and says "Drawer dividers, over-the-door hooks, and under-sink caddies can work wonders for keeping your small bathroom tidy and efficient. Drawer dividers in a small bathroom play a vital role in saving time and space."
Keeping your stuff separated will really help in the long term. "By keeping these items neatly organized, you maximize the use of limited drawer space, preventing clutter and ensuring everything has its designated place. This efficient system not only saves time during your daily routine but also maintains a sense of order, making the most of your small bathroom's storage potential," says Kilgour.
How do you free up space in your small bathroom?
The best way to free up space in a small bathroom is to take the time to declutter the space, removing anything that isn't needed and finding a neat and ordered way to store all of the essentials.
How can you organize your bathroom?
To organize your bathroom the best approach is to start by decluttering the space and removing any excess items that aren't necessary. Once you've done that and freed up some space, you will be in a better position to organize the room that you have.
Now that you've removed the clutter from your small bathroom, you might want to pick out some bathroom storage ideas to help keep things organized.