How to organize a bathroom — 10 ways to freshen up your routine

Make every day feel like a spa day by organizing a bathroom with ease of function in mind

White wall-mounted mirrored bathroom vanity on left with the door open and shelves inset, organized bathroom drawer on right
(Image credit: Neat Method / Style By Emily Henderson Photographer Kaitlin Green)

It may not be one of your favorite tasks, but learning how to organize a bathroom is well worth the effort. From towels and toiletries, to cabinets and under-sink spaces, getting things in tip-top shape makes for much simpler bathroom routines. 

Despite best intentions, clutter can build up fast in a bathroom. In our experience, the more streamlined your systems, the easier they are to stick to — a bit like a skincare regime. We’ve quizzed the pros on their top organizational tips, and thrown in a few of our own tried-and-tested ones, too. 

Every bathroom comes with its own requirements and challenges but it boils down to what works for your household. However, there’s a few small space organization ideas that work across the board.

How to organize a bathroom like the pros

Before you start organizing, decluttering a bathroom is a good idea. Bathrooms tend to play host to various items with expiry dates. Think make up, toiletries and cleaning products. 

We bet you’ve got a few lurking that are well past their best, along with empty bottles, broken brushes perhaps a grubby cotton wool pad or five (no judgment from us, don’t worry). 

Toss the trash and set aside those items you want to keep. Whilst surfaces and cabinets are clear, take the opportunity to clean a bathroom thoroughly, too — don’t forget to give grimey products a quick wipe before putting them back.

With everything clear, you’re in a great position to work out which organizing systems and bathroom storage ideas will best suit your stash, and your space.

1. Group like items together

Bathroom storage unit with toiletries

(Image credit: Collected Interiors Photographer: Nicole Dianne Photography)

Grouping your bathroom products means you can find what you need in a hurry, plus it’s easier to keep things neat — the less rifling you have to do, the better. 

How you categorize items is up to you, but sorting by product type (toners, make-up removers, shower gels, body lotions, etc) makes sense, particularly if you have a fair few of each. If your collection is a little more restrained, consider categorizing more generally: face, body, kids stuff, and so on.

If you’re sharing a small bathroom with a roommate or you’re organizing a family bathroom, professional organizer Shannon Krause, co-founder of Tidy Nest, suggests giving everyone their own space. 

She says, “The bathroom experience is personal, so it’s nice for each family member to have their own dedicated basket, cubby or drawer. Everyone has their own organizing style as well, so this allows for some personalization. 

"If you’re organizing a small bathroom, we recommend investing in a tall storage tower, like this one from Amazon, and giving everyone their own shelf." 

Shannon Krause, professional organizer at Tidy Nest, a woman with long brown hair picutred in a garden with pink flowers in bottom right corner
Shannon Krause

Shannon Krause is a Certified Professional Organizer and owner of Tidy Nest, an award-winning organizing and relocation management company. Her unique approach blends her expertise in professional organizing with her skills as a Certified Reiki Master, integrating energy work to enhance her client's experiences. 

2. Prioritize access according to use

Open white shaker style bathroom drawer with dividers to organize toiletries and cosmetics

(Image credit: Neat Method)

Keeping favorite products front of cabinet — and front of mind — means you won’t forget about them, plus, it makes your life easier day-to-day. 

“Reserve the drawers or shelves closest to your sink for daily essentials. Ideally you’d keep bathroom countertops clear, but a stylish basket or a multi-section acrylic organizer (like this one, from Target) is fine if you want to keep makeup and skincare close to hand”, says professional organizer Lauren Saltman, founder of Living. Simplified

Lauren Saltman, professional organizer and founder of Living. Simplified, a woman with dark hair wearing a black and white patterned blouse pictured against a blurred garden background
Lauren Saltman

As a professional organizer and founder of Living. Simplified., Lauren Saltman is an expert on decluttering and organizing. Whether she's organizing her home, a friend’s office, or a client’s bathroom, her resourceful approach yields happy clients.

Bulky items that you use regularly such as hair dryers, stylers, electric razors, and toothbrush chargers, should be designated a deep drawer and given their own section. These specialized deep drawer dividers, available at Amazon, are great for keeping everything in place. A floor basket is also a good option. 

“Occasional items and backstock can be relegated to less accessible positions, organized under a bathroom sink, for example, or even relocated elsewhere altogether”, Lauren adds. 

3. Give toiletries some space

Wall-mounted bathroom cabinet with shelves lined with beauty products, positioned above marble bathroom countertop

(Image credit: Style By Emily Henderson Photographer Kaitlin Green)

One of the things people with organized bathrooms never do is overload their storage. As tempting as it is to get all those unsightly essentials behind closed doors, ease of access needs to take priority. 

Ben Soreff, professional organizer at H2H Organizing, says"They may look nice lined up neatly, but if they’re so jam-packed you can’t actually pull them out, it defeats the point. When organizing a bathroom cabinet, we advise our clients to line shelves with clear plastic bins and organize them into categories. 

"That way, you can take the whole lot out, find what you need, then replace it without risk of a product avalanche."

Ben Soreff, professional organizer at H2H Organizing
Ben Soreff

Ben Soreff is a professional organizer from Portland, Maine, with 16 years of experience helping people to organize and declutter their homes, as well as working with hoarders.

The same goes when organizing bathroom drawers; dividers will quickly become your best friend. Opt for bespoke inserts or choose adjustable designs to avoid winding up with dead space. 

'Removing packaging where you can is a good space-saving hack, but be wary of doing this if you’re organizing a medicine cabinet — one tablet looks the same as any other once it's out of the box', says professional organizer Dee Middleton

Professional organizer, Dee Middleton
Dee Middleton

Dee Middleton set up her blog in 2019. Her savvy decluttering, cleaning and organization tips (and inspirational Pinterest account)  have seen it grow into a home organizing hot spot, with over a million monthly viewers.  

4. Let towels hang out

Hooks with towels next to wooden vanity with marble top

(Image credit: Style By Emily Henderson Photographer: Kaitlin Green)

Assuming they’re the stylish fluffy kind, having your towels out on display can add a luxe feel to a bathroom. While it’s fine to fold and stack clean towels, hanging ones you’re currently using is a much better — and more hygienic — towel storage idea, so try and incorporate options for both into your bathroom ideas

A wall-mounted towel rack frees up floor space, but if you’ve got the room, we love a towel ladder. It’s not always easy to inject personality into your bathroom decor, but a practical-yet-stylish design, like this leaning one from Wayfair which comes in five colors, ticks the box. 

If you haven’t got a linen closet, wire baskets, like chic golden versions from Target, are useful for storing clean towels. They keep them neat whilst allowing them to breathe, plus they’re close to hand for when you need them. 

Line a shelf with two or three for a hotel-inspired look, just be sure to familiarize yourself with how to fold towels neatly if they’re on show. 

5. Utilize under-sink space

Gold colored metal under sink storage baskets with toiletries and black labels

(Image credit: Neat Method)

Organizing under a bathroom sink isn’t always straightforward. With hard-to-reach corners and plumbing to account for, you might need to enlist a few different bathroom organizers to ensure you’re making the most of the space — a ‘bespoke’ storage system, if you will. 

Stackable containers are great space-savers, along with ergonomic racks; these have the benefit of pulling right out so you have a proper rifle through. For awkward nooks and tight corners, Lauren recommends including a Lazy Susan into your system. 

‘Choose one with built-in dividers so you can organize products by category. I like this clear rotating Lazy Susan with dividers from Walmart — the raised sides will keep bottles and jars in place when it’s spinning, plus means you’re less likely to knock things over when you reach in and grab what you want," she says. 

You could also mount a wire basket, or simple Command Hooks (the black finish of these adhesive plastic heavy duty double Command Hooks from Amazon is perfect) to the back of the cabinet door. This idea works when organizing a vanity, too.  

6. Make walls work harder

Recessed bathroom shelving with gray faded-look tiling. There are two folded fluffy white towels, shower gel and natural loofah in the recess

(Image credit: Style by Emily Henderson Photographer Sara Ligorria-Tramp)

Row upon row of shower gels and shampoos lining the sides of your bath or your shower floor just isn’t practical. Aside from increasing your trip risk, it just looks down right ugly. The solution, according to pros, is to put your walls to work. 

“Installing towel hooks or racks onto the back of your bathroom door, on the wall next to your shower, or even on the shower itself (if you have glass paned walls) keeps things neat, whilst freeing up space inside cabinets and vanities. An over the shower caddy or stick-on shelving can also be useful for holding your in-shower toiletries”, advises Amanda Wiss. 

To truly maximize on wall space, multipurpose storage is the way to go. This stylish  wall mounted bathroom cabinet from Wayfair also features a shelf and towel rack. 

If you’re designing a bathroom from scratch, consider adding recessed shelving into shower walls or next to the bath to create a dedicated spot for your essentials. 

7. Put pretty products on show

Storage canisters on bathroom countertop

(Image credit: Neat Method)

If you’re organizing on open shelving, you’ll need to factor in aesthetics as well as practicality. Think of ways you can combine storage and style; neat stacks of washcloths and groups of pretty toiletries, alongside a nice bathroom plant, for example. 

"Elevate the look of cotton balls, q-tips and face pads by removing them from their original packaging and placing them into matching canisters, like these from Amazon. With their stylish bamboo lids, they double up as decor sitting out on the bathroom counter", say Ashley Murphy and Marissa Hagmeyer, the co-founders of organizing company Neat Method.

Neat Method's founders, Ashley Murphy and Marissa Hagmeyer
Ashley Murphy and Marissa Hagmeyer

Ashley Murphy and Marissa Hagmeyer are the organization-obsessed co-founders behind NEAT Method. Started in 2010, NEAT Method is the result of the duo's inspiration to bring a fresh perspective to the industry. Originally servicing the Bay area of San Francisco, NEAT Method began to build a small, passionate group of organizers. Murphy, the CEO, led the team from localized markets to expanding across the US and Canada, while Hagmeyer, COO, advises on designs, builds spreadsheets, and implements efficiencies. 

8. Use clear containers – and label everything

Under sink storage

(Image credit: Lennox & Co Organizing)

Quick and easy access is key when it comes to organizing a bathroom, so opt for clear bathroom storage so you can always see what you’re looking for — labels help, too. 

"We like to use plastic containers that are easy to wipe down because inevitably something will spill", says Shannon. "If you’re placing them in a drawer, add clear, self-stick bumpers to the bottom of the organizer to prevent it from sliding around as it shuts". 

9. Keep surfaces clear – and clean

Monochrome bathroom with mirror above countertop and vertical white tiling on backsplash

(Image credit: Style By Emily Henderson Photographer: Sara Ligorria-Tramp)

It’s tempting to leave your everyday items out on the side, but it’s a slippery slope. Cluttered countertops do not give soothing, spa-like vibes, plus it makes your bathroom much harder to navigate, let alone keep clean. 

“If you’re going to store items on the counter, be sure to do it with intention to avoid an untidy look. Consider using a Lazy Susan to group like-items; we’d suggest selecting one with high walls, like this one from Amazon, so the products stay put while you’re spinning", says Shannon.

Keep a bathroom trash can nearby too, so you’re not tempted to leave rubbish lying around. 

10. Tame toilet rolls

Running out of toilet paper is the stuff of nightmares — if you want our advice, keep a hefty stack close to hand at all times. 

No vanity to store them in? No stress – there’s plenty of toilet paper storage ideas you can employ to keep those rolls from rolling. The simplest, and in our opinion, most stylish, being the humble basket. Position it within close proximity, on top of the toilet cistern or on shelves above it. You can also try this freestanding unit from Wayfair


How do you hide toiletries in a bathroom?

If you want to avoid a cluttered feel in your bathroom, hiding toiletries behind closed doors is your best bet. Rather than cram them into your bathroom cabinet at random, take the time to categorize your toiletries first, then sort them into clear plastic bins. 

If you're limited to on-show storage only, or you like having essentials close to hand, decant your toiletries into pretty jars and bottles and group them neatly on trays, or invest in stylish baskets (ideally with lids) to hide less sightly packaging. 

So now you’ve got your bathroom organization nailed, why not take it one step further and add a few luxury touches to make your bathroom feel like a spa? Think scented candles, fancy hand soap and fluffy robes. 

Don’t hold back — investing in that relaxed, laid-back vibe makes for a more relaxed, laid-back you… and that’s well worth the spend, if you ask us! 

After the arrival of her second son – and subsequent departure of any free time outside of his unpredictable nap schedule (!) – seasoned writer Tara King decided to move on from her position as a Content Editor and enter the exciting world of freelance, covering interior design, DIY and lifestyle. Alongside features for, Tara writes for Ideal Home, Style at Home, Country Homes & Interiors and other interiors publications. When she’s not working or ‘mumming’, she can be found (hiding) in the garden, attempting DIY projects… with varying levels of success!