5 Tips for Small Space Living: Bathrooms

A while ago I did a couple of posts on tips for small space living in living rooms and bedrooms. Today I’m going to continue with 5 small space living tips: bathrooms. Most of these tips are about storage because, let’s face it, we all need space to store all of our necessities…towels, makeup, toiletries, and storage is always at a premium in small bathrooms.

5 tips on organization in a small bathroom. | www.chatfieldcourt.com

If you’ve been following me for a while then you know that our house, that we moved into in June 2013, has been an experiment in small space living for us. We have just under 1200 square feet of living space with 1 bathroom and, I know that many people are living with less, but for us, it has taken some time to figure out what works and what doesn’t in such a small space.

1. Storage in Unused Spaces

Storage space is so important when living with a small bathroom so you need to find and use it wherever you can. Jordan from The 2 Seasons built a shelf to fit over the door to store towels. It looks great and it uses up the empty space over the door.

5 Tips for Small Space Living: Bathrooms | www.chatfieldcourt.com

The 2 Seasons

2. Utilizing the Storage Space In Your Vanity

I have a small vanity in my bathroom where a lot of my toiletries are stored. I would love to add a shelf but, because of the water pipes, I wasn’t able to put one in to utilize the space. Instead I found a way to use the open space near the water pipes to store my toilet paper (which would have taken up a lot of real estate if it had to be stored on the floor of the vanity).

5 tips and tricks for utilizing storage space in small bathrooms | www.chatfieldcourt.com

 3. Hanging Basket Storage

Carmel from Our Fifth House came up with a clever and pretty way to add extra storage. Using baskets is always a great storage solution but when you can hang them on a wall and out-of-the-way, it’s a huge bonus for a small bathroom. Not only do they look great but you can store towels in them, toilet paper, a hair dryer…so many possibilities.

5 tips for utilizing storage space in small bathrooms | www.chatfieldcourt.com

Our Fifth House

4. Shelves for Storage and Decorating

Everyone wants their space to look good, even those of us with small bathrooms. Melissa from 320 Sycamore hung shelves on an unused wall for storage as well as a display area for some pretty decor. Using baskets to hold supplies is not only helpful but it also adds warmth and texture to a room that can sometimes look sterile.

5 tips for making the most of storage space in small bathrooms | www.chatfieldcourt.com

320 Sycamore

5. Light Paint Colors

One thing I have learned is that when your bathroom is really small, like ours, you want it to be light and bright. Our bathroom had dark wood trim, a dark(ish) vanity, dark slate tile and a dull paint color on the walls. The slate is staying, for now, but painting the vanity, trim and walls made a huge difference, making it feel bigger.

5 tips and tricks for making the most of storage space in small bathrooms | www.chatfieldcourt.comThese are my 5 tips but now I turn it over to you…Do you have a small bathroom? Any tips can you give for living with a small bathroom? I always love to hear what you think. 😉

Check out my other Small Space Living posts…

5 tips for small space living: living rooms | chatfieldcourt.com5 tips for small space living: kitchens | chatfieldcourt.com

5 tips for small space living: bedrooms| chatfieldcourt.com

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  1. Debbie H
    Thursday,August 14, 2014 / 10:23 am

    I am moving to a 1094 sq. ft. garden condo next week. Your tips will definitely come in handy for my bathrooms (there are two). I definitely will use your toilet paper inside the vanity door as that is always a problem in small baths.

    • Kristi
      Thursday,August 14, 2014 / 6:46 pm

      Hi Debbie. So glad that my tips will help you out. I have to say that the toilet paper storage I came up with is working out great. Thanks so much for visiting and best of luck to you in your new condo.

  2. MaryJean
    Thursday,August 14, 2014 / 1:23 pm

    Great ideas Kristi! I like the shelf over the door. We were thinking of doing the same thing, but over the shower/tub. Don’t know if there would be a problem with moisture though.

    • Kristi
      Thursday,August 14, 2014 / 6:50 pm

      Thanks MJ. The shelf over the door is a great idea. I think that if you have a good fan in your bathroom, putting it over the shower would be good. Thanks so much for visiting.

      • MaryJean
        Monday,February 8, 2016 / 12:37 pm

        We ended up putting it over the door and I love it. Now we have a space for extra TP and tissue boxes. I even found a glass jar that I put all those sample toothpaste and small bottles of shampoo you get. Those are great for vacations bc they don’t take up much room in luggage.

        • Kristi
          Tuesday,February 9, 2016 / 1:41 am

          Great idea with the glass jar for sample sizes. So glad that the shelf over the door worked out for you! Thanks for the update.

  3. Monday,August 18, 2014 / 6:35 pm

    I can relate to living in a small space and a very small bathroom. I enjoyed seeing how you organized yours and you really utilized the space very well. Once you get the hang of small space living I think you’ll love it. Stopping by from Brenda!

    • Kristi
      Monday,August 18, 2014 / 10:19 pm

      Hi Cathy. I do like small space living, if only for the fact that I have less to clean. 😉 Thanks so much for stopping in from Brenda’s and commenting.

  4. Wednesday,August 20, 2014 / 8:10 am

    Thank you for sharing my daughter/blog partner’s over-the-door towel shelf. We laughed when we saw it because we like to think our photography skills have improved since that shot was taken. I just happened to open your post when I was browsing through Kim’s party, and there we were!!!

    • Kristi
      Wednesday,August 20, 2014 / 7:54 pm

      That is so funny Janette. I feel the same way about my photos. I think that Jordan’s picture looks great and I love her idea about the shelf over the door. Thanks so much for finding me and stopping by. Love your blog.

  5. Shirlee
    Wednesday,August 20, 2014 / 4:59 pm

    We love living in a small home (we downsized to 812 sq feet in Dec2013). Naturally with a small home comes an equally small bathroom. The door doesn’t even open all the way as the potty is right behind it. When it comes time to re-do the “loo”, I’m going to be scouring the internet for small bathroom storage solutions. I do love your ingenious way of storing the toilet paper and will have to remember that!
    I’ve never seen anything like your wall of slate with the mirror set into it. Painting out the vanity and wood trim really made a difference in lighting up the space though.

    • Kristi
      Thursday,August 21, 2014 / 4:34 pm

      You do live in a small home Shirlee. Your bathroom sounds as small as mine. Besides the kitchen, this room has been the hardest adjustment but you do with what you got…right?
      Ugh, the wall o’slate. Not my favorite feature and I will personally take it down when we redo our loo. It is a pretty slate but way too much in that tiny bathroom.
      I always appreciate you stopping by to visit and comment.:)

      • Caitlyn
        Sunday,March 25, 2018 / 12:25 pm

        Hi Kristi I also live in a small home. Our first home is 720 square feet built in 1950 and bought in September 2016, the one and only bathroom is approximately a measly 35 square feet. Our house is very old and outdated, I very much look forward to Demo Day that I will get to gut said bathroom and completely remodel it, from the studs outwards. I love seeing the storage ideas which we will definitely be incorporating during remodel. I would also like to suggest, as of late I have been seeing a lot of projects which are using between the stud space for cabinets. Good luck with future projects!

        • Kristi
          Wednesday,March 28, 2018 / 2:36 am

          Thanks for sharing Caitlyn. You are so right. Using the stud space is an excellent way to create more storage. When you are working with a small space to begin with, it’s particularly helpful to utilize any extra space you can find. I appreciate the reminder. Good luck with your bathroom remodel, and have fun on demo day. We just got done turning a bedroom closet into a powder room so I know tiny. Best thing we’ve done so far though.

    • Kristi
      Thursday,August 21, 2014 / 8:40 pm

      Thanks so much Marty! Thanks so much for hosting your great party every week. 🙂

  6. Friday,August 22, 2014 / 10:53 pm

    I love the toilet paper hangers and the baskets idea! Unfortunately the house we are renting has plaster walls so I can’t put any nails in it. I do love the color the baskets add. My local thrift store always has lots of neat baskets, so I guess I ought to head over there and find some to organize with. Also, I like that you have horse pictures on the walls:) BTW, I found your link on the Weekend Re-Treat.

    • Kristi
      Saturday,August 23, 2014 / 2:23 am

      Hi Carolyn. That’s too bad that you can’t use nails. How about some Command hooks. They make so many different styles now.
      Baskets are a great accessory. They just instantly warm up a room, don’t you think?
      I love the horse pictures in Carmel’s (from Our Fifth House) beautiful bathroom too. She has such great style.

      Thanks so much for stopping by from Weekend Re-Treat and for commenting.

  7. Saturday,August 23, 2014 / 9:46 am

    My husband put in shelves above our toilet in our small bathroom that were really a life saver! He just bought L brackets and some finished boards, all for about $10 and then used a hand drill to install.
    Thanks for the other ideas. I hadn’t thought about putting toilet paper on the shelves in a basket, which would be nice when we have guests over so it’s easy for them to get to.

    • Kristi
      Saturday,August 23, 2014 / 5:50 pm

      I bet you are loving your shelves. They really are a lifesaver in a small bathroom. Thanks for sharing how your husband put yours up.

      So glad that you found the tips useful. I appreciate your visit and comment.

  8. Tracy
    Friday,August 29, 2014 / 9:58 am

    I’m not sure how I ended up here but so glad I did. I do not live in a small house but it’s a 60’s house and bathrooms were not a priority around here!
    I love your shelves, would share what kind of shelves they are and how they are mounted? My husband and I are very visual and tend to need step by step instructions.
    Thanks so much for this great post.

    • Kristi
      Saturday,August 30, 2014 / 12:43 am

      Hi Tracy and welcome! Small bathrooms can be such a challenge. Those shelves are great and if you head over to Melissa’s at 320 Sycamore you can see her great before and after.

      Thanks so much for finding me and for commenting. I hope you’ll come back.:)

  9. Lisa B.
    Wednesday,January 6, 2016 / 7:15 am

    Ugh. I live in a 1000 Sq ft. apt and have a teeny bath too. I bought this shelving for under my bathroom vanity. It has removable slats that allow you to accommodate the plumbing. Here is a link: Madesmart 17-1/4 H by 11 W by 18-1/4 L,  18-1/4 to 32-Inch Expandable Under sink Shelf Organizer https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0000CFKJW/ref=cm_sw_r_em_awd_D7qJwbAJMF1A6.

    I have the same unit under my kitchen sink. The height of the shelves is fully adjustable also, so you can use trays/baskets of any height on the shelves for storage. I even hang my spray cleaner bottles on the front of the sheves by their triggers. A real space saver.

    I also installed a second tension shower rod over the bathtub, a hanger’s width from the back wall. It’s the perfect place to drip dry laundry, wet raincoats, bath towels etc. I added a couple of shower curtain hooks to it for hanging the shower loofah and other stuff like wet umbrellas. When the shower curtain is drawn closed you can’t even see it.

    • Kristi
      Thursday,January 7, 2016 / 2:56 am

      Great tips Lisa, thanks so much for sharing them! I’ll have to check out that shelving. I used a 2nd shower rod in the bathroom, when we lived in Florida, to hang wet bathing suits. Sadly, we can’t fit one any more (and we don’t swim much in Illinois 😉 ). Thanks again.

  10. Allayna
    Saturday,March 5, 2016 / 12:37 am

    I love all your ideas & tips. I plan on using quite a few. I was wondering if you have any suggestions for a VERY cluttered children’s playroom? Thank you 😉

    Allayna Sanchez

    • Kristi
      Wednesday,March 9, 2016 / 3:20 am

      Thank you Allayna, I’m glad you enjoyed my tips. Having not seen your playroom, I would say the most important thing to do to fight clutter is to get rid of toys that are broken or no longer played with, and then I would use bins or baskets to corral small toys like dolls in a basket or legos in see through bins. Hope that helps.

  11. Dana
    Thursday,September 1, 2016 / 12:39 pm

    I love your ideas! I have an obsession with baskets and love how you used them to store and decorate. I am currently searching for the perfect size basket for my small bathroom shelf and love yours. By chance do you remember where you got yours?
    Thank you!

    • Kristi
      Friday,September 2, 2016 / 4:22 am

      I know what you mean Dana, I love using baskets too. I’m not sure which ones you’re asking about but if you click on the link below each picture, it will take you to the blog where you might find your answer. Sorry I can’t help you more.

      Thanks so much for stopping by.

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