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Label baskets and shelves to simplify matters. "You want everyone who opens the door to know exactly what it is and where it goes," says Meryl Starr, author of The Personal Organizing Workbook. Designate separate totes or baskets according to their contents, such as grooming and pampering supplies.
Prevent small items from becoming a jumbled mess inside a drawer by dividing the contents. Cutlery trays or the removable trays from a toolbox are ideal for keeping little pieces, such as cosmetics, separated. Plus, trays and baskets are easy to pull out and set on a countertop. If you have narrow but deep drawers, use stacking trays designed for jewelry.
Bathroom doors are filled with often-ignored storage potential. Get more out of the back of a linen closet door by hanging bath towels and other linens from towel hooks or rods after use. The hooks will keep wet towels from collecting on the bathroom floor while keeping them within reach of the sink or shower.
A handy tub caddy that fits over the sides of the tub is an ideal catchall for bath time accessories such as soap, sponges, and bath salts. The caddy also keeps reading materials dry and at eye level.
Make storage a bit prettier by lining the back of a medicine cabinet with decorative wallpaper. Also consider covering the back of the cabinet door with the same paper to add another splash of pattern and visual interest.
Put wasted space between vanities to work with a shelving unit. A ladder placed between the sinks makes use of potentially wasted space and holds towels, washcloths, and other bathroom essentials. Two medicine cabinets above the twin pedestal sinks store toothpaste, mouthwash, and medicine, while wall-mount soap holders below keep hand soap within easy reach.
A wall niche is another good way to squeeze out extra space in a bath. Whether used as a decorative display or for functional storage, a niche also adds depth and interest to a wall area.
Take a cue from this bath to make use of potentially unused space at the end of the countertop. A blank stretch of wall at the end of the vanity was fitted with a narrow storage niche. The lower two shelves store hand towels and soaps, while the upper shelf offers display space for decorative accessories.
For a bathroom used by multiple people, nix the towel bar in favor of hooks. By using hooks, you can give each person a designated spot for a towel rather than competing for limited space on a towel bar.
Employ the wall space above your toilet for storage. Hang a cabinet -- or two --above the toilet and use it to store extra toilet paper, linens, or toiletries. Pick up a single cabinet at an architectural salvage or building materials salvage store, and paint or refinish the cabinet to match your decor. Mount the shelf on the wall using hardware that can stand up to the weight of the shelf and its contents.
Stretch your bathroom's storage capacity with a tall cabinet. This cabinet makes use of potentially wasted space next to a bathtub and instead creates a convenient home for towels and other bath essentials. Although often narrower, tall cabinets offer more cubic inches of storage than shorter ones.
Rid your undersink storage of unattractive packaging boxes, and store beauty products, such as cotton swabs and small soaps, in pretty storage containers displayed on a bathroom countertop. Browse flea markets and local home centers to find jars and containers to suit your bathroom decor.
Regularly sort through the contents of bath cabinetry to ease congestion during your morning routine. Discard expired items and products you've stopped using. Group the remaining items into categories. Things you use every day should reside in a medicine cabinet or another place within easy reach.
Simplify bath storage with pieces intended for other rooms. Hang a paper-towel holder to keep a backup roll of toilet paper handy. Employ a lazy Susan so you can find lotions without having to empty the shelf. And keep hair-primping tools and accessories contained and portable inside a toolbox.
Create convenient holders for toiletries by drilling holes in a shelf and filling them with pretty glasses. To cut perfect circles up to 3 inches in diameter, pair a hole saw with a power drill. Drill the center of each hole with a standard bit, and then switch to the hole saw. When the cutouts are complete, drop in decorative glasses, and fill them with toothbrushes or other frequently used toiletries. Make sure to cut the holes to the size of your glasses so that they fit securely within the holes. Expect to pay between $10 and $30 for a hole saw, depending on the size.
Limit the number of linens you own to two sets per bed, or four if you rotate seasonally between cotton and flannel. "Put aside for donation anything you're not using, and discard anything that is faded, torn, or stained," author Lorie Marrero says in The Clutter Diet.
Stow heavy items, such as cleaning supplies, toward the bottom of your closet. If you have young children, however, these items should be stored high on a shelf or in a locked cabinet.
Position a bench with an upholstered cushion one step from the shower to provide a convenient place to dry off. Look for a bench with a low drawer for easy access to extra towels, shampoo, and shower gel so that these items can be easily reached, even from the shower stall.
If your bathroom has limited wall space, take a cue from your entry and employ a coatrack to create a versatile area for hanging towels, robes, and clothing. This coatrack tucks snugly into the space between the toilet and the tub to make use of potentially wasted space without interrupting traffic flow.
Consider hidden storage possibilities whenever you build walls in a bathroom. For example, you can fit ready-made medicine chests between studs near a sink, or create a custom shelf unit to hold all of the tiny bottles and jars used in a bath.
Fill a narrow sliver of space next to a vanity with a slender etagere. Because these units often come with multiple shelves, they offer more storage real estate, even within a confined space.