How to Organize a Bathroom Closet

Keep towels and toiletries neat and tidy in your bathroom closet for a streamlined routine.

bathroom closet towels bhg
Photo:

John Bessler

Bathrooms are notoriously short on storage. While many have a medicine cabinet or even a well-equipped vanity with a combination of cabinets and drawers, a built-in closet allows you to store more. Bathroom closets are especially helpful in keeping towels and toiletries within close reach if your home lacks a linen closet.

Create the ultimate organization in your bathroom closet with this how-to guide and smart storage ideas.

bathroom with storage closet labeled baskets on shelves
Jessica Glynn

Declutter a Bathroom Closet

Ahead of implementing any closet storage system, there are a few things to check off your to-do list. Properly preparing the space is the key to getting and keeping it organized.

First, clear out everything that’s currently in the bathroom closet and make a few piles. Create a group of expired items, one for those no longer needed or wanted, and a third for the stuff that should be rehomed.

All medicine and first aid supplies have expiration dates, and many beauty items, if they lack one, display a symbol with a number, including 6M, 12M, and 18M. These indicate how long the product is good for after it’s been opened. If you’re unsure, take a good look or sniff and toss anything that appears or smells off.

For items that are unused, unexpired, and you don’t have a need for, consider donating them to a charity, family in need, or friend who can get some use out of them. Animal shelters often accept towels of all sizes and in any condition. Just be sure to check with your location before donating to determine their needs and requirements.

For items that have turned up in the bathroom closet but belong elsewhere in the house, return them to their proper home. You should now be left with items you actually need to store in your bathroom closet.

How to Clean a Bathroom Closet

With nothing but blank space, now is the time to give your bathroom closet a deep scrub down. Vacuum out any dust or dirt, spray and wipe down all surfaces, and buff out any scuff marks on the walls. If you want to lay down shelf liners or repaint your bathroom towel closet, now’s your chance.

Sort Bathroom Essentials

Take a look at your remaining bath items. There should be clearly defined categories, such as towels, toilet paper, shower products, makeup, and so on. Assign each category a shelf in the closet, keeping the most frequently used items front and center. Bulk supplies can be stored high, low, or towards the back of a shelf.

The last step before organizing a towel closet is to decide on the best type of products to store and consider your lifestyle so you maximize the space you have and are able to find everything easily.

modern bathroom with stacked washing machine and dryer
Laurie Black

Bathroom Closet Organization Ideas

Use a combination of the following methods to make the most of your bathroom closet.

Employ Baskets

Turn to coordinating baskets for an easy, no-fuss bathroom closet storage solution. Baskets keep things contained and hide visual clutter, especially on open shelving. Utilize fabric or rope baskets for towels; natural options, like wicker, can snag linens. For items that have the potential to leak, such as cough syrup or body oil, consider using recycled plastic or acrylic baskets to make cleaning up an easier process.

Each basket should hold a separate category and be labeled to minimize the guesswork. Look for sizes that fit the height, width, and depth of each of the shelves to maximize space.

Add a Lazy Susan

Another simple solution for bathroom products is to use a lazy Susan or two. These are ideal for tall bottles of shampoo, sunscreen, and hair spray, plus they're a breeze to wipe down if any spills occur. Use a divided turntable to sort medicine by type or keep the ones made for adults separated from kid items.

Stack Bins

For tall closet shelves, especially those that aren't adjustable, take advantage of the height as best as possible with stacking containers. Stackable, open-front metal or bamboo bins are an ideal option for extra rolls of toilet paper or paper towels. Clear, stackable drawers divide makeup by type. Lidded bins allow you to stuff away stock tubes of toothpaste and replacement razors while piling up as high as the closet shelf will allow.

Store in Glass Jars

Many bathroom closets lack a door so it’s important to keep items organized while also looking aesthetically pleasing. Glass apothecary jars meet both requirements. Use them to store bath bombs or salts with a scoop, bars of soap, and cotton balls or swabs. Pretty and functional is the ideal combination when organizing a towel closet.

Divide Shelves

Ideal for linens, shelf dividers keep items tidy and upright. Master some simple towel folding techniques, then keep it consistent among bath, hand, and face towels. Utilize dividers to keep folded towels in line. Clip shelf labels in front of each pile to make it easy for guests to grab the type they need or have family members return towels to the right spot after laundry day. And don't worry if your bathroom closet consists of wire shelving—there are plenty of compatible dividers available.

Utilize Freestanding Drawers

Deep shelves often result in lost or forgotten items, leading to expired products or duplicates of things you already have on hand. One way to prevent this is to install sliding drawers on top of existing bathroom closet shelves. Most home improvement stores carry a variety of styles, from chrome to wood, and help you to choose the correct size for your closet. Once installed, simply pull out the drawer to see everything you have and reach for what you need.

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