More Organized Bathroom Storage

At the end of the hall next to the bathroom we have a linen closet that we use for bathroom storage. While the master bath is in a state of disrepair and the guest bath is in renovation, it has become a jumbled-up mess.

I started by removing everything from the closet and spreading it out on the counter and the floor in the bathroom.

This is when I felt like giving up, but it was too late. I had to press on.

This is mainly a sorting job. All the hair stuff in one basket, tooth brushes in a cup, nail products in another.

The soaps are together. Lotions go on a tray. Travel bottles are put away. When everything is sorted and arranged, it doesn’t take up nearly as much space. It will be much easier to find things.

(The medicine is already organized, thank goodness, in the kitchen.)

In the space for storage under the bathroom vanity, now we have toilet paper, extra towels, and a basket to hold the hair dryer.

This week I was reminded that serving family sometimes means giving them a clean toilet to throw up in. Since the bathroom is one of the places where we are at our weakest, let’s straighten it up and make it a nicer place to be.

clear the clutter

About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. Our bath towels don’t fit into our linen closet very well so we roll them (so that they are cylindrically-shaped) and stack them that way. It works fine and looks nicer than it would if we tried to come up with some weird way to fold them to make them fit.

    • I love this! Never thought of that but realized that is a 5 minute fix to my linen closet – and easier to clean up when the boys pull out all the towels to make a fort! am doing this tonight.

    • @ Amanda – do you stack them so they are standing up or side ways? Trying to visualize it for my linen shelf.

      • I stack them on their sides. They are folded over twice, then rolled up. I got the idea out of a magazine ad. They had towels stacked like fire wood in a little basket in the bathroom.

        • Sorry to be so dumb but do you mean folded twice lengthways or once lengthways and then in half before rolling?

          • Fold them anyway you like, just so that you end up with a manageable rectangle to roll. I’m not exactly the correct way to describe how we fold ours… we fold twice, both folds run across the shorter width of the towel… in half and in half again, then roll. Does that make sense. But it really doesn’t matter, just rectangle and roll.

    • a very special friend of mine went into a Nursing Home,well,before went she gave me several items she wanted me to have…one was a 3 shelf wicker open shelf…when i remodeled my bathroom i took pink,lavender,dark pink & white
      towel sets..i also rolled them and stacked them with all the colors divided up so no 2 would be beside each other(LOL,yes i am OCD,LOL) & used the top shelf for 3 SMALL things w/the colors i had chosen in them…..if i MUST say it came out BEAUTIFUL !!!!!

  2. My bathroom storage was looking fabulous a few months ago, but now my bathroom closet looks way worse than your before picture!

    I love the idea of using trays and baskets to define spaces. When I neaten my closet back up I’ll be using that tip–it’s practical and pretty both!
    Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy´s last post…This Summer, I’m Saying Yes.

  3. I hate that “it’s too late to go back” feeling!

    Your bathroom looks great – I really love that vanity with the shelving underneath.
    Jessica @ Quirky Bookworm´s last post…Movie and TV Habits of a Bookworm

    • Bethany says:

      I was just thinking the same thing, the vanity is so cool and looks easy to keep clean. I also love before and afters, they are inspiring and satisfying!

  4. Well done. Thank you for your inspiration, I like organizing as well.

  5. Did you guys custom build that vanity? If so, where did you get teh wood from? It’s lovely.

  6. I like the vanity, too! Where did you find it?

  7. I did this with my fridge this weekend! Same process, minus the baskets. :-) Used the same principle though, of storing like things with like. Felt so good to clean it all. Felt like having a brand-new fridge.´s last post…Home-made marinade:Real, good, and gluten-free

  8. I love the quote. So true! I have been trying to do a drawer or closet at a time so our move won’t be so traumatic.
    Shell´s last post…Green Floors?

  9. Jennifer says:

    Hope you and your family are well, I noticed the note at the bottom about having a clean toilet to be sick in.

  10. Thank you so much for the idea of using a linen closet for bathroom stuff. We have one right next to our tiny bathroom in our apartment.

  11. Kelly N says:

    Thanks for the inspiration, yet again. This is a very timley post for me. My husband and I are expecting our first child in August and we looked around this weekend and realized that we need to clear out some space for the little one and his things. Hopefully this post will get us moving!

    Love the vanity also, you and your hubby are so handy :)

  12. I love the serving family line at the end! So great! Our job as parents is a servant role – especially during the toddler/preschool ages.
    As for bathrooms – I for one appreciate being in a clean space while I am becoming clean myself. It just feel fresh and nice.
    Good tips. Thanks.
    Debra Bell´s last post…Tilling the Soil of My Heart

  13. sorry to hear that you were serving your family in that capacity but hopefully you are on the mend and it will not spread.

    question: you recently posted about keeping bath towels fresher longer. we have a bathroom that is shared by three children (9,7,3) and the hanging up of towels is always an issue. the bathroom has a sink then a door where the shower and toilet are located. one towel bar hangs on the wall hear the shower. i thought about putting up hooks but one reader shared that the towels don’t thoroughly dry and get musty quicker. if i place a bar higher up no one could reach it. any suggestions for a small shared space like that?
    sandi´s last post…don’t mess up the play room morgan!

    • if you need to hang up towels for your 3 year old like I do, then mount another bar higher up. By the time your youngest can start using the lower towel bar, your oldest will probably be tall enough to use the upper one.

  14. I think we only got a sneak peak, but the bathroom vanity looks beautiful! Our bathroom storage could use a little revamping too. As always, thanks for the inspiration!
    Erica {let why lead}´s last post…7 Cures for a Boring Afternoon

  15. Like most British houses of a certain age, we inherited a fairly sparse bathroom, bath with shower over/sink/toilet and tiny medicine cabinet on the wall. As we rent we added a small freestanding cabinet that fit the only space available, but it was rendered near useless by our inquisitive toddler who took to unpacking everything! I couldn’t tell you the difference adding a child-proof catch has made! I can once again see the windowsill (high enough that he couldn’t reach and over sink so everything had migrated there!) and can display the vases we use to hold toothbrushes, rather than be worrying that putting one more thing up there would see them shatter on the floor!

    I love that your storage doesn’t all match and you didn’t rush out to the store to get all coordinating but used what you had! Blog Land adds so much pressure to have storage that’s beautiful rather than storage that works!

  16. This is how I organize too, but I just have way more products than u do : ) thanks for sharing. Have a fabulous day!

  17. I have always liked sorting things, and ‘pull it all out’ has been my favorite method, usually it works great. Although, once when I was about seven I decided to help my sister clean her room and siad that if we put everythign in their own baskets it would make it easier in the future. I then proceeded to pull everything out of her bookshelves, and after two hours, not only was it ‘to late to turn back’, but I left her with a much bigger mess than she had started with because I ran out of baskets, and got bored with the whole project.

  18. rebekah says:

    Hi Rachel, I would really like to know what color of white paint you chose for your home, and how you chose it. I’m having a hard time picking a white for my home.

  19. Thanks for the inspirational post and photos. Containers are definitely the solution for bathrooms. Not only do they keep things contained, they are also easy to pull out to retrieve something or to clean underneath. I like the cup for holding toothbrushes – I find interesting repurposed toothbrush holders much more interesting than purpose-made ones. We use a cute melamine drinking cup for the kids’ toothbrushes.
    Kim @ Extra Organised´s last post…A place for everything

  20. This is definitely one of those places that requires ruthless decluttering. In my experience, I always think I need more than I actually do. I’ll put stuff in a small storage bin at the back of the closet “just in case” only to come back months later and think, “Didn’t I get rid of that already!?”

    Our closet is due for another sort through, and anything that I’m sick of looking at gets tossed.
    Jennie´s last post…Simple Romance

  21. I love clean bathrooms (we have 3). I try to REALLY clean them once a week. Then I go from one to the other to look at how clean they are, how fluffy the mats look, faucets shining. Thankfully we have lots of closed storage space in each bathroom. But I do go through what is stashed there and do a throw-out and rearrange couple times a year.
    Donna´s last post…Working From The “List”… Grommets and Postage Stamps

  22. Your vanity looks fabulous! I can’t wait to see more.
    I really appreciate that you share solutions which use what you have and don’t require further purchases. Your post makes me want to go clean out our bathroom stuff.

  23. Monique says:

    I would love to get our bathrooms more organized. My linen closet is in the bathroom and currently holds (most of) the bed sheets, the spare blankets, and the towels and wash cloths. I can hardly fit those things when they’re folded neatly, much less the things crowding the under sink area. I’ve tried to declutter, and I found that we are using all of the stuff there. None of it is “maybe I’ll use it someday or just in case my 3rd cousin drops by” items. Any suggestions, from anybody? I don’t have lots of containers (cute or otherwise) hanging around empty, and we’re on as very tight budget.

    • I wonder, do you have any extra regular closet space? At our thrift store, they hang folded sheets and blankets on regular plastic hangers on a rod across the back of the store. Maybe you could hang your extra sheets that way to make room in the linen closet for the stuff you use more regularly? I keep mine in a trunk in the bedroom, or in boxes that slide under they’re respective beds, but it sounded like you didn’t want to get more. I also save the soft plastic bags that blankets and sheets often come in to use to store them, it keeps them tidy so they don’t have to be refolded everytime I move stuff on a shelf.

      • Monique says:

        Thanks for the idea. I’m working on decluttering closets, so there may be room once I’m done with that. We already have gift wrap, winter clothes, and other such things under the beds.

        • Michelle says:

          I store the extra sheets under the mattress. We only have two sheet sets per bed in the house (one is on the bed, one is under the mattress). The bonus of this system is that my children put on their own sheets and pillow cases (they’re 7 and 9) when they strip the linens because the clean sheet set is so accessible. So when I am done with the linen laundry I just have to stick them under the mattress again.

          • I love this idea!! I am going to do this!! you are genius.

            and not to plug specific products but i cleaned out our master pantry closet last week and put sticky labels from Staples – martha stewart brand on the containers and ones with ties on the non-stickable containers (baskets, etc) – and it looks fabulous. the labels come off easy and you can use an erasable marker on them; because eventually the container could be use for something else, right? :)

  24. The closet looks great! :)

    My mini victory this week is that my other half actually volunteered to throw out his bath towel that he’s been attached to for years but it’s now thread bare and I’m pretty sure all the decluttering has inclined his brain into letting things go when they’re done :)

  25. Thanks for the inspiration! My bathroom is on my declutter/organize list for this summer for sure!
    Elizabeth@ReadySetSimplify´s last post…Decluttering and Organizing Food Storage Containers

  26. Love the extra storage under the vanity!

  27. For the longest time I really ignored THE bathroom in our house (that’s right, we only have one!). I live with all boys and no one ever cares about the bathroom… until someone got sick. Completely changed my perspective on how clean is clean when it comes to the bathroom. With a quick wipe down every day and a real clean every few days (more like a week for the most part) I feel like anyone could be sick in my bathroom at any time!
    Diane @ The Stripper Project´s last post…Crazy blogger people.

  28. We did our linen closet about 2 months ago. We were agressive – any towels that were just too scratchy or had other issues that made people pick other towels (we had some that weren’t unfolded in easily 2 years) went into a pile. We did the same with sheets that were too thread bear or that didn’t stay on the beds. That entire pile got washed, dried and boxed up and taken to our local humane society. Because of that one donation trip, all of our linen closet “stuff” (sheets, towels, pillow cases, heating pad, etc) fits in the closet with room to breath. We didn’t worry about running out of clean towels, as we realized the ones we donated were ones that were never touched.

  29. great stuff :) I bought several clear shoe boxes and labelled them – then just stacked them… I often have soaps, toothpastes, deodorant etc. in bunches as I buy several when on sale. This way I could store them, see how much I have easily and stack them right to the top of the cupboard! The shoe boxes were only $2 each, so simple, cheap and effective :)

  30. I just re-did my bathroom cabinets……its amazing how much stuff you can throw out! PURGE PURGE PURGE!!!

    Alison :)
    Alison´s last post…If you have boys – let them explore!!