I’m sure today’s post title isn’t the most enticing thing you’ve ever clicked on but I do think it’s a topic that plagues many cohabitating couples (though honestly, it plagued me when I lived alone too!). I mentioned in this post that we moved from a huge master bathroom with a double vanity to the teeny tiniest bathroom with one sink, zero drawers, and a door that hits the toilet if you try to open it all the way. So this is an organization project that’s been top of mind for me as we get settled in our new humble abode and, as with any new project, I like to spend some time sourcing inspiration before putting any plans into action. Here are eight ideas I’ve found for making the most of minimal storage and making bathroom as organized as it can be.

color coded medicine cabinet


  1. Stock your medicine cabinet with everything but medicine. Growing up, my mom kept all our first aid supplies, aspirin, cold medicine, etc. in a cabinet in the kitchen, not the bathroom, so that’s definitely part of our bathroom organization strategy in this house. It’s funny that for such a small bathroom we actually have two medicine cabinets, so I’ll be using mine to store hair products and skincare essentials. I love the above picture where everything is perfectly color coded!

clear containers for makeup brushes cotton balls and q tips


2. Use clear containers to store makeup brushes, cotton balls, and Q tips on your countertop. Any extras can be stored in their packaging underneath the sink. The clear containers could really be as simple as a couple extra highballs from your kitchen, but we registered for an array of these gorgeous glass canisters (which you can monogram for extra style points!).

repurpose old candle to store makeup brushes


3. Repurpose old candles as new storage vessels. Some candles are just too pretty to throw away and this is a favorite way to give them new life. I have probably half a dozen old Diptyque candles just waiting to be repurposed into bathroom storage (or mini flower vases!) but I also love the packaging on these and these.

lacquer bathroom tray


4. Keep a small lacquer tray on your counter to corral your everyday essentials. Okay, yes, I’m using a picture of my own storage solution from our old house, but I love having my must-haves (at least the pretty ones) out in plain sight. Think of this tray as a place to keep your desert island essentials: sunscreen and tinted moisturizer for daytime, favorite mask and absolutely-cannot-live-without serum for nighttime. If you have a little more counter space than we do, this tiered mirror tray is a great way to double your display.

toilet tray ryan korban


5. If you’re extra starved for space, place that tray on top of the toilet. Ours is right next to the bathroom counter so it’s a natural extension of the counter and a great spot for a candle, your fragrance collection, and even a small piece of artwork. If you’re willing to splurge a little or to put holes in the wall, this over-the-toilet étagère is a rather chic option and these acrylic floating shelves would make for a retail-like display.

organized medicine cabinet


6. Use vessels to keep like items together. In addition to the clear canisters mentioned above, you can use smaller cups and dishes (even borrowed from your kitchen!) to group mascaras, eyebrow and eyeliner pencils, lip glosses, extra toothbrushes, and more.

organized bathroom drawers with wood dividers


7. Use drawer dividers to organize your most-worn makeup. If, unlike ours, your bathroom has drawers (seriously, who designs a bathroom counter without at least one drawer?!) these wooden drawer dividers will be your best friend. If you’re trying to keep things organized under the sink, something like this might be more up your alley.

makeup organization with lucite tray and old candles


8. If all else fails, create a makeup station in another room. My home office is right next to our shared bathroom and gets great light, so I’m hoping to set up a little vanity area for putting on makeup in the morning and reserve the space in our bathroom for hair and skin stuff that I apply right after I shower. This could also be done with a small mirror and lacquer tray on top of the dresser in your bedroom if you don’t have space for an actual vanity!

Any other tips you have for organizing your bathroom? I’d love to hear from you!

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  1. That’s a really good tip to look for really good recommendations when looking for a bathroom design. I like the valuable information you provide for a organizing bathroom ideas. it was really helpful. Keep Posting!

  2. I’m moving in with my boyfriend at the end of March and we don’t have any bathroom storage AT ALL in our little apartment! There’s a tiny cabinet that’s barely deep enough to store a tub of moisturiser, but that’s it, so I’ll be getting thoughtful about how to store all of my skincare and make up too. By that I mean I’m fully planning on taking over the study next to the bathroom haha. And medicine always goes in the kitchen! (I grew up like this too!) Good luck with getting settled! x

  3. I actually do most of these! I am a total bathroom organization freak…mostly because I have way too many goods to store. My favorite way of making everything look less cluttered is with the lacquer trays and storing empty candle jars with makeup brushes, cotton balls, etc. underneath my sink just like you suggested in the post. I also keep small jewelry dishes with only my most worn jewelry in the bathroom on the counter. In the past I also used a lucite makeup divider and paper mached it with Lilly Pulitzer agenda paper. I still use it and get so many compliments on it.


  4. You are actually not supposed to store medicines in the bathroom anyway so good for you to be in that habit! Excess moisture can break down the medication and cause a loss of potency! I apply the same principles to makeup too. Face lotions, serums, mascara, eyeliners, and powders can grow bacteria and mold in a bathroom so it is a good idea to store them elsewhere. You wouldn’t want to jeopardize the potency or purity of your Vintner’s Daughter serum!! – Just some friendly pharmacy student advice!

  5. Great ideas! We also have smaller bathrooms (the curse of living in Fairfield County) and I recently had two of these shelves installed above our toilet for some added space: http://www.cb2.com/marble-wall-mounted-shelf/s225693.

    For makeup brush and small item storage, I’m actually repurposing some tea tins from my favorite brand because I think they’re so cute, and come in a multitude of colors depending on the aesthetic you’re going for. Cute, functional and free (after you’ve drank the tea!): https://www.harney.com/collections/classic-collection/products/earl-grey-supreme-20-sachet-tin?lshst=collection

  6. Love these tips!!! I repurposed this IKEA letter tray for my makeup this year….I had to get crafty with limited space!! I slid it into a cubby and took a rack out so the top level is tall enough for skin care items, then divided the other racks for face, eyes, etc. Perfect for maximizing a small amount of space!