Nov 16, 2023
15 Bathroom Storage Ideas for Even the Tiniest, Ickiest Spaces in 2023
By Erika Owen All products featured on GQ are independently selected by our
By Erika Owen
All products featured on GQ are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
When you consider that the life cycle of anything living in your bathroom will inevitably be dominated by moisture, mildew, and bacteria, researching bathroom storage ideas sorta seems like an, ahem, crap shoot no matter how you slice it. The bathroom is also somewhat of a befuddling space considering it's usually the smallest in your home: Where do you plant all of your grooming stuff if you don't have built-in storage? What's up with the random soaps and toothbrushes competing for space on your countertop? Where the hell do you conceal the extra rolls of toilet paper so they're still within arm's reach?
For a tiny space that you'll spend so much of your time in (to your partner or roommate's dismay), you may as well kit it out with some nice-looking storage accessories to help answer all of the above queries and keep your space looking tidy and less chaotic for you and your guests.
Materials: Humidity isn't friendly to all surfaces and will absolutely wreck some of the materials you store in there over time. Plastic and glass? Easy to clean and affordable if mildew starts creeping in. Wood and non-rust-proof metals? Not so bueno for all of that steamy moisture.
Wall space: If you can tinker with your bathroom walls, go for some wall shelving instead of one of those over-the-toilet racks that stores all of your toiletries right in the middle of the splash zone. Still renting and planning on getting that fat security deposit check back? Invest in some rolling storage or anything that nixes actual nails.
Style: The divide between a space that screams "hello, I have a mortgage" and "dorm room bathroom" should be clear and distinct, but you can make it even more obvious with some tasteful, even affordable organizers that'll store your stuff without looking like your mom drop-shipped it from Bed Bath & Beyond with a care package. If you're sharing a bathroom with someone with very different tastes, look for happy mediums in neutral colors and designs.
Square footage: If your bathroom's especially cramped, don't overload the area and use as much of the vertical space as you have. Closed storage is your friend!
To guide you on your way to bathroom organization nirvana, we assembled some tips and bathroom storage ideas for sprucing up your loo, no matter how much space you have.
It's all too easy to keep tossing half-used bottles of glass cleaner or toilet bowl tablets under the sink, culminating in a mountain of supplies that tumbles over the moment you try to find something. Save yourself that headache. Opt for some handsome organizers, preferably in a material that's easy to wipe clean like plastic or metal.
Danish brand Hay is an old faithful for fun, affordable-ish, non-Ikea home goods for your starter apartment. This catchall does the trick for corralling all your cleaning supplies, or could even act as a small hamper during laundry day.
You don't even need to spend more than $20 on under-the-sink storage. If you're not into an assortment of pull-out tubs in your drawers, this double-tiered shelf comes with a number of mini hooks—which are ideal for hanging cleaning accessories or rags—and a cup for brushes. Even if no one else sees it, you’ll probably sleep better at night knowing exactly where are all of your cleaning essentials live.
If you often find yourself stuffing Q-tips, cotton pads, hair ties, or other tiny bathroom accessories into the nooks and crannies of your medicine cabinet, a handsome container or two goes a long way for keeping everything in one place. Have some fun with it, and use them to add color to your space, especially if they're sitting out in the open.
Just some colorful minis to get the wheels turning! These could easily store Q-tips, razor blades, or extra toothbrush heads.
Or, stray from the usual square storage container situation and go all in on this mysterious egg-shaped and water-resistant cache. There's something kinda cute about it: You’ll want to give it a name and greet it every time you brush your teeth.
There's nothing particularly pleasing about staring at a stack of toilet paper while you go about your, ahem, business, which is where this sleek laundry-pail looking device comes in. Designed with tiny bathrooms in mind, this totally tubular gem discreetly stores up to three rolls of toilet paper at once and comes in a range of fetching colors.
Floating shelves can be a great place to display the Good Skincare (just hope no one cops a precious pump of your Augustinus Bader), a a diffuser, or some thirsty, moisture-loving plants. Look for something that will properly carry the weight of whatever you’re loading it up with—a (wildly important) factor that's easily overlooked.
Storage that doesn't look like storage is always going to feel somewhat sneaky in a satisfying way. This storage shelf is made of a beautifully-engineered acacia veneer—meaning it will weather the humidity of your bathroom—with flip-down drawers that reveal two brass-lined interiors.
We love the glassy cherry color of this towel rail (which also comes in a bunch of other hues), and installing one can make a simple hand towel duo look a lot vibier. This simple storage design also marks a collaboration between two major names: Italian-based design house Kartell and the architect/design duo Ludovica and Roberto Palomba.
No matter what you outfit these rounded-edge shelves with, it's going to look great. Looking to get a nod from your bullet journal friends? Go full beast mode with some color-coding.
This organizer is attached to the wall with super-strong adhesive strips, which is everything if your bathroom is covered in tiles or you just want that security deposit back. Available in three cup colors—pink, green, and white—the rust-resistant design can also stick to a shower door. If you're a self-described commitment-phobe when it comes to design choices, it's a solid transitional piece.
And though it's not technically a "floating shelf," should you really need some organizational help with all your shower stuff, we present you with your dorm room shower caddy's grown-up, sedentary cousin. The slim silicone design packs a small number of bottles and odds-and-ends that would normally clutter the shower floor or the bathtub ledge.
Medicine cabinets are perfect for storing skincare, medicine, and other unmentionables—like that stash of zit stickers or your manscaping toolkit—that you're not interested in broadcasting to all of your guests. If you have the clearance to replace your standard-issued medicine cabinet that came with your place (or just don't have any storage to begin with), a fun shape, color, or open storage situation can add some flair to your bathroom without going too overboard.
The best bathroom cabinets look like they could fit in any room of your home. Why? Because as soon as you move, your entire storage plan may have to change—so there's a good chance it will live in another space. Take this cabinet with a magnetic glass-fronted door from Ferm Living which could just as easily post up on the bathroom wall as in a kitchen or study. It's made of rust-resistant, powder-coated steel, comes with a bracket for hanging up, and holds up to 20 lbs. on its shelves.
You may not think of the bathroom as a prime space for conversation starter decor, but don't be surprised if this first aid kit-styled medicine cabinet is the one piece your dinner party guests ask about every time they come over. Designed by Peter J. Lassen for Danish brand Montana Møbler, it comes in 38 colors so you can match it with that splashy shower curtain you just bought.
This is one of those magical medicine cabinets that gives you the power of choice. Hide unsightly bottles and containers inside and cherrypick which skincare gems you want to flex on the open-air shelves. It's also begging for a plant or two—opt for succulents, they’re resilient and can thrive in a humid environment.
Whether you store towels, toiletries, or cleaning supplies on one of them, a rolling cart is always a nice option for people with more floor space. Keep in mind that heavier materials and bold colors will visually appear to take up more room, while carts made of materials like acrylic appear lighter and direct attention to what's inside them.
As we noted, acrylic is a handsome material for providing the illusion of more space without skimping on storage. The wheeled design makes it easy to cart from room to room, in case you decide to switch things up.
This narrow bathroom cart is a small tower of open storage opportunities: Extra rolls of TP, cleaning tools, hand towels, bath salts, even—hell—a book or two if you're taking your sweet time in there. It roll into the smallest of spaces, and maneuvers with a slim wooden handle.Materials: Wall space: Style: Square footage: