7 Tips for Maximizing Every Square Inch of Your Small Bathroom

Small bathroom with white walls and old sink
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Elly Poston Cooper

Finding a place to live that you love can be a challenge, and even more challenging is the problem of space—especially in a bathroom. Maybe you have a pedestal sink with no vanity; maybe you have no room for a towel bar. Never fear! Use this advice to make your small space work. Goodbye clutter, hello function.

Think Tall

The golden rule for maximizing space in a small bathroom is to use vertical storage. Use a slim, aesthetic tray on top of your toilet tank to hold extra rolls of paper. Buy your shower curtains extra long and mount the rods as high as possible to create long, lovely lines and the illusion of high ceilings. Trick the eye up, and you'll immediately feel things have gotten roomier.

Mirror, Mirror

Mirrors instantly open up a room, so hanging a couple in a small area is a solution that'll provide some instant gratification. Bonus: Use a medicine cabinet with a mirrored door as a one-two-punch solution for your space and storage problem.

Get Organized

The quickest way for your small space to start looking smaller is for it to become easily cluttered. Only have one drawer? Invest in organizers for your makeup, oral hygiene, and skin care to create a place for everything (and so that everything goes back into its place). A multi-tiered lazy Susan is a well-loved hack for all the tall bottles (like hairspray or face wash) that are a little too big for drawers, but would create clutter on a countertop.

Get Hooked

Do you find yourself without a towel bar? Use hooks to create storage for your bathrobe and towels. You can even use hooks on the inside of cabinet doors to hang bulky items like hair dryers or curling irons, freeing up drawer and counter space.

Minimize Noise

Be thoughtful about dark colors and patterns, which tend to close off an already small room. Decorate with openness and serenity in mind. Opt for lucite organizers over opaque ones, keep wood tones similar, and go for cool hues over warm ones (like light blue, which has been determined to be the bathroom wall color home buyers most prefer!).

Touches of Green

Invest in a small fake plant or two, either hanging or dainty enough to perch on a shelf or counter, to add a little luxury without impeding your functionality.

Clean Sweep

If you're trying to make it all work in one small bathroom, you may need to reframe your thinking. More often than not, moving bulky cleaning supplies that would normally be stashed under a sink can free up valuable real estate for other appliances. Instead of an entire Costco-sized container of cotton swabs, put a handful in a small organizer or glass jar and keep the rest somewhere else. Keeping only what you need will free your space and your mind alike.

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