Bathrooms: a necessity for everyone, but also surprisingly hard to get organized.
Not all of us are lucky enough to have the sort of sprawling, two-bathtub bathrooms we see on TV, and as a result we have to make the most of the room we have. Closets are fine, under-sink or behind-the-mirror cabinets are always a plus, but there’s a lot of unused wall space that could be put to work to help better organize and arrange everything.
Case in point: that space right around your toilet!
Often considered “off-limits” for...understandable reasons, the area around your toilet can actually become a convenient storage area for a number of needed bathroom items, keeping them close at hand while avoiding clutter elsewhere in your bathroom. Here’s a couple tips we’ve found for helping make the most of that space and adding a little extra decor, flair, and convenience to even the most crowded bathroom:
Over the toilet shelves: One of the easiest (and most commonly seen) ways to help organize bathrooms is to use over toilet shelves. These storage units are specifically designed to fit in the small spaces over a toilet to provide extra storage of things you’ll find yourself needing in there, especially if you don’t want to have to go too far to get them. Find one that best matches the decor of your bathroom and plant it right on down.
Hanging wall shelves: If you don’t have the room for the over-the-toilet option, or if you want a bit more understated look, wall shelves are the way to go. Unless you plan on keeping a lot of stuff on them, you can use this as an opportunity to spruce up your bathroom with a more decorative shelf option like wood shelves or glass wall shelves to freshen the look up a bit while keeping things like toilet paper, air fresheners, or even reading material nearby.
Baskets: If you’re the crafty type, a bathroom storage option that’s been gaining more popularity lately is baskets, mounted directly to the wall. Something a little more decorative like wicker or ratan works great for this option; simply drill the appropriate holes and mount the baskets to the wall using either the right-sized wall screw or wall-mounted hooks to hang the baskets and make sure they can support the weight of whatever you put in there.
Recessed shelving: When your bathroom is particularly hard-pressed for shelving space (such as in circumstances where the toilet is too close to the wall) and you don’t mind doing some renovations, a lot of homeowners have been turning to recessed shelving to help increase their available space. By carving out a small, open, cabinet-like space right above the toilet and installing wall shelves, you can create an additional (but smaller) closet for toilets and other needed supplies.
Towel racks: Of course, a lot of people looking to get more bathroom storage often jump right to the point, and they turn to the space over their toilet to serve as a good place for towel racks. Whether pre-fabricated or homemade out of pipes and metal fixtures (a common sight for families with DIY tendencies and a love for the ‘industrial’ look), the space right above your toilet can be the perfect spot for a towel rack. This can help solve one of your bigger organizational concerns while freeing up floor space or wall space elsewhere.
Art: Worse comes to worse, you can always hang your favorite painting or a treasured old movie poster up there.
When was the last time you took a look around a room and said to yourself “I wish I just had a little extra space in here”?
Was it within the last few days (or, if you’re reading this at home, the last few hours)? It’s a common issue that many households face, but there’s frequently an easy solution that gets overlooked: over-the-door storage!
From racks to hanging baskets to entire shelves, the backside of doors is a great solution to a number of storage issues that smaller rooms can experience. Below, we’ve collected a few of our favorite uses for over-the-door storage, where they can be used, and how it can make your storage problems easier than ever:
Extra pantry space: Pantries have a history of getting cluttered, especially if none of your ingredients are old enough to throw out and you just know you’re going to need them soon enough. Instead of finally having to purge all those spices, get some over-the-door baskets for some of your bigger items like boxes of pasta and canned goods to free up space and make everything that much easier to reach.
Towel storage: By installing either a towel bar, a shelf, or a wire basket on the inside of one of your bathroom doors (either the door leading into it or the door leading to your towel closet, if you have one) you can greatly expand the space you have for clean towels and prevent any awkward situations on your way out of the bath next time.
Accessories—scarves, hats, etc: With a little imagination, the back of your closet door can become an excellent place for accessories like hats, gloves, and scarves. Take some coat hooks or rails of some kind (long handles, curtain rods, etc) and mount them inside the door of the closet to provide easy, hanging access for things that don’t quite work on either shelves or hangers.
Extra shelves: Whatever the room, whatever you use it for, a lot of spaces could benefit from some extra wall shelves to hold things, but sometimes the walls themselves just don’t have the space. Instead, mount these to the inside of a nearby door (the door to the room, the door on the closet, etc) to provide that much extra storage room.
Magnetize it: For the particularly crafty out there, we’ve seen many good examples of people using magnets to hold things like kitchen supplies. Take a thin sheet of metal with some trng magnets and mount them to the inside of a door—it quickly becomes a great way to hold pots and pans, makeup tools, and much more.
Has your house benefitted from over the door shelving? Let us know in the comments!
“Openness” has been an increasingly popular trend in home & apartment design lately, and that goes from the floor plan to the closet and all the way to the home shelving you use.
Open shelving has been popping up in living spaces of all sizes thanks to its ease of installation and even greater ease of use—but is it right for your home?
Above and beyond the decorative aspects of it, open wall shelves can actually do a lot to help keep the various rooms of your home better organized while providing a nice visual enhancement, even if you’re just using them to help keep your rooms cleaner.
Check out a few ways that open shelving can help around your house:
Open shelves, especially more durable ones like metal wall shelves, are always a good decision inside kitchens due to their ease of access—and let’s face it, you probably have a good amount of stuff in your kitchen that could use a more organized home. Depending on where they’re placed, open shelves are perfect for storing dry ingredients (spices, herbs, sugar, etc), serving trays or mixing bowls, or utensils (but try not to keep them too close to the oven to prevent heat issues!) right where you need them most without having to fight through the old junk drawer.
In the living room, open shelves are a great way to reduce clutter while also giving you more opportunity to decorate a little bit. Unless you need them to support a ton of weight, more ‘decorative’ shelving options like glass wall shelves and wood wall shelves can match a variety of previously-existing living room decorations (so you never have to fret about it matching your mom’s couch that you were gifted). These can be a good spot for books you want to display (either old favorites or something you’ve been meaning to read), family photos or knicknacks you’re particularly fond of, or just some small succulents or cacti. A good tip is to remember what you’re stacking on them, though—areas prone to bad windstorms or earthquakes might not want to put your old porcelain that high off the ground.
Most dining rooms seem to be full of a ton of stuff you use all the time, and almost as much stuff that you don’t. While your everyday-use dishes, silverware, and the like are better off kept accessible at ground level, open shelving can be a great way to store things like stemware and those fancy plates you got on your wedding day that you’re saving for just the right time and place. Pair it with a wall mounted wine rack to help keep all your entertaining wine right at the dinner table where you need it.
Bathrooms tend to be harder to organize than you’d expect—there’s already closets and cabinets, but those can fill up quickly and, well, there’s a lot of stuff we need to keep in bathrooms isn’t there? Open shelves can solve a lot of those problems. Try putting some up on the wall closest to your shower to help organize towels and keep them right at hand where you need them, or hang one up over the toilet (ideally high enough and far enough back to prevent bumping into it with your head) to keep paper towels, toilet paper, and any other needed bathroom supply where you can quickly get to it.
We’ll be back soon with more open shelving organization tips, but in the meantime leave a comment below if you’ve recently put wall shelving up in your home and tell us what you think!
Never quite feels like there’s enough room in some rooms, right? You try to organize as best you can, but when it comes to floor space there’s only so many square feet to go around and it gets a little overwhelming sometimes. There’s an easy solution for this, however, and it’s one that goes overlooked by a surprising number of people: wall shelves!
Remodeling the bathroom. If the idea makes you bury your face in your hands (and it’s pretty understandable if it does), then you know how much work it can be.
It’s a chance to redecorate, to finally clean out the towel closet, and perhaps best of all it’s a chance to install some new storage and make your bathroom work better than ever!
If you’re heading towards a bathroom remodel in the near future, or just figuring out how to finally gain more space, we’ve got a few ideas to keep in mind for extra storage while remodeling your bathroom:
Figure out who uses it, and how
It might sound a little obvious at first, but in houses with multiple bathrooms or residents, answering this question could indicate the direction of the rest of the project. Do you have a main bath that the whole family uses? Do you have a small powder room in the house that doesn’t do as much as a full bath? Is it a guest bathroom that only gets cleaned up when the kids come over? This can help you prioritize your work and figure out what needs to be done next.
Prioritize unused space
When adding new storage space to a bathroom, the easiest place to start is to see where there’s empty space that’s still accessible, and work from there. It’s always going to be easier to add to empty space than it is to renovate current space, so use your imagination. Space around the toilet? Put up an over the toilet rack. Space on the walls, or inside the shower? Use some rust-proof wire wall shelving to hang onto needed shower items. Make the most of the space you have remaining before getting into bigger projects and you’ll find the whole thing going more smoothly.
Thy name is vanity!
A lot of bathrooms leave the sink, mirror, and medicine cabinet to do all the heavy lifting when it comes to organizing goods without appreciating the design of a bathroom vanity. Space permitting, slide one of these in adjacent to the shower to allow yourself some extra space for cosmetics and personal products, while freeing up valuable space elsewhere.
Clean out under the sink
For starters, if you’re renovating the sink cabinets at all (new doors, new finish, etc) you’re going to want to start by pulling everything out from under it. And you may find that the more you pull out from under the sink, the less you need to put back. Toss out what you don’t need, get some plastic storage boxes to hang onto everything else, and if you’re going really crazy with the sink renovations, try to bring in some shelves or drawers under there to help.
Sort out your drawers
Speaking of drawers, your bathroom drawers are probably a worse magnet for clutter than your kitchen drawers, and that’s saying something! Get some small stainless-steel containers and drawer separators to keep your drawers tidied up, and if you’re already remodeling you may want to consider bigger drawers while you’re there…
Rework the back of your doors
Finally, the doors in many bathrooms are a valuable and underutilized source of vertical space. Whether you’re replacing them or redecorating, this is a great time to put up some shelves or coat hooks to hang onto towels, bathrobes, or anything else you got in there.
Did you recently survive a bathroom remodeling and have extra tips for us? Drop a comment below!