4 tips for organizing a small bathroom

Raise your hand if your kids’ bathroom is a complete chaos! Up to a couple of weeks ago, mine would have been raised, and I would have been typing this post with my last remaining 5 fingers.

Let’s go back a bit in time to recapitulate my story, if you don’t mind.

When we lived in North Carolina, each of my daughters had their own bathroom – thank you cheap North Carolina real-estate. And then we moved to San Francisco, and while we were very lucky to find a house with a bedroom for each of our girls, they do have to share a small bathroom [44 ft²], which also happens to be the guests’ bathroom when we have visitors. We set up the bathroom the best we could, but the amount of storage is 1/5 of what they had in North Carolina.

I tried at first to regularly clean the shelves [if you have teens, you know that expiration dates on cosmetics is a foreign concept to them.]

And then, and then… I dropped the ball.

I capitulated.

I decided somehow that as almost-adults, they should be organizing regularly their bathroom and clean it. Wrong, wrong. And wrong again.

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Once in a while, I go on a crusade and try every possible trick in the book. Money: “I’ll give you extra pocket money if you clean the bathroom”. Management: “There is a calendar for each of you, girls, for bathroom cleaning chores attached on the fridge door.”  Threats : “No sleepovers or guests of yours in this house until the bathroom is cleaned.” And then, when we have imminent guests arrival, I become a real dictator. A true #momster.

So I dropped the ball.

But then, I remembered I’m not a quitter. So when Cottonelle asked me to share with you bathroom organizing tips, I thought it was perfect timing to regain power over the guests/teens bathroom. Like a boss, because… because I’m not a quitter, remember?

Here is how I organized the space:

1. Shelves: I emptied all the shelves and threw away anything that looked expired or looked like it died a few months back but did not get a proper burial. That’s almost half the shelf space gone… yay me. Then, I got some pretty acrylic boxes and organized products by category : hair accessories, makeup, creams, and pot-pourri, also known as “I don’t know what the heck this is for but it looks very special to my girls.”

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2. Bathroom door caddy: I sewed a simple behind-the-door caddy to organize bathroom countertop products. It is now so much easier to quickly clean the bathroom sink and countertop area. A similar step-by-step project tutorial can be found here.

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3. Undersink area: This used to be the ‘hair-curler-straightener-dryer- tangled-wires’ zone. Well, no more, my dear. I used a magazine holder and organized the mess, leaving some room under the sink for extra towels, cleaning products and toilet paper – because they always run out of toilet paper you know when, and I always get to play ‘Super Mario’ down to the garage where we used to store the paper toilet stash. 

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ps: I’m such a boss, I even learned how to do toilet paper roll origami pliés when we have guests over. Impressive, right? Here is the tutorial I followed if you want to impress your guests as well.

4. Wall organisation: barrettes and necklaces are so pretty to look at; I arranged them on the wall so they are easy to access, and there is more storage available in the under-sink drawers for the not-so-aesthetically appealing accessories.

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I will keep track of the situation in the girls’ bathroom by doing regular raids – instead of waiting for chaos to take over.

I’m happy to report that in the last 2 weeks, my check-ups have really surprised me. The girls have noticed the effort I put into their bathroom and they seem to be following along.

Do you have organization tips or easy DIY projects for bathroom organization? Please share! Xo, Si-

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This post is a partnership with Cottonelle, but all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make FrenchByDesign possible.

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11 thoughts on “4 tips for organizing a small bathroom

  1. I love what you did with the bathroom it looks so practical but pretty! My boyfriend and I are moving into a new house, the bedrooms are large so the bathroom is compromised (typical in the UK) so these tips will be amazing! -xo

    1. Oh, awesome! So happy to read that you got some inspiration for your bathroom! Congrats on the new house, and good luck with the move!

  2. Haha, you ARE a boss, Si! Great tips, and your post made me laugh out loud! XOXO-

    1. Ha, are you a momster as well, Kate?! ;)) thanks for the sweet comment! Xo, Si-

  3. Great tips, my favorite is definitely the magazine folder used for the hair devices. Super clever! Thanks so much for sharing! Lauren

  4. You’re a genius for taking charge! I was over-whelmed by bed/bathroom management as a teen. Parents very mistakenly expect kids to just *know* how to tidy up, but they seriously do not. It’s overwhelming. So every so often while I was age 11-13, my mother would tire of pleading and simply do a clean sweep while I was at school, putting anything she didn’t understand in a small box to the side. But everything else (clothes, magazines, books, etc), was back in it’s place in a way I would never have managed. I was always filled with a profound relief and gratitude! (After getting over the shock of invasion, that is…haha). Love the bathroom ideas here, esp the back of door pockets and the repurposed magazine caddys!

  5. oh Yess… I do!!
    Since we moved back to the Provence, we share a 1,8 sqm tiny “shower with sink” ;-))
    and we already tried lots of wall storages… last one seems to be the “right” one… when we used photo-gallery shelves from our fav swedish store!!
    and it works…
    I’ll try to take some pics soon… but not easy in such a narrow place!!
    Let’s see…
    Et bravo pour tes aménagements c’est fonctionnel, et très très chouette!
    hugs from Provence

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