No matter how big it is, the bathroom is one place that never seems to have enough storage space. Here are some ways to get the most out of those drawers, cupboards and shelves…

Start at the beginning – First empty out your current bathroom paraphernalia into a box or a bin and wipe down all the shelves and drawers. Throw away anything that’s expired, broken or that you haven’t used in months.

Stand things up – Maximise on vertical cabinet space by adjusting the shelves if possible so that all of your tallest items (like shaving cream, hairspray, toothbrushes, tubes, combs and brushes) can be grouped together, upright, to save space.

Use the doors – Make the most of the reverse sides of cabinet doors for storage using flat-backed containers with suction cups. Line them up between the shelves to ensure the door can close properly then press the cups in place. Store smaller items here like lip balms, eye drops and earbuds for quick and easy access.

Priority placement – Keep your daily essentials front and centre and move ‘occasional’ items higher up or to the back of drawers and cupboards. Also, you don’t need six types of body lotion, so pick one and get rid of the others. As for soaps, body washes, shampoo and the like, relocate them out of the cupboards and off the windowsill to caddies hanging inside the shower or ones that tuck into the corner of the bath. A bathtub ‘tray’ or over-the-bath rack also comes in handy (especially for a bit of bath-time reading or to rest a glass of wine after a long day).

Get stuff off the counter – Try to keep counters and basins clear of clutter by installing a low shelf or two so things are still within arm’s length; just more organised and dry underneath.

Turf the bulky packaging – ‘Decant’ items that come in bulky boxes and packets, like cotton balls or feminine hygiene products, etc into smaller vessels. Use lidded jars and clear canisters to streamline the packing and to spot items easily.

Pills and plasters – After you’ve separated out all the expired medicines, organise what’s left by type or by the family member who takes them (use labelled plastic containers) and store them well out of reach of little hands. A properly stocked first-aid kit is also a must. Don’t flush or throw away expired meds. Most pharmacies accept unused medication for disposal.

Make-up – All beauty products expire eventually and using that eye shadow or mascara beyond its sell-by date can lead to irritation, rashes, blemishes and various skin or eye infections. As a rule of thumb, 2-3 months for mascara, liners and eye shadows (anything that goes near the eye has a shorter lifespan because it can cause infection), 6-12 months for liquid or cream foundations, and anywhere from 1-2 years for face powders, blush and lip products. As for brushes and other make-up tools, if cleaned and stored properly a good set can last for years, but when the bristles start to fall out or begin to fray, it’s time to replace them. When it comes to organising your cosmetics, think a pull-out caddy, drawer dividers or boxes and trays (a single layer deep) that can be mixed and matched to fit.

More handy ideas…
● Affix a metal strip to the back of a bathroom cabinet to keep things like tweezers, nail clippers, scissors and hairclips in place using magnets.
● Make a ‘soap sponge’ by placing leftover shards of soap or that hotel soap bar you brought home inside a sponge. Simply cut a slit inside the centre of a sponge, insert the soap and lather up. The soap will stay in place inside the sponge as it shrinks away to nothing.
● Sort and store ‘like’ items (for nails, hair, dental care, etc) together where possible. Separate and group them using trays, baskets, dividers and other multi-purpose storage solutions that you would just as easily find in the kitchen or home office.
● A basket on top of the toilet or a shelf mounted above it can provide added storage.
● A Lazy Susan inside a cupboard can bring bottles and other toiletries to the fore with a quick spin.
● Toss the bathroom gifts and spoils that you were given last Christmas that are still taking up space and collecting dust in the cupboard – you know, all those candles, bath salts, bombs and gels, etc that you think you might but will never actually use.
● If you can, section off your cabinet space to offer a designated section for each person who uses the bathroom.

Photograph by Vorsprung Studio

Photograph by Vorsprung Studio

Photograph by Chris Allan

Photograph by Chris Allan