Making the Most of a Small Bathroom

If you live in a densely populated metropolis, opt to live alone, and are not siphoning off Oprah’s bank account, chances are your home is what’s kindly called a “single.” This means that your living room doubles as your bedroom, your kitchen consists of a hot plate and a cooler, and your bathroom ought to be called a shower-room because there’s no bathtub in sight.

In order not to feel like you’re living in solitary confinement, you will have to think outside the shoebox-sized apartment and get creative. Here are a few ideas to help you make the most of a small bathroom: 


But if moving is not a realistic option, then read on.

Everything Should Have Dual Use

When dealing with small spaces, everything should have more than one use. Think sofa bed, Swiss army knife, and pajamas. (What? PJs are not supposed to double for outdoor clothes? Then stop wearing them to the coffee shop.) Ships and trains have the right idea. When space is at a premium, mounting a handheld showerhead over the toilet sure seems like a good idea.

  • Convert a spice rack into a spicy-night-out-on-the-town-makeup rack. And as a bonus, keep one bottle of cinnamon to sprinkle in a hot shower; this will act like potpourri to cover up unpleasant bathroom odors (don’t pretend you don’t make them) and ensure that your water closet always smells like fresh cookies.
  • And what’s that toilet paper roll doing all by itself? Attach a square shelf around it for your reading material, scented candle, and smartphone (don’t pretend you don’t use it in the loo; I’ve been on the other end of that call.).

Don’t Waste the Back of the Door 

If you live alone, you probably don’t close the door when you’re in the washroom, and why should you? Who are you being modest around—your split personality? But close the door and voila! Look at all that unused space.

  • Install multiple towel racks to hang your towels, face cloths, and laundry delicates.
  • Mount a hanging shoe organizer on the inside of a cabinet door for your brushes, blow dryers, and curling irons.
  • Attach a magnetic strip to the inside of your medicine cabinet door for your bobby pins, tweezers, and nail clippers.

Think Up, Up, and Away!

The greatest thinkers get their best ideas on the crapper, so the next time you’re on the toilet, don’t waste time reading tabloid magazines. Look up. What do you see? That’s right—nothing!

  • How about putting a shelf above the door to store your extra towels, rolls of toilet paper, and anything else you want to forget about…like the bag of Oreos you are trying not to polish off in one sitting.
  • In the shower you can mount an extra shower rod on the inner wall to hang little baskets for your shampoo, soap, and shaving supplies. Just make sure they’re waterproof and have holes or else you’ll wind up with a bunch of little buckets full of dirty water.

Rather than disparage the fact that your bathroom is the size of a large handbag, see it through a more optimistic lens and try implementing some of these creative hacks for your small space. And think of it this way: cleaning is a snap. Just stand in the middle of your lavatory with a bottle of Windex in one hand and a rag in the other, spray, and twirl.

Selena Templeton

Selena Templeton is a writer and editor who sees the world through Giggle Glass, a type of wearable technology with an optical head-mounted display plus false nose and mustache. It reveals the absurd, amusing, and inappropriate goings on of daily life and displays it in a lap top-like hands-on format, from which she posts to various blogs such as Self Storage Finders, Romantically Challenged, and As a former professional organizer and a current Virgo, she is a self-diagnosed authority on storage, packing, organizing, and general neat freakishness.

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