How to Make a Tiny Bathroom Work for Two People
I've mentioned a couple of times here on this blog the woes of our bathroom situation (these are woes as perceived by me, not Andy who sees nothing wrong with our bathrooms). According to my mother, different states/regions have different architectural trends/priorities (like how most Texas homes don't have basements) and it seems to me that big bathrooms are not a common occurrence in the state of Virginia. If I had an enormous bedroom/closet I wouldn't give a wink about that size of my bathroom, but since that's not the case either, a small bathroom presents some storage problems, especially for the girl with makeup/hair product accumulations. After a bit of trial and error, I've come up with some strategies for making the most out of your tiny bathroom.
I should mention: while many of these tips would work to help with two women sharing a bathroom, I was mostly able to be successful in this organizing venture because I share this bathroom with a man and he's the kind of man who doesn't have a ton of stuff to keep in the bathroom. So, I'll just say that. If that's not you, best of luck.
I should also mention: these pictures are totally not glamorous, pinterest-worthy pictures. Sorry, but this is not a glamorous bathroom, and I'm not trying to sell you anything.
This is my tiny bathroom. I share it with Andy. When you have two people keeping their grooming things/toiletries in one bathroom, things get crowded. So, step 1 is definitely to prioritize what needs to be in the bathroom, both generally and for each of you. My makeup and hair tools (straightener, curling iron, blow dryer) need to be in here. Andy's shaving stuff and beard trimmer need to be in here. Toothbrushes need to be in here. Medicine? Nope. So, I moved that out of the medicine cabinet and into some bins in the hall closet. Extras of products? Nope. Jewelry? Nope. Hair accessories? Nope. Really think about what each of you needs to use this space for and where you might be able to move secondary items.
Make the most of wall space. This organizer came with the house. At first, I was really not loving it. I still don't think it's cute. However, it does provide a lot of extra storage space. I've made it work. If you don't have one already, get an over the toilet standing rack or install a cabinet or some open shelving. Take advantage of that space rather than having a sole towel bar or a pretty picture hanging up there.
The first shelf on the organizer holds all of my essential makeup (more about that here).
The middle shelf holds all of my skincare necessities, including lotion, makeup remover, face washes, serums, face wipes, masks, and my Clarisonic Mia. These all sit in an old baking sheet so that they don't fall over constantly on the shelf bars (so annoying!). I also keep a makeup bag handy for when I need to take makeup or skincare items with me. In jars to the right I keep a supply of cotton balls and ear buds (extras go in the hall closet).
The top shelf really isn't full right now, which is great because there's room to add products if necessary. On the left are my bigger makeup pallets that didn't fit on my makeup shelf and a magnifying mirror. In the middle are Andy and I's mouthewashes, and on the right are my dental picks and Andy's mug that he uses with his shaving cream.
Compromise. You might be able to tell by looking at the books, but these are all Andy. He likes to read in the bathroom. I think it's gross. Almost everything on the shelves is mine though, so I let him have this. Compromise is just an important thing to be able to do in any kind of relationship anyway, and working out a reasonable bathroom situation is no different.
Use the under the sink area wisely. For those of you who don't have an under the sink area, sew a pretty curtain and make one. By utlizing an old plastic bin, woven basket, and makeup bag, I'm able to store some spare toilet paper, important lady things, and hair products used in styling wet hair. Andy's bear trimmer also hangs out in that plastic bin.
Hook it. I have a Command hook on the interior of each of the vanity cabinet doors and from these hang my heat styling tools (except for my hair dryer, which sits nestled between two bins--see in picture above). If you don't have the counter space for something, figure out a way to hang it.
Tiny bathrooms mean shower stalls which means not great shower caddy options. When we moved in these hooks were already installed in the wall above where the shower tile ends, so we took advantage of it and hung our caddies there. These are two ultra cheap shower caddies from Target and hold our necessities. I am not the kind of girl who had tons of scented body washes and soaps and things and Andy's shower essentials boil down to body wash and shampoo, so this works fine for us. There are lots of different suction style, over the shower head style, and even suspension style shower caddies out there, so find one that will work for you (and don't forget to prioritize what actually needs to be in your shower).
Utilize the back of the door. I picked up the over the door hook thing at Ross for 5 or 6 dollars and it keeps our towels and robes dry and off of the floor (hooray!). Super easy to hang up, they never fall down, and over the door organizers are great impermanent solutions, so especially awesome for us renters. There are also over the door long mirrors and organizers with baskets, so get the one that suits your needs best!
As you can see, there's very little counter space here at all. On the counter we keep our electric toothbrush which we share (same handle and charger, different brush heads), hand scrub and lotion, and a liquid soap dispenser. The towel bar holds our hand towel, my face towel, and a wash cloth I use when washing off face masks (behind the towels is an outlet where I plug in my hair appliances).
I didn't think to photograph the inside of the medicine cabinet, but that's mostly Andy's stuff anyway. As I mentioned before, we moved our medicine out of the bathroom and into the hall closet, which opened up that space for Andy to keep his shaving stuff, creams and ointments, and other small toiletry items.
As you can see, we are not overflowing with stuff in the bathroom. There is extra space we could utilize if necessary. By judiciously deciding what should and should not go in the bathroom, we were able to save ourselves a lot of grief. I didn't buy a lot of special stuff to organize this bathroom either. The shower caddies and acrylic makeup organizer are from Target. The square glass makeup holders are from the Dollar Store. The baking tray, under the sink bins, and makeup bags are all things I already had. The Command hooks I bought a big value pack of and have used all over the house. Please do not feel like you have to buy a lot of specialty stuff in order to make your tiny bathroom work for you. Be creative, and look at household items you have on hand in a different way!
Yours Truly, Jen