10 Quick Tips to Organize and Declutter a Bathroom

These 10 simple ideas can fight clutter in even the smallest bathrooms

Vignette showing a well-organized bathroom

Style by Emily Henderson

No matter how small or awkwardly shaped your bathroom is, you can always take steps to make it as clutter-free and functional as possible. And even if you do have a beautiful bathroom, you still need to keep it organized.

In addition to neatly stored items looking more attractive, they're also easier to use. For instance, when you need a bandage or a cotton ball, you'll know exactly where one is. An organized bathroom is also more relaxing and typically easier to keep clean. Compare a shower where shampoo bottles and soaps are falling on your feet to a shower where all the products you need are easily accessible in a caddy.

Here are some tips for how to organize a bathroom, including how to organize bathroom drawers and cabinets, how to organize your bathroom counter, and bathroom organizer ideas.

  1. Declutter Your Bathroom

    Begin your bathroom organization journey by decluttering. Decluttering bathrooms doesn't have to be a daunting task if you break it into steps, even if you're trying to organize a messy bathroom. Here are some basic steps for how to declutter a bathroom.

    First, go through every storage spot where you keep bathroom products—including makeup, hair products, grooming tools, lotions, tissues and toilet paper, first-aid supplies, towels, and cleaning supplies—and put it all out in the open.

    Next, sort the products into three categories: keep, donate, and toss. Box up any donations, and toss other items in the trash or recycling immediately to get them out of your way. Then, sort the products you're keeping into subcategories based on their type and where you plan to store them.


    While you have everything out for decluttering, this is a good time to give the bathroom a thorough cleaning. Remove any grime and debris from the insides of cabinets and drawers before putting items back in them.

    Messy cosmetics on a bathroom countertop

    Meaghan Skinner Photography / Getty Images

  2. Use Bathroom Organizers

    After decluttering your bathroom, take note of whether you need any new bathroom organizers or storage products for the items you're keeping. Bathroom organizers are an especially great way to organize a small bathroom with limited or no storage space.

    For instance, if you have a lot of bulky towels or extra paper goods, you might need a piece of bathroom-friendly furniture, such as plastic storage drawers. And if you have lots of small items, such as makeup and hair elastics, stashed in your drawers, you might benefit from some small baskets to keep them tidy.

    Make sure you're bringing in organizing products that fit your space and your items. This is key to make a small bathroom more functional. Otherwise, the organizers might become clutter themselves.

    Bathroom closet organization
    Neat by Meg
  3. Organize the Linen Closet

    Your linen closet or cabinet might either be inside or outside of your bathroom. But most people keep at least some bathroom-related products, such as towels, in it. So it's not a spot to ignore when organizing the bathroom.

    First, determine what you want to store in the closet. Besides towels and washcloths, this might be a good spot for items you don't need to keep readily accessible in the bathroom, such as extra tissues.

    Arrange everything in the closet so that the items you use most often are toward the front on shelves you can easily reach. You can group small items, such as washcloths, in a storage basket to make them easy to find. Make sure everything is neatly folded and stacked to maximize the space.


    Where you hang towels in a small bathroom can be a challenge. If you don’t have wall space for a towel bar, consider a towel rack that fits over the bathroom door. These racks often have bars for multiple towels and sometimes even shelves to maximize storage space. A ladder rack that leans against the wall and maximizes vertical storage space also can be a good option. And there are small bars that fit over a cabinet door for hand towels. 

    Linen closet organization


    beyhanyazar / Getty Images

  4. Organize the Shower and Bathtub

    Showers and bathtubs can be tough to keep organized because they’re not always built with storage in mind. Some have cubbies or shelves where you can keep your bottles and soaps, but other bathrooms just leave you with the bathtub ledge for storage. Still, it's a must to keep your bath products within easy reach.

    If necessary, add a shower caddy that fits your products. Any shower organizer you use should be reliably stable. Be wary of soap dishes or shelves that suction to the wall and towering caddies that claim to stand perfectly upright in the corner of the tub. They might not hold up to your everyday life.

    Also, if your shower or tub is packed full of products, consider streamlining your routine or at least storing rarely used items elsewhere.

    tension mount shower caddy

    @afreshspace / Instagram

  5. Organize the Countertop

    The key to organize your bathroom counter is to keep as few items on it as possible. For one, this makes the counter easier to clean. It also reduces the chance of items accumulating and becoming clutter if you only give yourself permission to keep a few select items on the counter.

    When you organize a bathroom sink area, always keep items closest to where they are used. For example, hand soap should go right next to the sink. You also might want to have hand lotion there or the product you use daily to wash your face.

    bathroom countertop storage arbor and co

    Arbor and Co

  6. Organize the Cabinets

    The way in which you organize bathroom cabinets largely depends on the space you have and how your items fit. For instance, if your bathroom has a medicine cabinet, reserve it for items you use most frequently and need easily accessible, such as toothpaste or contact solution. Just be mindful not to overpack the cabinet so that items fall out when you open it.

    Cabinets under the sink are good for storing bathroom cleaning products in a caddy that you can easily take out and use. You also can use this space for extra bottles of shampoo, toothpaste tubes, and other products you don't need every day. It can be helpful to put storage drawers within the cabinets to maximize vertical storage space.


    The Simple Way to Double Your Under Sink Storage

    clear storage under bathroom sink

    @breathing.room.organization/ Instagram

  7. Organize the Drawers

    What you keep in your bathroom drawers is entirely up to you. Just take care not to let them become junk drawers where random items get mixed up and buried.

    Drawer organizers can be instrumental to organize bathroom drawers. They can help to keep items classified and within easy reach.

    Remember you don't have to fill every drawer, especially if you have the tendency to hide clutter in your drawers. Every drawer should have a designated purpose. A functional system to organize bathroom drawers can be to store everyday items in your top drawers and items you use less frequently in lower drawers.

    Neat drawer filled with masks, sunglasses and skincare.

    Breathing Room Organization + Styling 

  8. Organize the Vanity

    If you have a vanity, you probably have a good sense of which part of your morning routine you prefer to do there. So organize the items you keep on your vanity (makeup, moisturizer, etc.) according to how you realistically use them. Likewise, organize beauty and grooming tools as you use them.

    For instance, keep your everyday makeup brushes in a cup on your vanity where you can easily grab what you need. Keep tools you don't use as often in a drawer or other storage spot.

    vanity organization ideas

    neat by meg

  9. Organize the Toiletries

    How to organize bathroom toiletries is also a personal choice, as long as your system is functional for you. But be aware that sometimes toiletries can become bathroom clutter.

    Where toiletries should be stored in a bathroom largely depends on use. And you don’t necessarily have to group all like toiletries together. For instance, you might have a tray of all your lotions and fragrances on your countertop but only use a few of them. To declutter and save precious counter space, move the ones you only occasionally use to a drawer or spot under the sink.

    Using a tray to store frequently used toiletries

    Design by Emily Henderson / Photo by Sara Tramp

  10. Switch Out Product Containers

    If you prefer to buy bathroom items in bulk, such as extra large bottles of shampoo or massive packages of toilet paper, there might not be enough room in your bathroom to store them. That's often especially true if you’re trying to organize a small bathroom.

    Instead, consider acquiring smaller containers to keep some of the product in the bathroom. And store the rest elsewhere in a spot you can access periodically. For example, put some toilet paper in a basket on top of the toilet, and keep the rest stored on a high closet shelf elsewhere.

    Pouring your toiletries into a matching set of bottles also will give your bathroom a neat, streamlined look. Plus, you can choose bottles that perfectly fit on a ledge in your shower or in a bathroom organizer. Sometimes those bulky bottles the products come in don’t fit in shower nooks and medicine cabinets, or they end up taking up too much space in an organizer. 

    keeping frequently used shower items close by

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

Maintain Your Organized Bathroom

Once you organize your bathroom in a way that feels comfortable and functional, it should be easy to keep it up. But you will still need to put in a bit of effort. Return items to their proper places after using them, and don’t let items that belong elsewhere accumulate in the bathroom. This maintenance should be a simple part of your daily routine rather than a massive cleaning project.