How to Declutter and Organize Your Bathroom

scrub brush and towels hanging on a bathroom wall

The Spruce / Candace Madonna

You might not have the perfect bathroom. But no matter how small or awkwardly shaped your space 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.

The benefits of an organized bathroom go beyond aesthetics. Of course a bathroom in which everything is neatly stored looks more attractive, but it’s 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. Compare a shower where shampoo bottles and soaps are constantly falling on your feet to a shower where all the products you need are neatly arranged in a caddy and easy to access. Furthermore, an organized space is typically easier to keep clean and sanitary.

Here are some tips to declutter and organize a bathroom.

Declutter and Acquire Organization Products

Begin your bathroom organization journey by decluttering. 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 all of the products out in the open. Then, 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. Next, sort the products you're keeping into subcategories based on their type and where you plan to store them.

While you have everything out of the storage spots, it's an ideal time to give your bathroom a good cleaning. Then, take note of whether you need any new organizing or storage products for the items you're keeping. 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. Otherwise they might become clutter themselves if they're not functional for your needs. Now you're ready to organize your items in the particular areas of your bathroom.

decluttering makeup tools

The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

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, such as extra toilet paper and tissues, that you don't need to keep readily accessible in the bathroom. 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 your washcloths, in a storage basket to make them easy to find. Make sure everything is neatly folded and stacked to maximize the space.

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.

keeping frequently used shower items close by

The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

Organize the Countertop

For a tidy bathroom, it's best to keep as few items on your countertop as possible. For one, this makes the counter easier to clean. And it 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 organizing items on a counter, always keep them 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.

keeping items close by in a tray

The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

Organize the Cabinets and Drawers

Here are some handy tips for organizing your bathroom's cabinets, drawers, and vanity.

Cabinets

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.

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 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 can be to store everyday items in your top drawers and items you use less frequently in lower drawers.

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.) as 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. But keep tools you don't use as often in a drawer or other storage spot.

keeping an organized vanity drawer

The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

Maintain Your Organized Bathroom

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

tools to maintain your bathroom

The Spruce / Letícia Almeida