Towel Management Ideas For Small Bathrooms

@WR36 / Twenty20

I'm a big towel lover. I love them in matching colors and in soft, thick cotton. Whenever I visit a housewares store, I need to resist the impulse to buy more towels, hand towels and washcloths. 

Because you can never have enough of them.

One of the reasons (aside from budget) why I don't buy towels all the time is mostly because of space. I live in a one-bedroom apartment with little closet space, so I've had to make choices about what makes it in my linen storage area. 

But maybe you can't resist. Maybe you have to buy that new pretty print towel that fits so perfectly with your new bathrooms accessories. Maybe you just have to have the matching hand towel and washcloths... because otherwise what would be the point?

And maybe when you get home, you wonder where you're going to put those new towels, or the old ones they are meant to replace. That's where this article comes in---here are some ideas!

Simple wall rods and rings

One way you can join practical storage and beautiful decoration is to add more rods and rings to your bathroom. You hopefully at least have one rod for your usual bath towels. But have you thought about a smaller one (or a ring) for your hand towel?

A ring will let you hand one hand towel, but a rod would let you hang a washcloth on top of a hand towel, for example. Choose a nice array of colors/patterns that you find attractive.

You can also arrange a few decorative washcloths along a ring to easily pretty up your space without taking up too much storage. Three or four of different patterns and/or colors will instantly add a dash of style.

Wall shelves

There are few things more annoying than reaching out for a fresh towel, only to realize that they are far away---indeed, far enough that you need to get out of the shower, drip water all over the floor, and run back to dry yourself.

One way to fight this... inconvenience... is to have a shelf where you store your fresh towels near the bath or shower. Thankfully, since high areas are usually not used in bathrooms, you can install your shelves fairly high up on the wall, as long as you can reach the towels.

Shelving can have plenty of style---think industrial pipes shelves and asymmetrical shelves and distressed shelves and reclaimed shelves. Shelving can enhance the look of your space in any style you like.

Over-the-door towel bar

If you really, really don't have space, the over-the-door solution is always an excellent choice. From a simple, single bar to a whole system that includes hooks for things like loofahs and foot scrubs, it's a great idea to save space and keep all your beautiful towels on hand, at the same time.

However, one thing you have to keep in mind with over-the-door systems is whether your door is open or closed while your towels dry. If your towels are stuck between the wall and the door, they won't dry very quickly or very well, which leads to potential bacteria growth (ugh, gross). So make sure that your towels will hang somewhere with plenty of air so they can dry as cleanly and fast as possible.

Personally, I always leave my bathroom door open (I live alone, so there's that), so my towels hang on the "outside" side of the door. If it is ever closed, it's only for a few minutes, and I always make sure to open it up again.

Towel stands and trees

If you have a little more space, or maybe a corner near your bath or shower, you might want to consider a towel stand or a towel tree. These are more decorative and meant to display your towels a little more fully than other methods, so you can take full advantage if you have a set of pretty towels that you really want to show off.

Many towel stands and carts have extra space for shower items at the bottom. You can use it for decoration (a couple of jars with seashells, maybe a plant?) or to hold whatever you like to use in your bath on a semi-regular basis. 

These come in different styles, but usually they fit a traditional or modern decor. You can make your own (they're quite simple really) if you like DIY; a nice driftwood towel tree will look absolutely gorgeous in a beach-style bathroom. 

Heated racks and bins

There are few things that compare to the feel of a warm towel when you walk out of the shower or bath. They're a little bit pricier than most things I mention here, but heated racks and bins can be especially luxurious---and a nice way to store your towels. 

Bins take floor space, so for small bathrooms it might be a challenge. But a nice towel rack will take just as much space as a rod or a shelving unit, so it's a nice choice if you like the little extra luxury of a warm towel, especially in the winter.

Over-the-toilet storage units

I like over-the-toilet storage units because they use space that's usually left empty. Although it's a good alternative to a medicine cabinet (if you don't have one), you can have one on top of a medicine cabinet to store your bathroom towels, hand towels and washcloths.

It saves you the trouble of storing them in a linen closet that might be far away from the bathroom, and it gives you extra decorating space for small items---maybe your collection of rubber duckies

Before you go buy one of those, take precise measurements to make sure it does fit in your space. You need a little room on each side of your toilet to install it. 

Love your towels

As you can see, there are plenty of ways you can store and display your towels. Whether you want more towel storage for practical reasons (you need more clean towels in the bathroom) or style reasons (they're pretty and you want to show them off), look at the many solutions and choose one that suits your space and your style.