how to maximize storage space in bathroom cabinets

As an organizer, one of the challenges I most enjoy is how to maximize storage in any kind of space. Fortunately, I’ve been given many opportunities in my lifetime to face this challenge – from carving a corner out for myself in tiny dorm rooms to sharing apartments or houses with roommates to living in the home I now share with my family – and I’m excited about giving you a few ideas about how to tackle that challenge.

I’ve also learned that no matter where you live, and no matter how big or small your home, you’ll be space-challenged in some way. This theory goes hand-in-hand with Parkinson’s law: “Work expands so as to fill the time available.” In organizing a space, the adage would be “our stuff expands to fill the amount of space available.”

How we use, organize and best maximize that space is the trick.

To illustrate this trick using the confined dimensions of a cabinet and drawer, our master bath has two small under sink cabinets and four of the tiniest drawers possible to corral all our stuff.

How to organize under the sink cabinets

Given this space challenge, I applied one of my Top 10 Tips: going vertical. I used a few of my favorite products to go vertical and multiplied the amount of storage space under each sink from 3.5 sq, ft. to 7.3 sq. ft.— an increase of over 50%!

Let’s take a tour:

Cabinets

Presented with the usual under-sink obstacle of a drainage pipe, you must get creative! I love and recommend many two-tier bathroom cabinet organizers out there (The Container Store’s cabinet drawer unit is amazing!) but our cabinets were too small for even those – that pipe kept getting in the way. So what’s a girl with a lot of product gonna do?

start with an empty cabinet

I discovered that The Container Store’s shoe and shirt drawers were the perfect solution for this tight space. The shoe drawer was narrow enough for the right side of the pipe (the real challenge) and the shirt drawer fit perfectly on the left side. Plus, rather than letting all my products go swimming under the sink in various bins or in one giant mess, the drawers gave me the ability to go vertical and create 7 different levels of categories under my sink. I love this organization!

shoe and shirt drawers from the container store

shoe drawer from the container store

shirt drawer from the container store

narrow cabinet drawer from the container store

http://www.containerstore.com/s/closet/shoe-storage/view-all-shoe-storage/clear-shoe-drawer/123d?productId=10000103&green=4BCAF1DD-AEE5-579A-9B30-75B9D96A5F27

Drawers

These had to be the narrowest drawers ever. The top drawer holds my makeup and the bottom is for my hair dryer, brushes and, thanks to its depth, tall bottles of lotion, astringent, contact lens solution, etc. that I use daily.

top bathroom drawer organization bottom bathroom drawer organization

For the top drawer, I used stackable, sliding bins that contain and organize my makeup beautifully. They have changed my life, as I no longer need to rummage through a messy drawer of tubes and containers to fish out mascara or eyeliner. I now have all small items on the top level and keep larger containers on the lower level. I can’t recommend these stackable organizers enough!

top drawer bathroom organization

For the bottom drawer, I found a caddy to hold my hair dryer and various brushes in an upright position, which created enough space to let all the tall bottles stand in the front. The vertical orientation of this drawer is its best feature and this organization allows me to take advantage of that.

bottom drawer bathroom organization

Like It Bricks Makeup Storage

Stacking Acrylic Trays

Costmetic Stax Stacking Vanity Trays

Wire Mesh Caddy

So there you have it: tiny spaces given a mighty storage makeover. Please share any great ideas or clever products you have used to organize small bathroom spaces like these – I’d love to hear about them!

2 replies
    • Cary Prince
      Cary Prince says:

      Thanks, Norma! Under sink storage can be a challenge — but that is often the best place for storage in a traditional bathroom. Hope these ideas help you maximize your vertical space!

      Reply

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