bathroom cabinet: drawers vs. door & shelves

collageMay 18, 2008

We're having a cabinet made for our smallish master bath. We need storage badly and the first design includes 10 drawers, 2 lower cabinets with doors and shelves as well as a three door upper cabinet with shelves. I'd love input as to what really works we need 10 drawers (which are more costly to construct)? What is a good split between cabinets and drawers? We will not store towels in this cabinet but will store TP and all the toiletries that are associated with a bathroom. We will have a 'garage' for all items that plug in so those have been covered as well...what do you store in drawers vs. shelves in the bathroom?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My cabinets have a shelf on the upper part and a sliding drawer on the lower part. This is the cabinet in the vanity. The drawer has tall sides so I can get a lot of stuff in it. I've been happy with it because I don't have to get down on my knees to dig in the back of the bottom compartment, it just slides out and I can see everything at once from above. Hope this makes sense.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 1:12AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you Socks! Anyone else care to comment on how they use their bathroom drawers vs. shelves?

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 11:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I only have a cabinet, no drawers.

But I still put one of those Sterilite drawers in the bottom of my sink cabinet, in order to utilize the space under the u-trap. I keep the feminine hygiene products in there, DH's razors, the cat brush. Stuff that's small, and that there isn't a lot of.

I keep the TP in the big main compartment. Ditto any cleaning stuff.

In my dream home w/ all custom cabinetry, I'll have a door on the side of the cabinet that faces the toilet for the TP and the fem. hygiene stuff, so's I can reach it w/o getting up. I did once have shoe pockets on the back of the door for the fem. hygiene stuff; that worked well, bcs the door swung over by the toilet. (I cut the pockets down from a full-size one and used a staple gun to attach them to the back of the door.)

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 4:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


I don't have ANY drawers in our only bathroom and I really don't miss them. We have a 3 shelf cabinet (2 by 2 feet, 10 inches deep) on the wall over the washing machine (a narrow -16 inch- top loader) were we keep things like cosmetics (I use this stuff very little), feminine products, bars of soap, medicinal alcohol and cotton, hair stuff, tooth care stuff, epilation machine, nail clippers and tweezers, razors, pocket packs of tissues... you get the picture. These 3 shelves are not even close to full. I don't keep a stock of toiletries here. When I find a good deal, I stock a bit and keep it in a dedicated shelf in my closet. (That is not even half full either.)

Our medicines and first aid things we keep in the kitchen, at the bottom of an upper cabinet. I had an extra shelf cut and made better use of all the wasted head space in this cabinet. I have arranged all medicine boxes along the back, so that we can read all the labels and have a tray at the front holding bandages, couple of syringes etc. At the beginning of each year, I clean this out and write a list of what will expire within the year, by month, and tape it on the inside of the cabinet door, so it is easy to throw things out immediately as they expire and replace if needed.

The sink has a cabinet underneath, were we keep TP (we buy the 12 roll pack) and some housecleaning products.

Under the shallow piece of counter we have on the left of the sink, we have a tilt-out wire hamper that holds something like 2 1/2 loads and leaves a bit of space for the big bottle of liquid detergent.

On the counter, we have a small basket filled with rolled up hand towels, a glass with toothpaste and brushes, mouthwash and liquid soap.

In the corner over the tub we have a wire 2 shelf thingie that holds shampoo, scrub, sponge and a squeege (spelling?).

This is all our bathroom storage.

It does not answer your question, but perhaps it could inspire you to only keep what you really need, in order not to fill up all the available space, so you can find easily what you need and be able to 'breath'.

Concerning your question, 10 drawers sounds like a lot, and probably I wouldn't be able to remember what I keep in each one. I'm not old - 37 - but I'd probably need labels, and DH would most probably mix up things.

Why not keep towels in the bathroom since that's were you use them and it seems like you have the space?

If I had more storage, I'd keep there my stock of toiletries, the hairdryer, DH's electric shaving machine and the towels too!

There, I wrote a book! Hope I gave you some ideas at least.

Maria in Athens, Greece

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 5:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

60+ yrs of housekeeping. I'll take DRAWERS in everything. Went to a box store and bought the DYI things to put in place of all lower shelves.

My grandmother lived to be 100 and had all the lower shelf stuff on TOP of the cabs so she could reach them easily. That picture sticks with me. Gotta have those drawers.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 5:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

In our current home - our 2 full baths have vanities- one has cabinets and drawers- the other just has cabinets.
I must say I like the extra cabinet space- I have been able to put in some useful storage shelves.
The drawers in our master bath are handy for small items- floss, hair doo-dads, the random makeup applicator, the lost q-tip, and more trapped loose hair than anything.

I really don't care for the drawers built into the vanity- difficult to clean and hard to find something to use as an organizer inside. I would much rather have more cabinet space to utilize with custom shelving/slide out washable drawers to fit our needs.

We move to our new home in 1 week and neither bath has a vanity or medicine chest- talk about storage issues!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 5:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I always thought I wanted drawers in my bathroom cabinets, and now that I have them, I realize that most bathroom type stuff end up being laid on their sides in the shallow drawers. The deep drawer at the bottom on each set is high enough to hold a toilet paper roll, but then there is wasted space in the deep drawers.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 9:44PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Cleaning Service--what do you have them do?
I enjoy reading this forum and now understand the difference...
Can I get rid of my wedding gown?
Hi everyone. We went to spend the weekend with my parents...
Meet and Greet - Please Introduce yourself!
I don't think I've ever seen that happen on this particular...
Why I look in the box before tossing
One of the boxes I recently sorted through was marked...
Are there lateral file cabinet organizers?
I have a new lovely two drawer lateral file cabinet...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™