Tiny bathroom---What do I do with this stuff????))

adobesunlightOctober 16, 2007

Was reading a bit of Pinktoes post regarding counter space in the bathroom when I stopped to think of my own mess here! We have the tiniest bathroom you could ever imagine in this old 1940's house and I'm not a small person, so always knocking things down as I enter and depart. There's absolutely no counter space except a little narrow border that surrounds the sink. I have added a shoe organizer over the door to house extra shampoos, mousse, etc., but still can't figure out where to put everything else! Also started with a plastic shoebox and wrote hubby's name on one and mine on the other to place in the hall closet in hopes that it would free up the under the sink space, but alas....the mess has returned!! The walls in our bathroom are plastic tiles, so hammering hooks or nails into the walls are almost out of the question. Any solutions to this problem other than knocking out a wall and enlarging our space? LOL? Picture a very narrow rectangular room with small sink, commode and tub/shower...ugh!

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Yup - sounds like mine, but it is more square. We have a tall, very narrow "linen cupboard" where we store TP, meds, shampoos, washcloths, etc. I bought a shower tension rod for inside the shower/tub area and have one of those mesh 3-baskets hanging there for razor, shampoo, and conditioner, scrubees, etc. Also use that rod to hang clothes (non-dryer) to dry in the wintertime. Have a couple of shelves on the wall over the toilet for bath and hand towels. Tight, and I hate it, but it works for now.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2007 at 5:41PM
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I have a pretty tiny bathroom as well--in fact, it's so small, I have to have day-care-size sink! And a shower only; no room for a tub.

And a full-depth medicine cabinet would stick out into the room too far!

I did find a chrome corner shelf that stands on the floor and fits under my sink slightly; that gave me a teeny bit more room to set a toothbrush down. I can also put washcloths & towels there.

I can't find a link for a shelf like that--I bought it in the neighborhood. I should e-mail you a photo and dimensions, and if you think it might work, I'll get you one, LOL! (it looks vaguely like this but no acrylic

As for hanging stuff on the plastic tiles: look into those Command adhesive hooks & poster tape.

OMG, they have a full line of bathroom organizers!

They hold really well (I always round WAY up on the weight limit for hooks, though)

Or, any other adhesive, like the Scotch poster-mounting stuff. Sometimes those suction-cup baskets, etc., have a flat back, and you can use poster-mounting double-stick foam strips to stick those to the wall.

You can also use self-adhesive hooks to attach to the wall, and then hang one of those shower caddies off the hook (instead of over the shower-head itself).

Depending on how high your ceiling is, you might be able to put one of those tension poles (usu. for showers) in the main room, right next to the sink (w/ the pole touchign the sink, and the baskets above & below it). Most of them are barely 8 feet, but there are a couple that reach a bit higher
this one supposedly go up to 12 feet high and this one goes to 9 feet (both are BedBath&Beyond)

Good luck! I know how hard this is.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2007 at 6:38PM
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Hey, Talley Sue, weren't you looking for one of those 12' shower poles (above) at one point?

These are all great suggestions!!! Also, those snap-hook powerful sucction cups are amazing to hang things. And consider a shelf above the door frame.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2007 at 7:49PM
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It sounds like you simply have to much stuff stored in the bathroom. Adding these storage things are just adding more clutter. A shoe organizer to store extra shampoos??? Why do you have all these extras in there? Empty everything out except for what you need and use on a daily basis. No matter how small your vanity is, it should all fit in there. How many different things do two people need? Don't use the bathroom as a storage room. Stop purchasing extras.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2007 at 9:53PM
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I agree. Just keep what you will use on a daily basis, in the bathroom and store the rest in the hall linen closet. This would included back-ups of things and care items that are not needed for everyday maintenance.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 12:27AM
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I does sound like you should pare down a little, but I know that's hard. (I like beauty products myself, and I hate running out of stuff.) Anyway, if your shower uses a curtain instead of a door, here's an idea for you (see link). If your shower is right behind where you do your primping, you could probably put hairspray, brushes, etc. in there.

Here is a link that might be useful: Shower curtain with storage

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 7:56AM
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No matter how small your vanity is,

It's possible she doesn't have a vanity.

She didn't mention one.

(remember, though she has sort of described her bathroom, that's only "sort of"--we don't know everything about that room) And even if she has a vanity, what w/ pipes, and stuff, it may not hold that much, nor may it hold it that accessibly.

I don't have a vanity. I have a tiny wall-hung sink. Putting in a vanity would be an expense I don't want to deal with, and it would make the room even more crowded (plus I'm not sure I can get as small and deep a sink for a vanity). And given that the sink is so small, there wldn't be much room in it anyway, what w/ pipes, etc.

And, she doesn't even have a place to SET DOWN THE TOOTHBRUSH--remember? She wrote: " There's absolutely no counter space except a little narrow border that surrounds the sink."

I do agree that "deep storage" suplies don't need to go in that room if it's truly that tiny. But AdobeSunlight needs *some* storage space, even for stuff that's not used every day. Like cotton swabs.

And on shampoo--maybe AdobeSunlight is like me, and forgets to replace the shampoo at the end of a shower, therefore discovering in the middle of the NEXT one, that she needs more shampoo. That's why I store a single extra bottle of shampoo in my little bathroom--because I always realize I run out when I'm dripping wet and naked--I don't want to have to go to the hall closet. Ditto a single extra bar of soap. Ditto the toilet paper.

I don't want to discover I'm out in the middle of an "operation."

AS, have you considered those wall-mounted shower dispensers? you could do Pinktoes's two-TP-holders trick, and have two chambers full at once; use the one on the left until it's empty, then switch to the one on the right; that'll give you time to remember to refill the one on the left (and the fact that it's empty will be apparent to the eye when you are cleaning the bathroom.

My sis has a single smallish bathroom for 5 people; she had shampoo bottles falling over everywhere. I got her the biggest of those shower dispensers, and she put her foot down--everybody doesn't get to use a different kind of shampoo! A policy like that might help you simplify.

But, do challenge yourself about what *needs* to be in the bathroom. Some things don't absolutely *have* to be used in the bathroom; you *can* do first-aid in some other room (though in my house, I use the big bathroom bcs the light is brighter there). If you need a sink, sometimes the kitchen works.

Or, even if you will use the hydrogen peroxide & bandages in the bathroom, maybe the times you need it are far enough apart that it wouldn't be that onerous to dig it out of the hall closet.

Maybe make a list of what's in there, and then of what you WISH was in there.

Then look at that list, and really challenge yourself: does it NEED to go in there? How often will you touch it? Could you stash it elsewhere?

I don't believe you can have NO storage in a small bathroom. I believe the ease of use far outweights any "neatness" and "prettiness" factor.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 9:22AM
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In order to offer good advice, we do need to know exactly what the bathroom looks like. Posting a photo will allow people to offer appropriate solutions.

I still feel based on the original post, that the real issue is to much stuff being stored in the bathroom. And if she doesn't have a vanity, even installing a small vanity is a better idea than purchasing a lot of storage things that just keep clutter visible. A vanity and sink is very inexpensive to purchase and install. Even small bathrooms have space for a vanity.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 10:22AM
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A vanity and sink is very inexpensive to purchase and install. Even small bathrooms have space for a vanity.

I do not believe either of these statements to be true.

My small bathroom does not have space for a vanity. And since I replaced the vanity in my big bathroom, I can tell you, this is not easy, and it cost me $500.

That is not "inexpensive" to everyone.

(as an aside, a simple "if" clause is a great thing: "If you have a vanity, it could store....")

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 10:31AM
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Its possible that she does have a vanity. "it would free up the under the sink space,..." Nit pick.

You can purchased a vanity and sink counter at home depot of $99. And most people's small bathrooms aren't so small as to require a "day-care-size sink". I assume she has a normal small bathroom which will have space for some type of vanity. Buying all these storage stuff that will just be unsightly and be full of clutter adds up to a lot of money.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 11:29AM
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I have a tiny bathroom on the first floor of my 1957 home. I prefer to think of it as a "powder room". I had ny contractor install a medicine chest on one wall and a hanging kitchen cabinet made of formica on another wall. Between the two, I have plenty of space. I even have a shelf for pet medicines.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 11:59AM
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I hate vanities, esp. small ones. They are the hardest-to-utilize storage space in my home. Mine is a big, cavernous space, w/ weirdly shaped pipes, etc. I've tried to add "compartments" to it, so that it's easier to get stuff out of it. But it's just not a useful storage space.

i've put pockets on the backs of the vanity doors (cut down the shoe-pocket thingies and staple-gunned them to the back). That was useful for some stuff.

I've put in those kitchen-cabinet wire shelf organizers, and that's helped *some*. But there is still a lot of blank space in the middle of the cabinet that can't be utilized, and lots of stuff piled and stacked on top of all the other stuff on the bottom.

Someday, when I'm ready to waste my efforts on it, I'm going to check to see if I can find a chrome basket&shelf combo that will fit under there, so I can actually reach the stuff on the bottom, in the back. I have one in the kitchen and mostly like it (though the shelf slides badly enough that I find I don't use the basket as much as I intended)

I've also thought of mounting shelves on the sides of the cabinet, so I can set things there and be able to access them.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 12:05PM
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In answer to these questions off the top of my head anyway..lol....I do have a vanity, but the shelves inside are warped and very yucky due to plumbing problems when the previous owner occupied this home, so the only things being stored inside are what we need for cleaning the restroom. Until we're able to afford a change, this will have to do for now. My shower has the acrylic sliding doors, so not using a shower curtain. Love the idea of hanging tension rods for baskets!! Brilliant concept! And yes Premier...we have way too much stuff crammed into a little space. I was fortunate enough to find a very narrow 3 tier shelf that fits next to the sink and we do have room for our toothbrush holder and maybe a hairbrush, a small stack of towels..lol. I've been working this afternoon scrubbing things down, removing things that can find other homes such as the linen closet, etc. We have far too much in every room of this house! UGH! Still tossing out junk and DH helps a little after work with what he's comfortable doing. I have not asked this of him and it does come as a surprise. Hope it lasts for awhile..lol!

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 4:36PM
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-A shelf across the doorway just above the door frame with a row of attractive containers to corral things, maybe folded towels too.

-there are some sturdy suction hooks out there: place the disk back to the wall and pull the hook part down into place and that thing will suction pretty good to a flat surface.

-shelving above the commode?

-corner or wall unit in the shower? Again, look up and the answer may be above eye level. Less risk for knocking into as well.

-Instead of (or in addition to) the shoe organizer, there are similar kids' sized ones. I have one designed to hold 20 CD's and like to hang it when I travel. The small clear flat pockets are good for little things like tweezers, Q tips, etc. More but smaller pockets might help.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 4:45PM
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Tiny bathrooms are all I know. This is what has worked for me. First keep everything to a minimum, no giant supersized bags of cotton swabs or 10 tubes of toothpaste. The only thing I keep in quanity is TP. No room for a med chest over the sink so mine is custome made by DH to fit over the toilet, it is made only deep enough to hold a roll of TP. Over the doorway found space a small kitchen cabinet, no vanity for several reasons, first I need a place to put the cat litter pan, second I rent and I would have to pay the landlord extra, third the bathroom is so small it would make it seem even smaller. I have no hallway linen closet, so I took a couple of plastic baskets and placed extras in the coat closet shelf. I hope something in this rambling post helps. Good luck on the organizational, decluttering road.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 4:48PM
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You can remove the shelves in the vanity and replace them with some boards from Home Depot. Very inexpensive and easy to do. Then you will have new shelves inside the vanity. You can freshen up the rest of the interior of the vanity by simply cleaning it and painting it.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 4:59PM
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Great idea Premiere! TY!!

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 5:18PM
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Everyone here has such good ideas. LOL Talleysue I was so happy to see your post about the floor-to-ceiling pole-storage things, b/c for ages I have kept my eye out for a taller one when I happened to see them, ever since you (Wasn't it you?) were looking for one ages ago!

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 6:28PM
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yes, I was looking for one. I needed about 6 inches more than the ones on the market. I finally found one at Frontgate.com, but it was something like $200!
And that was the stainless, not the GOLD PLATED version (which is $239)!!

They also have a contemporary version for $300 to $400 that goes to 9'11".

I'd nearly resigned myself to buying one anyway, when I found the 9-foot one at BB&B--for $40, LOL! This time, when i went to look for the link of the one I bought, saw the one that supposedly goes to TWELVE feet!

I have the 9-foot one from BB&B, and it's as sturdy as any of those I've ever seen. You shouldn't have any worries about buying it, if you decide you want to try it.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 11:36AM
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The other thing ........ make the stuff stored decorative.

My house is old so I use a ton of cheap antiques and vintage stuff. Cotton balls, bathsalts, q-tips --even bandaids go into blue canning jars. I have learned what size of package will fit into a jar and I never buy extras.

I use the old tin picnic baskets for concealed storage -- one is for extra rolls of tp. Another is for feminine products (when will that ever end?? I'm 53!!) They are cute and they work and they stack.

I bought a great piece of folk art -- it was built as a comb box and that what we use it for. But it hangs on the wall and combs and brushes go in it.

When things need to be out in the open -- there are ways to display them neatly without looking cluttered.


    Bookmark   October 19, 2007 at 9:09AM
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Cathy, I love your ideas for storage. Everything in my bathroom drawers are organized into plastic containers but there are no lids. I have a bunch of canning jars and going to use those for what will fit into them. For the others, I'm going to measure and look for decorative tins or larger bottles.

I might do the same thing for my (sometimes) used kitchen gadgets.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2007 at 12:05PM
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I think I take the prize for having the smallest main bathroom! Our house was built in the 1800's so bathrooms were not an option... The upstairs bathroom has a big claw foot tub... but the tub is set under a slanted ceiling so you can't stand up in it and there is nowhere to move it so it is very INCONVENIENT! I guess I shouldn't complain because at least we have an upstairs bathroom to use in the middle of the night!

So, because of this, the downstairs bathroom is our main bathroom. It is approximately 46" wide by 9' long. Just enough room for a toilet, small 18" vanity (the only counter space is the small area around the sink) and corner shower. A regular shower won't even fit. The only blessing that comes with it is when the pantry was converted to this bathroom, the PO built a shallow cupboard above the toilet! Give me enough room to store some towels, toiletries, etc. It is about 8" deep and 28" wide. It goes from just above the toilet to the ceiling. If you lean back too far while sitting, your hair can get caught in the handles :)

I wonder if you couldn't do something like this to add some storage space---

Note the towel rack in the pictures... it gives you an idea on how small the bathroom really is.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2007 at 1:45PM
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For the shelves under the sink, an easy way to replace them is to get some of those cheap plastic stacking shelves or baskets (if you catch them on sale, they can be as little as $5 for a set of 3). You know the kind that have plastic mesh shelves and hollow plastic tubes for legs? You can easily cut the legs to height or cut holes in the shelf itself, using a steak knife or small hacksaw, so you can fit them around and under the sink trap.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2007 at 5:41AM
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You may not want to pound a nail into plastic tile, but you can drill into and through it.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2007 at 8:37AM
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