House / Bathroom, Storage & Organization

Organizing the Awkward Space Under the Bathroom Vanity

Tips for organizing the awkward space under the bathroom vanity and quickly preparing it for guests.

Bathroom vanity with artThe new year is a great time to refresh your space, since the bad weather often has you stuck indoors. I get excited about it, because the weather inspires me to organize and clear the clutter out of spaces. Staying organized is especially important in small spaces like the bathroom, where good storage systems will help you remain organized through the rest of the year.

My bathroom was suffering from organization neglect. Even though I have a generous vanity cabinet, everything was messy from four years of disorganized use!

Get Fresh Bathroom cabinet before

To tackle this mess, I first pulled everything out of the cabinets and drawers, and ditched items I didn’t need. I threw out the old makeup, hair and body products that weren’t getting used, because you don’t need to create a storage system for unused clutter.

They key to good storage in the bathroom is maximizing the under-sink storage area, even though it’s awkward with pipes coming into it.

Before tackling the organizing, I covered the bottom of the cabinet in removable, adhesive shelf paper. Then, to maximize storage, I tried using a few different shelving and drawer systems from home improvement stores, but they were pricey, and all took up a lot of space without adding a lot of function. Instead, I resorted to the simple-yet-effective solution of clear plastic bins.

Get Fresh Bathroom cabinet organization bins

I grouped items in categories, such as “extra bath & body products” and “extra baby products”. Each group got its own bin, so we know where to check when we run out of a product.

Nail care items fit perfectly into a little plastic box that slid under the awkward sink pipes, making use of that small bit of space.

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Smaller items, like bar soaps, razor blades and hair combs, went into a small plastic drawer unit that for easy access.

Get Fresh Bathroom makeup caddy

I put my makeup and makeup brushes into a little caddy to make it both easy to grab, and easy to put away.

Hair dryers, straightening irons, and big brushes are awkward to store. I solved this by hanging them on adhesive hooks inside the doors of the cabinet. If they didn’t have good loops for hanging, I made my own by adding a zip tie around the appliance.

The beauty of a good clean-out and organizing project?   When I was done organizing the vanity, I discovered I had more than enough space to store everything, leaving room for items that may get added through the year.

Get Fresh Bathroom vanity cabinet detail

Once you’ve tackled that under-sink storage, everything else is easier.

A clean, clutter-free counter is key to keeping your bathroom fresh, so I moved most of our daily use items into the vanity drawers. The key is to keep them easily accessible.

One vanity drawer holds my husband’s personal items that he uses daily, while another holds mine. There were two drawers left over, so one by the toilet is filled with toilet paper rolls, and the other holds our pet bathing shower attachment.

I used a pretty tray to corral the items that are best left on the counter; this gives the space a more cohesive look.

Get Fresh Bathroom vanity wall view

Be smart when you accessorize the bathroom. Due to its small size, it’s no place for clutter, but a few nice touches go a long way:

  • Hang some art
  • Add a live plant
  • Use pretty, matching bath towels and coordinating bath mats

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Finally, when you’re entertaining guests, quickly freshen up the space with these three tips:

  • Wipe down the sink, counter, faucet handles, and mirror
  • Light a scented candle for elegance
  • Set out some pretty hand towels by the sink

When it comes to keeping a small space fresh and organized, just remember: If everything has a place, there can be no mess.

This post was originally published on ForRent.com, where I am contributing writer / brand ambassador.

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1 Comment

  • Reply John Donovan at 1:51 pm

    The hanging hooks are great! I use them just about everywhere—in the hallway for coats, in the kitchen for measuring cups—but I never thought to use them in the bathroom to hang things INSIDE my cabinet doors. It’s unused space so why not?!

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