4 Space-Saving Bathroom Tips

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Whether you just want to get in and out, or whether you want relaxing "me time," everyone wants to find what they need, when they need it. The bathroom usually gets the worst end of the architectural bargain, often being sacrificed for that spacious living room or a grand foyer. The key to making such a small room as comfortable and convenient as possible is to maximize the space. An organized bathroom will not only keep your space clean and tidy, but will also create a contemporary feel to the space.

1. Shelving units: The square footage of your bathroom doesn't have to put a damper on your design party! The space from your bathroom floor to the ceiling is fair game for all your towels and toiletries. Shelving units can be attached to any open wall space in order to make up for space in bathrooms that have no vanities. They are great for stacking towels or displaying your favorite bathroom essentials. When mounting your shelves, be sure to drill your mounting brackets into studs as opposed to random spots on your wall. By securing your shelves to the studs, your shelves can withstand more weight and are less likely to fall off the wall. Behind your drywall, studs are usually 16 to 24 inches apart. Instead of creating multiple holes in your wall, pick up a stud finder at your local hardware store. They cost around $15 to $25, but how can you put a price on saving your textured walls or your wallpaper?

2. Stackable drawers and crates: If you like your toiletries the way you like your secrets (hidden), then stackable drawers and crates are for you. For those of you who like to show some of the goods, manufacturers do make clear bins and mesh crates. They can cost between $5 and $50, depending on the size, material and brand. These options also allow you to avoid using a hammer or a drill. You can still secure these to a wall if you live by any active fault lines. The bins and crates can be used alone, or they can be stacked, and if you can, then always add or take away these containers based on your needs. Two or three stackable drawers can take the place of a vanity and the top drawer can host a pretty vase or candle grouping. Crates are also fun to play with, because their exposed tops can create multiple arrangements. Four crates can be stacked vertically or horizontally to make a pseudo-shelving unit. You can have the exposed sides of a crate, facing the ceiling to conceal your belongings and to show off the design on your crates.

These containers can be used to house your cleaning supplies by your sink or perhaps around your toilet bowl. You can help keep your family organized by creating a color-coded system for bins. For example, all the bath toys go in the blue bin. Keeping the bathroom tidy can be fun if you give each member of the household their own bin to keep their bath products in. Family members can do their part to keep the bathroom mess to a minimum by holding to this rule: If it doesn't fit in your bin, then it doesn't belong in the bathroom. As long as the bins and crates stay in the same color or design family, then your bathroom can have a modern, streamlined look.

3. Toilet maximization: Toilet paper can become a great storage problem. It is important to keep toilet paper available at all times, without sacrificing walking space. Because the toilet is a permanent fixture in a bathroom, the space on and around it should be used to its full potential. Over-the-tank toilet paper holders are a great solution to the toilet paper problem. A single-roll holder can help if your toilet isn't located by a wall that can hold a traditional toilet paper holder. These toilet-paper holders can run from $5 to $17, depending on the size and the finish.

4. Space-saving shower storage: Sometimes small bathrooms only come equipped with a standing shower, leaving little space for your toiletries. While most people usually use an apparatus that hangs from the showerhead, suction-cupped corner shelves are also a good alternative. They hold a lot of products and can be placed at any level, so you can avoid hitting it while showering. A shower shelf that extends from floor to ceiling gives space for the whole family. The shelf can attach to the corner of the shower that's most convenient for all users. These shelves keep your toiletries at arm's reach without cluttering floor space.

There are plenty of space-saving products for your bathroom, but the key is to keep things uniform in order to create your own unique look. By sticking to a color scheme or design, your bathroom can be classy and full of character. Happy organizing!

Last Updated: July 21, 2011
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About Chanti Burnette Chanti was a freelance writer for IdealHomeGarden.com.

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