Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Living Small: Bathroom

The house we rent is a teeny tiny one built in the early 1900's.  Before bathrooms.  Before closets.  It's been updated since then, obviously, but it is tiny.  And because the bathroom and closets were added later, it feels even smaller.  The original fireplace has been filled in instead of taken out, and that takes up even more (what could be) useable space.

The hubs and I have gotten pretty good at coming up with ingenious ways to live in our tiny house with all of our stuff.  (When I was single I used to joke that when I got married my husband would have to keep all his belongings in the trunk of his car because there would not be room for them in my house.)  We got rid of a lot of stuff when he moved in, and things were OK.  Then my parents dropped off all of my childhood belongings on my porch (that's a story for a different day), and that added a huge influx of even more stuff to our already crowded space.  We're pretty proud of our space-saving solutions, so I thought I would share some tips on how we live small in our tiny space!

Today we will focus on our bathroom.  Yes, we have only one.  With a tiny sink that is right against the wall so that I am constantly bumping my elbow into drywall when I wash my face or brush my teeth.  Our bathroom has no working vent or fan, and the floor is peeling up near the tub.  But, we the water works and we have a washer/dryer in the house, which is a big plus.  Here are some ways we save space in our bathroom:

I LOVE this idea.  I have a large wire above-the-toilet rack from college that sits beside our sink (we put the trashcan and hamper underneath).  I found 2 of these metal planters at an outdoor store when I moved in, and hung them from either side of the rack.  This one holds my hair dryer (which stays plugged in).  A blue one on the other side holds all my brushes/combs.  It's a great place to store things like that because it keeps them from cluttering up a drawer or other space.

I used to have hair elastics everywhere which would drive me nuts, so to corral them I got a simple carabiner and stuck them all on it; then hung it from the same rack mentioned above.  I also have one of these attached to the handle of my makeup bag that I take to the gym so that the elastics I take out after a workout don't end up all over my gym bag.

I love finding regular items around the house and re-purposing them to organize.  Because we have so little storage space under and above our sink, I used plates from my kitchen to store hair items, etc.  It keeps them all in one place and since they won't stand up on the wire shelves, it prevents them from falling over. 

  Here's another plate (I think I got this one on clearance at Target) used to hold body sprays (I am allergic to perfume, so these fruity gems are my substitute).

I find lots of good storage items in my kitchen.  This little casserole dish, I threw on the shelf to hold hair accessories-

I'm telling you, I saved myself so much money by re-using containers I already had instead of going out and buying new ones.  

Over the door hangers.  These are awesome.  We have about 4 in our house.  This one hangs on the back of the bathroom door and holds our robes (I have 3-one for each season--crazy but I use them all!).  The pink bag on the right is actually an old tank top I turned into a bag and use to hold cleaning rags.

The medicine cabinet.  It looks pretty sparse because 90% of my makeup is kept in the bag I take to the gym in the mornings.  I used a lot of juice glasses from the kitchen that I didn't use much to actually drink from in here to store q-tips, cotton rounds, etc.

You need one of these.  Go to Ross, because they are cheaper there :).  We lacked the space under the sink to store extra toilet paper, and well, it's just handy to have extra rolls accessible, for obvious reasons!

What are some of your space saving tips?

Linking up today at:

Living Well Wednesday
Works for me Wednesday
Grace at Home 


  1. Nice tips! I like your array of repurposed containers.

    Before we renovated our bathroom, we had an under-sink cabinet that was dark and damp, and things tended to fall to the back and get lost. Now we have a pedestal sink and open shelves above the toilet. (The shelves are wood coated in boat varnish--low cost, not damaged by damp!) We did buy several matching baskets (fair-trade ones made from an invasive water weed) to store things like bottles of medicine, cleaning rags, and spare TP rolls--but for the small items like cotton swabs and cough drops, we use glass jars that various foods came in. They protect our stuff from damp and dust while giving sort of an old-time apothecary look, and they cost nothing!

    1. I love the idea of using boat varnish--how ingenious! I am in love with glass jars--sometimes I am tempted to buy food that comes in them just because I want the jar it's in! :)

  2. It looks like you've maximized every inch of space in your bathroom. I love your tip for keeping hair elasics organized. I'm always digging through a small basket filled with clips to find one. My bathroom is also small with only a medicine cabinet and small linen closet for storage.

    Paula@Sweet Pea

    1. Hair elastics seem to multiply overnight in our house! I just started keeping them on the carabiner a few weeks ago, and man, it sure makes a difference :)

  3. Excellent use of your space! You've done a great job of organizing. I'm always amazed that people spend hundreds of dollars on organizing supplies--I like to be organized, but goodness! I like the way you re-purpose items such as the juice glasses. Way to go!

    1. Thanks! I'm always so tempted to buy the "cute" organizing containers, but remind myself I can repurpose things I already have and save money!