How To Organize A Small Bathroom
Remodeling or adding a bathroom can be a major expense. I remember when two bathrooms were considered a luxury and now a bathroom for every person is often thought to be a necessity. If you still happen to be in the dark ages like me and have only one bathroom, here are a few suggestions to help you make one bathroom work.
- Place a vanity or table with a mirror in each of the bedrooms, especially the master bedroom and girls’ rooms. All hair curling and blow drying can be done in the bedrooms. This can free up a lot of bathroom time.
- Add just a sink to a bedroom. My brother had three daughters so, needless to say, bathroom time could be a problem, so he added a sink to the bedroom with the wall that butted up to the main bathroom.
- Stagger shower times. If you have four people all trying to take showers in the morning, it’s just not going to work. Instead, have different family members take showers at different times. For example:
- Young children could take their baths at night.
- Mom could take a soothing bath in the evening instead of a hurried shower in the morning.
- Some family members can take their showers on Monday and others on Tuesday, taking turns. Before you have a heart attack about not showering every day, consider that most dermatologists will tell you that taking a shower every day is not good for you.
- Have family members get dressed in their bedrooms and not the bathroom. Use a bathrobe to walk to the bathroom. Use the shower, put on your robe and go back to the bedroom to dress.
- Limit shower times or limit the amount of time each person is allowed to use the bathroom in the morning when everyone needs the bathroom and things are especially hectic. Save those long soothing hot showers and baths for less hectic times of day.
- Learn to put your make up on in five minutes if you must put your makeup on in the bathroom when others need it.
- Not enough towel rods? Don’t panic. Hang an attractive rod behind the door in each person’s bedroom. When they are done with their showers, they can carry their damp towels with them to their rooms to hang them up. When it’s shower time again, they can grab the towels after they slip on their bathrobes and head for the bathroom. Later, when the dirty towel is dry, they can toss it in the hamper in their room.
- If your bathroom is short on storage, keep extra supplies in another room. (Things like toilet paper, shampoos, and even your towels and washrags can be stored there if you’re desperate.) It is best if the room or closet where you store extras is close to the bathroom. I recommend keeping a couple of extra rolls of toilet paper in the bathroom, but not 12 rolls.
- Keep your medicines in the kitchen. Most of us take them into the kitchen to take them with water anyway. You can even keep your first aid kit in the kitchen. Think about it — half the time when you get burned, it happens in the kitchen. When someone gets cut, they are very rarely in the bathroom when it happens. In our house, first aid moments usually happen at meal time when I’m trying to get dinner ready, so why go all the way into the bathroom when you are already in the kitchen?
- Buy a makeup organizer or use a decorative box for your make up and keep it on the back of the toilet.
- You could also get an organizer that hangs on the back of the door to hold all kinds of things.
- Buy a shower curtain with pockets or put shelves in your shower.
Some of these suggestions may take time to get used to, but with a little practice, like many other things, they can become easy habits.
Small Bathroom Tips from readers:
Regarding many people using the same bathroom and short showers, it keeps the humidity down, too. After a long leisurely shower, the wallpaper or paint just about comes off. Imagine four long showers in a row and pity the fourth person in the bathroom. Love your emails and blog…You keep me on track.
I’d just like to add that the sink in the bedroom is an excellent idea. I don’t know why more people don’t think of it. Many years ago when our children, two boys and a girl, were young, we put a 3 foot vanity with cultured marble all in one sink top in our daughter’s room. In fact, this is something we had to special order at that time. This room is now used as a guest room. Ceramic floor tile was installed in front of the vanity, and the remainder of the room is carpeted. The upstairs small bath includes a vanity with a sink on one wall and a vanity with no sink but a mirror above it to accommodate our two sons. This arrangement saved many arguments among the kids. The daughter had her own domain so to speak, and the boys are close enough together in age that they had no problem sharing the bathroom. Two sinks could have been put in, but we opted for one because of space.
Even though I am retired and have no family at home, I really enjoy your newsletter.
I always tried to keep a dresser in the bathroom, if possible. It holds lots of bathroom items, looks nice and doesn’t take up a lot of room. -dd
What great ideas! Our family lived with a single bathroom and 4 children for 13 years– potty training, stomach bugs and all. I would add that in the event of the unpleasant (but inevitable) stomach bug, a deep bowl with a couple of paper towels in the bottom is just fine for throwing up… Hospitals use emesis basins all the time. Just flush it down the toilet and wipe clean with Lysol!
-Melanie from Alabama
Hello, I enjoy your newsletters. I am 49 but didn’t learn much growing up at home, and I still learn things from you. I am at the end of raising 6 children and we have had only one bathroom for almost 18 years now. Another tip I can add is for Mom, and anyone else if they want. I keep a little caddy basket with my deodorant, hair combs and styling gels, and makeup bag in it in my bedroom closet and simply bring it into the bathroom when I shower.
Everything I need is in the caddy. But in those numerous cases when I don’t get to keep the bathroom to myself right after showering, I put on my robe and take my caddy with me to the bedroom to finish in front of the mirror there.
In the earlier years, it was frustrating when we all were getting ready in the morning and maybe I’d step out of the bathroom to get an item out of the dryer or do something quick, and someone else would step in there. Then I was left stuck for a few minutes trying to find something else to do and worrying about being late!
I lost the email but one reader said that she had all her kids put their own stuff in a small tub like a baby wipes container. She said she gave them their own toothpaste and such and then they took care of it better. This is a great idea and I tried it! Spending $3 on extra tubes of toothpaste to start out would be worth not having the toothpaste mess all over!! You really wouldn’t be spending more in the long run. You’d just have the up front cost of a few dollars to get them started.
photo by: sitkaprojects