Clear the clutter with clever bathroom storage solutions

Bathroom storage is essential for keeping your bathroom tidy and clutter free. If you’ve got a small bathroom or a large family – or both – then you are probably in need of some clever bathroom storage ideas to help keep clutter behind closed doors and more attractive items out on show.

There’s so many essential bits and pieces in a bathroom that you just can’t store elsewhere: razors, hairbrushes, cotton wool pads, loo roll, spare soaps, toothpaste… All of these must-haves need somewhere to live and sometimes more than one set of bathroom storage is needed.

With a little careful planning it’s easy to keep the clutter from getting out of control. If you have a lot of lotions and potions, consider a fitted bathroom, which tends to offer maximum storage capacity. Think about bathroom furniture, storage cabinets, vanities and shelves. A bathroom storage cabinet is the most obvious way to store everything from towels to bath oils. Freestanding bathroom cabinets are a versatile option and can be taken with you if you move out. They also give you the option of repurposing vintage or antique pieces.

Made-to-measure bathroom shelves will make the most of any space. Or look for shelving units – freestanding or wall-hung shelving units work in a variety of bathrooms spaces – and as well as storing the essentials can display your prettier trinkets. Shop around for smart bathroom accessories too: towel stores, bath racks, soap holders, shower caddies, loo-roll holders and brushes – even light pulls – can add the perfect finishing touches.

Whether you need one, two or all of these storage ideas, our tricks and tips for squeezing a little more space out of your bathroom aren’t to be missed. Read on to see how to de-clutter your bathroom…

Build in statement storage

Image credit: Colin Poole

For a designerly feel in the bathroom, commission bespoke statement storage or get creative and build your own. This fabulous recessed under-basin unit not only brings order to the bathroom, it also makes for an eye-catching feature. Its clean, simple lines would work well with any type of tile or colour scheme.

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Buy now:
Similar storage unit, Farmhouse painted drawer chest, The Cotswold Co.

Mix and match monochrome

Image credit: Simon Whitmore

Choose black and white storage for an arresting colour combination that’s stylish and sophisticated. Black floating shelves look smart against a white-painted wall, drawing the eye to the accessories artfully arranged on top of them. Disguise pipes and cisterns with a purpose-built tiled unit  – it’ll create a handy extra shelf, too. Sleek under-basin drawers will keep cleaning products and other practical bits and pieces out of sight.

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Black floating shelf, B&Q

Carve a niche

Image credit: David Giles

When space is at a premium, install a set of pretty-but-practical recessed shelves. They’re an unobtrusive way to keep bathroom essentials neat and tidy without having to splash out on built-in units. Building a row of shelves into a false wall is also a clever way to hide unsightly pipework. Remember to position your shelves within easy grabbing distance of your bath, shower or basin.

Want more bathroom storage ideas? READ: Bathroom shelving – 10 clever ideas

Hang it all

Image credit: David Giles

If you’re short on floor space, make your walls do all the work instead. Spend time seeking out a wall-hung unit that’s the exact right size for the space you have – too big and it’ll swamp the room, too small and you won’t have enough room for all your stuff. Wall hooks are another great space saver, especially if you use them to hang extra storage, like this pretty pretty fabric bag.

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Similar wall cabinet, Antique Cream Three Drawer Wall Cabinet, Not On The High Street

Try a bit of everything

Image credit: Brent Darby

Mix and match storage in different styles to create a chic, eclectic vibe. Use rustic accessories, such as these woven baskets and wooden stools, to soften the edges of more contemporary, built-in units. The ladder shelving bridges both worlds – shape-wise it conjures up images of barns and haylofts but painting it white has given it an instant modern update.

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Similar ladder shelf, Scandinavia Ladder Bookcase White, Wilko

Pick pink

Image credit: Richard Gadsby

Use colour to tailor your bathroom cabinet to your scheme. This storage unit has been painted pale pink to add interest to a neutral space. Any pastel shade would work well in a country-style bathroom, but bold colours are probably best avoided with this style of furniture. As the cabinet is a traditional shape, it’s worth thinking about taps that will match – a wall-mounted brass design is a classy choice.

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Similar mirror, Glass Scallop Overmantel Mirror, John Lewis

Pick up a paint brush

Image credit: Colin Poole

Clad your walls and bathroom cabinet with tongue-and-groove panelling, then paint them in exactly the same shade to create a cohesive feel. Aim to line up the panels as far as possible and keep everything else neutral so that the look isn’t overwhelming. The low slanted white ceiling helps to create a good balance of blue and white – ideally, aim for about half and half for the perfect mix.

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Buy now: 
Similar storage baskets, Wilko

Upcycle an old favourite

Image credit: Robert Sanderson

Give a tired piece of furniture a new purpose simply by moving it into the bathroom. If you have a bedside table or cabinet that you’re thinking of throwing out, stop! It could be useful in your bathroom and would be a far more affordable way to include storage than a built-in unit. A natural varnished finish will look great in a traditional space, while a coat of paint would make classic styles more suitable for a modern scheme.

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Wallpaper, Eleonora – Gustavus Wallpaper Collection, Zoffany at Wallpaper Direct

Hide away

Image credit: Lizzie Orme

Plan ahead to make the most of every nook and cranny. False walls are the key in this bathroom. The cistern and unsightly pipework have been boxed in behind the loo with the space above it being used for a handy storage cabinet. One side has a door, the other glass shelves. A similar false wall has also been created behind the bath to include recessed shelves – a stylish, yet practical, feature that includes coloured accent tiles.

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Similar flooring, Springfield yellow rubber floor, The Colour Floor Company

Hang up

Image credit: David Giles

Choose a sleek wall-hung unit – the fact that it doesn’t hit the floor will make the room seem larger. Choose one with an enormous drawer so there’s plenty of space to hide away any eyesores or practical bits and pieces. Go for a neutral colour to create a tranquil scheme that’s the ultimate in versatility.

Are you looking for more bathroom decorating ideas? READ: Awkwardly-shaped bathrooms: how to make use of space

Line up staging-style slatted shelving

Image credit: Claire Lloyd Davies

Add well chosen storage and it can make a huge difference in the bathroom. These simple staging-style shelves tuck easily under a sloping ceiling and can be used for all manner of bathroom paraphernalia, from towels and toiletries to wall art and loo rolls.

Get the look
Buy now: Wallpaper, Samaki Wallpaper, Scion at Wallpaper Direct
Buy now:
Similar bathroom bench, Ikea

Overcome size restrictions

Image credit: Colin Poole

Make room for plenty of storage, even in a compact bathroom. Despite its small size, this room has no shortage of storage space and it’s another example of boxed-in pipework – this time with a handy shelf above the loo. The gap above the shelf is perfect for hanging a mirrored cabinet so that it’s not jutting out into the room. There’s also a small basin unit and further shelving on top of more boxed-in pipework to the right.

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Similar towels, Christy Chevron towel, House of Fraser

Open up

Image credit: David Brittain

Go for something a bit different with an open washstand that closely resembles furniture you would find in other rooms of the house. There’s plenty of scope for storage on the shelf – baskets and boxes will help to keep your things in order – while favourite trinkets can be proudly displayed next to the stunning mounted basin and tap.

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Similar mirror, Cruise mirror, Cox & Cox

Step up your storage

Ocean-blue bathroom with ladder storage unit and patterned blinds

Image credit: Dominic Blackmore

Use a bookcase for instant freestanding storage in the bathroom. This design is clean and simple and provides eye-catching practical storage and display space for towels, baskets, toiletries and vases. A deep wall shade and white woodwork will allow bathroom shelves, furniture and sanitaryware to stand out.

Get the look
Buy now: Ladder-style bookcase, Lombok
Buy now: Bath, Victorian Plumbing

Think about freestanding accessories

Bring in freestanding wire storage

Image credit: Trevor Richards

Consider freestanding storage – it is more flexible than fitted cupboards and can be moved around your space to suit. This curvy tiered basket has a decorative feel. To prevent it looking messy, colour co-ordinate your accessories and separate into categories.

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Buy now:
Wire tiered storage, Cox & Cox
Buy now: Monogram washbag, The Letteroom

Fit a tiled wash station

Image credit: Matt Cant

This sleek bathroom has a neutral palette of white, grey and cream. A floor-to-ceiling tiled splashback behind the basin creates a focal point. The shelves beneath the basin have also been tiled to keep the look streamlined.

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Buy now: Similar tiles, Topps Tiles

Fit shelves above and below a basin

White and chrome bathroom with twin Victorian basins and stands

Image credit: Nato Welton

Introduce shelving where ever you can in a bathroom. The twin washstands shown here incorporate a lower glass shelf for towel storage, while floating wall shelves between basin and mantel mirror provide handy perches for toiletries. A lovely scheme made gorgeous by symmetry.

Need advice on how to light your bathroom successfully? READ: Bathroom lighting ideas for every style

Factor in cubby-hole display space

Image credits: Paul Craig

When space is at a premium, consider recessed shelves. Line them up in a neat row to turn them into a design feature in their own right. Paint them the same colour as the rest of the wall to make them visually blend into the scheme. To create recessed shelving, you’ll need to build a false wall, which can also be used to keep plumbing out of sight.

Turn crates into wall shelves

Image credit: Matt Cant

Look to the upcycling trend when considering storage. Turn wooden crates into rustic bathroom shelving by fixing the back of the crates to the wall. These are ideal for storing folded hand towels, loo rolls and baskets of toiletries.

Video Of The Week

Get the look
Buy now: Similar crate, Wooden crate, Wilko

Will you be using any of these savvy storage ideas in your bathroom?

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