7 ways to avoid storing towels in a bathroom for a clutter-free space - according to professional organisers

Steer clear of these storage mishaps to ensure your towels are as organised as can be

Blue and pink bathroom with towel storage on wall
(Image credit: Future)

Nothing makes a bathroom feel more like a calming sanctuary to relax in than tidy, well-organised storage. Lotions and potions are easy to find a place for amongst cabinets and drawers, but where should we be storing towels? And what are the hard and fast ways to avoid storing towels to keep a space clutter-free and functional? 

Bathroom storage is hard to get right - it's often a balancing act of needing to find a spot for many things in a small space. Add towels to this equation and you suddenly have a messy room overrun with damp washcloths - or worse, thrown in a pile on the floor. Understanding the ways to avoid storing towels, from how to fold them to choosing the right furniture, will make your bathroom work hard for your everyday routine, without losing the spa-like feel. 

7 ways to avoid storing towels

Storage is essential to consider when you're in the beginning stages of planning a bathroom. It shouldn't be an afterthought - rather something to factor into the overall layout so that it's positioned in the prime place - and so that you have enough of it. 

With dampness and mould to contend with in bathrooms, storing towels has an added weight. They take up a lot of space too, so finding tucked-away spots to keep them contained yet still accessible is a task worth mulling over. 

1. Folding, not rolling

Bathroom with white tiles and bath and wooden towel storage

(Image credit: Future)

Folding is a common space-saving method for clothes storage, and it works just as well with towels. It can be hard to know how to fold towels of different sizes and doing so in an aesthetic way is too time-consuming for everyday life. 

'Whether the aim is to achieve that spa-finished quality or to create ease of use, the best option for folding towels is simply to roll them,' says Sheena Taylor, APDO member and founder of Your Professional Organiser.

'No matter the size, rolling towels is the easiest way to fold and store them. Although trifold, bifold and deep fold methods do save some space, the spa-style roll takes up the least amount of room.'

2. Relying on floor storage

Blue and pink bathroom with towel storage on wall

(Image credit: Future)

Space comes at a premium in most bathroom designs (especially small bathroom ideas), so opting for wall storage is a simple way of creating essential organisation that doesn't make the floor feel cluttered. 

'An ideal storage solution for towels is a wall-mounted towel rack with a painted finish to reduce rusting,' Sheena recommends. 'A great product recommendation for this type of storage is the LIVEHITOP from Amazon, which makes accessing towels or putting them away quick and easy.'

3. Forgetting to look up

Bathroom with wooden furniture and ladder storage leaning against shower

(Image credit: Future/Lizzie Orme)

When planning storage in a small room, don't just think about the floor space you have available. Look up and consider the vertical height you have to work with. 

'Think vertical if you are lacking in floor space,' Laura Haddy, APDO member and founder of Clear The Chaos Ltd adds. 'Just remember open shelves and surfaces attract dust, so avoid if possible.' 

Ladder storage is great for this as it makes use of the height of the room without overcrowding it with chunky furniture. You can drape towels over it haphazardly and it will still look well styled. 

4. Stacking folded towels

Tiled black and grey bathroom

(Image credit: Future)

Using a dedicated ottoman or basket to store towels is a convenient way of keeping them together - plus it shows guests where extra towels are without needing to ask. But if this is your preferred storage method, avoid stacking them on top of each other. 

'I suggest avoiding piling up towels in an ottoman-style box or basket as the ones at the bottom are often forgotten and unused,' advises Lisa Barrett, APDO member & founder of Clutter Free Living. 'If you do need to use something like this, try still to store them upright or rolled so that you can rotate usage and see what you have.'

5. Choosing wooden storage

Bathroom with black radiator and towels

(Image credit: Future)

While wooden bathroom furniture will add to a zen, spa-like aesthetic, the sad reality is that it's much more prone to rotting - not ideal for a wet, humid space. When you add damp towels into this equation, your furniture is unlikely to have a very long lifespan. 

Instead, opt for metal storage racks and bring in pops of wood and rattan through smaller accessories. 

6. Not paying attention to layout

Green bathroom with exposed brick and towel storage next to shower

(Image credit: Future)

Nothing is worse than dripping across your bathroom as you dash out of the shower or bath to grab a towel. At best it creates a slippery environment and at worst it will damage your flooring. When planning a bathroom layout, not considering where towel storage should practically be will be the biggest oversight. 

'The key thing to remember when deciding where to store towels is to find a space in a bathroom that is easily accessible especially from the shower or bath to avoid unnecessary dripping,' Sheena adds. 'Although there is the temptation to make the best use of space and store towels up high, this will make them more difficult to use or put away once clean.'

'Having hooks, rails or towel rings close to the hand basin, bath and/or shower is a must for ease of use. No one likes to come out of the shower and not have a towel to hand,' Jennifer Childs, APDO member and founder of House Calmer, echoes.

7. Keeping it all in one room

Linen cupboard with rattan baskets and folded towels

(Image credit: Future/Joanna Henderson)

Towel storage has to cater for more than just the singular bath towel and hand towel in use at one time. Spare towels, including those for guests, have to live somewhere and the best spot for this is outside of your bathroom.

'Hand towels, flannels and bath towels – to maximise space keep only those towels in the bathroom that you will need, perhaps with one or two extras especially if you have guests who might like more than you’ve laid out on the bed for them. Keep the rest in an airing or linen cupboard,' recommends Simon Glanville, managing director of A Place for Everything.

Just make sure you have enough baskets to keep each size or type of towel organised within a larger closet. 

Are you now converted from rolling to folding? 

Holly Cockburn
Content Editor

After starting out her journey at Future as a Features Editor on Top Ten Reviews, Holly is now a Content Editor at Ideal Home, writing about the best interior ideas and news. At Top Ten Reviews, she focussed on TikTok viral cleaning hacks as well as how to take care of investment purchases such as lawn mowers, washing machines and vacuum cleaners. Prior to this, Holly was apart of the editorial team at Howdens which sparked her interest in interior design, and more specifically, kitchens (Shaker is her favourite!).