I envy homes with built-in storage. Hell, I envy a home that has a linen closet. See, my apartment bathroom really lacks storage… unless you count the space under the sink, which is just yucky to me. Only gross things go there, like the garbage can and toilet brush.
Having no bathroom storage is kind of a big deal. To alleviate having no medicine cabinet, I hung a few floating shelves in the bathroom. But for the rest of my toiletries, I needed more space. So I created a makeshift linen closet just outside my bathroom door.
Truthfully, I’ve had this “linen closet” carved out for some time. When I first moved into my apartment, I placed one of my MCM-painted Rast dressers here. Hiding items in drawers worked very well… but on the downside, you’re hiding items in drawers. Labelmakers are so passé, so it was a game of musical drawers anytime I searched for extra cotton balls.
I then moved one of my Lerberg (IKEA) bookshelves in this corner. It’s lightweight and airy, perfect for this tight spot. I thought the open shelving concept would be great because it would force me to keep this area tidy.
The reality is, I just plopped that bookshelf down and threw a ton of crap on it. No organization, no thought involved. Finally, I got tired of this cluttered corner and made it over.
Taking the time to organize and prettify really made a difference, didn’t it? The wonderful thing about open storage/shelving is that your business is all out there. You gotta be ruthless. Only the necessities survive in open shelving land. (I’m looking at you, blue eyeshadow.)
Photo boxes store some items that are best kept covered like bandages, cotton balls, etc. I also used several baskets to corral items, making sure they were tall enough to (mostly) conceal the contents. This also created a sense of order by not flooding the space with many colors.
More DIY Home Decor Ideas and Resources
Even though I was ruthless, I still had to infuse some style onto the shelves. Everything on these shelves coordinate with my bedroom and bathroom decor. This keeps the spaces feeling cohesive and is perfect for when I “shop my home” and change things up.
At the top, I added my favorite fake plant. Just below, I placed a tray to hold a few cosmetic items. This tray was created by painting a basswood canvas, attaching clear plastic drawer handles, and wrapping hemp rope on the handles.
You can even use towels as decor. I used to laugh at my mom’s strict regimen of folding and storing all her towels the same way. But now I do it. Funny how it works that way…
Taking the time to organize our storage areas really makes a difference—not just visually, but for our peace of mind. If your home also lacks bathroom storage, there are other budget-friendly ways to resolve this issue. Attaching shelves to the wall would also work nicely, as do small dressers. You could even use an over-the-door shoe organizer or a fruit basket for easy and accessible storage.
Have you ever rented a home that had little storage? How do you prefer to store your bathroom items and toiletries? Have you had to improvise for storage?