A Brilliant Solution for Small Bathrooms With No Counter Space!

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1 Day

We just moved into a new apartment & our bathroom is tiny and oddly laid out with no counter space & no vanity... We had some existing shelves hung - but as you can see (even with baskets) it just wasn't enough storage....

Since the pedestal sink and toilet were so close together there was also next to no space to add more storage. So I came up with this cheap, easy, solution! Check out the video for the how-to's!

Before  A cluttered mess...

First, I measured the distance from the edge of the toilet to the edge of the sink. Then, I measured to make sure the shelf wouldn't stick out much further than the sink and that the height was what I was looking for as well!

Next stop, IKEA! I found this bathroom shelf that fit perfectly from IKEA "VESKEN" for under $10.

(They have a lot of inexpensive bathroom shelves to choose from if you have more space than I had to work with!)

This shelf is super easy to snap together. It's 9" deep, 14 1/8 " wide, and 39 & 3/8" tall.

After assembling my shelf, I put it in place! (If you have more space this would also work well by putting it sideways!) Next, I measured the distance from the shelf to the wall & then measured above the toilet to see how far I wanted the top to stick out to make sure it wasn't too crammed.

Next stop, Home Depot! I took my measurements to Home Depot and had them cut two pieces of wood.

I also grabbed some stain and some brackets. (the wood for the top shelf only cost me a total of $15!)

Next, I sanded and stained my wood, wiped off the excess, then let it dry.

After it was dry I sealed it with polyurethane to protect from water spills.

Next, I installed my brackets onto the wood and attached it to the wall. 

I made sure the shelf height matched up with the height of the IKEA storage baskets.

(I did it this way because the space was so tight - it was easier to attach and drill the holes before adding the wood!)

Following that, I glued the smaller piece of wood to the installed top & let that dry. If you are cutting the wood yourself you can cut this all in one piece (and skip this step) but they could only cut straight cuts at Home Depot so I had to work with it

I then added a bracket to the side for extra stability.

Next it was time to organize!

Since my space was so small and I had to add the shelf sideways - I needed a bin to slide out the side. I measured and found these perfect bins at my local dollar store. They were actually flower pots that once I removed the insert became the perfect size bin!

I then organized by what I had the most of....



and "fragrances."

Next, I wanted to add some texture & organize the existing shelves hung above the toilet. So I grabbed some mixed baskets!

The big one was great for a first aid kit and shaving kit.

I added my straighteners, and other miscellaneous items in the others.

To finish off the look I adding an inexpensive hook from IKEA that I already had lying around for a hand towel, and some accents to personalize the space. 

I never thought my tiny bathroom could ever be this organized!

I now have easy access to everything and my mornings just became almost stress free!

I now have a place to put on my make up & I know exactly where everything is!

I hope this inspires you to get creative & solve a tight space problem in your home! 

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  • J J on May 16, 2021

    Good use of space! But there’s perfect shelf opportunities using the upright studs already in the bathroom walls. Why don’t builders make a bathroom cabinet during construction by putting horizontal cross pieces in the studs for narrow shelves, finishing them off with trim and paint and adding a thin plywood door. Would even work behind a bathroom door. Horizontal 2x4 studs would be wide enough to hold most bath and beauty products.

    Some company should manufacture a narrow shelf unit with a thin door where all you have to do is cut away sheetrock and push the unit into place. Or install it during construction before sheetrock is added. And give me credit for the idea!

  • Liz Liz on May 18, 2021

    This is a great idea for a small space. It would require cleaning more being next to the toilet. I wonder if you could get some plexi glass or something along that line to put on that side so cleaning would be easier?

  • Georgia Karamargin Georgia Karamargin on Aug 28, 2021

    Super idea! Well done!! What are the measurements of the inside of the shelves? and/or what size baskets did you purchase from the dollar store? #needtoknow.


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2 of 407 comments
  • Carmen Carmen on Aug 28, 2021

    When life gives you lemons make lemonade. Genius idea!

  • Tre7076893 Tre7076893 on Sep 11, 2021

    Love the organization! Adding the wood surface finishes it off nicely and makes it look a little higher quality. Great job!