Rental Essentials: Smart Bathroom Shelving

Renters' Solutions

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Rental bathrooms are often small, a fact that can make storage options tricky, especially when coupled with landlord restrictions. Here are twelve options, large and small, that make the most of vertical space, narrow floor space, and visual space.

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1. Lipper International Bamboo Over-the-Sink Shelf, Target, $22.39: If you don't have much counter space, this over-the-sink-shelf can add some much-needed surface area.

2. Over-the-Door Vanity Station, Urban Outfitters, $69: If you aren't allowed to put any holes in the wall, this over-the-door station can hold some of your toiletries, and there are added hooks for jewelry, hand towels, or even lightweight towels like peshtamals.

3. Array Yellow Bookcase, CB2, $189: This shelf keeps a thin profile, adds a burst of color, doesn't require any holes in the walls, and maximizes vertical space. It would be perfect for holding towels, linens, and clothing and pajamas.

4. Iron Spice Rack, The Container Store, $19.99: This rack can either be mounted, or it can sit on the counter, and it adds a bit of height to your storage options. This would be perfect for deodorants, perfumes, nail polish, or other toiletries.


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1. Organize It All Metro 4-Tier Shelf, Amazon, $39.06: Clean, classic lines, and a small spatial footprint make this shelf a good option for small spaces.

2. InterDesign White Wire 3-Shelf Tower, Target, $26.99: This unit is freestanding and incredibly thin, which makes it a good candidate for that tricky narrow space between the toilet and the tub or the toilet and the counter. 

3. Organize It All Metro 2-Tier Wall-Mounting Rack with Towel Bars, Amazon, $24.97: Shelves and towel space, all in one affordable package.

4. Format Storage Shelf, CB2, $69.95: This clear shelf takes up very little visual space but offers plenty of extra surface for your toiletries or other items. Clear jars with Q-tips and cotton balls would look fabulous on this shelf.

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1. 6-Shelf Iron Folding Tower, The Container Store, $119: This shelf folds up, which makes it a cinch to take with you if you need to move. 

2. Lillången Laundry Cabinet, IKEA, $129: This cabinet makes laundry sorting simple, and it makes the most of taller ceilings, which is always great for small rental bathrooms.

3. Hyllis Shelving Unit, IKEA, $14.99: The Hyllis is fairly narrow, so it won't protrude too much into the room, and it offers a ton of storage for a small price tag.

4. Linea Narrow Leaning Bookcase, The Container Store, $119: This freestanding shelf allows for plenty of storage without any holes in the wall, and the different sized shelves allow you to put larger objects on the bottom, which visually anchors the unit.

(Images: as credited above)