The Secret to Effective Small Spaces, as Proven by Nancy's Tiny New York Bathroom

The Secret to Effective Small Spaces, as Proven by Nancy's Tiny New York Bathroom

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Nancy Mitchell
Mar 30, 2017
(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

My little bathroom is one of the things I love most about my little New York apartment, but unfortunately, it does not have much in the way of storage. As someone very devoted to the idea of order, if not always the practice of it, this troubles me a great deal, and so I've come up with a few solutions that allow me to fit a whole bathroom's worth of things into my small, storage-challenged space, all (mostly) out of sight. On the chance that they might help you to deal with similar struggles, I thought I'd share them with you.

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

The one cabinet that the bathroom came outfitted with is working pretty hard. Look, I know it's a little weird, but I can honestly say that I feel a rush of pride whenever I think about how efficiently the space inside that cabinet is utilized. The real stars here are the over door hair dryer holder (that holds brushes, too) and the frosted plastic boxes, which are from the Container Store. Having the dryer right at hand inside the door is incredibly convenient. The stackable boxes take up less space than drawers would, but still provide a spot to store toiletries that are pretty easy to reach. Anything that gets used more often goes on the top tray. The spot behind the boxes (not pictured) is the perfect size for my travel makeup bag.

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

One more in-cabinet innovation is the addition of a couple of Command hooks for my grout brush (that thing works wonders, y'all) and a lighter. I know it doesn't look like the cabinet door would actually close, but I promise it does.

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

You may have noticed that there is a medicine cabinet, but I draw the line at letting strangers have a peek inside said medicine cabinet. (It's pretty boring stuff, anyway: eye makeup remover, deodorant, face wash.) For stuff that doesn't fit into the medicine cabinet, I have this tray that fits neatly into the windowsill. If you're not blessed with a windowsill in the bathroom you could perch a tray on top of the toilet tank, provided you're not troubled by that old story about how every time you flush a giant cloud of atomized poo surrounds your toilet. I choose to believe it's a myth, or otherwise I wouldn't be brave enough to have anything sitting out in my bathroom anywhere.

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

The last (and my favorite) of the bathroom storage solutions is my Componibili. It took me a while to pull the trigger on it, because it's a plastic cabinet that costs more than a hundred dollars, but finally I did and I just love it. It's mostly full of toilet paper, because no way am I buying just one roll at a time and rushing to the store in a panic every few days, but the top compartment is my bathroom "junk drawer" — a catch-all for sundry items that currently includes razors, a pair of scissors, and a giant box of Q-Tips.

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

Oh, and the spot to the left of the Componibili is my clothing purgatory. I might have cleaned it up a little bit for this shoot, but usually those two hooks are heavily laden with clothing in the not-quite-clean-but-still-clean-enough-to-wear-again limbo. It is a little unsightly, but loads better than having piles of stuff on the floor.

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

Towels, if you're wondering, are in a drawer in the closet, which is right outside the door. I hope you've enjoyed this little tour of my bathroom just as much as I enjoyed photographing it. Just kidding. I did not enjoy photographing it at all. There is nothing more nerve-wracking than photographing your bathroom for the consumption of strangers, so please — be gentle.

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