The Easiest Way to Make a Small Bathroom Look More Organized

published Oct 18, 2020
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Credit: Jessica Rapp

I have, objectively, a tiny bathroom. Or maybe it just feels that way when my kids, husband, and I are crammed inside brushing our teeth. Either way, it’s not always easy for such a small bathroom to look organized. There’s not much cabinet space, so any products we use daily usually end up on the vanity counter (also very small!). One simple solution I’ve found to neutralize the clutter? Decant.

I’m no decanting pro—so far, I keep hand soap and cotton face pads in glass vessels—but home blogger and YouTuber Alexandra Gater has been doing the decanting thing a lot longer than I have—and she makes it look easy.

According to Gater, decanting not only prevents the unsightly clutter of plastic product containers, but also creates a cohesive look, especially in smaller spaces. “It’s amazing how much more organized everything looks when you take items out of their original packaging and place them in cohesive glass jars,” she says. “Suddenly, everything looks intentional and styled.”

Credit: Joe Lingeman

If you’re new to decanting, start in spaces where storage space is at a minimum and products are at a maximum, like a tiny bathroom, where every ounce of space counts, says Gater.

For any easy way to incorporate the task into your routine, start with the essentials, like moisturizer, soap, and face wash. All you have to do is fill each jar or dispenser with your chosen products, then keep the original bottles tucked away in a linen closet until it’s time for a refill. “It’s a simple change that will turn what was once cluttered open shelving into a visually interesting mini apothecary,” says Gater. To add some flair, apply a sophisticated printable label or a chalkboard label scrawled with cheeky sayings, like “wash your hands.”

If the system works for you, you can slowly decant more. Make it a habit to make the transfer as soon as you purchase a new bottle of product—this way you aren’t tackling a big project, just one item at a time.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

You can also decant in your kitchen, whether in your pantry for organization or to add interest to counters or open shelving. Gater says she uses glass jars to store dried goods, like rice, beans, and lentils, then styles them on her open shelving. It’s both an aesthetic choice and a way to keep food fresh longer, she says.

Decanting definitely requires an investment, especially if you want a stylish, cohesive look with glass jars. But keep in mind: When you store products in jars or dispensers, you can buy in bulk (and in the case of cleaning products, you can swap ready-to-use, pre-packaged cleaners for a concentrated product), which will ultimately save money.

Ready to get started on your decanting process? Here are some products Gater recommends for a more organized, aesthetically appealing home: