The One Bathroom Storage Spot You’re Probably Overlooking—and How to Take Advantage of It With This $10 Fix

updated Jul 15, 2020
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Credit: Jo Chattman

Like many city dwellers, I live in an apartment. My one-bedroom is in a small building that was built in 1935, a time when people apparently owned fewer belongings and needed less storage space. Well, it’s 2020, and I have stuff—and storage is lacking everywhere. Far and away though, space is most difficult to come by in the bathroom. The tiny bathroom vanity my partner and I share is crammed, and there’s only so much eye-level wall space for shelves. Like any good storage hacker, I looked up. 

The space above my bathroom door isn’t exactly eye-catching. It is the perfect height and width, however, for a solid shelf situation. Measurements in hand, I headed to my local hardware store and bought two basic metal shelf brackets and a shelf. Ten bucks and 20 minutes later, I suddenly had a space perfect for the items I reach for less often.

I tucked away towels and washcloths into their own baskets (folded just like Marie Kondo taught me, as though they’re files in a filing cabinet), stuck them on the shelf, and voilá. 

If you’re inspired to try this trick at home, consider scale before you buy your materials. I went for a shelf that was just deep enough for a basket at about ten inches. You don’t want to choose something so deep that it feels like it’s looming over your head. For length, use the full width of your door and no wider. The key is for your shelf to blend in—not stand out. Be sure to use fasteners (like drywall anchors) that will support the shelf for your given type of wall. The last thing you want is for your new storage space to come crashing down on your head!

If your walls are colorful, consider painting the shelf to match, so it blends in even more. This is also why I also chose white metal shelf brackets, but you could also paint yours to match whatever your wall color is, too. I could see this storage hack working well in a bedroom for bags or extra bedding or even in a kitchen for pantry items. Now, apartment dweller, go forth and store your stuff! This upgrade doesn’t take long, but the payoff is big.