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Bathroom Shelf Ideas - How to Organize Your Shelves in the Bathroom

December 14, 2023 | Updated on: December 14, 2023

Bathroom wood shelves with toiletries and towels

It’s amazing how an organized bathroom shelf unit can make your life easier. If you have stepped into your bathroom and the first thing that greets you are your disorganized stuff, hygiene kits, towels, and incomprehensive décor arrangements, then you’re pretty much familiar with the chaos and inconvenience of having a disorganized shelf in the bathroom.

Despite having a big bathroom space and lots of shelves for bathrooms, many people still have this problem. Space organization is an art in and of itself. It requires strategy and the right understanding of how to organize things in open bathroom shelves to truly achieve that neat bathroom you oh-so dream of having. You can have a hundred shelves for the bathroom but if you don’t know how to organize your stuff properly, you’ll still end up leaving your clutter on your open shelves bathroom and countertops.

In this blog, we’ll tackle just that. We will talk about how to organize your stuff on your modern bathroom shelf to achieve that spa-like bathroom feel. Imagine stepping into a bathroom where every item has its designated place on the neatly arranged shelf for the bathroom. The clutter-free environment instantly creates a feeling of tranquillity and calmness. Organized shelf ideas for the bathroom not only offer convenience and accessibility but also elevate the overall ambience of the space.

Bathroom wall shelves

hanging open shelves with towel rack in the bathroom

Let’s talk about bathroom wall shelves. What are they? Wall-mounted bathroom shelves are versatile storage solutions mounted on the walls specifically designed for organizing toiletries, towels, and decorative items, offering both functionality and style. Bathroom wall shelves in Canada typically range in height from around 12 inches to 36 inches, accommodating various storage needs and wall spaces in bathrooms.

A bathroom wall shelf is utilized to maximize vertical space, particularly in smaller bathrooms, allowing for easy access to essentials while keeping the countertops clutter-free. In this section, we'll explore different types of bathroom wall shelf ideas, especially small shelves for the bathroom highlighting their designs, materials, and unique functionalities to suit diverse preferences and storage requirements.

Small bathroom shelf ideas offer ingenious solutions for optimizing limited space while maintaining functionality and organization. Integrating a small bathroom wall shelf strategically -  such as above the toilet, beside the sink, or even within shower niches - provides convenient storage without sacrificing precious floor space. Opt for these bathroom wall shelves when aiming to declutter countertops and cabinets, utilizing vertical wall space effectively.

To keep them organized, consider using baskets or bins to group similar items like toiletries, rolled towels, or small potted plants, ensuring a neat and visually appealing arrangement. Additionally, incorporating hooks or rails alongside a bathroom hanging shelf can further enhance their utility, providing hanging storage for towels or bathrobes, and contributing to an organized and cohesive bathroom design. Here are 7 bathroom shelf ideas to integrate into your bathroom.

  1. Floating shelf for bathroom

Floating shelves in bathrooms present a sleek and space-saving storage option that can be seamlessly integrated into various settings. You can use bathroom floating shelves when aiming for a modern or minimalist aesthetic, as they create an illusion of space and airiness while providing functional storage. Floating bathroom shelves are ideal for displaying bathing stuff, jars filled with bath salts and decorative items like small succulents or scented candles.

To organize a bathroom floating shelf, utilize small containers or trays to group similar items, preventing a cluttered appearance. Consider placing folded towels, skincare essentials, or neatly arranged toiletries in baskets or bins atop a floating bathroom shelf, allowing for easy access while maintaining a tidy and visually appealing bathroom environment. Additionally, ensuring proper installation for sturdiness is crucial when incorporating a small floating shelf in the bathroom to support the weight of the items placed on it.

  1. Bathroom towel shelves

A towel shelf for the bathroom is a functional addition that offers a dedicated space for organizing and displaying towels while optimizing bathroom space. A bathroom towel shelf is integrated when seeking an efficient way to store towels in a stylish and accessible manner. Installing a bathroom shelf with a towel bar or a bathroom shelf with a towel rack near the shower or bathtub area provides easy access for grabbing towels post-shower.

To maintain organization, consider rolling or folding towels neatly and arranging them in a stacked manner, utilizing the towel shelf bathroom surface efficiently. Additionally, incorporating baskets or bins on these shelves can further segment towels by size or type, enhancing both organization and aesthetics. Moreover, complementing the towels with decorative elements such as potted plants, candles, or decorative jars can add a touch of style while keeping the space inviting and organized.

  1. Bathroom corner shelves

A bathroom corner shelf is an ingenious space-saving solution perfect for maximizing often underutilized corners in bathrooms. When aiming to capitalize on otherwise unused spaces, particularly in smaller bathrooms where every inch counts installing a corner bathroom shelf is an ingenious solution.

Hanging corner shelves in the bathroom effectively involves placing them within shower areas to hold toiletries or positioning them near sinks to store daily essentials. A corner shelf bathroom is usually smaller compared to other shelves. To keep them organized, do not put a lot of stuff on them. Do not use them to place decorative items such as figurines, or small potted plants, instead pick the most essential toiletries, such as body wash, shampoo or shower cream.

bathroom vanity and shelves near the toilet

  1. Bathroom shelf over toilet

Bathroom shelves over the toilet offer a practical solution for utilizing vertical space efficiently. Opt for these bathroom shelves above the toilet when looking to maximize storage in a compact bathroom without overwhelming the available floor area.

Having a bathroom shelf above the toilet involves installing them securely, and providing a convenient spot for storing extra towels, toiletries, or decorative accents. To keep your bathroom shelves above the toilet tidy, use baskets or bins to categorize and store items like spare toilet paper rolls, folded towels, or grooming essentials, preventing clutter and ensuring a streamlined appearance. A bathroom over the toilet shelf can add a touch of style if you keep the space visually appealing and organized.

  1. Recessed shelves in the bathroom

Integrating bathroom recessed shelves involves cutting into the wall and fitting them within the space, providing discreet storage for bath products or decorative items. To maintain organization in a recessed bathroom shelf, utilize containers or baskets to arrange items like shampoos, conditioners, or shower gels, keeping the area clutter-free and enhancing accessibility. Incorporating recessed bathroom shelves in different areas of the bathroom may be challenging. It might happen to damage water pipes or wiring when cutting a niche, so you should plan them thoroughly before the bathroom renovation. However, a recessed shelf in the bathroom allows for the organization of grooming essentials or the display of decorative elements in narrow places where space is precious. Bathroom built-in shelves are commonly found in modern bathrooms because such an effect creates a streamlined look thus making the bathroom look and feel minimal.

  1. Sink shelf for the bathroom

An over-sink shelf bathroom offers a convenient and accessible storage area right by the sink, perfect for organizing daily essentials. Use over the bathroom sink shelf when seeking to maximize counter space while keeping frequently used items within easy reach. Integrating an over-the-sink shelf bathroom involves placing it over or around the sink basin and providing storage for items like hand soap, toothbrush holders, or skincare products. To maintain organization in your over-the-sink bathroom shelf, use small trays or containers to corral smaller items, preventing clutter and ensuring a tidy appearance. Additionally, incorporating wall-mounted holders or hooks for towels or washcloths can optimize space and functionality in your counter shelf for the bathroom, contributing to an organized and efficient bathroom setup.

  1. Decorative bathroom shelves

Decorative shelf for the bathroom serves as aesthetic focal points, ideal for showcasing decor to make your bathroom space more inhabitant. Opt for these shelves when aiming to elevate the bathroom's ambience while having a designated spot for displaying decorative items. Integrating decorative shelves involves positioning them strategically on empty wall spaces, allowing for the display of items like small plants, decorative jars, incense sticks, or artwork. To maintain organization, balance the display by incorporating a mix of decorative and functional items, ensuring a cohesive and visually appealing arrangement. Additionally, incorporating baskets or trays to contain smaller decor pieces can prevent overcrowding and maintain a polished look, creating an organized and stylish atmosphere in the bathroom.

Bathroom standing shelves

bathroom leaning floor shelf well organized

Creating an organized and stylish bathroom often involves clever utilization of space, and bathroom standing shelf ideas offer an array of solutions. Free-standing bathroom shelves provide versatile options for storage and display without the need for wall mounting. Among these, the bathroom ladder shelf and open shelf bathroom vanity stand out, offering both functionality and aesthetic appeal. These bathroom floor shelves, come in various designs and materials, catering to diverse storage needs.

When considering what to place on these versatile bathroom standing shelves, think about optimizing functionality while enhancing the visual appeal of your space. Utilize these shelves for bathroom storage by arranging neatly folded towels, storing baskets filled with toiletries, or showcasing decorative jars filled with bath salts. Consider using them for small containers with cotton pads, creams or makeup removers to utilize useful space. The bathroom ladder shelf or open shelf bathroom vanity can beautifully display rolled-up towels, while the freestanding bathroom shelves offer space for organizing grooming essentials or displaying decorative accents like framed artwork or stylish jars. By blending both functionality and aesthetics, these shelves become not just storage spaces, but also opportunities to elevate the overall look and organization of your bathroom.

Bathroom Cabinets

Bathroom shower shelf

A small bathroom shelf is a designated storage unit specifically designed for placement within a shower or bath area. It's intended to hold various bath essentials like shampoo bottles, body wash, soaps, loofahs, and other toiletries, keeping them easily accessible during showering or bathing. These shelves are essential for keeping the shower area organized and free from clutter and splashes, providing a convenient spot to store and access items needed for personal hygiene.

Organizing bathroom shower shelves involves maximizing space and ensuring easy access to essentials. Consider using an organization system to group similar items together, preventing clutter and making it easier to find what you need. Place frequently used items at eye level or within easy reach, while keeping less commonly used products on higher or lower shelves. Opt for water-resistant and easy-to-clean materials to maintain cleanliness and durability in the moist shower environment. Regularly declutter and wipe down the shelves to prevent the buildup of soap scum or mildew.

Bathroom shelf materials

white wood shelf and fabric pocket shelf near the bathroom vanity

Styling bathroom shelves involves weighing aesthetics, functionality, and maintenance. From the sleek elegance of a bathroom glass shelf to the timeless luxury of marble and the natural warmth of bamboo and wooden bathroom shelves, each material offers distinct advantages and drawbacks. This comparative table showcases the strengths and weaknesses of glass shelves for bathroom, chrome/stainless steel, bamboo, marble, and bathroom wood shelves aiding in selecting the ideal bathroom shelf material tailored to both style preferences and practical requirements.





Glass bathroom shelf

Glass shelf for the bathroom is ideal for modern aesthetics or wet spaces where a moisture resistance and airy feel is desired.

Glass shelves for bathroom are easy to clean, don't rust or corrode, and visually lighten the space.

Can show water spots easily, more prone to breakage.

Chrome bathroom shelf

Suitable for contemporary or industrial-themed bathrooms.

Resistant to moisture, durable, sleek appearance, doesn't corrode.

Susceptible to scratches and fingerprints, and can show water spots.

Marble shelf bathroom

Best for luxurious or classic-themed bathrooms.

Elegant appearance, durable, adds a touch of sophistication.

Expensive, heavy, porous (requires sealing to resist stains).

Bamboo bathroom shelf

Perfect for eco-friendly or natural-themed bathrooms.

Sustainable, affordable, adds warmth to the space.

Can warp or discolor if not sealed properly, and needs maintenance.

Wood bathroom shelf

Works well in various decor styles, especially rustic or traditional. A teak bathroom shelf, for example, has exceptional water resistance properties.

Adds warmth, and versatility, teak specifically is highly resistant to water and decay.

Prone to warping or damage if not properly sealed or maintained.

Each of these options works best under certain conditions. While glass shelf for bathroom and bathroom stainless-steel shelves offers modern aesthetics and durability, they can also show water spots and are susceptible to breakage or scratches. Bamboo shelves, although eco-friendly and warm, require proper sealing to prevent warping or discoloration. Marble, though elegant, is expensive and porous, needing regular sealing. Wooden bathroom shelves, while versatile, need consistent maintenance to avoid damage due to moisture exposure. Consider these disadvantages when choosing the ideal bathroom shelf material for your needs.

Bathroom shelf decor

bathroom shelves with essential stuff and decorations

Bathroom shelf décor ideas are an art that balances practicality with aesthetics, offering an opportunity to showcase your personality while organizing essentials. In this section, we'll explore creative ideas on how to decorate a bathroom shelf and share some practical tips on what to put on a bathroom shelf, from organizing toiletries to adding decorative elements that infuse charm and character into your bathroom sanctuary.

Here are a few beautiful bathroom shelf decor ideas:

  • Functional containers - Use stylish bathroom shelf baskets, jars, or trays to group similar items like toiletries, bath bombs, or rolled towels. This not only keeps things organized but also adds visual appeal.
  • Greenery – Decorate bathroom shelves with small indoor plants or succulents to add a touch of freshness and natural beauty to your bathroom. Opt for species that will thrive in humidity bathroom environments.
  • Scented elements - Incorporate scented candles or diffusers to create a spa-like ambience. Display them in decorative holders or trays to elevate the shelf's aesthetic. 
  • Artwork or prints - Hang small pieces of artwork or framed prints on the wall behind the shelf or prop them against the wall. This adds personality and a pop of color to the space. 
  • Stacked towels - Roll or fold towels neatly and attractively stack them. Experiment with different folding techniques and color combinations to create an eye-catching display. 
  • Mix of textures - Combine different textures like woven baskets, ceramic jars, or metallic accents to add depth and interest to the shelf.
  • Utilize vertical space - Hang hooks or install small shelves underneath to maximize storage. Hang towels or bathrobes for both functionality and style.

Cabinet Doors

Practical tips for decorating bathroom shelves:

  • Keep it functional - While aesthetics are important, prioritize functionality. Ensure that the items you display are things you use regularly to avoid clutter. 
  • Balance and symmetry - Create a visually appealing arrangement by balancing heights, shapes, and colors. Aim for symmetry to maintain a pleasing look.
  • Declutter regularly - Keep the shelf tidy by periodically decluttering and rearranging items. It helps maintain a fresh and organized appearance.
  • Consider moisture resistance - Choose decor items that can withstand a humid environment, such as moisture-resistant materials or rust-resistant containers. 
  • Minimalism is key - Avoid overcrowding the shelves. Embrace a minimalist approach by displaying a few carefully selected items rather than cluttering the space. 

Decorating bathroom shelves is an opportunity to blend functionality with style, creating a harmonious and inviting space. By combining practical storage solutions with decorative elements, you can transform your bathroom shelves into aesthetically pleasing focal points that elevate the overall ambiance of the room.


Article by:

Valentina Melnikova - Lead Designer at Cut2Size

Office 403.366.7411

Hi there! I’m a millwork designer and an owner of a kitchen cabinet manufacturing company. With a team of professionals, I work on designing and manufacturing high-end millwork. Combining professional designing and manufacturing skills is what allows us to develop and translate our plans into a reality through our uniqueness and exclusive ideas. Our employees are highly skilled and creative thinkers that also utilize their professionalism and experience to take millwork to the next level. I’m very familiar with the industry and I take on each project from the design to the final product. With that said, if you’re looking for design advice or technician help, you’re in the right place.