Our Top Tips For Finding The Best Spot For Functional Over-The-Toilet Storage

Unless you're lucky enough to have a sprawling primary bathroom, most washrooms don't have enough storage. With all the shampoos, creams, hair tools, and towels we stock up on, it can become tricky to find an organized place to store them all. After all, there is only so much you can cram into the sink or medicine cabinet. This dilemma becomes all the trickier when you have very few square feet to work with. 

If your bathtub or shower takes up the majority of the room, you might not have the option to add an extra cabinet to carve out some storage space. That's why most people turn towards over-the-toilet storage, which utilizes the dead space over the porcelain feature. Rather than hanging a series of picture frames as decor, you can use that vertical space to store your toiletries. However, there are some rules to arranging it.

While it might seem as easy as heading to Target and picking out whatever toilet storage cabinet they have in stock, there are some details you want to keep in mind to ensure it's as functional and aesthetically pleasing as possible. First, decide if you want open shelving or a closed cabinet. Second, make sure there is enough space between the unit and your toilet tank, for both practical and style purposes. Here's everything to keep in mind when choosing storage for the space above your toilet.

First, choose your style

First, you need to decide what kind of storage you want: a closed cabinet or open shelving. A closed cabinet is best if you have a surplus of toiletries and hair tools you need to store. To make the most use of the vertical space above the commode, you will likely need to pile them into clear organization bins, stacked boxes, or other organizational compartments. This can end up looking messy if left out in the open, so it would make more sense to choose closed storage where it can stay hidden. 

However, if you just have a few choice items you need room for, open shelving can work. For example, you can store things like Q-tips and cotton pads in attractive storage containers meant for display, and you can arrange your most attractive skincare bottles or toiletries onto trays, having them act as decor. Your less attractive items can go into the under-the-sink storage. Open shelving might also be a better choice if your bathroom is very small and a cabinet can make it feel visually heavy and cluttered. Open shelving creates an airier effect, making the space feel less packed. 

Second, make sure it's placed at the correct height

In order to make your new storage unit functional and not cumbersome, you also want to have it placed at an appropriate height. If it's too low it'll be too close to the toilet, which can be a problem for several reasons. First, it will be difficult to remove the toilet tank's lid. This is especially true with a standing cabinet that has legs on either side of the toilet, as it will effectively box in the lid, so you want to make sure there is enough clearance on top for when you need to service the commode. Second, you don't want to feel like you could hit your head on the bottom of the cabinet or floating shelf when you sit down to do your business. 

It's recommended to have at least 24 inches of space between the toilet lid and the top of the storage unit. This gives you 2 feet of space to maneuver the lid and give your head clearance. If you're choosing a standing cabinet, double-check that it's tall enough to provide you with that gap. If it's not, consider adding raisers to the bottom to give you extra height. Keeping these tips in mind will help you choose the most aesthetically pleasing and functional storage unit for your particular bathroom.