Ask Unclutterer: Shower storage and organization

Unclutterer reader Derek commented on our post about storage ideas for bathrooms:

At our house, the problem in our bathroom is the shower. With 4 people using this shower, the number of product bottles is overwhelming. We’ve put up a hanging caddy that hooks onto the shower head. The problem is that it only holds a certain amount of product and it can be a pain to get stuff out of. Not sure what the solution is!

This is a great question Derek, one that I’ve struggled with because we have a family of four, all using the same shower. It was okay when our children were young and they both used the same baby shampoo and mild soap but once they became teenagers, we had shampoos for detangling long hair and unfrizzing curly hair. Plus, there were soaps that smelled like ocean breeze, ylang ylang, peach blossoms, and tropical islands. Add to that a myriad of conditioners, exfoliants, and shaving creams — our shower looked like an over-stocked beauty supply store!

There are several solutions to this problem, some may work for you, some may not.

Buy a bigger house?

Years ago, I mentioned this issue with a colleague and he suggested that we just move to a bigger house so that everyone can have his/her own bathroom. This is not a solution that many people would find feasible. Besides, cleaning four bathrooms is even more work.

Simplify first

Separate the products into groups according to who uses which products. If there are any un-owned products, remove them from the shower area and make a plan to either use them up or dispose of them.

Next, see if family members are able to and willing to share products. Perhaps everyone could agree on using only one type of soap. If that’s the case, then use up what you’ve got and only buy that particular soap going forward.

Baskets

Assign each person his/her own basket full of the products they use. The baskets could be stored in each person’s bedroom or on hooks on the bathroom wall or door. It’s a good option for teenagers because it will get them into the habit of like living in a dorm. It’s a little inconvenient if you’re already in the shower and realize you’ve forgotten your basket.

Mini Bottles

Purchase easy-to-refill travel sized bottles, a different colour for each family member. You can keep the larger bottles in a cupboard and fill up the smaller bottles weekly. This may not minimize the number of bottles in the shower but the bottles will take up less space. The disadvantage is having to refill the smaller bottles often especially for those with long hair who use shampoo at a greater rate. Also, the pre-printed labels on the bottles are quite small which makes them difficult to see.

Dispenser

shower dispenserInstalling a dispenser system in your shower is an alternative. I like this model because you can either attach it to the shower wall or hang it over the shower head (ideal if you rent your home). The dispenser holds three times more than the travel bottles so it won’t need to be refilled quite so often. However, it only holds four different products so you may need to have two (or more) dispensers for your family’s needs.

Shower head caddy

You mentioned that you had a caddy that hung over the shower head but was difficult to use. There are several different designs available. This model designed similar to a wine rack holds the bottles sideways at an angle making it easy to get them in and out. By placing the bottles with the lid towards the floor, you could also get every last drop of shampoo. As with most shower head caddies, small children might have trouble reaching what they need.

Over the door/curtain caddy

An over the shower door caddy would be helpful for corralling your bottles but only if you had a shower door. Shower curtain caddies are a popular option but they work best if your shower curtain rod is permanently fixed to the wall.

Shelving

If you have a shower stall, consider the OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Corner Standing Shower Caddy. It has non-slip, adjustable feet so it won’t wobble on uneven floors. The shelves can be removed for easy cleaning.

Constant tension corner shower shelves can be installed with no tools. The shelf heights can be adjusted to fit all bottle heights. This model also has hooks for hanging razors, combs, and wash cloths. It is easy to clean and rust-resistant.

Other suggestions

sport bottle holderDepending on how much room you have in your shower/tub area, sport bottle holders designed for your kitchen cupboards, could hold your shampoo bottles. A wall-mounted wine rack could also hold bottles when they are not being used in the shower.

Thanks for your great question Derek. We hope this post gives you the information you’re looking for.

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5 Comments for “Ask Unclutterer: Shower storage and organization”

  1. posted by Allie Dee on

    They make a shower curtain with mesh pockets which will hold all the bottles of body wash, shampoo, conditioner, etc. It works great. I have a small bathroom with a claw foot tub so no corners to put things. I also tried the hanging shelves that fit over the shower head, but the shower curtain works so much better. My daughter and my 4 grandkids along with myself didn’t have any problems after I put up the curtain with the mesh pockets.

  2. posted by Louise on

    We use a long stainless steel suction shelf in our shower. They can be pricey but they work so well in our rental. Plenty of space for potions and lotions!

  3. posted by Emily on

    We’ve used command shower caddies for years. They hold a lot, and heavy bottles, things like Dr. Teals bubble bath in huge containers.
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obi.....tterer-20/

  4. posted by Audrey Johnson on

    Great advice. Those all look helpful thanks for sharing.

  5. posted by Megan on

    This is not for everyone, of course, but: minimize your shower routine. I use soap for skin and shampoo for hair, period. Shaving? Use soap. Removing makeup? Use soap.

    Above the sink I have tooth paste, floss, deodorant.

    I find that a lot of the products we think we need are solutions to problems caused by other products. I use a shampoo that is detergent-free, so my hair doesn’t get so stripped of its oils that it needs conditioner. I use a natural-ish soap that doesn’t dry skin out so much that it needs moisturizer (in the winter the dry air does that, but then I just use olive or coconut oil from the kitchen).

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