Tips on Storing Bathroom Appliances and Accessories

Year after year, we seem to add more and more electric gadgets and other accessories to our already crowded bathroom countertops and closet shelves. The list seems endless: electric toothbrushes, water jets, blow dryers, curling irons, and shavers to name but a few. Eventually, not only do we have to find room for these items, but we have to store them in a manageable way.

Below are some easy ideas for keeping small appliances organized. You can choose to put them in wire baskets or, for those with hanging loops, suspend them on hooks underneath shelving.

Other paraphernalia like toothbrushes and bathroom tissue, can be kept in smart and easy-to-reach holders.

Appliance cords become easily tangled if they are not stored out of the way. Wrapping the power cord around an appliance can damage the cord, eventually causing it to break. Instead, coil the cord into a small, loosely held loop; then stuff the coil into an empty bathroom tissue tube. This will help keep the appliance safe, neat, and handy. Another hint: Never coil power cords around objects, such as around an elbow and a palm. This produces a neat loop the first time, but eventually causes the electric cord to twist and break. Always loop power cords loosely, and carefully.

Storage aids not designed specifically for small appliances can be easily pressed into service: consider shower caddies (they can be hung on an open wall as well as in the shower), wall-mounted vinyl pouches (sold as closet organizers), and under-shelf baskets of vinyl-coated wire.

If your small grooming appliances have hanging loops, then simple hooks or pegs are all you’ll need for storage. Put together a rack from redwood backing strip and some brass hooks or hardwood-dowel pegs; or simply screw cup hooks to the underside of a bathroom shelf. Rather than hanging your appliances, consider a narrow shelf with carefully measured holes drilled through it to form holsters for your curling iron, your shaver, or the nozzle of your blow-dryer. For several large or heavy appliances, try a wider shelf running the length of the sink counter and 6″ to 8″ above it. Support the shelf with wood blocks spaced to form counter-level cubbyholes for cosmetics and grooming aids.

Tissue holders come in a wide range of styles and materials – from traditional steel or ceramic holders with spring-loaded inserts, to high-tech plastic models in bright colors, to costly antique reproductions in solid brass. But tissue holders are also easy to make, and the handsome wooden ones are fine examples. Remember that a new roll of tissue is about 5 inches in diameter, so the insert’s center must be at least 2 ¾” from the wall. Mounting tissue holders may require some patience. Some end pieces may require some patience. Some end pieces are easier to mount if they are first bridged by a backing piece that is then attached directly to the wall. Try to anchor holders to wall studs; if that isn’t feasible, use expanding anchors or toggle bolts.

Choose one of many commercially available toothbrush holders – freestanding or wall mounted, with tumbler or without – or make one of your own from a scrap block of oak. Begin with a 9″ long 2×4. Drill eight 5/8″ diameter holes into one edge, each 3″ deep. Smooth the entire holder with fine sandpaper. Finish the wood to protect it from the humid bathroom climate – and from dripping toothbrushes.

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