Vertical Vanity Organization For Your Bathroom

The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Rachel.

I’m about to welcome you into the privacy of my vanity area to show you how I organized it vertically. I’m publicizing it for two reasons. First, it’s my answer to much needed storage. Second, it’s not picture perfect but that doesn’t matter because it’s functional. Eye appealing is not always functional and vice-versa in the organizing world. For me, convenience, efficiency, and practicality are first priority to streamline busy mornings. So let’s dive in and get the scoop!

using vertical space to organize the bathroom

The last owner of our home installed a picturesque master bathroom vanity. I love how trendy it looks but it’s hardly functional in terms of organization. It’s the kind of piece that belongs in a hotel but not good for everyday use.

Below is said vanity after everything is organized. I have a couple low light “before” shots I’m not even going to try to edit and post (we always seem to tackle projects at night when lighting is the worst). Instead, I’ll explain how things were beforehand in these two words; messy and chaotic. I tried to make use of the small cabinet and drawers below the sink, but they’re ill-placed and impractical. Because of that, my toiletry clutter and resulting makeup dust would collect on the narrow shelf above the faucet and all around the sink.

how to turn an impractical vanity into an organizational dream

Despite my best organizing efforts, I couldn’t make the built-in storage work. So I went vertical on the narrow wall beside the vanity.

Inexpensive bathroom storage organization

Quite frankly, I was hesitant to make a vertical system on the wall. In fact, I had drawn up some amazing plans to create a customized unit complete with a door to hide everything BUT we have a baby coming and zero time for elaborate plans. The general mantra around here lately is, “just GET IT DONE before the baby arrives!” 🙂

So, I scratched my custom plans and headed to IKEA to look for something that would work vertically for bathroom storage. I found these cute ones at Ikea. **Update from Laura: unfortunately these ones shown are no longer available at Ikea but these ones from Amazon (affiliate link) would also do the trick 🙂

They are designed to hang on a rail or bar but I removed the hanging apparatus and skipped the bar piece. Suspended from a bar would make the baskets more likely to swing or possible get knocked off and we all know what happens to pressed makeup when it crashes on a tile floor. So, we anchored the baskets directly to the wall with no trouble at all. They also come with a removable tray which is perfect for easy cleaning.

Makeup organization with IKEA

Removable and wipeable tray for vertical organization

My other reason for omitting the bar and hanging arm piece was that toiletries are a bit disheveled in general. I’m not a loyalist with all the same brand, which means my collections looks all the more scraggly. There’s no unity in the products I use; therefore I had to eliminate extra pieces that made the space look more busy than it already was.

Below are the “after” pictures. I used 5 baskets total. I probably could have condensed it to less than that but I wasn’t sure how much I would use the wall versus the storage below. As it turns out, I really like having everything within easy reach and hardly use the cabinet shelves and drawers anymore.

I tried to group “like with like” in each basket. That didn’t work out perfectly but I got close enough. Taller items went in the top basket, making the contents very random, but again it doesn’t matter to me as long as it’s functional. The basket with the black and white polka-dotted organizer is full of randomness because it has several individual compartments I used to contain small things like an eyelash curler and chap stick.

using vertical space in the bathroom

vertical makeup organization

condensing and organizing vertically in the bathroom

organizing vertically in the bathroom

I also used some plastic divider trays and other compartmental organizers I had around the house. Gotta love when other products get repurposed for a perfect fit!

small stuff organization

vertical storage in the bathroom

For the narrow chap stick and sample size lipsticks, I used an old hairspray cap turned upside down. It works perfectly and placed inside the divided tray, you can’t even see the cap. All the wider lipstick tubes stand on their own inside my divided organizer.

makeup storage

storing narrow lip products upright

how to store narrow lip products upright

storing small tubes of makeup products

So there you have my perfectly imperfect vanity organization. All that chaos organized vertically on the wall and readily available for the morning rush. Do I think it’s the most beautiful organizational system? Nope! But I’m happy with the convenience of it all.

I’d like to say no one sees it but me, but that isn’t true. Friends and guest always meander into my bathroom when visiting, but I don’t mind. After all, we live in a home not a magazine. Plus, this looks wayyyyy better than it did littered all over the countertop and shelf! 🙂 Best of all, it’s one more “problem area” crossed off my list in preparation for baby.

inexpensive IKEA solution

inexpensive and vertical organization in the bathroom

Here’s to all of us getting our to-do list tackled this weekend! 🙂


In the professional world, I’m a nurse by trade. But, around our house, I’m known as Mommy to our young daughter. My two worlds collided and began shaping into a blog. Useful Beautiful Home represents the hours I’ve dedicated to managing my household as efficiently as possible. I offer you motivation to keep your home healthy, organized, and welcoming.


Filed under: Bathroom, Containerizing, Guest Bloggers, Rachel


7 Responses to Vertical Vanity Organization For Your Bathroom

  1. 1
    Molly says

    Looks great and like it was always there. It also looks very handy to use, and with the removable trays, easy to clean.

  2. 2
    Hilda says

    I love it Rachel! I’m totally with you on function being more important than looking beautiful, but I actually think this looks really nice as well as being much more functional for you. Great tip about the hairspray cap for your thin lipsticks! Much better than having them fall all over the place!

  3. 3
    Barb says

    I love this!!! What a great use of space. I only wish we had an Ikea near us. On second thought, maybe it’s better we don’t……I would shop there a little too frequently.

  4. 4
    Elina says

    i suggest you keep products that could be wet away from those that should be dry… But otherwise, this is a very neat design 🙂

  5. 5
    Marcia Francois says

    I love your wall organising – they look so pretty! I use a candle holder to store some of my lipsticks – pretty and functional, AND (best of all) i was Konmari’ing which means I could keep my joy-sparkers and have them be useful at the same time 🙂

  6. 6
    Carly says

    Hi! I’m trying to mimick what you did here but the Ikea ones are not available anymore. Do you know where I could find similar ones for a similar price?

    Thank you!

    • 6.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      I couldn’t find the exact one anywhere unfortunately. These ones looked liked they would work great for a project such as this although they are a bit more expensive. (affiliate link)



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