Keeping towels organized and easily accessible is an important part of bathroom storage. Towels play a central role in bathing and grooming routines, so having designated places to store them can make daily life run more smoothly. When deciding where to store towels in a bathroom, there are several key factors to consider such as space, convenience, moisture control, and aesthetics. With some strategic planning and the right storage solutions, it’s easy to keep those towels tidy and close at hand.

Assessing Bathroom Storage Space and Layout

The first step in determining where to store towels is taking stock of the existing storage space and layout of the bathroom. Consider these key questions:

  • How much free space is available for towel storage? Measure wall space, under sink areas, closet or cabinet interiors. This will determine what size storage units can fit.
  • What is the current storage situation? Note any existing shelves, racks, cabinets or closets used for towels. Assess if current storage solutions are adequate or if upgrades are needed.
  • What other items are competing for storage space? For example, toiletries and medications may take up cabinet space. Make sure to account for everything that needs storing.
  • What type of look or style is desired? Open shelving, closed cabinets, or combo? This influences storage choices.
  • Where is the shower, tub and sinks located? Towels should be kept in reasonable proximity to their point of use.

Once the space and layout is analyzed, it’s easier to select storage locations that make the most sense. Try to maximize every inch of available space when planning.

Top Places for Storing Bath Towels

Bath towels, typically larger in size than hand towels or washcloths, have some prime spots in which they can be stored and accessed in the bath. Here are some of the best places for storing standard bath towels:

On Open Shelving or Towel Bars

Open shelving units or towel bars installed directly on the wall are common towel storage solutions. These options allow towels to be displayed decoratively while also keeping them visible and within easy reach. Shelves and bars located close to the shower or bathtub make for convenient access. Just be sure to use quality bars that can handle the weight of wet towels without pulling loose.

Folded on Shelves in Linen Closets

Many bathrooms have a linen closet with shelves specifically designed for holding towels and other necessities. Storing folded towels upright and neatly stacked on these shelves keeps them up off the floor and protected from moisture. This type of storage also hides towels from view for a decluttered look. Just be sure to organize towels on shelves in a way that prevents them from toppling over each time one is removed from the stack.

On Built-In or Freestanding Bathroom Cabinets

Bathroom cabinetry with doors allows for covered storage that conceals towels when not in use. Both built-in and freestanding cabinetry typically have ample shelf space for neatly folded stacks of towels. The closure keeps towels free of moisture and dust. For easy access, opt for cabinets near the tub and shower area.

Hanging on the Back of Doors

Hanging towels on the back of the bathroom or linen closet door is a space-saving storage technique. Hooks that fit over the top of the door hold towels vertically and in plain sight for quick grabbing. Just ensure that wet towels are hung to dry fully before putting them back over the door, as moisture could damage the door over time.

On Ladder Shelving Units

Ladder-style shelving on a wall or freestanding towel rack is an excellent way to display towels without taking up floor space. The staggered shelves hold towels of various sizes, allowing for plenty of visible organization. Ladder racks keep towels off the floor and within arm’s reach. Just ensure the shelves are spaced appropriately and deep enough for folded towels.

In Baskets or Decorative Storage Bins

Baskets or fabric storage bins are versatile and attractive options for holding towels of all kinds. They can sit on shelves, in cabinets or on the floor. Bins corral towels while adding style to the space. Just be sure to rotate towels regularly, so they don’t sit damp in bins for too long. Choose bins that allow for adequate air flow.

Where to Store Hand Towels and Washcloths

Hand towels and washcloths require less storage space than bath towels. Here are smart places to keep them within easy access:

In a Basket Under the Sink

A basket under the vanity sink keeps hand towels and washcloths right where they’ll be used. This allows for grabbing and replacing them easily. Use a decorative woven basket or bins that coordinate with the bath décor. Just be sure to empty it out regularly to wash the small towels and prevent odor buildup.

On Small Wall-Mounted Shelves

Take advantage of otherwise wasted wall space by installing floating corner shelves. These small shelves are ideal for neatly folding washcloths and smaller hand towels. Stagger them at different heights for a visually appealing look. Just be cautious of moisture damage over time.

On Towel Rings by Sinks

Hand towels hung on towel rings or bars near the sink stay ready for those post-wash moments. Opt for swing bar rings that allow used towels to be easily replaced with a fresh one. Make sure to have a ring or bar for each person using the bathroom.

In Linen Closet Shelving Units

Designate one shelf in bathroom linen closets just for hand towels and washcloths. Roll or fold them neatly and stand them upright to maximize space. Use shelf dividers if needed to separate his and hers. Linen closets keep these small towels organized and out of the way.

Tips for Effective Towel Storage

Proper towel storage takes some strategy and diligence. Here are useful tips for making the most of the space:

  • Store towels close to their point of use – Keep towels where they’ll be readily grabbed, like near showers or sinks.
  • Use breathable bins for air circulation – Containers like wire bins allow airflow to prevent mildew.
  • Fold towels neatly and stand upright – Organize towels uniformly for a tidy look that maximizes shelf space.
  • Contain damp towels from contacting surfaces – Use hooks or bins to keep moisture off walls, doors and cabinetry.
  • Designate hooks or shelves by person – Give each family member their own space for less sorting of laundered items.
  • Limit what is stored in linen closets – Reserve closet shelves for towels and bed linens to avoid clutter.
  • Clean bins and shelves regularly – Wash woven bins and wipe down shelves to keep them fresh and germ-free.
  • Consider using a towel warmer – This luxury addition neatly warms and stores towels but requires outlet access.

With some forethought and strategic storage, those towels can have a designated home that keeps them organized and accessible for daily bathing needs. Proper towel storage promotes a smoothly running bathroom.

FAQs about Bathroom Towel Storage

Here are some frequently asked questions about the best practices for storing towels in the bathroom:

Should towels be folded or hung?

This depends on personal preference and storage space. Folded towels stored neatly on shelves or in baskets keep their shape nicely. Hanging towels allows them to air dry fully but requires bars or hooks. Choose the method that fits your space and organizational style.

How many towels are needed per person?

Aim to have 3-5 bath towels per person depending on frequency of use. Have 2-3 hand towels and 2-4 washcloths per person. Children may need fewer. Stocking up ensures fresh towels are always available.

Where should hand towels go?

Keep hand towels by each sink on towel rings or bars for easy access after washing hands and face. Baskets under sinks also work well. Just don’t store too many at once in under sink areas as moisture can build up.

Should towel storage be open or enclosed?

This depends on bathroom size and personal preference. Open shelving promotes air circulation but leaves towels visible. Enclosed cabinetry conceals towels neatly but needs occasional airing out. Choose whichever fits the space best.

How can towels be stored compactly?

Get the most out of shelves and cabinets by folding towels uniformly and standing them upright side-by-side. Place smaller washcloths and hand towels in front. Use sturdy shelf dividers if needed. Proper folding is key.

Where should wet towels be kept?

Allow wet towels to fully air dry before returning them to shelves or cabinets. Hang towels over doors or shower rods to dry. Avoid leaving damp towels wadded up in hampers or bins where moisture can build up. Proper drying prevents mildew smells.

How should towel bars be installed?

Towel bars need proper installation to support weight. Use wall anchors or toggles for drywall and screws for stud installation. Place bars at least 48 inches high and close to the tub or shower for ideal access. Never hang wet towels on suction cup bars.

Where should decorative vs. daily use towels go?

Reserve prime real estate like shelves above sinks or near showers for functional daily towels. Store decorative display towels further away in closet shelving or cabinets since they won’t need frequent access.

How often should towel storage areas be cleaned?

Clean open shelves, bins and cabinets every couple of weeks by washing and disinfecting. This prevents buildup of dust and germs where damp towels are kept. Mildew can grow in unclean storage areas.


Creating an effective towel storage solution in the bathroom comes down to allocating space based on proximity to use, establishing organization systems, and maintaining tidiness. With some planning and strategic positioning, those towels can have a designated landing spot that minimizes clutter and enhances function. The result is a bathroom that runs more smoothly amid the busy pace of life.

When it comes to determining where to store towels, don’t forget to assess the specific layout and needs of the space. Utilize a combination of open and concealed storage like wall shelves, freestanding racks, cabinets, and bins to design a system tailored to the bath. Proper storage keeps towels handy when wet, promotes drying when damp, and neatly stows extras until laundering day. With towels in their right place, one less thing gets lost in the shuffle.