Inside: Check out this list of bathroom essentials for what you really need to have and what you don’t.

What do you really need to keep in your bathroom?

It’s a great question – one that isn’t asked too often, but one that’s surprisingly important.

The last thing you want is for your bathroom to become a place that’s filled with clutter. Instead, your bathroom should be simple, streamlined, and easy to navigate – a clean, clutter-free spot for you and your guests.

Whether you’re…

  • Moving into a brand new home and need to pick up bathroom necessities
  • Stocking your guest bathroom for an upcoming visitor
  • Giving your existing bathroom an organizational overhaul

… or something else, keep reading to learn what to buy – and what to skip – when you’re organizing your bathroom.

list of bathroom essentials

The Master List of Bathroom Essentials

When it comes to getting everything you need for your bathroom, there are some things that are absolutely considered bathroom essentials – things you really would expect to find in any bathroom you visit. 

Make sure all of these items are on your shopping list when it’s time to buy stuff for your bathroom, and you’ll have those bathroom necessities covered:

Basic Toiletries

Whether your bathroom is for you or a guest, you want to make sure you’ve got the basic toiletries around. Liquid soap and a refillable dispenser are a must-have, as are toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, and body lotion. 

Now, you don’t need multiples of each. Just say “no” to leaving a variety of lotions on your countertop and stick to a single bottle of your favorite moisturizer. 

Toilet Paper

If toilet paper isn’t a bathroom necessity, I don’t know what is! Keep a roll on the dispenser and a few readily available in case that one runs out.

The last thing you want to do is put yourself or your guests in a position where you don’t have any toilet paper… 

Trash Can

A small trash can is a must-have in any bathroom. There’s plenty of stuff that just shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet – and a trash can is the only acceptable alternative for most of those items. 


A mirror is a bathroom necessity. Fixing your hair and makeup without one is a challenge – and that’s putting it lightly.

If your bathroom doesn’t come with a mirror pre-installed, there are lots of wall-mounted options you can install yourself.

Toilet Brush and Plunger

You want your bathroom to stay clean, right? Then you’ll want to make sure you keep a toilet brush and plunger nearby for any potential messes.

Make cleaning up easier by having supplies available and ready as needed – and deal with any unfortunate clogs right away.

Bathroom Rug

Most bathrooms have tile floors, which can get dangerously slick when wet. Avoid slips and falls with a non-stick bathroom rug near your shower or bathtub.

Choose one that matches your shower curtains or towels to stay on theme!


Towels are another thing you really can’t do without in your bathroom. Keep hand towels available to dry your hands after washing them, as well as full-size towels for showers and baths. 

Air Freshener

There are a variety of options when it comes to keeping your bathroom smelling good. From essential oils to candles to sprays there are quite a few things to choose from.

While not all options are environmentally friendly, there are an increasing number of natural options available.

What You Should Skip Buying for Your Bathroom

Sure, there are LOTS of things you need to buy for your bathroom. But there are plenty of things that you should avoid when it comes to keeping your bathroom organized and clutter-free.

If you’re trying to keep your bathroom stocked with the essentials, here are a few things you may want to leave OFF of your list:

Too Many Towels

Towels are something you absolutely have to buy for your bathroom – that’s a fact.

But how many do you really need?

A good rule of thumb is to buy at least three sets of towels per person who lives in your home – plus at least one set for guests.

If you host often or invite whole families to stay with you, you’ll need to plan accordingly and make sure you keep enough on hand for everyone.

And if you don’t?

Keep your collection small to cut down on clutter – and the amount of laundry you’re doing.

list of bathroom essentials

Lots of Decorations

A few pieces of decor here and there won’t hurt anything, but the bathroom is not the place for your next gallery wall or tchotchke collection.

Generally speaking, embracing a more minimalist aesthetic for your bathroom is a smart approach. Stick to clean lines, simple colors, and not too much stuff.

Unnecessary Storage

You’ll find a lot of different storage options to buy for your bathroom – but that doesn’t mean you need them.

Instead, try not to fall victim to the various bins, buckets, baskets, and bags you can buy to store your stuff inside. Unless you truly lack under-the-sink storage space, do you really need that over-the-toilet shelving station?

Probably not.

Toxic Cleaners

Last, but certainly not least, it’s a good idea to keep toxic cleaning supplies out of your bathroom.

By switching to all-natural cleaners, you can truly relax knowing your bathroom is safe, clean, and germ-free – without all the scary potential side effects that come with harsh chemical cleaners.

EWG is a great resource for seeing how environmentally friendly your products are.

A Clutter-Free Bathroom Can Change Your Life 

It might sound a little dramatic, but believe me when I say a clutter-free bathroom can change your life.

How? Here are just a couple of the ways you’ll benefit from a clutter-free bathroom:

Getting Ready in an Organized Bathroom is Easier

Hate spending a ton of time preparing for your day? Keep an organized bathroom and you might just be surprised to see how much faster you can get ready in the morning.

When you aren’t constantly shuffling things around on your counter or searching for the stuff you need, you can get through your routine in a surprisingly quick amount of time.

Declutter your closet to help your mornings run even more smoothly!

list of bathroom essentials

Make Your Bathroom A Relaxing Oasis

Love winding down at the end of the day with a relaxing bath? You’re going to find it a lot more relaxing once you’ve gotten all that non-essential stuff out of your bathroom.

If you’re going for spa-like vibes, eliminating clutter is a fast way to help you achieve that goal. 

What’s On YOUR Bathroom Essentials List?

While everyone’s list of bathroom essentials is going to look a little different thanks to personal preference and needs, this should serve as a solid starting point for your bathroom shopping list.

Did I miss anything on this list of bathroom essentials? While some things are truly universal, there’s room to debate a LOT of stuff that you could find in your bathroom. Leave a comment and let me know what you consider a bathroom necessity!

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