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On being content with a teeny bathroom

We live in a two-level house, and there’s a bathroom on each level.

Upstairs, by the kids’ bedrooms, is the bathroom I painted gray this summer.

And downstairs, near my bedroom, is a tiny bathroom.

I do not adore this bathroom.

It’s basically a shower, toilet, and sink, with a little bit of room to walk between.

It’s not connected to our bedroom, which is a bummer.   Having an en suite bathroom is probably one of the things we miss most about our townhouse.

The sink is very small, with almost no ledge.   Which is rather inconvenient.

(Whenever we go on vacation, we are generally in a larger bathroom than our own .   Mr. FG and I are always like, “Waaaait….we could both brush our teeth at the same time?   What??”)

The cabinet is super tiny, because the sink is super tiny, which is how it had to be because the bathroom is tiny.

There are no windows, which means this bathroom almost never gets any daylight.

The shower is on an outside wall, and due to temperature fluctuations, quite a few of the tiles have cracked, and so has one of the corner shelves.

So.   Not my favorite part of my house.

But, there’s always another way to look at things.

  • I am super, super thankful to have two bathrooms.   Six people and one bathroom would be tough for sure.

  • Even though the bathroom isn’t connected to our bedroom, at least it is on the same floor.   It would be pretty inconvenient to have to head to another level to access a bathroom.
  • I am really grateful that this bathroom is not the way it was 12 years ago.   We had to gut it and start from studs because it was in such unusable condition.   It’s not bigger than it used to be, but it is most definitely not gross like it was before.

  • Having two bathrooms is great, but having two full bathrooms is especially nice.   I’m glad we don’t all have to shower in one bathroom.
  • My shower has an overhead light, which is awesome. I love having plenty of light in there.
  • A small bathroom definitely forces me to fight against bathroom clutter. I can’t keep a bunch of products and appliances around because there is literally no room for them.
  • A small bathroom means less to clean.
  • A small bathroom gets warm faster when you shower.

Of course, if we ever buy another house, I will totally be hoping for an en suite bathroom with a not-tiny sink and a toilet that doesn’t block half of the shower entrance.

But in the meantime, it’s good for me to look at the upsides of the bathroom I’ve got.   Because focusing on the downsides, or longingly looking at lovelier bathrooms doesn’t change anything.

And I might not be able to change my bathroom right now, but gratitude can change my mind.

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Melissa

Monday 5th of March 2018

I admit to being envious of people much younger than me living in these large new homes. That is until I think about what it takes to keep them clean. I really like the silver clock. Do you remember where it came from?

Kristen

Monday 5th of March 2018

I believe it came from Target, on clearance. It's perfect for a bathroom because it doesn't have a paper backing, which tends to curl in a humid bathroom.

Kymberlee Fisher

Sunday 11th of February 2018

I grew up in a 6 person one VERY small bathroom house. And, gasp, no one died because of it. ;) This is more a shot at the folks on House Hunters and that ilk than you.

But, my caveat going forward is I will not have a home without a "spare" bathroom.

It literally can be a toilet in a closet.

Frances

Wednesday 7th of February 2018

Kristen,

I have this exact layout in my bathroom. I stumbled on a "solution" that has helped me a lot. I put two 12 inch tiles on the back of the toilet. They interlock (Do all tiles do this? I don't know - I bought these at a thrift store) and give me a bit more "counter" space.

Some might be grossed out by using the back of a toilet this way, but in my mind with a bathroom this small the sink surface 3 inches away is equivalently close to the toilet.

Works really well for me. I keep various bathroom items - q-tips, bathsalts, hairbrushes - in glass jars on my makeshift "counter" and also include a decorative bowl to catch "odds and ends" - makeup I didn't put away, hairpins etc.

My bathroom is so much more usable now.

Susan

Tuesday 6th of February 2018

It’s all about how you look at it, so true! We have 3 full bathrooms, one downstairs and two upstairs (one is an ensuite) is. Our house is relatively new, and I complain about the scratches and stains on two of the tubs (the previous owner didn’t clean much...), and DH complains that the floor tile doesn’t match the wall tile. We’ll fix the bathrooms, and this house is a stepping stone to our next hopefully new build house. I grew up in a 900 sq ft ranch with one small bathroom for 6 people, no dishwasher or washing machine. Dh lived for several years as a teenager in Europe in a stone house originally built by the Turks, with no electricity, plumbing or running water. We’re grateful!

Emily

Tuesday 6th of February 2018

Thank you for this post! We live in a one-bathroom house with two young kids. It's a bit of a struggle some days. We keep telling ourselves we need a bigger house because we'll need two bathrooms at some point. But for now, I try to tell myself that two little kids don't take up that bathroom time and I don't want to clean 2 bathrooms anyway. Staying here will get us closer and closer to financial independence. I'd rather have that in a few years than two bathrooms to clean. (I'm sure that tune will change when the kids are old enough to clean their own bathroom ;) !)

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