When you have a small bathroom, you need to make every inch work for you. If you have to share a bathroom with others, the space is even more important is the space. Typically a small bathroom will consist of a commode, a sink and a shower or a tub/shower combination-- just the essentials. Put all these fixtures into a space only slightly larger than a closet, and you have a real challenge. A bathroom five to six feet by eight feet is a tight squeeze, so make it all work for you.
Some things you can do to maximize your bath without changing any fixtures is to use the insides of cabinet doors for keeping curling irons and hair dryers within easy reach, without giving up valuable cabinet or drawer space. Look for wire type hangers for this purpose or look in the kitchen section of your home improvement stores for something like plastic and foil wrap holders, these are narrow enough to hold hair sprays, tubes of gels, and containers of lotion and the like. While these items are necessary, they do not belong on your counter tops.
There are a myriad of drawer dividers for jewelry, make-up and hair accessories; don't overlook kitchen cutlery dividers; you will find them in a variety of materials, from mesh metals, to bamboo and enameled plastic in great colors. If you do not have drawer space, put these items into a travel kit and put it away in a cabinet or closet; and bring it out when needed. Again, these items should not take up counter space in any bathroom; they are the number one clutter creator in a bathroom. You can store these items under the sink in baskets just as easily. There is no need to keep lots of cleaning supplies under every bathroom sink either; doing so is a luxury indeed; instead get a carry-all intended for cleaning products and keep it with your other cleaning products, i.e. brooms, mops and furniture polish.
Little girls love lots of barrettes, ribbons and colorful clips; and busy moms need them accessible. Consider using clear plastic file pockets fixed to the wall, and fill them up with bands, clips and ribbons, this will keep them organized, readily available, off the counter and out of the way of everyone else who needs to use the bathroom. If you have enough space to add shelves to a blank wall, you can put these items in colorful baskets to go with your decor; label them and make them part of your decor.
Another tight area in a small bathroom is the tub/shower area. Sliding glass doors are difficult to bathe small children, and shower curtains often create more visual clutter than is necessary. If you can use a plain shower curtain instead, you can add a clear pocket liner to keep some toys, sponges and shampoos organized.
Take a ready-made shower curtain and carefully cutting off the grommet edge; save it; add a clear plastic or open mesh fabric, section to the width of the curtain, then add the grommet edge on top of the clear plastic piece, you will have a more open feeling to your cramped bathroom. By adding the new bowed curtain rod, you will add even more space to your shower area.
There are lots of ways to save space in small rooms; you just need to be open to seeing the space in a different way.