Your Bathroom Needs a Phone Shelf

Your Bathroom Needs a Phone Shelf

Photo: cunaplus (Shutterstock)

In the moment that would change my life forever, I was standing in Target looking at toilet paper holders. I like a freestanding holder, since it does not have a “front” or “back” for the roll debate; you just pull from whichever side you prefer. But for some reason all the freestanding TP holders had a little shelf on the top. That’s silly, I thought. What would you even put on that shelf?

But those were my options, so I bought a holder with a shelf. On the way home I thought about what I might put on it. The hand soap dispenser, because we’ve never found quite the right spot for it? No, it could drip. A little decorative plant or fake flower? Too high maintenance. I’d just leave it empty and see what came to me.

So the shelf stood empty. The first time I used the bathroom after that, I pulled my phone out of my pocket, so that it wouldn’t drop on the floor or (yikes) down the toilet when I pulled my pants down. The little shelf was a handy place to put it. I’ll miss that once I figure out what we’re going to put here, I thought.

You see where this is going. After a few weeks, I realized I’d been putting my phone on that shelf every time I visited the bathroom. It was also handy for a water bottle or a book, or any other item(s) I happened to have in my hands when I went into the bathroom. It took me a while to realize that this is what it’s for.

And sure enough, if you search Amazon for “bathroom phone shelf,” there are a wide variety available. The freestanding toilet paper holders have a phone shelf. The wall-mounted toilet paper holders have a phone shelf. There are even little standalone shelves you can buy and mount to the wall for this purpose.

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You can, of course, make or designate your own. (I realized that I’d been using the windowsill of our other bathroom as a dedicated phone shelf for years; I just never thought to call it that.) So whether you buy a phone shelf or just clear off a space on am existing bathroom furnishing you already have, give yourself and your guests a place to empty their pockets before sitting down.

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