10 dos and don’ts to keep in mind for cottage bathrooms


When you’re up at the cottage, it’s even more essential that your bathroom remain an oasis. There’s more dirt, less space, and often more people sharing the facilities. And when you’re hunkered down in a “cozy” little cabin filled with family and friends, it just might be your only escape!

Whether you’re a guest or a host, follow this simple list of dos and don’ts to keep everyone happy.

Do keep the toilet paper stocked

We all get a little lax with toilet paper shopping at times, reaching for the Kleenex when we run out or hitting up the corner store in a pinch. But up at the cottage there’s no 24-hour grocery store to save you when you’re running low. And it’s not fun if you have to get creative! If you’re heading up to a friend’s cottage pack a few roles to contribute in case your hosts haven’t adjusted their stock for extra bodies.

Don’t overuse the toilet paper

Even if you’re rolling in it (pun intended) you still need to use your toilet paper conservatively. You have to be careful with rural plumbing systems that can’t handle flushes filled with multiple sheets. One over-enthusiastic paper user could put the bathroom out of commission for everyone!

Do follow the directions

Different cottage bathrooms have different rules, which are often dependant on the type of toilet installed. Whether it’s low-flow, compositing, incinerating, or just a hole in the ground, be sure to follow the cottage owners’ directions, which are almost always posted somewhere nearby. You know, things like: “If it’s yellow, let it mellow.”

Don’t swipe the reading material.

If you’re engrossed in a particularly juicy magazine article, it may be tempting to take it on the go and finish reading out on the dock. But the next person who parks themselves on the toilet will be annoyed when they’ve got nothing interesting to peruse. Be considerate and wait until the next call of nature to dig back into that article.

Do rinse out the shower

Let’s face it: when we’re at the cottage, we tend to get pretty dirty. Sand and mud get caked on our feet, leaves and twigs in our hair, and if there’s grass, it’s everywhere. When you hop in the shower to hose off some of that mess, don’t leave it sticking to the bottom of the tub. Take the time to rinse all the muck down the drain so the next person looking to clean up can start fresh.

Don’t take a really long shower

No matter how dirty you are, or how much your muscles ache from all that swimming and hiking, don’t linger in the cottage shower. Hot water may be scarce and it’s likely that others are dying for a shower, too. Keep your washing routine quick and efficient so everybody gets a turn.

Do let some fresh air in

Cottage bathrooms are usually right off the main living area and they may not be as well ventilated as their city counterparts. If you’re expecting an extended stay in the bathroom, be courteous to your fellow cottagers and crack open a window.

Do keep the outhouse flashlight handy

Of course not all cottages have indoor facilities and if people have to trek to an outhouse at all hours of the night, you need to keep a flashlight in a consistent, easily accessible spot. The last thing you want is people crashing all over the cottage looking for one or stumbling around blindly outside in the dark.

Don’t leave the outhouse door ajar

When a wooden door is all that separates you and your business from the great outdoors, you’re going to want to keep it firmly closed. While it won’t always stop creepy crawlies and small animals from sneaking in, you don’t have to make it easy for them. When you head back inside, shut the door behind you so the next person isn’t sharing their private moment with a squirrel or raccoon.