Chances are that when you think about getting organized, pictures of color-coordinated closets, alphabetized DVDs, and perfectly laid-out pantries readily come to mind. But there is one very important room in the house that usually is forgotten: the bathroom.
The bathroom is one of the most used and often chaotic rooms in the house and yet, it rarely makes the top 10 list of things we want to get in order. Now, this may be because it is one of the few rooms visitors spend much time in or it may be because it is the one that gives us the least amount of personal satisfaction when it is together. Whatever the reason, given that the bathroom is most likely the first room you enter in the morning and the last in the evening, making sure it is in order and in control is a great organizational goal.
There are three areas to focus on when wanting to get your bathroom neat and organized:
1. Trash it, toss it, & dump it
2. Utilize all of the unused bathroom space
3. Systematize your daily stuff
Trash It, Toss It, & Dump It
The first step to organizing any room (but especially the bathroom) is to toss (or donate) the items you do not need, are expired or are damaged. Start one drawer or area at a time, empty the contents out on to the floor or the counter top and then go through everything (and I mean everything) and see what you really need to keep. Put ONLY those items back in the space and toss, donate or move to another room the remaining items.
Some things to think about include: Is the item expired (especially important with medications)? Are there sample-size items I am never going to use? What about old toothbrushes or make-up (rule of thumb: if it is older than 2 years, toss it)? Or bottles with too little left in them to be useful? Be ruthless as this is perhaps the most important part of the process. (Note: Remember NOT to flush old medications because they can get into the water system. Call your local pharmacy to find a take-back medication program.)
Another nice (but not must) task to do is to label items when you open them with a sticker that says when you started using them. That way, when you do this again next year (and you should), you will know exactly how old items are and if they need to be tossed.
Utilize All of the Unused Bathroom Space
Your bathroom has much more useful space than you probably realize. As a matter of fact, it may be the most underutilized room for storage in your whole house.
Here are some amazing, inexpensive products you can buy to maximize that space so you can organize your bathroom stuff with ease:
- The Lazy Susan – One of the best ways to organize the area under your sink. Easy to spin to get at what you need and make sure items don’t get lost in the "black hole" at the back of the cabinet.
- Drawer Dividers or Silverware Holder – Easy solution to keep smaller items under control in the drawers in the bathroom.
- Hooks – These are simple and great to hold everything from robes, wet towels or even a stray blow-dryer.
- Multi-Rack Towel Rack – Pick up one of these at your favorite bath store and hang on the wall. These keep your towels organized and by using wall space (usually plentiful in the bathroom), you are not using precious cabinet areas to hold the towels.
- Toilet Paper Roll Holder – These hold 3 or so extra rolls of toilet paper and can be placed right next to the toilet. You won't have to worry about not having an extra roll near you when you need it and again, it frees up standard storage space for more important items.
- Adhesive Cups or Magnet Organizers – These really depend on what you have in your bathroom but I find that magnet organizers in a medicine cabinet or an adhesive up in a cabinet just give me a bit of extra organization to help me where I need it.
Systematize the Daily Stuff
Each of us probably has 10 items or so we use each and every day. One of the best ways to keep your space organized is to have a dedicated space for these frequently used items (MAXIMUM of 10) for each person who uses the bathroom. There are several ways you can do this. You can give each person a dedicated drawer or area in the bathroom for their "Top 10" list. That way everyone knows where to find the most pressing items each and every day. If there is not enough space for this, you can also give each person a portable tote that they can put the items in and store in the bathroom each day. Remember the important thing is to make sure to limit it to no more than 10 items. If you think this is hard, give it a try. My "Top 10" are toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash, moisturizer (tinted), deodorant, hair brush, hair gel, floss, perfume, and mascara.
It really is this simple to get your bathroom organized so when you start and end your day, your space is clutter-free and clear. Just remember to ruthlessly toss your junk, then invest in a few items to give you additional storage space, and finally, organize for each person 10 frequently used items. I would love to hear other tips you have on this often neglected space.