By Naomi Cook
In preparing my thoughts for this posting about organizing the bathroom, I started to realize that the steps sounded vaguely familiar to my last posting about organizing the pantry in 7 Simple Steps to a Picture Perfect Pantry. Hmmm…that makes this a bit easier to write for me, but what’s in it for you, you might ask? Well, if you completed my mission for the pantry, you will already have the innate skills needed to work on this bathroom challenge!
Step 1 – Categorize: Start by taking everything out of your medicine cabinet and/or your vanity and place items in categories on a countertop or even on the floor, i.e. hair care, medicines, facial care.
Step 2 – Clean: Wipe down all of the shelves to remove any spilled over products. This is also a good time for you women out there to clean your makeup brushes and toss any overused makeup sponges in the trash.
Step 3 – Toss/Recycle: Now’s the time to trash any products that have expired, like cold medicine or products that you didn’t like, like the body wash which you swore smelled nicer in the store! Pour out the liquid medicine from bottles into the sink and put them in your recycling bin. Take medications in pill form to your pharmacy for disposal or put them in with the used kitty litter…no one is going to go after those…trust me!
Step 4 – Make a shopping list: Write down items that you have disposed of, on a shopping list. It’s a good idea to have your favorite pain reliever, nausea medicine and cold medicine handy. It’s also great to have backups of your daily essentials on a shelf in a nearby closet. If not, buy some storage drawers to set on the floor or on an upper shelf and stash the items in there! Also, before you recycle your empty shampoo bottle, etc., write it down on your shopping list so you will always have an extra on hand.
Step 5 – Implement tools (Optional): Does your bathroom storage capacity include only a medicine cabinet and a single sink/vanity with 2 doors? No problem – mine does too! There are many inexpensive solutions out there for extra storage and they aren’t always located in the bathroom storage section of your local home store – just be creative! Here is what I use:
– Mesh / Clear Plastic Over-the-door Shoe Holder – I use this for hairsprlotions, hair accessories and more, that can’t fit on my countertop.
– Stackable Shoe Bin Size Drawers – I fit 2 stacks of 3 in my vanity and there is still room in the center for some backup items like extra shampoo, conditioner and body wash.
– Decorative Shelf/Hutch – I have a decorative shelf over my toilet for my perfumes and a clock radio, but a hutch is another great way to get a bit more closed storage in your bathroom!
– Wall Hooks – I installed a double wall hook to hide behind the door when it’s open. It’s a great spot for a robe or drying towel.
– Acrylic Medicine Cabinet Organizers – I love mine to keep my makeup in order, especially the slots for mascaras and lipsticks so they don’t keep falling over and rolling out of the cabinet!
– Shelf Liner (Nonstick) – I cut strips to fit the length and depth of my cabinet. It’s much easier to remove these and clean them once in a while rather than scrubbing those narrow spaces!
– Toilet Tank Toilet Paper Holder – Why take up space in your vanity when you can just hang your back up roll here!
Step 6 – Put back mindfully: Separate your medicine cabinet/ vanity into sections for different members of the family or for items that should stick together, like first aid and dental supplies.
Step 7 – Set up a dry erase board: Just as you did last month with your pantry, establish a rule for those in your household, who can write, that if they use up say the rest of the shampoo, it get’s written on the board. This can also be used for your general shopping list and transferred to paper when it’s time to go to the market. Keep this in proximity to the bathroom and linen closet.
Up for some extra credit and feeling ambitious?
Also, as you did last month with your pantry, create an inventory of items that are ready to go back into the medicine cabinet/vanity on a master list. Update it frequently on a document in your computer so you know what’s in there. Also, think ahead, and stash all of your hotel toiletries in a small basket for any unexpected overnight guests! They can use them after they eat their angel food cake that you made sure you got for your pantry last month, right?!
Until next time, stay neat people!