Monday, January 14, 2013

Bathroom Organization

I have a confession, which will not come as a surprise to anyone who knows me, but I am an absolute DISASTER when it comes to organization and keeping a house clean and neat. I have had this problem for as long as I can remember. When I was growing up, the mess usually stayed in my closet…which would be piled to the ceiling with clothes and other "stuff" that I couldn't throw away. Ninety-nine percent of the clothes were usually clean…they just ended up on the floor when I would be frantically trying to get ready for school and couldn't find an outfit that worked. And what usually started out as a small mess that would take a short time to clean, would grow into such a huge disaster that I would become completely overwhelmed and not know where to start. So the mess would just keep getting worse and worse until I had no clothes left and had to clean the closet. I would always be so happy after getting the closet back neat and clean, but inevitably life would get busy and the cycle would start again, and within a few months I would be right back where I started. Unfortunately, this bad habit has followed me through college, law school, my LL.M and since I started working…and when you combine my disorganization with my crazy work schedule and tendency of never wanting to throw anything away (some might call it hording), you end up with large messes throughout the entire house. One of my major goals tied to this renovation, is to figure out a system that will help me become more organized and prevent anymore of these mess monsters from growing in our house. I know an organized house will help keep me less stressed and will make my husband (who is on the "neat freak'ish" end of the clean scale) much happier. So for the past couple of years, I have scoured the internet for tips and advice on how to organize a home and about a year ago, I discovered an amazing blog called I Heart Organizing, which in my humble opinion, is one of the most AMAZING organizational blogs around. Jenn has tons of great tips on how to organize any room in your house – from the closet to the kitchen – and I have adopted her blog as my Mr. Myagi during my journey of discovering organizational freedom.

Jenn has a few simple steps that she uses when organizing a space: (1) sort your items into categories; (2) purge anything that you don't use or need (by donating, selling or trashing); (3) figure out the proper home for the items you are keeping; (4) purchase any necessary containers so that everything can have a place; and (5) maintain the organization by setting aside daily, weekly and monthly maintenance sessions where you put items away and sort out anything that is not being used. Over the weekend, I decided to put this system into action and try it out myself. Since the beginning of the renovation, Matt and I have lived in a 600 square foot apartment because our entire is house is out of commission (i.e. no water, bathrooms, etc.). When we moved into the apartment, I brought all of my bathroom products, but never unpacked them. So for the past four months, they have lived in the dining area of the apartment…because, come on, why wouldn't bathroom products be stored in a dining room instead of the bathroom, makes total sense right? Well, according to my husband (and probably most normal folks out there) that answer is a resounding "NO!" However, due the lack of space in the apartment, Matt has been very accommodating (some might say enabling) and didn't complain because all the products were fairly sequestered out of sight. Although this wasn't that big of a deal when it was just my bathroom products, this area has also become the dumping ground of the apartment and what started out as a small eyesore, grew into a huge disaster:

Taking Jenn's advice, I started by sorting through all the items in the pile into three categories: keep, donate and trash (because nothing was worth selling). From there, I categorized all the keep items: clothes, kitchen, and bathroom…and am going to focus this post on my bathroom products. I then gathered all of my items in the actual bathroom and added them to the pile.

Once I had all of my bath products in one location, I sorted through the pile, threw out anything that was old or that I did not use, and came up with ten categories for the items that were left: (1) hair products; (2) face; (3) shower gels; (4) lotions; (5) hands & feet; (6) makeup; (7) hair dryers, curling irons, and straighteners; (8) medicine; (9) perfumes; and (10) miscellaneous (such as Mia and toothbrush chargers, extra cleansing brushes and toothbrushes, cotton balls, Qtips, etc.).

We only have a small vanity and linen closet in the bathroom. In order to gain some additional space, I moved all of the towels from the linen closet into the laundry closet, so that I could use the linen closet as additional storage space for my hoard of bath products. Here are some before picture of the bathroom and the laundry closet:


I then found some storage cubbies that I brought over from the house to help corral all of the products (gotta love shopping your house):

And then moved (1) the hair products; face; shower gels; lotions; hands & feet; makeup; and miscellaneous cubbies into the linen closet, (2) the hair dryers, curling irons, and straighteners cubby into the vanity and (3) the medicine and perfumes into the medicine cabinet:

I added some Martha Stewart labels from Staples to each cubby so that everyone would know what products go where:

I also tackled my junk drawer with these baskets that I picked up from Staples – three for a dollar…Holla‼‼:

And to keep the baskets from sliding around every time we open the drawer, I added these removable double-sided mounting stickers to the bottom of each basket to hold them in place:

And voila, I had an all new organized bathroom and no more bath products in our living room! Happy days, oh happy days‼! So let’s look at some great before and after pictures now:

I'm not gonna lie...I am pretty proud of myself at the moment. Now to make sure it stays this way! What about you guys, how do you organize your bathroom?

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  1. what an awesome overhaul!! It sure is nice to have things organized and know everything has a home :)Our linen closet is already pretty organized, but I love how you LABELED each bin so hopefully no imposters and also making items easy to find- I think i will have to do somet labeling!

  2. Thanks Jodi! It was so nice getting ready this morning and knowing exactly where everything was without having to do the morning dig. The lables definitly help! However, now seeing the pictures, I think I want to pretty up the inside of the closet and maybe some pretty contact paper and gift wrap will do the trick since it is an apartment and I can't make permanent changes. I'll keep you posted. Have a great day and thank you so much for stopping by!!!

  3. Your house is coming along very nicely. It looks like it is going to be amazing. I claim Bedroom 4:)

  4. Good for you!!! I just adore those martha labels. It's all so organized. Makes my heart sing!



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