bathroom organization tips

Because the biggest challenge of the bathroom is that a lot of people need to share it and it's a small space.

Keeping it all organized and neat goes a long way toward keeping it clean. 

Add a kid or three and things can get downright messy.

To conquer the clutter and master bathroom organization, start by dividing this tiny room into activity centers  - the tub and shower area, the toilet area, the dressing area, and storage areas - and conquer each in turn.

The Tub and Shower Area

Bath essential have a tendency to overrun a tub or shower; especially when women are involved. Add a kid or three and things can really get messy.

The key to bathroom organization here - and to keep Barbies from overrunning the tub and Mom's scented body scrubs, facial cleansers, shampoo, and conditioner from drowning the shis to divide and conquer.

Plastic dispensers in the shower for soap and shampoo eliminate a bottle or three. Racks or hooks for washcloths and the essential post-scrub wipedown of shower and tub surfaces keep these items from cluttering tight spaces.

And a suction-cup net or plastic tray across the tub keeps toddlers' bath toys tidy.

Taming the Toilet Area

Bathroom organization of the toilet area is pretty easy - there's not much to it. (Now cleanliness, that's another story.) The toilet itself being fixed in place, you don't have much to find a home for here.

Keep extra rolls of toilet paper next to the toilet. I keep mine in a covered woven basket stashed between the wall and the porcelain potty so has in need of washing don't go wandering and contaminating cabinets beneath the sink and other surfaces.

Statino a magazine or book rack near the potty to keep big and little hands occupied.

Bathroom Organization for the Dressing Area

Since we not only bather and pamper in the bathroom but often dress there as well, it makes sense to carve out an area for clothing and make a hamper part of the decor.

This is an especially good idea for kids' baths: It's the rare child who needn't be reminded to deposit his peeled-off dirty duds into the dirty clothes hamper. Skip a nagging step by placing a small hamper near the tub or shower so kids taking off clothes can bypass the floor for the hamper.

Clothing hooks are a good investment for both grownups' and kids' bathrooms. If you've ever set the sheer top you were planning to wear on a wet counter (or worse, a dirty one), you know why.

A chair or stool is a nice accessory as well. It creates a relaxing nook on which to sit to put on socks or apply makeup. And it's a great place for kids to sit while doing their hair, or having Mom or Dad do it for them. 

Bathroom Storage Ideas

No matter how luxurious your bathroom is, the under-the-sink cabinet and medicine chest probably don't offer enough storage space for true bathroom organization. Make the most of every inch of bathroom space with one or more of these accessories.

They can dramatically increase your bathroom's storage power.

  • Add over- and above-toilet shelving. Put wooden shelves along one wall or buy an over-the-commode unit with shelves. Here you can place those little knickknacks you can't live without and a small clock to keep you and the kids on schedule in the morning.
  • Near-sink shelving. If you're really short on space, single shelves hung near the sink provide perfect resting spots for soap, toothbrushes, and other daily essentials.
  • Wicker storage units are a good choice for baths because they withstand humidity well. And most pieces come with drawers for more bathroom-stuff storage for you and the kids. 
  • Recycle a few furniture pieces from other rooms in your home. An antique amoire, cupboard, chest, or small table can give this small space a delightfully elegant touch - and help ensure bathroom organization is as beautiful as it is functional.

Mastering the Medicine Cabinet

You'll be amazed at what you'll find in your medicine cabinet. (And maybe a bit scared, too.) Really give thought to what you store here.

Try to reserve that precious, accessible medicine-cabinet space for items you use most frequently, not the Pepto-Bismol you only take on New Year's Day.

Otherwise, you're wasting your most convenient storage space. You'll be surprised at the number of items you can store elsewhere. 

As you're looking at each item in your cabinet, check the labels carefully. Many of us treat medications much too casually. Some medicine labels specify storage in a cool, dark place, not the bathroom, due to its inherent humidity.

Humid bathrooms are not the ticket for these. Consider placing these medicines in a secure drawer the kids can't reach in your bedroom closet, or on a high shelf in a hall closet. 

Also as you're going through the medicine cabinet, look carefully at expiration dates. Toss what's expired or no longer used.

Expired medicines and vitamins lose their potency. (Ditto for sunscreens, by the way.) Discard medications where children cannot find them.

Do not toss them casually into the bathroom wastebasket. Flush them down the toilet or put them at the bottom of the trash can when you take it outside on garbage pickup day.

Store medications in their original containers. Don't repackage them as you would food. It's important that you have the medication's original label so you can check dosages, expiration dates, and other safety information.

And, voila! You now have more bathroom organization space for the things you use daily!

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