Around the House: Elegant Order Can Easily Replace Bathroom Clutter
By Yehudit Garmaise
Tossing old junk and making use of every square inch of our bathrooms’ floors, walls, ceilings, and windowsills create neat and tidy places for everything we need: without having to first search through clutter.
Once we invest in a few new shelves, hooks, bins, and baskets to store and label our categorized items neatly, we can transform our once-cluttered bathrooms into places that are both cheerful and relaxing.
1. Declutter all cabinets, shelves, and drawers, one at a time, so you don’t get overwhelmed. Toss expired medication, old makeup, and empty containers, and other trash. Eye makeup should be thrown away after six months, while other makeup can last a year before accumulating too much bacteria to keep using. For anything that you see in your bathroom that you do not use every day, make a pile to separate into bins to store neatly out of immediate reach in a hallway closet or bedroom drawer.
2. Install one or more recessed-in-the-wall medicine cabinets: For bathrooms shared by many children, consider hanging separate medicine cabinets for girls and boys.
3. Buy small wicker baskets or a large one with separated compartments, like for cutlery, or a make-up organizer to store makeup in one, organized place, such as a drawer, so as to keep it out of sight.
4. Carefully consider what you keep under your sink, such as necessary extras and a cleaning spray and a rag for quick wipe-downs every morning.
5. If you don’t have built-in storage, consider buying a shelf that wraps around the floor of your free-standing sink to create extra storage space.
6. Free-standing plastic, wooden, or wicker organizers can nestle into corners to provide ordered spaces for many items that might otherwise go in messy “junk drawers.”
7. Hang a mesh metal file organizer off the side of your sink or hang little racks or hooks inside the door of your cabinet under the sink to store your hair dryers, curling irons, brushes, combs, and other haircare necessities.
8. Bathroom walls are also spaces on which to lean ladder-bookshelves or place standing cabinet towers to provide shelves of storage space.
9. Place similar items in labeled identical baskets to keep everything easy to find. Keep easily accessible for emergencies: a First-Aid kit stocked with Band-Aids, Neosporin, Silver Sulfadiazine, a burn cream used in Emergency Rooms, and other necessities.
10. Hang towel racks and hooks to store towels both fresh and used. Try to stick to only one or two coordinating, muted colors of towels to minimize visual clutter.
11. To store small lightweight items, consider your windowsill, if you have a window. Or mount on the walls: thin floating shelves from Amazon, Target, or Ikea.
12. Even the space above your bathroom door can be used to hang floating shelves for storage.
13. To stash on the floating shelves small necessities, such as bobby pins, flossers, and Qtips, buy identical small mason jars or other stylish cups that match your toothbrush holder and cup for a cohesive look.
14. In the shower, hang a shower caddy around your shower head, and mount corner shelves to store shampoo, conditioner, and liquid soap. To further save space, hang on shower walls a refillable liquid soap dispenser, like many hotels now do to replace assortments of bottles. For lucky people who have shelves built into their shower tiles, an inexpensive bar can keep bottles from falling.
15. Look up to the ceiling to hang more sturdy shelves, baskets, or plants.
16. Save one small space on a bathroom wall to hang one small piece of art or photograph that you both find calming and that pulls together the colors of your new, serene oasis.