I have a confession to make… This week I was having my carpets cleaned, and much like most people I felt compelled to run around my house like a crazy person cleaning before they got here. Some how this turned into organizing my bathroom (well mostly linen closet), too. Of course, because I did this in such a hurried, unplanned fashion, I do not have a video or before pictures to show you. I will however let you know what I did. I personally like doing bathroom organization because they are pretty quick and usually… USUALLY… there is not too much weird stuff kept in there.
For most rooms, the cleaning that gets done with organization is basic surface cleaning. However, when talking bathroom organization, I try to encourage a full clean while you are in there. There are enough things that you let sit for a few minutes in between projects that it works out nicely and then you finish up with the bathroom. Generally speaking depending on the size of your bathroom if should take 1-3 hours for a full bathroom organization and clean.
My bathroom is split into sections — the tub and toilet are in their own closed off area and the sink, vanity, and linen closet are in their own section that can be closed too. Because both areas are relatively small I just work on them together.
Know what you like.
Before you start it is very important to know what you want your space to look like, how you want to use it, and what is feasible for your home. Do you like clear counters, but your family cannot function if they do not see their stuff right in from of their face? Personally, I struggle with this conflict for myself. I like clear surfaces, but there are certain things that if they are not right in front of my face, I will just forget about them.
Be on the look out for pretty storing options.
Decorated boxes or trays, pretty three tier trays, wall decor jewelry storage, etc. These items may even be in your home and you do not know it. Pintrest is a wonderful thing! These are all great ways to make the space more organized and beautiful, while helping the space clear of clutter, but still visibly accessible.
Ready your supplies.
Make sure you have your cleaning supplies handy. If you have a hand held vacuum definitely have that at the ready. Garbage bag for garbage, box for give-aways, and containers for sorting and storing. Personally, I love cleaned out food containers, jars, etc for storing items in the bathroom. You can always decorate these to your style to make them visually more appealing.
Start high and work your way down.
Getting started it is always best to work your way from top to bottom. I personally like starting with the medicine cabinet because usually this is where we can see an immediate success. Many of us completely over estimate how long medicine lasts for, meaning our cabinets are completely cluttered with medicine that will no longer work, or even make us sick if we tried to take it.
Often times the bathroom has many people’s items in it. If this is the case try and have everyone around to help with their specific stuff, at different times — just like there can be too many cooks in the kitchen there can also be too many organizers in a bathroom.
Go through the household/family items first. If it does not fit into this general category try to make individual piles for people outside of the bathroom for them to sort through. You will have to decide for yourself if you want to get rid of their out of date medicines and such for them or have them do that. In some households this is no big deal, or actually beneficial because that person would hold on to it regardless, but will never know that it is missing if it is not there. Contrarily, you have those people (like me) who can pretty much account for everything they own and expired or not will be coming to you looking for it.
Category or space
I go back and forth about this distinction. I think for time sensitivity it is easier to go through area by area, and adjust for excess afterwards. Honestly, having to look through the house for every single hair tie, bobby pin, and comb when you have 3 girls in the house sounds exhausting. In the bathroom I encourage go through space by space and being conscientious about what you might have in these categories in the other areas of the house. If you think you have it else where be sure to leave extra space to account for what you will find else where.
In bathroom organization the linen closet is usually the most crazy part of the bathroom. Many of us just pack a bunch of stuff in there. We often have more than we need for our homes and families, and if anywhere, this is the place where the weird stuff might be hiding.
Have of making your linen closet work best for you has to do with folding. When we understand the dimensions of our closet versus the things we put in there, we can make amazing things happen. Be sure to check out our videos of how to fold fitted sheets and towels.
Limiting your stuff
Being honest with ourselves about what we use and how often we use them can make a huge difference in what keep in out homes, especially our bathrooms. Do you seriously need 15 towels for 2 people? What about the 40 wash clothes, 20 cleaning rags, 5 deodorants, 8 shampoos, etc? If you have the space to store things you are going to use, and eventually use up and get rid of, perhaps its ok to hold on to those things, but do keep in mind how long they are good for. Will you get to use them before they expire? If not consider making an in kind donation to a homeless shelter, putting some of this stuff in a bag or purse and put it in your car for the next homeless person you see on the street, see if a neighbor or friend could use it.
The actually process is much the same as any other room.
- Remove everything from one area
- Sort by category
- Check to see if it is still good
- Make sure it brings you joy, enriches your life, or has a specific and immediate purpose
- Be sure to clean out the area you took things from
- Return them to a place that fits where and how often you access said items. If you hardly ever need them and the item does not expire it can go on a very high or low shelf in the back. The things you use regularly keep them toward the front and where they are easily accessible.