OK, OK, I don’t have a degree in “Bathroom Organization,” but I do feel pretty confident about my organizational instincts, so just go with me on this one. As much as I love keeping an organized space, it just doesn’t always stay that way in the real world, and every so often I need to regroup and give myself an organizing intervention. I realized I may have come to that point in our master bathroom when every time I needed an item, I would end up literally digging through drawers/cupboards that had become layer upon layer of different items. Also, when you are trying to straighten your hair and there is no open space on the bathroom counter to even set your appliance, well, that means a change is in order. If you are feeling like me and need a little motivation to get your bathroom space in order, then follow along and let’s get to it!
1. Clean out your junk. I mean it. This is actually my favorite part of organization—the throwing away part! Of course, you can find new homes for any unwanted items that are still in good condition (what friend doesn’t like looking through another friend’s “giveaway pile” and getting a better hairdryer than the one they have?), but the goal here is to remove all the stuff that you don’t use on a regular basis. That nail polish you thought would be cool but makes your skin look green? It’s gone. The curling iron that never seems to get hot enough (and your hair won’t hold curls anyway)? It’s outta here. That eyeshadow from 2007 that makes your eyelids puff up (but it was so expensive so you kept it)? Bye-bye. I know you may not believe me, but you don’t need eight kinds of body lotion. Pick one and go with it. You can see that I don’t have a giant vanity space, but I got rid of four grocery bags worth of stuff. FOUR BAGS. You should have seen my husband’s eyes when I showed him how much I had removed. They were as big as dinner plates. Very big (but very proud of me) dinner plates. There will probably also be a lot of items that you are keeping, but simply need to move to a more appropriate spot elsewhere in your house (like your medicine cabinet or cleaning supplies shelf). Leave everything you are keeping on the floor and clean and wipe out each drawer for probably the first time since you moved in. Ahh, feels better already.
2. Separate by group. Now you’ll want to separate all your items into piles: haircare products, hair accessories, appliances, nail care items, nail polish, makeup, dental items, feminine products, etc. Keep like-minded items in the same drawers when possible to keep a coherent system (e.g. all my nail care items and polishes are together).
3. Everything needs a home of its own. This means there should be no “stand alone” items that don’t have a drawer/bin/or container to call home. I would say there are a few exceptions to this rule (like a soap dispenser or cool perfume bottle you like to keep out for looks), but you really want to make sure everything has a contained space to live in and this will really help with counter clutter. For me, anything I want to keep on my counter has to fit in the 3-drawer makeup holder or metal basket next to the sink. Otherwise, it has to find a new home elsewhere. This step is where those plastic dividers and drawer bins come in handy to separate and keep each category visible (and only one layer deep) within your drawers. They make bigger systems that fit in the space under your sink, and I really like the slide-out feature of this one.
4. Use makeup bags for small collections of items. I had a few categories that felt too loose to keep in a bin or open container. I bought a few extra makeup bags (you can find really cheap ones at places like Forever 21) to hold my headbands, extra sets of hair pins, or any other group that felt like they would end up floating around in a drawer if not contained. A couple of cute bags in a drawer feels a lot less cluttered than several loose collections of smaller items.
5. Get items off the counter. This is where a little bit of wall space can save the day. I made this copper cup organizer specifically to keep things that are usually on my counter up and out of the way, but still within arms reach. You can use shelving or other pre-made hanging organizers to achieve the same results, so you don’t have to make this part a DIY project unless you want to.
I felt like I was twenty pounds lighter (or at least four grocery bags lighter) when I looked at my finished bathroom. It felt so much more simple, clean, and streamlined than when I first started. So far, I love living with my new system and it’s been really easy and fast to find everything that I’m looking for. Plus, there’s always something about a major clean that makes you want to do all the other trouble spots in your house. Looks like I have a few cluttered closets to tackle next! xo. Laura
Credits // Author: Laura Gummerman. Photography: Janae Hardy. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.