While organizing doesn’t exactly come naturally to me (I named this site A Beautiful Mess for a reason – I am very messy!), there is almost nothing in the world that feels as good as setting aside an afternoon to organize a space in my home. My favorites are those neglected spaces – the inside of the fridge maybe, or the laundry room or today’s project: our master bathroom. The thing about the master bathroom is it’s one of the first and last rooms you see in a day, so it can kind of set the tone. If it’s messy and hectic, even if it is just a bathroom, it can start things off on the wrong foot, you know?
Anyway, we’re super excited to partner with IKEA, one of our favorite places to shop for affordable, good-looking home goods. Organization can get expensive FAST, and I’m not exactly looking to spend the big bucks on those types of purchases. So when I find a source that’s cute AND inexpensive, that’s a WIN-WIN. Here are the products I used for this post: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5
And now, on to my tips for organizing your bathroom!
I like to try a lot of different containers when I’m organizing a space. Function is obviously most important, but it certainly doesn’t hurt when they can also be pretty, like these baskets.
Consistent containers in varying sizes are very useful! I like to mix two types of containers in any given space. Here I mixed clear acrylic boxes with wicker baskets. I always buy more than I need; you can always return what you don’t use.
Tip #2. Keep daily use items in sight and random items stored away.
If there is anything that you use once or more every day, try to keep that very accessible. For me, it’s my face spray and oils, my everyday makeup (a lot of days I only use a couple products), and things like cotton balls and bobby pins.
I keep things like my hair blow dryer, full makeup collection, and extra mismatched towels stored away. Nobody needs to see all that all the time. 🙂
Tip #3. Store like items together.
For some reason I struggle with this one. But when I force myself to evaluate my items and how they are used, it helps me organize them more efficiently. This is great for scatter-brained people who are always misplacing something!
Tip #4. Keep it simple. Minimize every season!
This is the tip I am most passionate about. In the past year, I got rid of a HUGE amount of makeup and bath and body products that were literally just sitting in my cabinet waiting to expire (or had already expired – yikes!!).
Since having less, I have noticed it’s easier to get ready. I only have a couple nail polish options, a couple lipstick options and a couple blush options. And that’s all I need! I don’t know why I hung on to things in the past – I think it was the guilt of having spent money on it. But that guilt only creates clutter.
Every season throw away everything in your bathroom that you aren’t using! Don’t think, just throw. I promise you will love the feeling of more space, less options (especially when they’re options you don’t even want), and a more organized space.
Tip #5. Create morning and evening rituals.
Lately I have been working on my morning routine. Everyone is different, but I want to be able to get ready in about fifteen minutes every day – so basically lightning speed (not including shower times because anyone who has thick hair knows that adds, like, an hour!). I want to feel ready for the day, cute enough (I’m not worried about looking super done up, but I also don’t want to be embarrassed if I run into a bunch of people I know at the coffee shop), and feel fresh.
Currently I don’t have as many morning rituals as I would like. Besides savoring my morning coffee and scrolling through my Bloglovin’ feed, I feel like I don’t put enough priority on making mornings special and enjoyable.
Some of my morning ritual goals include – laying out an outfit the night before, oil pulling, creating a better, quicker beauty routine (especially for my hair – I tend to be all or nothing and wear messy buns most days!), and doing something to spark creativity and inspiration early in the day.
Evening routines are a little more established in my life. I have been going to bed pretty early, have found some really great skincare products to use every evening and always sleep with my phone on airplane mode. These small changes help me feel more rested and less stressed. I struggled with sleep in the past and these habits have helped to improve that part of my life so much.
I also regularly use this pillow mist and make it at home. It smells so good and is completely natural!
I would love to hear about your organization tips and any habits that have made your day or night routine healthier or happier. You guys are amazing, and I always love to hear what works for you! xx- Elsie
Looking for more bathroom organization tips? Be sure to check out our guide for organizing your home (room by room).
Credits// Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Laura Gummerman.
This is such a cute and clever idea! Do you have any ideas for storing hair dryers and straighteners? I don’t have any shelving or medicine cabinets in my bathroom so these items always end up in a bin on the floor with unruly cords.
This cart is $30 in the US and $70(!!!) in Canada. Even accounting for the exchange rate it’s almost twice the price! So sad.
I’m really liking the bar cart idea. Makes it easy to move where you need it and at the end of the day, have it organized and neat.
Hoping to have a new bathroom suite later on this year and love that little trolley, looks all neat and tidy, great idea.
WHERE DID U BUY THE CLEAR CONTAINERS??
I love love love those utility carts. I could have one in every room.
As I’m getting ready to move from a 2200 square foot house in a smaller city in Illinois into the heart of Kansas City, I’m kind of terrified about living in about half the space we currently have, so these are really great ideas, especially with the tiny older bathrooms we’ll have. (And, um, feel free to do another version for the kitchen ;))
Have you read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo? I’ve found it super helpful in downsizing and keeping only the items you really need and appreciate. I feel like you’d really like it!
Great tips! I like this Ikea storage cart better than the one I currently have. A good reason to go shopping for another one. 🙂
One of the best things I ever did was pare down my bathroom stuff massively – a good facial oil, my favourite lotion – and get rid of old stuff, or stuff with ingredients I didn’t like. I wasn’t using them, but I didn’t want them to ‘go to waste’, so they were going to waste just sitting there! And I have to admit, now, if I get a gift of cosmetics that I really won’t use, I donate it. No clutter, no waste!
I own this same cart and I also use it in my bathroom. It holds so much and looks great. The first shelf I use for a makeup counter, the second is for all of my hair tools, and the third is storage for toilet paper, lady products, etc.
Oh! Interesting…. 🙂
So like I said in the post, I keep lots of things store in other places in our bathroom. We have a vanity with three drawers (for things like a flat iron, makeup etc) as well as some items in our closets (like a steamer that is necessary but rarely used).
This post is not meant to be a tour of my entire bathroom as it’s not quite ready to be toured yet. This is my REAL bathroom (although, yes, I obviously cleaned and styled it for this post) and these are real/useful tips.
Thanks for reading! Elsie
Thank you Anne! I love those things! Thinking about using some in my kitchen area as well!
This is only a part of my storage. I also have three drawers on our vanity where the rest of our bathroom products are stored. For this nook in my space this cart is probably as large as I could fit so it really works for the space and it’s a lot better than just having a blank wall there, so no I would not call it inconvenient. 🙂 xx- Elsie
Thank you for the suggestion!
Haha! Well it’s a process. Right now my closets are kind of messy and I need to work on them. But as soon as I finish them there will be another space that needs attention. :))
Totally! It takes time! We still have quite a few spaces we need to organize due to moving!
How nice!! I always play with my phone (scroll instagram) to wake up. haha! Music sounds nice!!
Totally! When we renovated we did remove quite a few storage spaces, but honestly we don’t need them! I would rather keep it edited down than have cabinets full of items I don’t use.
That’s a HUGE goal! Love it!