14 January 2014

Bathroom organization, once and for all (for now)

I may not be particularly cliché about New Year’s Resolutions – no “join a gym” or “go on a diet” on my list – but I am totally, hopelessly a New Year’s Organizer. Do you have the same tendency? The calendar flips back over to January and I’m immediately like “THIS JUMBLE OF CABLES MAKES MY EYE TWITCH” and “WE NEED A BETTER TOWEL SORTING SYSTEM” and “DO YOU NEED THIS TOO BAD I’M THROWING EVERYTHING AWAY”.

Seriously. How have I lived through the last several months with jumbled cables and unsorted towels?!

So you can expect quite a few organization posts around here this month. New year, new organization systems! And the first one I’m sharing is here in our bathroom.

You may recall that’s what our bathroom looked like for the first few months after we moved in. The ONLY storage in that room is a single, small medicine cabinet, but I pretended that there were under-counter cabinets anyway and piled all our toiletries, medicine, and cleaning supplies there. It was embarrassing, even if no one else actually saw it, and made my eye twitch every single time I went in the bathroom.

I finally fixed it by adding a counter skirt:

And by purchasing an actual storage cabinet for toilet paper and toiletries we’d use more frequently:

But do you want to guess what still lurked behind the countertop skirt? Scroll back up to the first photo. Yes. That. I could still see it when I took a bath, too:

Not to mention that the under-counter storage was becoming a bit of a black hole. We owned multiple spare toothbrushes, several unopened bottles of contact lens solution, and about twenty kinds of sunscreen, just because we never knew what we already owned.

I also stopped putting things away in the black hole because it seemed like so much trouble to retrieve it. That meant piles of stuff in the bathroom, and I cannot abide piles for long.

But the disorganization isn’t even the worst part. Not only was it an annoying jumble, it was dirty. Literally, dirty. The counter skirt nearly touches the ground, but that didn’t stop dust, moisture, and – let’s be real – tumbleweeds of long red hair from collecting in those baskets. GRODY TO THE MAX.

We needed a better solution. So, in that short window between the holiday and the snowstorms, I went to Target and purchased a whole bunch of these:

(I tried to include myself for scale, but turns out it doesn’t really work that way with mirrors. How do I have an advanced science degree without really understanding mirrors?!)

I went to Target armed with lots of measurements about the under-counter space – how wide it was, how tall it was from floor to front edge of counter, how tall it was under the sink pipes, how deep it was from baseboard to skirt. What I forgot to measure was the items themselves. Duh! Fortunately, Mr. P was on hand to answer the phone at home to measure how tall a spray bottle of Tilex is.

Then, as it usually goes with organization, I made a bigger mess.

But once I had everything out and could see all the bottles of sunscreen and contact solution, I could start putting them away in an orderly fashion – and in a way that took up a lot less space than all those baskets and boxes.

It took a bit of jigsawing to get everything right where I wanted it, but the end result is that I can see everything when I need it. And because it’s a drawer, I can pull it out from under the counter to see everything!

Not only is it more functional now, but it’s a lot easier to look at!

Thanks to Mr. P, I knew that none of the drawers were tall enough to fit the cleaning supplies, so they still ended up in a basket to the side. And I couldn’t fit my hot rollers (for extra special beauty pageant special occasion hair!) in the drawer either, so they stayed in their own case off to the side. But the rest is in there!

And as a little bonus sprucing, the other cabinet got a bit of a cleanout as well. It started like this:

After throwing out a few things and putting the rest in drawers, the cabinet was looking fresh and clean too (sickly lighting aside, oof):

So although I said I’d conquered our storage woes in the bathroom way back when, now I finally feel like it’s under control! At least... until the next January rolls around?

Anyone else doing some New Year’s organization? If you’re not yet, maybe my orderly spirit is contagious...!


Tina said...

I looove organization! And was so in the mood... Was? Yes. It's been waning lately. I felt a spark or two in reading this post, though, and am looking everywhere and thinking "drawers???" Perhaps it is contagious... :-)

Mary Beth said...

I love a good organization post. Makes me happy :)