Monday, July 9, 2007

Organizing Your Bathroom - Bottles, Bottles, and More Bottles

Before we know it, something we bought yesterday has been sitting there for years. To keep products from overtaking our space, weed out things you do not use, group similar items together, find appropriate storage for them, and define a place for them.

One of the first steps in managing your bathroom is to break it down into sections. Think of a section, by the kind of tasks you do in each area.

Ask yourself...
What do I use, where, and how often?
Am I likely to use it again? Is it just adding to the clutter?
Could someone else use it that is less fortunate?

Move through the bathroom one section at a time. Start with the one that annoys you the most. Study the tips below.

1) Large bottles out on the counter (creams, hair products, soaps, etc)

  • Eliminate bottles that you bought, used briefly, but haven't touched in a long time.
  • If your counter is full of products, consider using a caddy like the one pictured to create a shelf on the counter for the taller items. It is great for pump dispensers and hair products.
  • If the large bottles are to handle, consider buying smaller quantities. The advantage is they are easier to lift, store, and you can try new products more often without wasting much.

2) Shower

  • Remove any items you aren't using.
  • There are many caddy's available for storing items in the shower. Some hang from the shower head, some suction to the walls or door.
  • If you use liquid soap and a spongy thing on a string, buy a plastic suction cup and hook and hang it on the wall or shower door.

3) Medicine

  • Throw away all expired products.
  • Remove anything you are likely to not use again.
  • Write on them what they were prescribed for.
  • Group the medications by category: creams (then by hand, foot, lip, etc), cold, allergy, prescriptions, pain relievers
  • If you do not have a medicine cabinet or drawer, use containers or plastic drawers as a way to group your medicines.
  • Keep frequently used items nearby.
4) Organizing your hair accessories (barrettes, pony tail holders, scrunchies, etc)
  • Group the items that are similar and then store them in Ziplocs, plastic drawers, or plastic trays.
  • Thin out your collection to the ones you really use. If you used to have long hair and think you may again some day, pick your favorites and get rid of the rest.
  • You may be able to donate some accessories to your hair stylist.
5) Makeup, Makeup, Makeup
  • Use trays or plastic drawers to manage your makeup.
  • Group the similar items (i.e. eye, lip, foundations)
  • Makeup has a relatively short shelf life, so check with the brand you use to see if you should replace the items you have.
  • If you like those freebies, donate the unused items.
6) Hotel Travel Size Freebies
  • Keep only the items you really like and will use.
  • There are many shelters that would be happy to use donated toiletries. Collect them in a bag and periodically donate them. This is also a good fundraiser for events.
  • Next time you are traveling, don't bring the freebies home unless you will really use them.
  • If you keep some around for guests, be realistic about the amount you need.
7) Storage
  • As you bring in new towels, remove the old ones. Keep some in the laundry room or garage for projects, but don't most of them.
  • When designing bathroom sink areas, put the sink closer to the toilet and the drawers on the other side. This allows you to store toilet paper within reach under the sink.
  • If you by in bulk, store the back stock in extra cabinet space in the bathroom, linen closet, or garage. Do not buy too much as your taste may change or the items may lose their potency.

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