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Bathroom in Order
Cape Cod Parent and Child
October • November 2006
By Nicole Gabai
President of B. Organized!
one of the busiest rooms in the house, as well as one of the most
crowded per square inch? THE BATHROOM!
Is yours in
order? Even for all the people who share it with you? Do you know
where your tweezers are? How about your favorite missing comb? After
spending a little time using the following tips, your bathroom will
feel squeaky-clean and luxuriously orderly.
one of those places where we tend to loose control over how much we
accumulate - lot’s of containers of shampoos, toothpaste, hair
gels, make-up and gift-with-purchase items can easily pile up
because we don’t know what we have and we keep buying more.
Organizing your bathroom products so that you can do a quick
inventory can help you limit your buying. The magic formula is to
eliminate, categorize and organize!
bathrooms have very limited storage space so people will often stash
their toiletries wherever they will fit, then they have no idea
where to look for individual items. The solution is to assign a
specific home for everything so you can find things in the same
place every time. As for the limited space, the key here is
stretching the space with the right containers to maximize the
sometimes odd-shaped areas. Sharing the bathroom with multiple
people is a perfect time to implement the use of “zones.” Assign
a separate ‘zone’ for each person, that way each person can keep
their space according to their definition of ‘neatness.’ Also,
store items at the point of use, and according to how frequently you
use the item.
first: find 2 good sized boxes (like the size copy-paper comes in)
and bring them into the bathroom. Collect all the items and place
them in these boxes…..yes, ALL the items. Now when you go through
these, use one box for all the items you will keep and the other box
for all the items you will throw away. Sort them into the most used
As soon as you
clean off every surface, including the counters, and wipe it all
down with a clean dry towel, you can start to replace the items one
by one starting with the medicine cabinet. Use this area only for
essentials you use every day - each person gets their own shelf.
Consider moving all the medicines to the kitchen or linen closet
(the heat and steam in the bathroom can ruin them).
the obvious items:
medicines, or excess quantities of remedies you seldom use
-Half used bottles, shampoos or hair-care products or creams or
anything else that’s been used and abandoned
-Rusty nail clippers tweezers or scissors
-Old nail polish or other make-up that’s discolored or you no
-Left-over skin care products, almost finished after-shave lotion or
-Any mascara, eye-liners or crèmes over one year old
-Old toothbrushes should be replaced every 3-6 months for maximum
-Clogged, bent or twisted tubes( of toothpaste or ointments) that no
longer work and look “scummy or sticky”
-Tattered old towels with holes or stains
Any extras of
toiletries and small samples size items, try using a tip from
fashion models, and store these in a travel make-up bag ready for
your next journey. Check these ‘levels’ regularly after every
trip to make sure you have re-filled the containers and all the
contents are fresh and up-to-date.
When it comes
to shower items, your best bet is to use a shower caddy, preferably
the kind that has corner shelves and a pole to support it up to the
ceiling. The plastic ones are best for this, and they are relatively
inexpensive. Bed, Bath and Beyond is a great resource and also
Container Store. Here, each person gets their own shower shelf. And
the shelves can easily be cleaned.
much easier to do this job if you are not distracted. Try to
set aside a couple of hours where you wont be interrupted.
Follow the simple rule – “when in doubt, throw it out.”
a hand soap dispenser near all the sinks in the house – they
are easy to fill and there is less mess.
• Do a
thorough cleaning/organizing of your bathroom once a year to
keep it manageable.
you enjoy reading material in your new-found “sanctuary”,
find an attractive container (or upright basket) for storing
magazines. Always save the “current and next” months
The next best
storage place is under the sink. If you have a cabinet under the
sink, this is an excellent place to stack clear plastic drawers.
Remember, measuring is essential here. Take careful and accurate
measurements of your “usable” space and stack, stack, stack. Put
all items of a related category in each box and label it! Using that
labeler here will save you lots of time when getting ready.
If there is no
under-sink cabinet, you can attach fabric around the sink and hide
your boxes underneath, or buy a small cabinet to place in the
bathroom or on the wall. If you have drawers in the bathroom, be
sure to use conveniently-sized drawer dividers in them. You can find
these at Container Store or at www.lillianvernon.com.
member of the family a different towel rack or hook to hang wet
towels on to avoid confusion. Also assign each person their own
toiletries bucket or bag to tote grooming supplies to and from the
bathroom each morning eliminating confusion and clutter.
bathroom door to place a heavy-duty hanging rack on the back. This
is great for robes and towels. For more towel storage, consider
rolling them up and stacking them in an attractive basket or
THE LINEN CLOSET
the storage area in a linen closet, keep only the related items
there for use in the bathroom. Store all placemats, tablecloths and
cloth napkins in the dining room area.
Stack towels with the folded sides out so that it is easier to
remove the towels one at a time. When the towel edge is facing out,
it’s hard to grab just one.
A great tip
when organizing the linen closet is to slip sheet sets inside their
coordinating pillowcases. It keeps the closet neater and saves time
when making beds since you don’t need to rummage through stacks of
old sheets. Have only one or two complete sets of sheets for each
bed in the house and one emergency backup mattress pad for each size
bed in the house. Keep all the beach towels on one shelf, all
paper on the floor under the lowest shelf and extra soap, shampoos,
toothpaste and other items in bins or clear plastic drawers stacked
up next to the paper clearly labeled. The key thing is to put items
away in containers that are grouped together by category.
followed these simple steps, you can now enjoy your clean, neat and
organized bathroom! Congratulations!
Gabai is the president and founder of B. Organized!, a company
specializing in innovative solutions for your home, office
(especially paper intensive environments) and children’s rooms.
The company also handles moves and relocations. She has owned the
company for seven years and was previously based in New York City.
She is now based in Falmouth and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or
508.532.2715. She is offering a class on organizing at the
Falmouth night school in the fall. In addition to working closely
with her clients, providing customized solutions, Nicole also
presents workshops and seminars on how to get yourself organized.
Her work is widely recognized throughout the northeast, from Maine
to New York, Connecticut and New Jersey to Tennessee and Miami and
internationally in Peru and Mexico.
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