Today I have a special treat for you… an excerpt on bathroom organization from Organizing for Your Lifestyle, the book that I’m giving away for the second week of Home*School!
In Organizing for Your Lifestyle, you’ll learn the science behind organization and not only how to get organized, but how to stay organized. The book is arranged (very meticulously, of course!) into common themes to help you organize your home.
So without further ado, here it is! (And if you’re inspired to start organizing your bathroom, check out the my three ideas for an organized bathroom!)
Purge the Old
Toiletries are a necessity, and as we get older, we seem to need more and more lotions, creams, and miracle serums. These added products often cause a disorganized mess. When it comes to bathrooms, I am 100% sure that you’ll find items that have expired, or that you simply don’t use. And you need to get rid of this stuff asap. When you’re cleaning out your bathroom, keep only the items that you actually use and that aren’t expired.
Once you toss your old cosmetics, skin care products, and other medicines and toiletries, it’s time to sort the rest. You can start to organize these items by preparing labelled boxes.
Sort Into 5 Categories
1. Everyday use
Items such as toothpaste, contact solution, deodorant, night and day cream, face wash and serums are the key products that I reach for every day. These belong in your medicine cabinet. If you don’t have a medicine cabinet, then the top drawer or even a basket on the sink will do. These products need to be easily accessible and should be stored with the label facing you. You can get creative in your medicine cabinet and store items in vases, small antique boxes, soap dishes, and even shot glasses, which are great for holding small elastic hair bands.
If you take medication daily, you also want to store that with your other daily essentials. On the topic of medications, a word of warning: just because it’s called a medicine cabinet, doesn’t mean all medicine should be stored there. Always be conscious of what you store in clear view, in your medicine cabinet or outside of it, as curious friends, dates, or dinner guests will always take a peek.
2. Hair care products
If you’re like most women, you have a lot of hair products. If there are products that you use on a daily basis, I would keep those in the everyday section, and if your everyday hair products don’t fit in your medicine cabinet, try finding smaller spray bottles or containers at your local department or drug store (always remember to label them). Hair care products that you don’t use every day can be stored alongside blow dryers, round brushes, curling irons and straighteners.
If you have a spot to hang your blow dryers and other electrical tools, do so, as this will ensure the cable isn’t damaged by continual wrapping and unwrapping. I’ve used the same Command brand hooks for my closet, and in several places in my bathroom, including for hanging my blow dryer. Just make sure that the hook can handle the weight of the hair dryer before installing.
3. Weekly use
These items could include things like exfoliators, special perfumed lotions, and conditioning hair masks. Because you only use these products on a weekly basis, they do not need to be as immediately accessible as your everyday items.
4. Spare products
Being organized means having a back-up product ready so that you don’t have to run to the pharmacy at 11 pm, or, worse, wait frantically by the door for the pharmacy to open in the morning before you go to work. This doesn’t mean that you have to go to Costco and buy ten deodorants at once. I would actually discourage from buying in bulk to save a few dollars, as this often leads to having too much stuff, and products could even expire before you get to use them. But having one backup for each of your key items will save you time and stress. When you replace one item, simply buy a spare at the same time.
Unfortunately, there are some cosmetic products where it doesn’t really make sense to buy two at a time. Stuff like mascara, for instance, can dry out even if you don’t open it, so it doesn’t make much sense to have extras sitting on your shelf. But most of your everyday items are going to be things that you go through pretty quickly, so a single spare shouldn’t be in too much danger of expiring.
How you store your makeup very much depends on your lifestyle. First of all, do you ever need to take makeup with you? For instance, do you travel a lot, or go to the gym and need to get ready for work or dinner afterwards? Do you carry makeup with you for parties and events? If you take your makeup with you anywhere, then you should definitely store it in a makeup case. This is really the only way to both travel with makeup and stay organized, short of buying double of everything so that you can leave one set at home and keep another in your purse, gym bag or travel bag. A second set of products can work for some people.
CEO of Crystal Cruises, Edie Rodriguez said in an interview with Conde Naste Traveler that her packing secret is to always keep a duplicate set of makeup in a travel bag; that way, she doesn’t have to think about bringing it. I only keep one makeup bag; it’s by Marc Jacobs, and it fully opens to make sure I can see all the contents properly.
Store By Category
Once you’ve sorted out your sections, evaluate the space you have, and get creative. New modern bathrooms such as mine tend to have very limited storage space. I only have a medicine cabinet, and no other shelving. On the upside, this forces me to minimize my products as much as possible, and also to create unique storage ideas. I store my everyday items in the medicine cabinet. Then I have a leather box where I store my makeup and weekly products. Next, find a place to store your spare products. Underneath the sink would be ideal, but if you don’t have this space (or don’t have it to spare), you might store them in a pantry or cabinet.
Sorting your bathroom products based on how often you use them can help you declutter and save time. You’ll be surprised how much more space you have once you get rid of all the products you don’t use or are expired.