organized bathroom

I read design magazines regularly and covet the stories about huge bathrooms with lots of storage space. My reality, however, is a tiny room with an under-the-sink cupboard, three narrow drawers and a small medicine cabinet. How can I keep the necessities of my life organized, accessible and, ideally, out-of-sight in my bathroom? My system is governed by three basic rules of organizing:  

1.  EDIT, edit, edit! I keep my bathroom collections right-sized which means buying only the stuff -- linens, paper products, medicines, and toiletries -- that I use and need. Buying extras because they are on sale doesn’t work for me! If I do find an irresistible bargain, I know I must make space somewhere else in my house to store it until my current supply is used up. I follow the one-in-one-out rule so having both in my cupboard at the same time is out of the question.  

2.  STORE “like with like” In a small space, this rule is essential because items in similar categories – hair care products, paper products, makeup – generally tend to be similar sizes and shapes. Keep these items together and they will be easy to store and, more importantly, easier to find when you need them.  

This idea about items being easy to find is an important factor in the right-sizing process. Store “like with like” and you always know what you have on hand so you are less likely to make impulse purchases.  

3.  CHECK expiration dates! Medicines are the obvious culprits with this rule, but other bathroom items have expiry dates too! Bacteria can build up in creams, mascara, foundations, lipstick and other items that come in contact with your skin during normal usage. The Diva suggests you purchase these items in small quantities and replace them after three to six months, before they become toxic. A good rule of thumb… when colour, consistency or smell changes, the product is past its prime and should be replaced.  

Dispose of all bathroom items responsibly and take all medicines to a Household Hazardous Waste site or Pharmacy for disposal.  

Even, if I had a huge bathroom, with lots of storage space, I would continue to follow these three rules -- Edit, Store like with like and Check expiration dates -- to reduce clutter and stay organized.

Karen Shinn

Karen Shinn

Downsizing Diva Co-Founder. Toronto East & North York

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