The bathroom is so often a minefield of half-used tubes of toothpaste, unloved bath products and messy makeup. “Inspiring” is probably the last word that comes to mind to describe it. Periodically getting it orderly is one thing; keeping it that way on a daily basis is something else entirely. Here are a few simple strategies to keep the getting-ready chaos reined in.
Tack bathroom tidying to an existing habit (like brushing your teeth). Tidying up the bathroom daily is key to maintaining a sane, clutter-free space. If you’ve been struggling to work this into your routine, the easiest way to develop the habit is to tie it to something you already do daily - like brushing your teeth. As you brush, make a quick scan of the sink and shower, and toss any empties into the trash or recycling bin. As soon as you’re done brushing, put away any products that have been left out on the counter, and bring items that don’t belong there (your morning coffee cup, for instance) with you when you leave.
Let each person personalize a tray. Sink sprawl is one of the most common clutter problems in the bathroom: This is what happens when everyone’s toiletries collect (and multiply) until they cover every square inch of surface area on and around the sink, making it next to impossible to find anything. Combat sink sprawl by assigning a tray to each household member, to be filled with daily necessities only. No judgments about what another person deems “essential” allowed - as long as it all fits on the tray!
The trays will provide a clear physical limit to rein in clutter, and they can be moved aside easily when you need to wipe down the entire sink area.
Or assign each person a shelf. If your sink is tiny and you use another space for storage instead, you can still apply the same principle: Designate one shelf for each member of the household to store his or her daily essentials, and stick with it. The clearer you can be about defining the physical limits of your storage space, the easier it will be for everyone to get (and stay) on board.
Provide overflow storage for less-used items. To keep the sink area streamlined, you will likely need to find a spot to stash those extra items that didn’t quite make everyday-essential status. Ideally, this is in the bathroom: A shelving unit or cupboard works well, but you could also store these items in a hall closet. Use containers to keep like items together and prevent toppling.
- Store makeup brushes upright in a jam jar or mug.
- Make finding the right nail polish easy with a clear acrylic container.
- Corral hair accessories and products in a lidded box.
- Stash extra makeup and skin-care products in a zippered pouch.
Store only daily necessities in the shower. Be honest about which products you actually use on a daily basis, and limit yourself to storing these items in the shower. Extras - like special scrubs, masks and treatments - can be stored in your overflow storage instead. The key to making this work long-term is to remember to remove those special products as soon as you’ve used them and to put them away where they belong. If you’re having trouble remembering to do this, try making it part of your daily bathroom tidy while you brush your teeth.
Use bins to define undersink zones. Prevent your undersink cabinet from becoming a black hole of clutter by clearly defining the space with sturdy storage bins. Look for plastic bins that can handle a little water without getting damaged, and designate a different bin for each category of items you need to store.
Give electric appliances a home. Hair dryers, curling irons and other electric tools can take up tons of space on the counter, making it next to impossible for anyone to use the space to get ready. It may take some extra effort, but finding a place to store these items - such as in a drawer lined with a heat-safe material, as shown here - is well worth the effort.
Stash bath toys at child height. The sooner you can get the littlest members of the household on board with tidying routines, the easier it will be to maintain good habits in the long run. Young children usually love “helping,” so make this easier for them to do by providing an accessible basket where they can take out and put away their own bath toys and towels.
Keep a small laundry hamper handy. Making it easier doesn’t just work for kids - it’s important for adults too! Make it simpler for everyone to keep dirty towels and clothes off the floor by putting a laundry hamper in the bathroom. If a hamper won’t fit there, then find the closest available place: just outside the door or on the floor of a nearby hall closet.
Have you heard of POJJO? It's a line of amazing organizers that keep bathroom items neat - or completely out of the way - in style! PATCO discovered these innovative products several years ago when we were searching for customization items to add to our hands-on New Home Personalization Studio. Be sure to check them out when you meet with our Design / Build team.