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Operation Clean House: Part 4 {Bathroom Boom}

Today was another one of those "get it done now" kind of days, which worked out well for me since today is my usual Clean-the-bathroom Day.  My son was playing nicely by himself so I thought I'd take a few minutes to tackle the bathroom sink and medicine cabinet.

Welcome to my mess

What I loath about this space

  • Everything is out on the sink counter making it very disorganized to look at {in my mind} because there is so much stuff; moreover, it's a pain to wipe down when the counter is hardly visible and I have to move mountains {also in my mind} to clear it just so I can wipe it.
  • The medicine cabinet holds medicine which could be better placed elsewhere {read more about that here from one of my favorite blogs} and other items that just sit there for weeks or sometimes months before they get any attention.  Inefficiency...bad!

Goals for this space
  • Create more storage
  • Clear the counter and leave only the essentials
  • Utilize the medicine cabinet better

Stumbling before starting
As I was thinking through this project before even starting it, my initial vision included an over the toilet cabinet to create more storage and add some visual interest to the room, but do you know how much those things cost!?!  Anywhere from $70-$300!  Um, nevermind!  This gal did not have that kind of money laying around, so I had to get creative.  I needed to make the space I had count.  

Here we go
First order of business: empty the medicine cabinet and put most of what was on the counter in the cabinet.  This {like many other orgazination projects} gets worse before it gets better.

Ah, a blank canvas

Simple Sorting
From the picture above, my categories included
  • Dental
  • Optical
  • Hers & His care
  • Random {my not favorite}


 Look, I do have a counter!

And now for the medicine cabinet {before and after}
As you can see, I only made a couple of simple changes to the shelving, but the contents is what makes this a major improvement in my book since now everything that was crowding the sink has its own special home right here.  

From top to bottom {and left to right}
  • Hair accessories and eyeglass case
  • Toothpaste {for Daddy, Mommy & little guy}
  • Hers & His care placed together
  • Optical just below
  • Toothbrushes, floss & razors
  • Mouthwash & Contact solution
    • I ran into another stumbling block with the mouthwash...huge bottle, little space.  It worked while there was little order, but not in the new arrangement.  So I thought and shopped around in our kitchen hoping I could find a glass bottle.  What I did find was a white plastic bottle that I had been saving {just in case}.  It was the right size, an okay shape, but it was white and I wanted to see the contents of the bottle.  Strike one.  Then it dawned on me to dig in our recycling and use one of our water bottles.  This would work in the short term while I wait to reuse our salad dressing bottle as our permanent solution.
This project took a good 20-30 minutes I'd say, just enough time away from my toddler.  I knew it was time when he started peaking his cute little head into the bathroom asking what I was doing.  So with my counter cleared and my medicine cabinet organized, I was off to toddler playland!

But wait!  There's more!
I knew the linen closet was staring me in my face just taunting and teasing me to have a go at her too.  After all, some of what came out of the medicine cabinet went quickly into the next door linen closet.  But, I thought, that could be best spent another day.  

We went along our day as we would any other day.  He had just gotten over a cold and I thought this would be a great day to get him outdoors again.  After hours of playing and doing what we do, I began inviting my son to go play outside, when he rediscovered his animal bin and began playing with his dinosaurs!  He hadn't played with them in a while and was quite happy to be playing with them and not me.  I guess he had had enough of Mommy for one morning.  Perhaps, a little birdie knew how badly I wanted to get back to my organizing and gave me just the right opportunity to do so!  So I slipped away again to tackle the linen closet.

The linen closet is bad, but it's not that bad
Okay, maybe it is a little bad, but it is organized chaos in there, I promise!  The top shelf was for my curling irons and back stock toiletries, the second shelf was His care and travel toiletry bags {and my nail polish remover!?! Ignore that}, then there was Her care on the third shelf with a random sample of teeth whiting, and back stock of lotion that we don't use, and hair spray, and...um, ignore that too...then there is the toddler shelf where training pants and baby cotton swabs abound, next is where the actual linens are kept...along with some table cloths and a runner and a set of bed sheets and some washcloths smooshed in between somewhere...hey, don't judge me!  That's what organized chaos is, right?  I know where everything is {but no one else knows where anything is}.  {deep sigh} Well might as well get to work.

I thought that since it was mostly organized chaos, I didn't need to take everything out {even if I had, I would have no where to sort everything}.  So I attacked one shelf at a time thinking it just needed a little tidying up.  I started with my own shelf and thought I did okay.  Then I did the hubby's shelf and found that I could be using the space a bit better; so I emptied half of my shelf and put both storage bins on the same shelf with my husband's hair clipper case underneath his bin to give both bins some breathing room.  Once I did that, the boy's shelf was pretty easy and removing the towels we won't use {to be donated to my mother-in-law who has a full house} and grabbing other towels from our closet {yes, yes, I know...ignore that too}, all the towels and washcloths live happily ever after in the linen closet.

Let's take a look at it now

How sweet it is!  Now for a closer look..
Hair products now live with the hair styling tools up top, right next door to our back stock which didn't move, but I did gather up other floating back stock from randomville.

Just below that, feminine care and travel bags have been placed together.

Moving on down...
The Hers and His section in the back row and front and center is my manicure kit along with a container for cotton balls and another for brushes and combs.

Tidied up with toddler shelf a bit by removing the remaining Pull-Ups from their packaging and laying them out neatly, leaving the Night Time ones packed so there's no confusion and doing the same with Swimmers.

And last, but not least...the linens for the linen closet
At last all the linens are together and I put the random table cloths and bed sheets in the closet.

As you hopefully noticed, I wasn't all that disorganized to begin with.  When we first moved here it was just as organized as you see it here, maybe not as functional, but it worked for us for this long.  After a while {as does happen every now and then}, I lost my way, got lazy, ran out of time, rushed to put things away and forgot to maintain my organization.  My goal is to maintain this system for as long as possible and add some of those wonderful labels that I love so the hubs can follow the system along with me.  Sometimes the gift of organization is best when re-gifted.

Has this given you any inspiration?  Even just one nugget of something?  What did you do when your initial vision for a room was too expensive?  How did you make it work with your family's budget?  Share your wisdom with the rest of us!

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