Don’t Get Clean In A Messy Bathroom: How To Organize Your Bathroom {Week #2 of the Summer Organizing Challenge}

SOC Week 2 - How To Organize the Bathroom -v

Welcome to Week 2 of the Summer Organizing Challenge!

Before we get started this week, you may want to consider purchasing the Summer Organizing Challenge Printable:

  • It has the information from today’s blog post and all the other weeks displayed in worksheet format!
  • Also, see the next 3 weeks of challenges early! What lies ahead?! It’s different every week!
  • Get all the bonus help and info!
  • The printable makes it easy for you to plan, take notes, check things off and work things out as you go!
  • Because of the great reception, I’ve decided to continue a sale price for a little longer! Enjoy!

Purchase The Summer Organizing Printable HERE!

2016 Summer Organizing Challenge Printable Pack -s

{If you are new to the Summer Organizing Challenge, you can read the details on how this challenge will work HERE.}

First, you’ll want to review How To Organize. There are 6 steps, and following them in order does make a big difference in not putting the cart ahead of the horse and getting overwhelmed or wasting a bunch of energy. {Read How To Organize HERE.}

How To Organize Your Bathroom -v

Week 2 – How To Organize The Bathroom Closet, Cabinets & Drawers

Don’t get clean in a messy bathroom.

I went to a one week girls’ camp every summer during my teenage years. Bathroom stalls and shower stalls out in the forest, used by a whole bunch of dirty campers, were pretty difficult to keep clean. Oh my goodness – the bugs in those bathrooms! It was hard to go in there to shower and come out feeling cleaner. It’s kind of like those disgusting gas station bathrooms you have to use in the middle of nowhere on a long road-trip. You just hope you don’t touch a surface and contract some kind of deadly disease … and you consider that the side of the road behind a bush might be more sanitary.

I’ve seen bathrooms so messy and disorganized that I can’t imagine they are ever really cleaned very well. I guess it isn’t impossible that all the clutter is removed off the counters and floors and then everything is cleaned … and then the clutter is just all put back?! Yeah, that doesn’t sound likely to me either!

Good bathroom organization doesn’t start on the floor and counters; it starts behind the scenes. This week’s assignment is to select the bathroom in your home that either bothers you the most or needs the most help and organize the Closet, Cabinets, & Drawers.

Once we give all the bathroom things a proper place to go, the clutter on the surface magically becomes easy to tame!

Things to remember when organizing the bathroom:

Toss the Half-Empty/ Expired Things

Seriously, just do it.

Rule of thumb for towels

If you have more towels than an army could use, consider donating some. My rule of thumb for towels is an equation:

     (How many towels used per week per person) 
x   (How many people are in the house to use towels)
x   (Number of weeks between towel laundry loads)
+   (2 for buffer)
=   How many towels you need at your house, 
      spread throughout different bathrooms.

Under-cabinet shoebox containers

My favorite way to organize underneath bathroom cabinets is with shoebox sized containers! They are cheap and stack well to fit the space under the sink.

Here are my categories for under-cabinet storage:

Makeup Soaps & Deodorants
Beauty Shave
Hair Travel/Samples
Nails Dental
Oils & Lotions Cotton Balls/ Swabs

Bathroom Organizing Under Sink - Mary ORGANIZES

Tips for Drawers

I put the things in my drawers that I use every day and everything else gets stored under the sink. I like having drawer dividers to keep the drawer neat. I like my drawer dividers to make as efficient use of the space as possible, so when I go shopping for drawer dividers I take a tape measure and masking tape with me to the store.

I know this might sound like it would be embarrassing, but I’m telling you it is so much easier than going back and forth to the store a million times, because even if you think you know all the dimensions of the drawer organizers and add them together perfectly, sometimes when they are pushed together, they create a slightly different measurement.

I always measure my drawers before I go, not only the length and width, but also the height, because some drawer organizers will be too tall. I use the masking tape and I create a rectangle the exact size of my drawer on the floor of the container insert aisle at the store. Then I can actually put the containers into my fake drawer and play around with them until I get a configuration that is perfect. I’m telling you – I always leave with exactly what I need – it really works! (Of course, I pull up the masking tape before I go … people usually don’t even notice because these aisles are rarely crowded.)

If I’m feeling pressed for time or self-conscious, I can skip the masking tape and just keep measuring over and over after I change-up configurations, but it is definitely easier with the tape down.

Configure drawer options at the store -v

{If you’re really lucky, you have a helper with you say “hey mom, I’ll hold this side for you”. This boy is pure sweetness.}

Configure drawer options at the store with helpers -h

What to do with not enough storage space

If your bathroom is short on storage space, when you get to Step 4 of Organizing: Find the Right Tools, consider taking your storage vertical and buying shelves for the walls to meet your needs.  Usually there is space behind the toilet for shelves and storage and maybe to the side of the sink.

What to do with extra storage space

If you have extra storage space in your bathroom, make sure you are still keeping things that make sense in your bathroom instead of Christmas decoration boxes. Some of the things that also make sense to store in bathrooms besides the typical are:

Cleaning Supplies Light bulbs
Extra Toiletry Supplies Linens
First Aid Kits Pajamas
Guest Supplies Pet Supplies
Humidifiers (off season) Swimming Supplies
Jewelry Traveling Supplies

Container-Shopping Tips

Always measure your space before you head to the store to shop for containers. Bring the tape measure with you and buy containers confidently knowing they will fit/ maximize the space. I know I say this a million times, but that is because I know some of you are still trying to wing it!

Also, for hidden storage, consider clear storage containers so that it isn’t hard to find what you’re looking for. For containers that will be out in the open, buy a container to match your style and décor so that you won’t get sick of that container and you’ll be motivated to keep the area organized.

The Plan

Now that you have a little knowledge, let’s get down to business.

Working in one area at a time (i.e., drawer by drawer, cabinet by cabinet), complete Step 1 of Organizing: Decluttering.

While you are deciding to keep or toss these items, save time and go ahead simultaneously with Step 2 of Organizing: Sort Like with Like.  You can get grocery bags to collect like items in or just make piles on the floor.

Before you move on, make sure to complete Step 1 & Step 2 for all the storage areas in the bathroom.

The next thing to do is Step 3 of Organizing: Decide Where Stuff Goes. Consider proximity to where you will use that item. For instance, if it is makeup, where do you apply your makeup? Get the makeup as close as possible to that place. When two things battle for the same storage place of proximity, remember that the item that is used most wins the spot.

You have two options right now, you can either begin moving the piles of stuff to these places as placeholders for where they’ll go, or you can stop now and sketch out the storage places. List all the different piles/types of stuff, and then create a written plan before moving anything. {It’s not too late to purchase the printable – the worksheet format might really help for these steps!}

If you’ve completed Step 3 thoroughly, Step 4 of Organizing: Find the Right Tools, Containers, or Furniture goes very smoothly! Now that you know where everything is going to go and how much space it gets, you can decide what kind of container will fit it best there.

My Bathroom Storage Solution Plan

Using your sketch and list, make decisions about where things are going and what additional containers or organizing tools or furniture you may need to do the job to your liking.

Take a few minutes and create a plan for your containers. Decide what containers you already have and what you’ll need to buy. Create a list of the things you’ll need. Take your list to shop and gather all the supplies you need to finish organizing this area.

Write down Item Description, Dimensions, Quantity, and what exactly it will be used to organize.

Professional Organizer Tip - Always Measure Twice -v

After you have all the containers and tools you need, get all the containers in their spots and go ahead and fill them up with the stuff! Now it’s time for the fun Step 5 of Organizing: Make it Pretty!

This step might sound superfluous, but in my experience, taking the time to make the area pretty helps a lot with the desire to maintain. Ideas to spruce up the bathroom are to lay decorative drawer liners or use fancy chalk labels for any bins. Maybe it’s time to replace ratty towels with some fresh ones? Whatever it is, think of some way of adding a touch of beauty to the space at the end of organizing it – it makes a difference.

What will you do to make your bathroom a little prettier today?

The last step, Step 6: Create A Maintenance Plan, is to create a maintenance plan for keeping this area tidy and organized. My personal plan is that every day when I wash my face, I use the fresh cloth I just dried my face with to also wipe and dry the counter. At this time, if I’ve left anything on the counter, I tidy it up really quickly right then. This little ritual happens because I always remember to brush my teeth and wash my face at night.

When you are creating a maintenance plan, build on one of your strengths. Build the new habit on something you’re already doing regularly. If you try to just start new habits out of nowhere, they are hard to make stick.

Doing something as simple as organizing your bathroom can do a lot to re-energize you and help consistently start your day better. You are going to love your organized bathroom, even if it is for your kids, you’ll love walking past it, and it will be so much easier to keep clean! No more disgusting camp bathrooms!

Everyone’s bathroom is different, so check out my Bathroom Organizing Pinterest board for lots of ideas and inspiration for your bathroom. {Go HERE to see the Organizing Pinterest Board.}

Pinterest - Organize Bathrooms

Bathroom Tours

You can also see the Bathroom Tours I’ve shared on the blog.

You Did It!

Now that you’ve done your challenge for the week, take a break and enjoy some summer fun!

… or catch up on last week’s challenge …

Week #1: 68 Simple Places To Organize

Have a fantastic week of organizing! Let me know how it goes!!


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Don’t forget to buy a printable pack!

2016 Summer Organizing Challenge Printable Pack -s

2 thoughts on “Don’t Get Clean In A Messy Bathroom: How To Organize Your Bathroom {Week #2 of the Summer Organizing Challenge}

  1. Happy to report that our bathroom now has a drawer for socks and unds for my husband’s early workday departure! He can get dressed without carrying things to the bathroom, he’s excited about this little improvement! Thanks Mary!

Leave a comment! I love to hear what you think!