There’s not a whole lot in this world that makes me happier than organized drawers. I mean sure, there’s music, and Disneyland, and wine, and french fries… puppies. But a well organized drawer? That’s like owning a really badass piece of artwork.
The master bathroom has two sinks and three drawers. When we moved, I brought many many many drawer organizers with us. However, the drawers are almost comically wide (I asked for six smaller drawers and the cabinet maker told me that the drawers would be too small to fit anything … I still think he was wrong. Yes, I’m Sicilian, why do you ask?) so it takes a lot of drawer organizers to fill each one. I made do with what we had and tried to see how we would use this space, while directing my attention to other rooms and other drawers.
Finally, I had had enough when I was preparing for our latest vacation and found that I had 3 travel hair sprays but no conditioner or face wash, because I was placing toiletries in a container that made it difficult to see what I had and what I didn’t have. We have plenty of space in the bathroom and it was time to really organize the current space and not cling to a system that worked in the condo.
Getting Organized, Again
The way a smart person approaches organizing a specific area is:
- Measure the spaces (bonus points for drawings)
- List the items you need to be organized in your containers (bonus points for tallest item measurements)
- Head to the store with a small measuring tape and some patience
I have done the above version of this about a thousand times… for other people. I understand how the process works. And yet, when faced with doing a project of my own, this is how I actually approach it:
- Go to Target
- Put various size clear plastic bins in my cart
- Find different various size clear plastic bins in another area of the store
- Wander back and forth between the two aisles, measuring the items in my head as to their different degrees of necessity based on what I imagine I could potentially EVER use them for
- Change my mind 7 times
- Get frustrated and buy more than could possible fit in all the drawers in my entire house
- Go home with too much stuff
Step one is probably where I go wrong.
As the saying goes, “You don’t go to target because you need something. You go to Target and let Target tell you what you need.” Target speaks to me very clearly. It’s just that annoying logical voice in my head that tries to explain to Target that I don’t NEED another picture frame / decorative shelf item / kitchen gadget I didn’t know existed that makes the trip difficult. Fortunately, I’m there often enough that I remember the items I need to return once every 7th trip.
Regardless, my way also works. It just includes a lot of extra steps.
Under Sink Organization
One thing I regret about the design of our bathroom is the lack of a small linen closet. We have plenty of storage in the laundry room, but I really wish we had space for extra towels and back-up items IN the bathroom. However, the upside is that I only purchase back-ups of things that we go through fairly routinely and have space to store (toilet paper, mouthwash, toothpaste). Any personal backup storage (lotions, face wash, etc) go underneath our respective sinks.
Under Sink Zones
Daily Use Items
The stuff I use every day are inside cabinet doors. I attached mini command shelves for my face creams, lotions, and things. On the right side of the picture you can see the stacker that is mentioned further down in the post.
Every Day Or So Items
The other door has a custom cut piece of galvanized steel (that I keep meaning to paint and make pretty!) and used magnapods to store makeup and other accessories.
Keeping the Counter Clutter Free
I have a caddy to store my hair dryer and flat iron because I need them to be off the counter the second I’m done using them. My favorite part is that the caddy is heat safe, so once I’m done using my hot tools I can wrap up the cords and store them under the sink and out of the way.
Weekly Or Less Use Items
For stuff I use less often I have a my clear stacking drawers. Here I keep “fancy” makeup and backups, face masks, razor blades, nail polish, things like that. I like that it’s really easy to see what I have and find what I need.
Infrequent Use Items
Everything else is stored in the stacker (pictured 3 photos above). This is where I keep the giant bottle of shampoo that I use to fill the dispenser in the shower, velcro rollers that I rarely use but can’t seem to get rid of, empty containers that I save to return to the store, basically just things that I need once in a blue moon but make sense to live in the bathroom.
Chad’s under sink storage is much more streamlined – because he requires very few things to be adorable so naturally. Just space for backups, his hair trimmer, and a small collection of the larger collection of lint rollers we have in the house. For someone who loves animals as much as he does, he certainly doesn’t like to have animal hair on him 😉
I’m a huge sucker for clear drawer organizers. As you can see, I use a combination of clear drawer organizers, some are from Target, some are from The Container Store, and some are from IKEA. I just pop them in and mess around until I can store everything I’ve set out to go in that drawer and it all fits neatly. I usually put down some museum putty or double sided table strips to keep the organizers from moving around.
The top drawer is mostly for Chad, but since he has so few things it also stores the “shared need” things like q-tips, cotton balls, and saline packets for the neti pots.
This drawer is for my extensive collection of “hair stuff”. Hair ties, hair clips, bobby pins, brushes and combs. It’s all in there and I vacuum the drawer out twice a month because a lot of my hair likes to live in the drawer as well.
Our “shared use” drawer is definitely the one that can quickly get out of control. It is mostly for extra toiletries, first aid, and heavy duty lotions for the dry cracked hands we both get during the winter months. Also, cuticle care, obviously.
And that is how I keep all – or most – of my crap off of the bathroom counter. It’s easier to find things when I need them and get to the things I use every day.