Organizing Bathrooms and Linen Closet

I use a zone plan when organizing my home. This month I concentrate on the bathrooms and linen closet.

Most bathrooms are small but are also heavily used with many items stored there. Bathrooms can get disorganized and cluttered easily if there is not a shared vision and plan for using the space. To keep clutter at a minimum, only store here what you use daily.

Take a good look at the storage space you have available. What areas are overcrowded? Some of what you are currently storing in the bathrooms may actually be stored somewhere else. In small bathrooms, only store what you need daily or each week, and then if there is room, add other items.

The medicine cabined in a bathroom is not a good place to store medicines. Moisture and heat can ruin some medicines. Medicines can go in bins or on a shelf in the linen closet or kitchen. Use the medicine cabinet, drawers, or space under your sink to store items that you use regularly like daily grooming supplies. Small baskets or bins are great for makeup and hair supplies. The medicine cabinet may hold toothpaste, dental needs, deodorant, some q tips and cotton balls. Hair dryers, curling irons, gels, sprays, and other hair items can be stored in a container under your sink or in an over the door hanging bag. An extra roll of toilet paper and personal hygiene items can store under the sink.

If you have drawers, designate each drawer as a container for like items. One drawer can hold everyday makeup, one hair products, etc.

As you are sorting through your beauty products, consolidate partial bottles and get rid of any items you no longer are using or items past their expiration date.

Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, soap, and a wash cloth can be stored in a shower caddie inside your shower or tub. Extra back up supplies do not need to be stored in your bathroom.

If you are lucky enough to have a linen closet, keep your extra towels, cosmetics, cleaning supplies, and medicines here. Consider storing your medicines by type and placing them in separate bins. One bin might hold outdoor items like sunscreen, bug spray, or Benadryl. Another might hold pain medicine and cold/allergy medicine. Still another could have first aid supplies. As you sort through your medicines, get rid of the expired ones. Dispose of them responsibly.
(http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm101653.htm)

As you organize your linen closet, get rid of excess items. Do you really need 5 partial bottles of body oil, 6 sample soaps, and those free samples that came in the mail? How many towels, sheets, and extra blankets do you really need?

If you don’t have a linen closet, use towel hooks, over the toilet shelving, or baskets to store extra bath towels, wash cloths, and toilet paper.

When you have your bathroom organized, then work out a maintenance schedule to keep it under control. Next year, when you revisit this zone, it will be an easier process.

To learn more about my Zone Plan click on http://timespaceorg.com/services/.

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Organizing and Decluttering Your Bathrooms

If you are following my zone plan, this month is a good month to work on organizing your bathrooms. If you have a linen closet, you may wish to include it in this zone.

Your bathroom is one of the smaller rooms in your home but it is also one that holds many items. A bathroom can get disorganized and cluttered quickly, so it is important to have a vision and a plan for how you want to use this space.  Keep clutter to a minimum.

Look at the storage space you have available. Do you have room  to store your medicines and first aid material here? Do you have room to house cleaning materials? Some of what you store in this bathroom now may go somewhere else.

Use the medicine cabinet, drawers, or space under your sink the place you store items that you need and use regularly. Store your daily grooming supplies here. I have a small basket for the makeup I use almost daily. I have room in my medicine cabinet for toothpaste, dental needs, deodorant, q tips, and cotton balls. Hair dryers, curling irons, gels, sprays and all items for your hair may be stored in a container under your sink. If your space is limited, you might also have a hanging bag on the back of your bathroom door for storage. An extra roll of toilet paper and personal hygiene items could also fit under the sink area.

If you have drawers, designate each drawer as a container for like items. One drawer may be everyday makeup, one may be for eye products, one may hold hair products, etc.

As you are sorting your like items together, consolidate partial bottles and get rid of any items you no longer are using or items past their expiration date.

Shampoo, body wash, soap, and a wash cloth may be stored inside your shower or tub. There are shower caddies that fit over the door of your shower or over the shower head. Another option is to use a shower dispenser to hold shampoo or body wash.

Medicines can go in bins on a shelf in the linen closet or in the kitchen. Both spaces are better than the actual bathroom as moisture and heat can ruin some meds. Consider sorting your medicines by type and placing them in separate bins. One bin might hold outdoor items like sunscreen, bug spray, or Benadryl. Another might hold Tylenol, aspirin, and cold/allergy medicines. Still another might hold larger items like hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, and mouthwash. Get rid of expired items while sorting. Not only do some medicines lose their effectiveness over time but they can actually become harmful. Dispose of these items safely. Do not toss medicines in the trash and never flush them into our water system. The DEA offers a Prescriptions Drug Take Back Day which occurs in September this year.  Check http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html for more information.

If you have a linen closet, keep extra towels, cosmetics, and cleaning supplies there. The linen closet is also a good place to store duplicate items. But as you organize, be ruthless about throwing out items. You don’t need 5 partial bottles of shampoo, 6 sample soaps, or that free sample in foil of a shampoo/conditioner that came in the mail.

If you don’t have a linen closet you may use towel hooks, over the toilet shelving, or baskets to store your extra bath towels, wash cloths, and extra toilet paper.

When you have your bathroom organized, then work on a maintenance schedule to keep it under control. Next year, when you revisit this zone, it will be an easier process.

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Bathroom Organization

If you are working on the zone plan, this is the month to work on your bathrooms. I have only one small bathroom, so I include in this zone a linen closet that is in the hall right outside the bathroom.Start by defining your zones in the bathroom.

Make the medicine cabinet a place where you store items you need and use regularly. This will probably mean that your grooming supplies are in this area. I have an electric razor and charger, deodorant, perfume, lotion, q-tips and cotton balls in small containers, comb and brush, band aids, toothpaste, dental floss, and eye drops.

I have my medicines in bins on a shelf in the linen closet. Some families store their medicines in the kitchen. Either place, this keeps moisture from ruining them. I sort my medicines according to type and use and place them in multiple bins. One bin is for outdoors and contains items like bug spray, suntan lotion, Benadryl cream, and Neosporin. Another bin holds Tylenol, aspirin, and cold/allergy medicines.Yet another bin holds larger items like hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, and mouthwash.

While sorting the medicines, get rid of old expired items. Do not toss medicines in the trash and never flush them because they will get into our water system. The DEA offers a bi-annual Prescription Drug Take Back Day whir occurs around April and October. The next one is September 29, 2012. Check the website late n August to locate collection sites nearby. Go to http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/. Click on Got Drugs for more information on the National Take Back Initiative. Some pharmacies will also take back expired drugs.

Hair dryers, curling irons, gels, sprays, and all items you use to fix your hair can be housed in a container under the sink. As you organize this tub, toss or donate those products that you purchased but are not using.

An extra roll of toilet paper and personal hygiene items as well as some cleaning products can also be stored in the under the sink area. This is where you would store items used regularly.

Drawers in the bathroom are a good place to store cosmetics. Sort and categorize your makeup so that you have like with like. For example, all eye products are stored in one compartment. As you sort your cosmetics, throw out items that are expired, do not look right, or that you just don’t like anymore. As I don’t have drawers, I use containers in my linen closet for my cosmetics.

I also use my linen closet for my towels, hand-towels, and wash-clothes. If you don’t have a closet you may need to use towel hooks or shelving in your bathroom. Over the toilet shelving is a great place to store bath towels and wash-cloths.

The bathroom is usually a small, busy room so keep clutter to a minimum. Keep counters as clear as possible. Store duplicates of items elsewhere or in the back of a deep shelf. be ruthless about throwing out items. You don’t really need 5 partial bottles of shampoo or 6 sample soaps that are gathering dust.

When you have your bathroom organized, work on a maintenance schedule to keep it that way and again a year from now go through the big organizing/decluttering process. 

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Bathroom Zone

If you are working on the zone plan, this is the month I have marked to work on bathrooms. I only have one small bathroom so I also include the hallway outside the bath and the linen closet. I spend one day working in the bathroom – the medicine cabinet and under the sink. I spend another day working on the linen closet, and a third day just finishing off the hall.
In each area define your zones. The medicine cabinet should contain what you use on a regular basis and need to have on hand. In my case that would include an electric razor and it’s charger, deodorant, perfume, lotion, q-tips, cotton balls, comb & brush, a few ointments, band aids, toothpaste, dental floss, and eye drops. If my cabinet were larger, I would include Tylenol, Neosporin, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, a thermometer, and NyQuil.
When sorting items in the medicine cabinet, throw out any old or expired items, samples you have had for months and not used and then group like items together ( band aids and Neosporin, toothpaste and floss).
My cabinet under the sink holds a roll of toilet paper, feminine products, cleaning products for the bathroom, a hair dryer and a curling iron. If you have more room you can add paper towels, extra toilet paper, extra soap, extra lotions, powder, or anything you use regularly.
My linen closet is also divided into zones. On the top shelf I have extra sheets, blankets, and pillows. On the next shelf I keep all my towels and facecloths. I only keep as many as will comfortably fit on that shelf. The next shelf holds makeup, lotions, soaps, box of q-tips, bag of cotton balls, and shoe polish. Below that are medicines, sunscreen, bug spray, large ace bandages, light bulbs, batteries, and vases. The floor holds the extra toilet paper and a box for give-aways.
In all areas, group like objects together. Small containers are great for hold the categories – one for medicines, one for soaps, one for lotions, etc. This makes it easier to find items and to keep up with your inventory. You can see when you have used up the last of something.
Because the bathroom is usually a small, very busy room, keep the unnecessary clutter to a minimum. Store duplicates of items elsewhere or in the back of a deep shelf and then always shop from that area before buying more of something from the store.
If you are working the zone plan, you will not be back doing an organizational plan in this zone for another year so be ruthless about throwing out old or unused items. You want this area to have some open space and you want to be able to get to items easily without reaching through 6 partial bottles of shampoo.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Bathroom Zone

If you are following along on the zone plan, this is a good month to focus on your bathrooms. I only have one small bathroom so I also include my hall outside my bathroom which includes my linen closet.
One of the big jobs is cleaning out your medicine cabinet. Old pills create clutter and can be dangerous. Not only do medicines lose their effectiveness over time but they can actually be harmful. Their chemical integrity may be affected, as well as the body’s ability to break them down properly. Dispose of these items safely. If possible, take them back to the pharmacy for safe disposal. Don’t throw them in the trash or put flush them down the toilet where they go into your water supply.
Clean out make-up, hair products, and lotions you haven’t used in 6 months. Check expiration dates on sunscreen. If a product is dried up or has changed consistency or color- let it go. Old razors, scissors, or any other dull or rusty item should be tossed. If you have duplicates of items, store the duplicates elsewhere and shop from there before you buy more.
Only store what you use daily on the easiest accessable space. This might be in a drawer or a shelf near by. Place seasonal items (bug repellent) in the same area as your duplicates.
Group like items together. All mouth and tooth care items, all hair styling supplies and products, all cosmetics, all first aid, all medicines should be together. Small baskets are great for grouping these items- especially if you have a deep shelf.
If items are consistently left out and not put away- look carefully at where they are stored. If it is too difficult to get to an item, it will not be put away. Try to find a more assessable place for these items- perhaps in a basket on a shelf or the the back of the commode.
Let me know your bathroom organizing tips. Post them so others can enjoy as well.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

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