Bathroom Tips to Turn It Into an Oasis

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Ah, bathroom organization. Almost as bad as a dirty bathroom (and we do mean almost) is a disorganized one: No one wants to face a cluttered mess first thing in the morning. Overstuffed drawers and a bursting medicine cabinet will very likely stress you out while also making you late for work as you hunt for your brush, nose hair trimmer, box of tissues, and other things too numerous or indelicate to mention here.

You should emerge from your bathroom refreshed and ready to meet the day, not harried and rumpled. We can help you love your lavatory! Most room organizing uses the same four steps, explains organization expert Mim King. So clean up the chaos by starting with these tips:

Make piles

The first step is to remove and separate everything. Clear out all the items from under the sink and in your cabinets and line them up. Clean the drawers and shelves, and then assess what you own.

“Toss any toiletries that have crossed the line into the gunky stage,” King says. Donate anything that you’ve never used or just doesn’t work for you, but only if it’s unopened and in good condition.

Start categorizing

Divide your remaining toiletries by type—teeth, hair, makeup, soap, first aid, and paper products—and then decide how best to organize these bathroom necessities in the space you have.

Nancy Haworth, a professional organizer with On Task Organizing in Raleigh, NC, suggests plastic, acrylic, or mesh wire bins or baskets. Use stacking containers under the sink, or install pull-out drawers to hold bathroom cleaning supplies.

“A tray near the sink corrals lipsticks you use every day and makes it easier to clean the counter top,” she notes. You can even repurpose a shoe box or other small cardboard box to hold makeup, adds King.

Create more storage

Bathroom organization is easier when you add storage, and sometimes that means getting creative with a small space. Take advantage of other nooks to stash your stuff, especially behind the bathroom and cabinet doors. Haworth likes hanging over-the-door wire baskets to store a hair dryer, curling iron, straightener, and brushes.

Make use of vertical real estate by adding a tiered dessert stand on your counter, says Emma Gordon, organizing expert at

And don’t forget the tub and shower! Wrangle this mess with a few plastic baskets and an extra curtain rod, she suggests. “Put the rod through the handles of a plastic basket, and use it to hold your kids’ bath toys, shampoo, and shower gels,” she says. That way, it’s guaranteed to dry out, which will prevent damp spots where mold or mildew can form.

Hang it up

Don’t let reading material pile up on the floor or on the back of the toilet (it’ll just get damp and end up looking, well, extremely gross). Instead, grab a wooden pants hanger, says Gordon.

“Put it on the back of the bathroom door, and it’ll hold just the right amount of magazines and newspapers,” she says. Any more than that is too much—toss it out!

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