Sunday, September 30, 2007

Reader Question: Organizing Bathroom Stuff, Part 1

lotions and potions in a closet

A reader asks:
I was wondering if you could look for some ideas on organizing bathroom stuff. I'm talking about "health and beauty aids." I have a "closet" in the bathroom with shelves in it. One is for towels, and the top shelf is not easily accessible so it has heating pads and things not used often, but the middle shelf is for all the hair care products, makeup, cold medicines, lotions, etc. I have two plastic "drawers" in there, but tall things don't fit in them, and since the shelf is deep, many things get put in front of the drawers so I have to move it all to even open them! There has got to be a better way.

Glad to help!

Let's start at the obligatory organizer starting point; please make sure you've sorted through the stuff you have and are only organizing the things you really want and need. Cosmetics don't last forever; Real Simple provides some guidance.

A second thought: Can you adjust the shelves in the closet? Sometimes making a shelf taller or shorter can make a huge difference - or adding a shelf when there's a very tall shelf that largely goes unused. If shelf spacing is an issue and the shelves are adjustable, hiring a handyperson to create the right shelving can be a good investment. (Or if you are handier than I am, you could do it yourself!)

Looking at products:

Zia medium sized plastic tote basket

What I use myself for deep shelves are the stacking plastic tote baskets that you can find so many places: your local drugstore or hardware store, Organize-It, The Container Store, Stacks and Stacks, etc. This does mean you need to pull the basket in front out to get to the ones in back, but that's relatively easy to do. They come in the size shown above plus a smaller one.

Depending on the size of your closet, installing roll-out/pull-out organizers can be helpful. More on that in Part 2.

back of the cabinet door organizer

And depending on the type of door on the closet, you might be able to add some organizing options to the back of the door. A plastic shoe holder could be used to hold all sorts of bottles. There are also a variety of organizing racks and baskets that can provide useful back-of-the-door storage, such as the one shown above from Space Savers. Rev-A-Shelf also has a number of options.

[photo not from reader, but rather from 0range County Girl / Holly Clark]

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