Ladies & Gentlemen

I love the "Name Your Own Price" feature on When we travel to Southern California, we stay at really nice hotels for much less than retail prices. I'm confident the hotel's restroom will be stocked daily with all the soaps, shampoo, conditioner, towels, tissues, and toilet paper we need without being cluttered with unneeded and left-over supplies. When I enter a "ladies" room in a public place I expect similar service-- at least that there will be adequate washroom supplies. 

For many, the Ladies & Gents room in their own home is a different story. The shower floor is strewn with near-empty bottles of shampoo and conditioner. The bathroom counter is cluttered with expired prescriptions, makeup, hair products, and messy rolled-up toothpaste tubes. There are never extra rolls of toilet paper handy when needed, and what? We're out of toothpaste again?!?

So how do we achieve the hotel-like atmosphere without hiring a full-time staff? As usual, it starts with a good purging, ends with consistent maintenance, and is enhanced with some well-chosen organizing tools. Check out these Timely Tips for a well-organized bathroom.

TIMELY TIPS - for a well-organized bathroom

Makeup - Most makeup experts will agree on purging mascara at three months, liquid foundation and eye liner at six months, and powders and lipstick at two years. So, purge all the old stuff! For the future, use a permanent marker to write the date on makeup when opened. Use a clear acrylic makeup organizer to store the items you use most frequently. I tuck my makeup organizer in a cabinet when not in use to keep the counter clear. Keep backup supplies in a bin under the counter or in a nearby closet. 

Medications - Prescriptions and other medications are a little easier to purge because they have expiration dates. But, they tend to accumulate faster, and stick around longer than you might imagine, so even if you think you don't you have expired or no longer used items, be sure to check. Keep only the items you use daily on the countertop. If you stock a lot of medicine, sort it by categories (pain relievers, cold remedies, children's, etc.) and then store them in separate, labeled bins. 

Hair Products - Back in the day when Prell and Breck were the only two hair products on the market it was easier to manage (not our hair, but at least our products). Now there are gels, mousse, sprays, conditioners (my kids make fun of me when I accidentally call it "creme rinse"), texturizers, etc. Most of these products we use for a time and then switch to something new midway through a can, bottle, or tube. We feel bad throwing away "good" product, so instead we let it sit in our bathroom and clutter up the countertop, shower, or cabinet. It's time to let those things go. Consider using a shower caddy and let that to be your boundary for products inside the shower. When you stop using something-- give it to someone who will, or throw it out. Now, doesn't that look nice? 

Hair Tools/Accessories - Relocate your hair crimper and scrunchies to your dress-up bin so you'll have them handy in case of an 80s party. Decide if you're really going to ever use your sponge or hot rollers again and remove accordingly. Use a couple large mesh magazine holders to store your hot straightener, curling iron, and hair dryer under the sink.

Bathroom Drawer - Relocate or toss items that are making it a "junk" drawer. Using a drawer organizer, create specific homes for toothpaste, floss, deodorant, hair bands, brushes, etc. In other words, things that you need and use in the bathroom.

Misc. Supplies - If space in the bathroom cabinet is limited, use your vertical wall space for storing extra supplies of towels, toilet paper, soap, and feminine products. Purchase an over-the-toilet shelf unit or attach cubbyhole shelves to the wall. Place items in canvas cubes or handled baskets for a cleaner look.

Cleaning Supplies - Double the under-sink space with a 2-tier slide-out organizer for your cleaning products and misc supplies. Small items can also sit on a two-tiered turn table for easy access. Everything should fit once you purge the products you had good intentions of using, but never have.

To do list - Organized By Choice

Maintenance - Keep a sticky notepad and pen in the drawer. When you run out of something while getting ready, write it down and stick it to the mirror so you can grab it and take it with you when you leave. Don't purchase more than you have space to comfortably store-- even if it's a good sale! Take two minutes to put everything away before walking out of the bathroom each morning. Purge every few months or sooner if you see things beginning to stack up. 

Comical Words

"Life is like a bath, the longer you're in it the more wrinkled you get." - Unkown