Bathrooms can be beautiful and, according to real estate agents, can 'make or break' a house sale. But they can also be on the small side, have inadequate storage and seemingly impossible to keep tidy, especially when shared by two or more children!
Here are nine tips to help you organise your bathroom when you have neither space nor money to break down several walls and build a bigger one, or are renting.
1. Do you really need that?
Before you start organising, you should make sure that you don't have extraneous items that need to be thrown away, not put away. Check the expiry dates on vitamins and medications – yes, ear drops, eye drops, anti-inflammatory cream, sunscreen, antiseptic cream, the lot. They all have expiry dates. Also, keep tabs on how long you've had your makeup. Each product — lipstick, eye shadow, mascara — has a different shelf life. Now is not the time to get sentimental about any of your bathroom products.
2. Magazine rack
Let’s be honest here. Most – a lot – of people read when they’re in the ‘bathroom’. It might be the newspaper (if you’re one of the 23% of Australians who still get one), a magazine or a book, you might be taking up useable space by keeping them on the floor or a bench. Try putting a magazine rack on the wall. Or, even better, use your tablet computer.
3. Designated positions
Don’t mess up everything together. Buy some utensil dividers from a kitchen store, or even a stationery tray from an office supplies store and divide things so they are easy to find.
4. Do you really need that sample?
I have a good friend who really loves samples. Everywhere she goes, she brings home the shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, shower gel and whatever else she can find. If you stay at her house, she puts them out in a set for your stay! She also travels internationally for business quite regularly and, last count, she had 32 unused business class toiletry bags taking up one entire drawer in her living room because there’s no more space in the bathroom. She didn’t admit to this; her husband showed us. It gave everyone a good laugh but the question remains ‘do you really need that sample’?
5. Clean a bit every day
Instead of allowing you bathroom to become a mess before you clean it, tidy up a little bit each day. This little step will save you tons of time in the long run. Keep disinfectant, toilet cleaner and brushes under the sink or adjacent to the toilet so they are easily accessed.
6. Clean-up after you
Get kids into the habit of putting things away after their bath or shower. Depending on their age, get a mesh bag to store their bath toys so they can drain and dry. For older kids, make sure they have somewhere to put their ‘own’ things if they have started buying their own washes and gels and don’t want to share it.
7. Extra storage
If you really have space and storage limitations, try getting a vertical shelf system with box-like drawers with one drawer for every bathroom user. In addition to towel racks, you may want to include some hooks to encourage your family not to leave things on the floor. They may use it for their running gear, their pyjamas or maybe just what they’re going to wear that day.
8. Retractable cords
If you don’t have them already, when you’re due to replace your blow dryer or straightening iron, make sure they have retractable cords so they don’t take up space when not being used. Until then, make sure you wrap the cord as neatly as possible when you’re finished with it (but let it cool first).
9. Spare shelf
Install a shelf somewhere handy – eg. above the toilet – for added storage, such as extra towels or even a decoration, clock, tissue box or whatever you need. But keep it tidy and useful for its purpose!