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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Home Organization: Tackling The Bathroom Cabinet

Carrying on the organization trend and in keeping with Apartment Therapy's January Cure Day 5, I tackled another project off THE LIST - another black hole in our home that had been far too long overlooked.  The bathroom cabinet, like the cabinet under our kitchen sink, was in desperate need of some organization.

Just like in the kitchen we were using a rack to utilize some multi-level storage and just like in the kitchen it was failing.  Every time we opened the door something would fall out.  Sounds familiar, right?

I took everything out except the stackable drawers.  I went through everything - even the drawers - and purged a bunch of things that were either outdated, unused or not in the right place.  I found a new home on the cabinet door for my hair tools using a removable Command hook which opened up a whole drawer for toiletry items.  The drawers could still use some organization inside - perhaps some small bins to corral items - but for now it'll do.

Next, I organized all of our bath items into baskets which were leftover from this storage project fail.  While they didn't work for the hanging storage project - they were the perfect size for storage inside the bathroom cabinet.  In the upper basket I stored his & hers items vertically and for the lower basket under the shelf I stored all of the kid stuff horizontally.  This way we know exactly what to find in each basket and are able to utilize the maximum amount of space.

It didn't take a lot of time to organize the bathroom cabinet - maybe 10 minutes tops, but oh what a difference it made.

So for those of you interested in organizing your own cabinets,  here's a quick rundown of how I tackle this project:

How-to organize a cabinet. 

1.  Start clean - Remove everything from the cabinet and sort items into similar groups
2.  Purge - Find new homes for things you don't use - sometimes the trash is the perfect spot.
4.  Organize - Use baskets, shelves and storage bins to store items.
5.  Be Creative - Don't forget to utilize the cabinet door by using hooks or hanging baskets.

I, for one, have the hardest time getting rid of things.  I either have some wild idea that I'll actually use it in the future or have some crazy sentimental attachment to it.  Have trouble letting go of items, just like me?  In Day 2's task of the January Cure Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan offers a helpful tip to overcoming this obstacle.
Choose a space that is clearly defined. This area should be out of the way of daily activities and be a place you can comfortably allow to get messy and chaotic for a short while. A closet or guest room is perfect for this, but any small area or corner near your front door will do. Designate this your Outbox. The Outbox is not garbage, nor does it need to be an actual box; it is a halfway house where things sit while their fate is being decided. You should never be afraid to put something in the Outbox.

Once an item has sat in the Outbox for some time, it releases its hold over the owner and becomes just an ordinary object that one can easily decide what to do with. One client compared it to the phenomenon children experience when they fall in love with a rock that is wet or under water. Later, when the rock has dried off and is no longer shiny, it becomes just a plain old rock again and the child's attachment to it suddenly lessens.

Note To Self:  Now I know Maxwell says to let your items sit in the Outbox for some time, I don't think that means for weeks on end which would inevitably create a problem all of its own and move you one more step closer to hoarder status.  Mmkay?

So, tackling any projects this week?  What creative ways do you use to organize your home?



  1. Hey, I love your blog, this is actually my to-do for tonight. I have those little shelves on my list to pick up after work, and I like the basket idea too. Although, may I suggest changing your link color? That mint green may be visible on your monitor, but it is killing my eyes. I have 2 monitors here and it's hard to see on both.

    1. So glad you found me. Thanks so much for the tip - hopefully the new, darker shade is easier on the eyes. :)


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