Bathroom Organization 101: Bottles, Buttons, Bobby Pins, And More … In 10 Easy Steps

How do you organize the one and a half million little bottles, band-aids in assorted sizes … in triplicate, one hundred seventy-two buttons, a bucket of hotel soaps / shampoo / conditioner and lotions, a myriad of multi-colored hair accessories, make-up dating back to the stone age, manicure tools, stuff to keep your teeth white and healthy, safety pins, bobby pins, straight pins, shower gels and bubble bath, lotions and potions to revitalize, exfoliate and replenish your skin, Q-tips and cotton balls, and mostly everything above in travel size?

Such was the challenge I took on today.

Step 1: Set up trash can.

Step 2: Dump out one drawer/cabinet at a time … on any surface, preferably a solid-colored one, so you can find and identify each item.

Step 3: Pick up each item and decide, a: Trash?  or b: Categorize?

Step 4: If 3a, ignore any and all sentimental inclinations of attachment and throw the damn thing away.  (Be strong … you can get through this.)  If 3b, put it in a pile you’ve already categorized on your very-large, solid-colored surface, or start a pile with a new category.  (If you need help with category names, see Paragraph 1 above. Let your creative juices run wild, and don’t forget the Give-Away pile.)

Step 5: Continue with each drawer/cabinet until every blessed space is empty … except for your very-large, solid colored surface covered with a multitude of piles … and a new pile of filled trash bags.

Step 6: Don’t worry about the buttons.  Seventy-five percent of them probably belonged to clothes you gave to Goodwill a decade ago, but that’s OK.  They’re only buttons, and don’t take up too much space.  They can all be relegated to a small Ziploc baggie.

Step 7: Beware of the important “part.”  You know what I mean.  It may look like a dial, or a fancy cap to some doo-hickey.  You will be tempted to throw it away, but you must resist, because you know that as soon as you throw it away, you’ll find out what it was for, and you will agonize with regret over throwing it away.  Don’t worry, it’s small.  You can probably fit all your “important parts” into one small baggie.  Chances are, you’ll never resort to finding something you need in this bag.  But if you do, it will be a sweet victory, indeed, in which you will revel over how clever you were to save that “important” part.

Step 8: Beware of the mystery keys.  You know you knew what they were for at one time, but the memory is long gone.  You have a thought, “Maybe I should go around the house and try each key in each lock, to find out what they go to.  Then I’ll either color-code or label them.”  Sure … someday … when you have time.  Again, don’t worry about it.  Keys don’t take up too much space.  You can put them in a baggie and save them for some unforeseen future moment of desperation, when you just might need to take the time to try each key in each lock, to get into or out of whatever your present predicament dictates.

Step 9: Start reloading items back into drawers and cabinets – in their categories!  If you need to get a couple sets of those plastic drawer shelves, by all means, do so.

Step 10: Don’t forget to LABEL every newly organized drawer/cabinet/space.  There’s nothing more unnerving than opening fifty-million drawers and cabinets to find one hair clip!  Go wild … be elegant … however you figure out how to do it, LABEL every space.

Woo-hoo!  In ten easy steps, you’ve finally organized your bathroom, and can find anything at a moment’s notice.  No more stressing and panting and cursing over “Where the heck is it?”

Sigh.  What a relief!


2 Responses to “Bathroom Organization 101: Bottles, Buttons, Bobby Pins, And More … In 10 Easy Steps”

  1. slowdancejournal Says:

    I got very lucky. My neighbor, Heidi, is a conceptual artist. Some concept she is working on requires the containers from beauty products–even soap is considered a beauty product.

    Without guilt I have passed on a million tiny bottles of hotel toiletries. But I’ll admit, your plan is more practical. What are the odds on having a conceptual artist in the neighborhood?

    Adrian Fogelin

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