Bathroom Organization on the Micro Level

The bathroom is a collecting point for countless toiletries and knick-knacks that can make for a big mess. Here's how to keep them within reach but out of the way.

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bathroom storage

If the devil is in the details, your bathroom could slide into perdition at any moment. Too apocalyptic, you say? Consider your assortment of toiletries and knickknacks: tweezers and Band-Aids; lip balm and makeup; medicines and Q-tips; toothbrushes, hairbrushes, and toilet brushes; cotton balls, bath salts, and aspirin-everything that you have brought together in one 5 x 9-foot space.

If it takes you more than 15 minutes to find needed items in your bathroom, you may need to impose bathroom organization at the micro level. Here's how:

The basic principle of micro-organization in the bathroom is obvious: Sort items into appropriate containers and find a place for the containers. Take the attitude that there is room for the containers, and that you have to either find it or make it.

Thompson Price, president of Callier and Thompson Kitchens, Baths, and Appliances in St. Louis, says space for cabinets or shelves is often available over the toilet, above the shower head or even in the walls.

"We've done doors on a wall in the bathroom," he says, "where you open it up and basically build a cabinet that fits in between the studs in the wall." Thompson says this type of built-in storage is well within reach of low-end bath remodeling budgets.

Designers say that once you find or create space, it pays to make organizing your stuff part of an effort to improve the look of your bath. There's an opportunity here to use your storage containers as design elements, says Sabrina Foulke, architectural designer at Point One Architects + Planners in Old Lyme, Conn.

"That's why going into the walls and getting that extra space is very valuable," she says, "because it can hold the little jars of Q-Tips and cotton balls and extra soap."

All the jars, bottles, baskets and other containers that hold your things are potential accessories in your bath's overall look, just like the towel bars, robe holders and toilet paper holders that are normally used to accent the room. Not surprisingly, manufacturers have designed plenty of products that can improve both the organization and look of your bathroom.

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