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Quick Tips for Organizing Bathrooms

Use these seven tips for bathroom organization to make the most of your bathroom, regardless of its size.

Four symmetric white shelves make up this bathroom unit. Decor, towels and toilet paper are all within view.

1. Organize Your Medicine Cabinet

Make your medicine cabinet a repository of things you need and use regularly, which means chucking any outdated medicines and relocating excess to another location. "The way to achieve a clean countertop is to change the use of the medicine cabinet," says Julie Morgenstern, author of Organizing from the Inside Out. "They are better used for everyday grooming supplies rather than medicines."

Keep like items in their own labeled storage bins underneath the sink or in the linen closet. When you need to use something, slide the whole container out for easy access. You might choose to move medicines into the kitchen because moisture can ruin them. By creating "active" storage in your medicine cabinet you'll minimize time spent in the bathroom, giving you more time to organize another space in the house.

2. Control Hair Product Clutter

Gels, sprays, curlers, combs and hair dryers take up a lot of space in the bathroom. For quick organization, buy a plastic tub for under the sink and load it up with your supplies. As you place them in the tub, evaluate whether you use the product often. If not, donate it to a friend or to charity. When you fix your hair, the whole tub can be taken out and put away without creating a mess.

3. Add Creative Towel Storage

If your towel rack isn't big enough to hang the family's towels, add hooks to the bathroom. Towel hooks are inexpensive, easy to mount and create a space for each member of the family to hang their towel. No more fighting over whose is whose, plus your bathroom floor will remain dry, not damp.

4. Divide and Conquer Your Makeup

Drawers in the bathroom tend to be catchalls for lots of different containers, most of which badly organize their contents. An expandable cosmetic drawer organizer fits in a shallow drawer and takes the place of bulky cosmetic bags. Different size compartments will organize lipstick, blush and eye shadow so you never have to root around to find what you're looking for. As you organize your makeup, be sure to throw away anything that smells or is expired. Old makeup contains bacteria that can irritate your skin.

5. Reassess the Shower Caddy

It's your best friend when you're in the shower, but is it working for you? Shower caddies that are too small or too large can be a pain, both for cleaning you and your shower. There are plenty of options: from over the showerhead and suction shelves to corner caddies. If you don't have enough room, one solution is to pare down your toiletries. How many bottles of shampoo do you really need? If you have too much, consider downsizing so you don't feel like you have to fill up the extra space.

6. Claim the Space Over Your Toilet

Even in small bathrooms there's space for organization; you just have to know where to look. Over the toilet bath furniture is a great place to put extra toilet paper, toiletries and even towels. If you don't keep the toilet seat down, opt for a unit with cabinets or closed shelving. You can find attractive shelving at major home stores, usually for less than $100.

7. Add Style and Function With Apothecary Jars

If you have a lot of counter space, and don't mind leaving things out in the open, invest in some stylish apothecary jars to hold necessities. Cotton swabs, soap and bath salts look great in clear glass containers. These are especially handy when guests use your bathroom because they can help themselves without snooping in your cabinets.

Julie Morgenstern
Website: www.juliemorgenstern.com

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