An Organized Bathroom In Transition

Hello, Organizers!

This summer has been one for the books – I’ve been in different states each month from Kentucky to Maryland, I’m headed to Massachusetts tomorrow and to Buenos Aires next week! While my husband is working in the Dominican Republic and Argentina this summer, my cat (Tucker) and I moved in with my sister, her husband, their 2 dogs, and 1 cat so we could sub-let our apartment. It has been beyond a blessing not paying rent this summer, but the transitioning can make me go a little organizationally crazy! Their family uses different systems than mine, and it can be hard to not feel in control of my environment.

I’m ashamed to admit it, but, for the first half of the summer, my bathroom (I get my own bathroom!) has been in utter disarray. I only went down to the basement in the morning to get ready and in the evening to take a shower and brush my teeth – I felt ashamed every time I opened the door! This is just no way to live. Finally, I tackled the space with a quick 20 minute organization ritual that you too can adopt for some easy bathroom maintenance.


before sink 2 before shelf 2

I hereby declare this a judgment-free zone! The first thing I like to do when assessing a disorganized space with my clients is decide what isn’t working. Let’s dive right in!

Bathroom Sink/Counter

before sink

Between the chords, jumbled makeup, and brushes not being displayed, I could never find anything during my morning beauty ritual! The lack of a medicine cabinet/mirror that I’m used to meant I had to find a way to store every-day items. Nothing had a place, so how could it find its way back home after every use?


before shelf

Since the bathroom cabinet under the sink was being used to store my sister’s family’s items, I thought it would be easier to utilize this shelf I’ve had since college for all of my bathroom products. And since I am also storing the things my husband couldn’t take to South America while we sub-let our apartment, it turned out to be quite a bit of stuff! That was the first problem – I needed to purge unused and unwanted toiletries. The shelves were not serving dedicated purposes, so how could I find a thing? I didn’t even have my cotton swab/cotton ball canisters stacked properly on top of each other – it was bad, y’all. Shame, shame, shame.


before toilet

The back of the toilet was holding two bins – one that was supposed to be for every day products and one for hair brushes and accessories. Somehow my eye-shadow book wound up in the middle and everything was a jumbled mess. There was too much visual clutter for this tiny bathroom!

The Declutter

1. After the assessment, the first step is always to remove everything from the surface. I started with the sink, then the shelves, and the back of the toilet.

2. I cleaned everything and looked at what I had.

3. I quickly realized about 10% of everything could be trashed – old, broken makeup and hair ties that were on their last leg.

4. I designated a purpose for each area: the bathroom sink would be for my makeup tray and brushes, the back of the toilet for one bin of everyday products, and everything else on the shelves.

5. I simply put the items where they belonged in an eye-catching way!


top shelf

Now every shelf has a purpose: the top shelf for taller items that wouldn’t fit underneath and other every day items, the second shelf for my hair accessories basket and nail polish, the third for hair appliances, and the bottom for storage (my husband’s items in the back, travel-sized toiletries and feminine products out of site in pretty makeup bags).


I even recycled this old medicine bottle to hold my small beauty tools – nail clippers, tweezers, etc.


I even realized all of my hair dryer attachments could fit on top of the diffuser and tuck neatly away! It’s the little things.


My nail polish tray and hair accessories basket fit perfectly together side-by-side on the second shelf!


Now only the items I use on a daily basis (medicines, deodorant, moisturizer, floss, etc.) remain in a bin on the back of the toilet – much better!

makeup 2 makeup sink after

What a difference! I even cut the hair off my old hair ties to give them new life. The little blue organizer came out of an old jewelry box, and is perfect for corralling my hair ties, bobby pins, and lip glosses. And I finally took my brushes out of their carrying case and put them in the toothbrush cup in a separate holder. Now I’m really moved in!


One should wash their makeup brushes every couple of weeks or more, but mine hadn’t been cleaned all summer. Oops! When you wash your brushes, use a gentle soap and dry on an incline by folding up the paper towel on one end.

And there you have it! An organized transitional bathroom in under 20 minutes! What are your favorite tricks to keep your bathroom organized? I’d love to hear in the comments!

Happy organizing!


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