Affordable Bathroom Organizing

{we use vinyl decals to label items/rooms throughout the house to help MiniDork learn to sight read: hence the “bathroom” decal}

Our bathroom isn’t bad. It’s not big, but not tiny. It would be fine…for one or two people. But when two adults are sharing one bathroom with a pre-preschooler {and all the bath toys a kid collects}, things can get tight. Organizing is crucial. But getting organized as a renter on a limited budget, can get tricky. Here’s how I’ve wrangled our bathroom mess as best as I can with the resources I have:

First up, the skinny little linen closet. It’s the only linen closet we have, so it’s jam-packed:

1. I’ve used a 3M hook to store back-up bath sponge-loofah-thingies. You know, those nylon poofs that get a really awesome lather? Yeah, those things. I try to replace mine once a month.

2. We used to use this rusty old shower shelf on our shower head, but the damn thing would NOT stay put. It would slide down, suddenly, in the middle of a shower and make me nearly piss myself in fright. You’ll see what I replaced it with later in this post. Now it holds our stain fighters and Febreeze on it’s top section.

3. These things are glorious. GLORIOUS, I say! They’re cheap ($4 USD), and versatile. I use them in the bathroom, in the pantry, in the kitchen, and in the family room! And, of course, something this clever and affordable could only come from Ikea, right? Here in the linen closet I use them for scrap towels {used for soaking up spills mostly, they’re all currently in the laundry, hence the empty basket}, summer-time products {sunscreen, bug spray, after-bite}, washcloths, and my containers of cotton swabs and cotton balls {bottom shelf}.

4. See that empty hook? It’s only empty for privacy’s sake, because that’s where I hang my bras that aren’t dirty enough for the laundry yet. I Febreeze them, and let them hang overnight to dry and air out. I usually get dressed in the bathroom, so this is a super convenient place to keep them.

5. This hook isn’t empty. It’s filled with a bunch of my hair elastics {I keep my other pony tail holders in my bedroom}. I do my hair for the day in my bedroom, but at night, when I wash my face, I like to have elastics near by for pulling my hair back.

6. These are extra dental supplies {brushes, toothpaste, etc.}. You can see a pouch of kid flosser’s on the lowest shelf of the rack, but the other stuff wouldn’t fit without falling. I used a cheap-o shower curtain ring from the dollar store to attach this little pink bucket-thingy {which came from Michael’s}.

7. These caddies also came from Michael’s. I later found cheaper ones at the dollar store, but oh, well. The green one holds all of ManDork’s shaving supplies. The purple one holds MiniDork’s de-tangler spray, Knot Genie {BEST BRUSH EVAR!}, and combs. When it’s time to do her hair {I try to braid it before bed to avoid tangles}, she can just pull out the caddy and bring it to me.

8. Here I’ve used another 3M hook to stash more of MiniDork’s hair stuff. The big pocket is a three-hole pencil pouch I picked up at Walmart for a buck. It has a clear vinyl window. Inside I keep MiniDork’s pretty hair clips, flowers, My Little Pony, etc. It’s nice to be able to see inside to check if any of her clips go well with what she’s wearing without having to open the pouch and dig around. The smaller pouch holds all of her little no-snap hair elastics. Her hair is even finer than mine, so the typical elastic is too big, plus, with those little plastic elastics I don’t have to worry much about them getting lost. It’s just a few bucks for hundreds of them. Both pouches are hung with more cheap-o, metal, shower curtain rings from the dollar store.

Then, on the floor of the linen closet I’ve got our mop bucket and a few cleaning supplies. The cleaners themselves are kept under the bathroom sink {hey, this is a TINY closet, I couldn’t fit everything in here}.

It’s certainly not pretty, not like the closets you see on I Heart Organizing. But, hey, like I said, our space is almost as limited as our budget. The important thing is that it works. Some day I’d like to have a linen closet that is both organized and pretty. But it can wait.

Next up,  the back of the bathroom door:

There isn’t room on our towel rack for three towels {there’s barely room for two}, and there wasn’t room on the wall to add another towel bar. So MiniDork’s towel and robe hang from one of the hooks used to hold up this pouch organizer I got from Real Canadian Superstore. It used to be in MiniDork’s bedroom, but it wasn’t super useful in her room. So I stole it for the bathroom. It does make it so that the bathroom door can’t open 100% of the way. But, I’ve said it already and I’ll say it again, our options are limited. Besides, when we’re in the bathroom the door is usually closed anyhow.

MiniDork is potty-trained, except for when she’s sleeping. I’m a huge fan of the moist, flush-able wipes for young kids {heck, even I use them sometimes}. We stash our back up packs in the top pocket.

We still have regular wipes left from MiniDork’s younger days. They’re handy for wiping her face, so we held on to them. We stash them in the second pocket.

Below that we keep the diapers she uses at nap time. They’re the store brand, and are fine, except that they leak if she uses them all night long. That’s why we started using them only for naps.

Finally, in the bottom pocket, are her night-time diapers. They hold a lot more before springing leaks, but they cost more. Hopefully MiniDork won’t need them much longer.

The pouches are made from a material that feels pretty cheap, but so far it’s holding up fine. MiniDork can reach into most of the pockets herself, which means when it’s time to get ready for bed we can send her to fetch her own diaper, or if she needs to wipe her face after a messy snack she can get a wipe all by herself. I am all for enabling kids to be as independent as possible. It’s good for them, and it’s good for moms too.

Now, before I explain this next system, let me remind you all that I have adult ADD. I’m not kidding. I’m not hyperbolizing. I have, legit, diagnosed Attention-Deficit Disorder. It kinda sucks. I’ve got meds, which help a ton, but it’s still a challenge. Have you ever been pregnant? Remember pregnancy brain? Yeah? Now imagine if you multiplied that by five and had it for life. Yeah. That’s me. Remembering to do even basic things, like brushing my teeth, can be difficult. To help myself out with my morning and evening routines I need organization. And after using those little plastic photo boxes {from Michaels} to organize some other things in my house I realized they’d be perfect for making myself a handy system to keep me on track.

Check it out:

 This little wire basket was installed on the wall below the medicine cabinet when we moved in to this rental. I keep a water cup in it, along with my routine boxes. One is my AM box and one is my PM box {don’t worry, I’ll make cute vinyl decals for them some day soon}. Let’s take a peek inside the PM box to get an idea of how I use these:

Because I work out every morning, that’s when I shower. So at night I just need to wash my face. I keep a handy little head-band in my box to remind me to wash. As long as I remember to wash my face, I’ll also remember to use my moisturizer and skin treatments, because my skin feels a little dry after washing, which makes it impossible to forget. I got a tiny box of floss from the dentist last time I got a cleaning. I don’t use regular floss, I prefer the plastic, angled disposable flossers. But that little box is a reminder to floss. Note: According to my dental hygienist, you should floss BEFORE you brush, not after. That way you brush away everything you loosened up. I’ve apparently been doing it wrong for years. And once I’ve flossed, I remember to brush as well. I’m currently trying to whiten my teeth, so I’ve got my strips in there as well. Finally, I’ve got trial-sized tubes of my skin medication {I’ve been battling a bad patch of dry skin on one calf}. When it’s empty, I’ll keep the empty tube inside to act as a reminder, just like I use the travel-sized floss box. If I ever need a reminder in my box, but don’t have something small enough to fit inside, I can just print up a little card and laminate it. This system works great for me. I think it would also be fantastic for older kids who have trouble with these sorts of routines. For my three-year-old though, we do this:

I picked up that chalkboard vinyl at the dollar store ages ago, knowing I’d find a use for it eventually. I was right. I used a chalk marker to write on it {because I do not need chalk dust all over my bathroom}.  MiniDork can’t read it, but ManDork can; and he’s the one who does her bedtime routine. Since he works late, and a lot of overtime, we feel it’s best if he does the bed-time stuff because it gives them extra bonding time {and gives me a little break in the evening}. Step number nine is done after she’s tucked in, and it includes all three of us. As atheists, we don’t do the whole prayer thing. But I wanted to have a special way to close the day, and a habit of focusing on the positive things. So each night we all say:

1. One thing we’re thankful for that day.

2. One thing that each other family member did for us that day.

A lot of nights we end up doing “silly thankful-fors” {per MiniDork’s request}, which simply entail saying “I’m thankful for” and babbling or making weird noises and faces.

Okay. So I promised to show you the shower. Here it is:

I stole this idea from Dawn Nicole when I saw it floating around Pinterest. The textured tile in our shower makes it impossible to use suction-cup or adhesive mounted organizers. But with a super-strong, shower curtain tension rod, two Avon hanging organizers {retail is $12 CAD}, and some curtain hooks, we’ve solved our shower organization problems. The organizers are nylon mesh, so no worries about water not draining or mildew. One holds my shower supplies, the other holds MiniDork’s bath supplies {including bath body paint from Avon and bath crayons by Crayola}. ManDork doesn’t have many shower products, so he just stashes things on the corners of the tub. The Munchkin Bath Scooper Turtle is mean to stick to the wall, but it wouldn’t stay up. So now it hangs from two of the hooks. It contains bath toys. On the far right is MiniDork’s shampoo rinse cup. She gets super freaked out if water gets in her face, so it’s nice to have. We’re finally getting her to let us use the handheld sprayer, which is actually easier to use {but previously freaked her out even more than the rinse cup}, so hopefully we can move that cup out of the bathroom soon.

And that, folks, is how we organize our small bathroom. Subscribe to the blog {in the sidebar} to be sure you don’t miss the awesome systems I have set up for organizing all my clothes and beauty supplies in our bedroom!

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