Organize Your Bathroom in 4 Simple Steps

Hi everyone! What better way to start your week than with a little organization motivation?  We are approaching the colder months which is a nice time to tackle these indoor projects, one small space at a time.  By popular demand, this week’s blog post is covering 4 simple steps to organize the bathroom.

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Step 1 | Purge

Grab a big trash bag (or 2) and bring it into the bathroom.  Those half empty conditioner bottles that have been collecting dust in your drawers or taking space up in your shower- toss them or donate them.  A good rule to follow: Pretend you are moving and you only have the space/energy to pack what you really use- if you haven’t used a product in a year, it’s not likely you will use it in the future.  Whether you toss it in the trash or offer it to someone who might get use out of it- that’s up to you.  The point here is, get rid of the crap you hoard!  We’re all guilty of this.

Step 2 | Categorize

Start with one small space at a time- a drawer, a cabinet, the space under the sink, etc.  Chunking one room into smaller spaces will ensure you don’t get in over your head and you can feel accomplished with each small victory.  Make categories for the contents in that space and pile them accordingly.  For example- face products, body lotions, nail polish, soaps/body gels, vitamins, hair products, etc. Do the same with your makeup- foundations, bronzers and blushes, eyeshadows, lip products, brushes, etc.

Step 3 | Contain

The containers make all the difference in my opinion.  Play with different options that work for the space you are tackling.  If you want to get real technical, you can measure your drawers before you go to the store to make sure the containers you buy will fit.  Usually I just buy what I think will work and return anything unused.  There’s also the option to look through your own house to see if there are any unused tupperware containers or boxes that can serve the same purpose.  Here’s a tip- if you have a Birchbox subscription, I love to use the boxes that the products come in as dividers in my bathroom drawers- and they cost me nothing extra!  I will post hyperlinks to all of my favorite containers at the end of the post.

Step 4 | Label

I find this especially effective for the space under my sink where I added plastic drawers to organize all of my products.  Its so nice to be able to know exactly where everything is without having to open every drawer to see what’s inside.  Some of you may be able to skip this step, but my type-A self loves to label.  These plain white labels come in a pack of 128 for less than $2- you can’t beat that!   Simple masking tape works great too.  The nice thing about a writing on a sticker label is that if you ever choose to reorganize the drawers/ containers with different items, you can easily peel that label off and make a new one.

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These plastic stackable drawers are great for larger items such as sunscreen, vitamin bottles, hair products, etc.  I put all of my samples and travel sized items in the smaller 5-drawer unit, which I purchased from Bed Bath & Beyond.  I can’t find the exact unit but this is similar and would work just as well for those smaller items.  I got the wicker caddy that I use for all of my hair styling tools at Home Goods.  I can’t find the same one either but any utensil caddy with large enough sections would work- this one from Target looks perfect.  To organize cosmetics, hair ties, bobby pins, nail polish, etc., I like these clear plastic tray organizers– you can just buy one or put multiple side by side and they are super easy to clean.  My favorite places to buy these items are TJ Maxx, Home Goods, Target, and Bed Bath & Beyond.  Between those four stores (and Amazon) you should be able to find exactly what you need!  Good luck and happy organizing! xx

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Preparing for Change

Happy Monday!  Today is a big day for me- day one of my first level II fieldwork at a special services school district.  For the next three months, I will have the opportunity to apply everything I learned about occupational therapy with a pediatric population.  After that- another three months working at a residential neurorehab facility.  I am craving a routine after a routine-less summer and am experiencing a mix of emotions, but I am excited to begin this last chapter on the path to adulthood 😉

Change is something I try to embrace but I will admit- it’s hard for me.  The anxiety leading up to the change is what does me in- but then I always find a happy, new normal.  Within the last year, I’ve experienced a lot of change- my best friend moved across the country, my family moved from the home we built in Hunterdon County, NJ to a house in New Hope, PA; I finished the academic portion of graduate school, and I no longer work as an instructor at JW Tumbles- a job I held and loved for over seven years.  Moving boxes, hugs, a few shed tears, demolition, paint, and sawdust (my family is remodeling our new house)- I am finally starting to settle into a new routine and see beauty in the change.

One of the more adaptive ways I manage stress and anxiety is to organize.  I’m not sure if its a type-A thing or a me thing but having a clean and organized physical space helps me emulate that same mental state.  It’s almost like nesting- except without the baby.  So this past week, to prepare for a big change and quiet the anxious mental chatter, I organized my closet.  For this week’s post, I am sharing some of my tried and true tips to help organize and maintain a clean closet.

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| Use the same hangers |

This makes a surprisingly big difference in the appearance of your closet as it reduces visual clutter and increases uniformity.  I like these black, velvet, non-slip hangers for pants, shirts and dresses; and these wooden hangers with clips for skirts, shorts, and strapless dresses.  I tagged both items from Walmart but they can also be purchased at any Marshalls, TJ Maxx, or Home Goods.

| Organize clothing by length |

This will not only help you find specific items you are looking for when getting dressed each morning, but it can also help you visualize what you have enough of/ what you need to stock up on.  For example, I have all of my shirts hung on the top rack of my closet organized in the following categories- long sleeve, short sleeve, and sleeveless.  I have more than enough long sleeve shirts, but very few short sleeves so next time I go shopping, I have a better idea of what I need.  My dresses are organized by length and sleeve- all of my short dresses are hung in order from long sleeve to sleeveless.  I do the same for my maxi dresses, then I hang all of my strapless dresses together.    It sounds excessive but all it requires is a few minutes of rearranging hangers- super simple.

| Organize clothing by color |

Within each section based on length, each item is organized in rainbow order.  I start with black, then brown, then gray/ivory/white (darkest to lightest), then continue with the colors of the rainbow.  If you do anything to organize your closet, I would suggest putting the time in to do this.  I never have to search for anything in my closet because I always know exactly where it is based on the color of the item I’m looking for.  For my jeans, I continue with the ombre theme- darkest to lightest.  My dark wash jeans are hung to the left, then medium wash, then light wash, then white.  I have some patterned work pants and khakis/chinos that I hang to the left of all of my jeans.

| Organize shoes by type |

One of the perks of moving into the new house was a major closet upgrade- I am able to organize each type of shoe on a different shelf.  I like these stackable, white shoes shelves from Target.  Here are the categories that work best for me: sneakers, boots, flat closed-toed shoes, flat sandals, and heels.  If you don’t have enough room in your closet, you can still throw the shoes in labeled tubs to stay organized.  Within each shoe type, I also organize them by color because I have the space and I am slightly insane 😉 but this is definitely not necessary.

| Keep your closet current | 

If you haven’t worn it in a year, ask yourself why and initiate the appropriate next step.  About four times a year, at the start of each season- I like to go through my closet and do a quick assessment.  If something is dirty and the dry cleaner can’t save it, if it has holes, if you would be embarrassed to give it away- toss it.  Some bins accept clothing to be scrapped and recycled so search for something like that in your town.  For the items that are in good condition- you can either choose to donate them or sell them.

Use your judgement for the items you choose to sell- for example, I sell my designer purses, shoes, or brand-name exercise clothes and jeans because I know they are in good condition and I can get some money for them.  I use an app called Mercari to post these items for sale.  I have had a lot of luck selling Lululemon clothes, Michael Kors handbags, jewelry, designer watches, and Ugg boots.  It is simple and user friendly- you choose who pays for shipping, list your items at the price you wish to sell them, print a prepaid shipping label, and drop it off at your nearest FedEx or post office.  I have friends who have also had luck listing items for sale on sites like Poshmark and Ebay.  In addition to listing items online, I have had some luck selling clothing and shoes at Plato’s Closet.  Search for a location near you, bring the items you want to sell, and they will offer you money for a certain number of items that fit their current inventory needs.  You can choose what to do with the clothing they do not accept.  This is the super easy way to sell the items you no longer want because it all happens in an hour or two- you don’t have to go through the hassle of taking photos, listing each individual item, and waiting for a buyer to purchase.

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Here are some photos of my own closet:

Below is a picture of my (much smaller) closet from our old house to show you that these tips apply to closets of all shapes and sizes!

I hope this post gives you inspiration to organize your own closet and serves as a resource to you in the process.  Here’s to hoping I don’t do anything too embarrassing on my first day of fieldwork 😉 I hope you all have a wonderful week- happy organizing!  If you get a chance to utilize any of these tips- I would love for you to share! xx

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