The Upstairs Bathroom, part 1

My upstairs bathroom was driving me batty. There is a ton of storage space in there, but it was so disorganized and overstuffed that if I found what I was looking for, I could expect to have a stack of sheets or towels fall on me as I wrestled the desired object out of the cabinet. Aside from the mess, I was just plain sick of the way that bathroom looked.

Back when we first moved into our new house, I painted the bathroom walls a chocolate milk color, to coordinate with the laminate counter top. The cabinets are honey oak, and the flooring we installed was a green vinyl tile such as one might see in a public school, circa 1970. At The Husband’s insistence, and over my objections, we installed forest green carpet over the tile. Once The Taterbug started potty learning, the carpet had to go. There have been no other significant changes since that time.

bathroom before

I was considering the concept of stockpiling health and beauty supplies as I came across good sales, but there really wasn’t a good place to store extras. It occurred to me that if the bathroom cupboards were full of an organized stockpile, there would not be room in them for clutter to collect. As a reward for a job well done, I planned to do the re-decorating that I’d been putting off for a year.

My first step was to clean out the vanity cupboard. Somehow, I didn’t remember to take a “before” picture. I pulled out six bath towels and 2 hand towels that would coordinate with the new color scheme, and an assortment of other towels that were old, worn out, or didn’t match. Some of those went to the trailer we keep in town, the rest went to The Husband’s workshop. I also pulled out about 10 rolls of toilet paper, my beloved diffuser dryer, a curling iron (for The Taterbug-I have curls a-plenty) 2 wet bags, and 127 cloth baby wipes that The Husband stuffed in there.

After wiping down the inside of the cabinet, I rolled up the towels that are staying (I think they look nicer this way, but had gotten out of the habit) and put them back in a basket that I rescued from The Taterbug’s closet. The wetbags and cloth wipes also went back in, but now they are stored neatly in a set of stacking bins. The diffuser dryer went back in too. I’ll find some sort of basket or hanger for it later, but for now, it’s sitting on the bottom of the cabinet. The curling iron was moved to the downstairs bathroom, and the TP got a new home in the linen cabinet.

under sink after

The next step was the linen cabinet. It goes from floor to ceiling and is about 2 feet deep, with a 15″ wide door. Bit awkward to work in there. I didn’t get a “before” picture of this one, either.

First, I pulled all of the linens out. This was a pain, because they were piled on top of shampoos, and stuffed all of the way to the back of the cabinet. Sorting through, I weeded out several 60″ round tablecloths that used to adorn some oh-so stylish particle board decorator tables. Also removed: a king-sized sheet set that was missing pillowcases, a set of queen pillowcases, a set of queen sheets minus pillowcases (from a different set) and a complete full-size sheet set. The queen and full stuff went to the trailer in town, the king set got donated, and the twin sets were set aside, to be returned to the cabinet later.

Then I started on the bottom shelf. That area has been used off and on as a laundry hamper. Didn’t work well because the cabinet is so deep, and because I really don’t enjoy crawling around on my knees. Out came all of the laundry, and into the washing machine it went.

Once the bottom shelf was empty, I sorted through half-used shampoos, lotions, body washes, conditioners, cleaners, combs, brushes, ponytails etc. Anything that hadn’t been used in six months went into the trash. I’ve made a conscious effort to switch to more natural products, so anything that reminded me of chemistry lab went bye-bye too.

That left me with 5 totally empty shelves to work with. After a good scrubbing, I went to work filling them back up.

The bottom shelf was filled with unopened packages of toilet paper and disposable training pants for Boodie. I made sure there were at least 3 brand new rolls within reach of each toilet in the house–this is very important, and the rest went into the cabinet. There is still room for 1 more mega pack of TP in there–Don’t judge, we live 100 miles from Wal-mart, and I’m not making a special trip for toilet paper.

I put a large basket on the top shelf and filled it with the twin sheet sets. Since pillowcases seem to always go missing, I decided to put the sheets inside of them to prevent that frustrating little problem. As I have time, I will sort the rest of the bedding in the house and put the keepers in the basket with the twin sets.

I sorted the first-aid supplies into some re-purposed plastic boxes from the girls’ room (if it can be stacked and climbed, it will be). Those got labelled and stacked on the second shelf.

The third shelf now holds the hair-cutting supplies and my collection of essential oils and ingredients for homemade hair- and skin-care recipes. One nice wicker basket, and one Dollar Store plastic caddy keep it all contained.

The fourth shelf was re-filled with the hygiene products that made the cut. For now, one large plastic basket and one re-purposed wire shelf hold everything nicely. As I find sales, I’ll have to re-arrange.

I asked The Husband to install a couple of half-depth shelves in the back of two of the sections so I could use the space more efficiently. One was filled with extra facial tissue (The Husband goes through a LOT of facial tissue) and the other was filled up with heating pads, cold packs and rice bags.

After: (sorry for the terribly out-of-focus pics, I’ll try to re-take them soon)
after linen after linen 2

The cabinet next to the sink got the same treatment as the linen cabinet. More sorting and tossing, more baskets and caddies to contain the items that get to stay. When all was said and done, I had one entire shelf left empty. It’s always good to have more space than stuff.

before sink Before Sink 2


Stay tuned for part 2, re-decorating.

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