Simple Solutions: Bathroom Organization and 31 Days to Clean

by Kimba on April 19, 2011

in Organizing

I have a tendency to over-complicating things. My husband just fell down laughing at the understatement. Take, for example, the disaster that is my master bathroom vanity. We are blessed to have a large double sink, which should mean that we each have plenty of room without encroaching on the other’s space. That’s the dream. Here’s the reality…

My sink becomes filled with hair styling appliances that apparently weigh 900 lbs, because it is absolutely impossible for me to unplug them and put them away every day. Seriously. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it’s true.

When we built this house, I asked the builder to put a plug inside the cabinet so I could avoid the unplugging part. He talked me out of it. Something about building codes and fire hazards. Blah. Blah.

This silly little quirk causes a ripple-effect where my side of the sink is rendered unusable, my creams and make-up become scattered all over and my hubby and I end up sharing one sink. Even though he’s generally been gracious about his, the occasional sigh and eye-roll suggests that bugs him. So I needed to find a solution.

Which brings me to Kimba’s 1st Rule of Organization

Know yourself and work with it.

I KNOW that putting away my hairdryer everyday is beyond my ability. I could fight my nature and promise myself that I’m going to change my bad habit or I could just figure out how to work around myself. Frankly, I’ve got enough flaws to work on. This one doesn’t seem worth the battle.

My solution comes in the form of the Hairdryer Basket. This $12 basket from Target lets me keep my hair dryer (and straightener) plugged in all the time. And I can just as easily drop them into the basket as I can drop them into the sink.

Step 2 of my bathroom organization genius is the Everyday Basket. True to it’s name (I’m a genius at naming things, eh?), the Everyday Basket holds all of the potions, lotions, spritzes and sprays that I use everyday. Clearly, I have way too many of those things.

It’s the perfect size to tuck under the sink, but if it also weighs 900 lbs, then it doesn’t look so bad sitting out on the counter. And it, at least, corrals my mess so that my fella can lay claim to his sink once again. Cue angels singing!

While we’re on the topic of organizing our homes, I have to tell you about the new eBook from my friend, Sarah Mae:: 31 Days to Clean, Having Martha House the Mary Way.

You may know Sarah Mae from her blog, Like a Warm Cup of Coffee and as the creator of the fabulous Relevant Conference.

31 Days to Clean is about the “why” and the vision and the heart for taking care of our domains. Each day I encourage you with some thoughts and ideas, and then we put those ideas to action. – Sarah Mae

I am so honored that Sarah Mae asked me to contribute a chapter to her fabulous book. I read the whole thing over the weekend and it’s no ordinary “how to clean your house” book. It goes way beyond the “how-to’s” and gets to the heart of why it’s so hard to keep up with the tasks of running a household and what we can do about it.

Head on over to the 31 Days to Clean site and check it out for yourself.

Do you have a nagging organizational problem that could have a simple solution?

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1 Kristen@PrettySweet April 19, 2011 at 9:21 am

I just love to see other people’s solutions like this! I have many things I’m working on figuring out similar solutions to. Like my coffee table…it gets loaded up with stuff I’m reading or working on and I hate how messy it gets. =(
Kristen@PrettySweet´s last blog post ..Tea Party Menu

2 Kimba April 19, 2011 at 3:31 pm

I’m right there with you, Kristen. My coffee table is constantly covered with stuff we’re using.

3 Gina April 19, 2011 at 9:26 am

i have baskets all over the house and I think they are great organizers even if things in them are randomly tossed. My favorite is the one by the front door that people toss shoes into as they enter the house. pure genius!

4 Karen April 20, 2011 at 4:30 pm

I love baskets too, but my hubby drew the line at the huge shoe basket I had started, so he made a big wooden box on wheels that fits perfectly the Ikea Ivar shelves that I have hacked into a hall closet. It gave him a chance to indulge both his woodworking skills on a small project while he is studying, and his OCD tendencies.

5 Jen April 19, 2011 at 10:13 am

I am so glad I am not alone…hahahaha! I am proud of myself though. I have kept MY side of the vanity clean for 3 weeks. My husband’s side is another story. Baskets help, and I also cleaned out old products to make more room 🙂
Jen´s last blog post ..Oak bed makeover

6 Taking Two April 19, 2011 at 10:16 am

Baskets! amen! amen! haha… and i loved that your husband fell down due to your statement about “over complicating things”. hehe

7 Marcie April 19, 2011 at 11:14 am

I do believe I have found my long lost sister! I have the same issues with all of my random bathroom necessities that you do, we even share the same love of coconut oil (I recognized the jar immediately). However, our solution was to never share a bathroom. Ever. He is happy and I am happy. I do still struggle with the giant bathroom disaster everyday.

8 Kimba April 19, 2011 at 3:33 pm

Not sharing a bathroom? Now there’s an idea my hubby would get on board with. 🙂

LOVE my coconut oil. LOVE it!

9 Crystal April 19, 2011 at 11:19 am

I also have an “everyday” basket that I toss all of my daily beauty junk in! I found that, sharing a tiny single bathroom with a man, it was NECESSARY to even have room to move around. Now that we each have our own bathroom, I think it helps the room look less cluttered and helps me know where everything is!

10 The Mommy Therapy April 19, 2011 at 11:47 am

My ability to sort and organize mail is simply ridiculous. I think I keep a pretty clean house…well, for having three kids and a dog at least, but the mail and the kids’ projects from school, etc .overwhelm me. I usually end up piling everything on the bar and then shoving it in the junk drawer when I need a quick clean. It’s pretty pathetic.

You bathroom solutions look great!
The Mommy Therapy´s last blog post ..Heres a Helpful Tip Ladies

11 Kimba April 19, 2011 at 3:33 pm

Isn’t if funny how we each have some relatively simple task that we just can’t accomplish?

12 Amy April 19, 2011 at 12:04 pm

My name is Amy and I am addicted to baskets….much to my husband’s dismay! Love the hair dryer basket idea. I already have my essential in a basket on the counter and I love it! Love your blog!! Thank for sharing!!!

13 Kimba April 19, 2011 at 3:34 pm

The first step is admitting you have a problem. 🙂 I’m a basket addict too.

14 Dana @Cooking At Cafe D April 19, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Love the baskets.
I’m trying to group things more and more myself.

Like I have a “baking cabinet.” One of those skinny cabinets. It has baking powder, baking soda, measuring cups, flour, sugar, vanilla, you get the idea.

I really need to work on my foyer…basket maybe?
Dana @Cooking At Cafe D´s last blog post ..We have a WINNER! Is it you

15 Kimba April 19, 2011 at 3:34 pm

YES! A foyer basket!

And I need to do something like that for my baking supplies too. They’re scattered all over and they need to be stored together.

16 Cindi April 19, 2011 at 8:59 pm

I have a foyer basket althought I’ve never called it that but I like the idea! Mine is on my mini dresser (an old wash stand) that is just inside the door. I put a basket there because one of our cats likes to jump up there and wait for us to come home and she managed to knock everything off of it that we had on there. The shallow wood bowl wasn’t working so I replaced it with a big basket and it’s been a life saver!

17 Teri April 19, 2011 at 1:04 pm

I pray you have lots of smoke detectors in your home. You are a fire waiting to happen leaving a curling iron plugged in all the time.

18 Kimba April 19, 2011 at 3:35 pm

EEK! No, that’s not a curling iron. It’s a flat iron that has an on/off switch and I do turn it off.

19 sona April 19, 2011 at 9:54 pm

Hate being a joy-kill, but anything that creates heat, hairdryers, toasters, irons etc remain a danger if left plugged in, even if they are turned off. I know of 2 people who had house fires from plugged in toasters and 1 from plugged in hair dryer. I guess their wiring shorted out. The ground-fault interrupt plugs certainly help, but why take chances?

20 Jess April 19, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Love it! I subscribe to the decorating philosophy of “if you put it in a basket, it is automatically pretty and organized”!
Jess´s last blog post ..Tasty Tuesday Randomness

21 Jessica April 19, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Ha…900lbs. I’m the same way! I can’t put the ironing board and iron away. It is impossible to put it back up. lol. So it sits in the corner of my room and gather clothes on it, which I move off every time I have to iron and then promptly put them back on.


22 Kimba April 19, 2011 at 3:36 pm

I’m just impressed that you iron that frequently!

23 Kristi April 19, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Same. Exact. Problem. In fact, at this very moment, my straightener & dryer are in my sink. I do the same as you….migrate 3 feet to the right and use my hub’s sink. My product to counterspace ratio is getting slightly embarrassing! I’ll have to try your basket idea! LOVE it!

Thanks for sharing! {HUGS},
Kristi´s last blog post ..My Craigslist Coffee Table &amp Distressing Tutorial

24 My Design April 19, 2011 at 2:36 pm

That electrician! – No diff than having a garbage disposal switch under the counter:) Your solutions are elegant.

25 Crystal April 19, 2011 at 3:08 pm

I’ve done something similar too. My bathroom cabinets were a mess of bottles, headbands, nail polish, etc. So I went to goodwill and bought about 6 different wicker baskets and spray painted them all a lovely shade of brown to match, then organized my things in each one. I think the trick is to group similar items and keep them together. All the nail polish/manicure stuff in one, all the hair elastics/bows/headbands in another, and I usually keep one for just miscellaneous stuff that doesn’t seem to fit with anything else. Now I have a clean counter and cabinets! So happy!

26 LauraBeek April 19, 2011 at 3:32 pm

Love the organization thing! I put small plastic bowls in my drawers – like the kind that hold garden fresh salsa at the grocery store. I hated looking in my drawers unable to find anything. I like to toss stuff in. Now I toss them in a bowl in a drawer. No more searching the entire drawer. And just so you know, you might check your home owners insurance policy. I think if you have appliances plugged in and your house burns down, you might not get covered. ouch

27 Dixie Redmond April 19, 2011 at 7:51 pm

I sooooooo LOVE that you just went with who you are. It looks way better and it’s a great idea which I’m going to totally STEAL for my teeny-weeny bathroom.


28 Missives From Suburbia April 19, 2011 at 9:14 pm

Wait, wait, wait! I put my crap in the sink, because it’s still hot after I turn it off, and I don’t want to put it away and risk something catching on fire. (See, and my husband just thought I was disorganized! I have a method to my madness!) So you’re waiting until those babies cool down, then tossing them in the basket…where do they go until then? Please tell me in the sink, because I’m all out of ideas. 🙂
Missives From Suburbia´s last blog post ..Overheard Part VI

29 Erin April 20, 2011 at 4:58 am

I love your hair dryer basket idea! 🙂 I totally need to do that. I have a freak thing about getting rid of things, especially things in my bathroom. I have to use things up before I buy new. Your basket that weighs 900 lbs gave me hives. Do you want me to come over and de clutter? haha j/k

I love your blog and am following you! 🙂 Erin

30 tina April 20, 2011 at 9:50 am

my dear, sweet kimba. if i didn’t love you before, oh how i love you now. i thought i was the only person on earth with a double vanity who doesn’t even use her side b/c of the stuff. my kids even started asking me which side was mine, b/c they only see me at hubby’s. i haven’t even finished reading the post b/c i had to stop and express my love and thanks. now, back to reading. you rock.

31 Kris April 21, 2011 at 1:01 pm

Brilliant! I will be copying this idea, thankyouverymuch! 😉
Kris´s last blog post ..The Lamb

32 Lisa April 21, 2011 at 2:01 pm

So going to copy that straightener/drier basket for the cheerleader’s crap that drive brother nuts!
Lisa´s last blog post ..Great way to go local and-or organic

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