High/Low Bathroom Cabinet Organization
Happy Friday, all! Before I get into all of the organizing fun, I wanted to say THANK YOU so much for your overwhelming love and support after my post on Monday. Donnie and I have felt so encouraged by you all and are so thankful for your prayers and sweet words. You all are truly the best. Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. <3
If you’re new around here, Fridays have become “Operation: Declutteration” days at Just a Girl and Her Blog. Every week I take one area of my house and totally rid it of clutter. Then I share the before and after pictures and talk about everything I learned while organizing that particular space. Sound good?
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Let’s get started with today’s project…
Bathroom vanities and medicine cabinets! This week I decided to tackle these areas in both our master bath and the Cs’ bathroom as well. While in the process of decluttering these spaces, I started to think about an organizing conundrum that I often have.
On one hand, sometimes I see these beautifully organized spaces on Pinterest that make me absolutely swoon but would cost like $500 that I’m not willing to spend to recreate in my home. On the other hand, sometimes investing in quality storage pieces can create an organizational system that really works for your family for the long haul and is worth spending the money up front.
Organizing the Bathroom Cabinets
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
So for today’s project, I tackled the the spaces in two different ways. In the Cs’ bathroom, I challenged myself to pull together a workable organizational system using only pieces I already had on hand. In the master bathroom, I spent a little bit of money to get the bins I knew would work perfectly for the space and that we would use for a long time. Want to see how everything turned out? Let’s start with the “before” pictures!
The master bathroom medicine cabinet was pretty typical– cluttered and full of things we didn’t really use anymore and just in need of a quick clean out:
The vanity, on the other hand, was in need of a little more help…
You would have had to be around the blog almost from the beginning to remember, but I’ve actually organized this space before. Our $0 organization worked for a while, but as often happens, we ended up just throwing things in wherever they would fit and this space became a cluttered mess.
Part of the problem was that I put things in stacked boxes, so if I wanted to get to the bottom ones, I had to take a bunch of stuff out to get to them. When I was in a hurry (which, let’s be honest, is most of the time 😉 ), I would just toss my stuff in the nearest open bin rather than taking the time to put it back where it went. Bad, bad blogger. 🙂
This cabinet is pretty big, but I also didn’t make very good use of the vertical space in my previous arrangement, so I knew I could do better.
Like I do any time I organize, I started by clearing everything out of the space so I could see what I was working with. I then threw away the junk (Lotion that hasn’t been used in 5 years anyone? Ick.) and took what was left and put like items together. Donnie’s toiletries went in one spot, my hair supplies went in another, etc. This allows me to see which types of containers might be the best for the items I have.
This was my “high” space. Since Donnie and I are digging in this cabinet every single day, I thought it would be worth it to invest in some pull-out drawers that would eliminate the stacked box problem and maximize the use of vertical space all at once. (I used these and these in gray. I found mine at Target, but for some reason they don’t have them online.)
I also picked up two small tubs to hold our spare toiletries and taller items. I probably spent about $50 on containers for this space which, in the grand scheme of things, isn’t even all that “high,” but it’s higher than the $0 I spent on the other one!
And what would cute bins be without labels?! I used my Silhouette to cut out labels for each bin out of gold adhesive vinyl.
I kind of love that the bins are the perfect size for the drawer to be able to pull out while the base is held in by the cabinet. It’s like they were made for this space! Yippee!
And because I am an organizing nerd, dividers inside of drawers always make my heart go pitter-pat… 🙂
Here’s the before and after:
And the medicine cabinet is looking a lot better too:
Once I was happy with how our space came together, I moved on to the Cs’ bathroom. It started out like this…
Hello, cluttered mess! 🙂 After doing my normal “remove everything, purge, group like things” process, I added a new shelf liner and used bins I already had around the house to corral the items that were left. And for a grand total of $0, I ended up with this…
The bins holding the toilet paper and Kleenex are actually pantry storage pieces that I used to use to hold my shoes of all things! I was delighted to find out that they fit perfectly in this space. I found the wire bin that is holding the cleaning rags at the Target Dollar Spot a few weeks ago and brought it home just knowing I’d find a place for it soon! The cleaning caddy and toiletry bin got vinyl labels and are no longer overflowing with junk, so that’s a plus. 🙂
And the medicine cabinet in this bathroom is looking… empty! After I got rid of the expired meds and corralled everything else, there was almost nothing left!
Bathrooms organized? Check! It feels great to be able to check another decluttering project off my list! Here are some things I learned along the way:
- High and low can both work. Whether you organize with things you already own or invest in pieces that will help you tame the clutter for years to come, focus on creating effective organizational systems first and foremost.
- If you’re going to hoard something, hoard storage bins. Just kidding! (Kind of.) This series is about decluttering, so I would never actually condone hoarding and it is totally possible to have too many bins. However, keeping an eye out for bins and vessels that could work in your space (even if it’s a nice sized box that your Amazon package came in that you could give a little makeover!) is a good idea in case you need to revamp a system that isn’t working.
- Check expiration dates on medications frequently. I’m almost embarrassed to admit this, but we had meds in our cabinets that expired in 2006, which means that we actually moved them to Arizona and back with us. Ridiculous! Clearly I need to do a massive clean-out more often.
- Make the best use of your space, then work on making it pretty. During my first attempt at organizing our master vanity, my biggest mistake was that I was so worried about it being pretty that I didn’t worry enough about it being functional. This time I tried to address function first and then added the little decorative details later, and I think our system will work much better.
I’m so excited to hear about how decluttering has been going for you!
[Psssttt… You can find ideas for organizing every single room of the house in this post!]
What have you been working on lately or what area are you planning on tackling this coming week? Let me know in the comments!
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
Very helpful post! And encouraging to see that your 0$ cabinet really does look almost as great as the one you spent money on….I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your experiment. I do love bins….they make me swoon 🙂
Thank you, Crystal! And yes, what is it about bins that is so wonderful and exciting?! 🙂 Hope you’re having a great weekend!
Great job, Abby! I have been meaning to declutter my home’s master bathroom! I think there are products in there that are years old! I actually decluttered and organized the hall linen closet (by my tween’s bathroom) just yesterday! It took quicker than I thought it would! Today I am going to drop off the extra towels, etc., that I am getting rid of at a thrift store in our town — profits from that store fund a food pantry and a summer camp for local kids.
What an awesome thrift store! I’ll have to check the ones around us to see if they do that. Happy organizing, Lauren!
Great job! It looks so much better! I have a question: where do you put your makeup/moisturiser… I can’t see it on the pictures (I’m nosey!)
Thank you, Carole! My moisturizer sits on a little tray on the vanity, and my makeup is in that pink flowered bag on the top shelf of the medicine cabinet. 🙂 Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!
Great tips Abby – love the high/low options! I’ve been feed up with my master vanity as well. I’ve got a post scheduled next week to show how I organized ours!
Ooh can’t wait to see it, Melissa!!
Thank you for sharing…great information
Thank you, Ramona! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!
Hi Abby! Your storage areas are looking great! I too have issues with having to reorganize these two areas. Especially our half bath downstairs, which has more storage space than actually needed for the bathroom itself. Since we don’t have a ton of storage spaces on the first floor of our home, this space becomes a catch all for items that typically don’t belong in a bathroom. Question, those stacking bins in the kids bathroom–I know you said you already had them but by chance do you remember where you got them?
Hi, Nicole! I think they were just from Walmart! I’m not sure if they still carry them or not! Have a wonderful week!
Once expired items are tossed, do you plan space for the replacements? Such as lotion or medications?
(This is a question that I form on almost any B/A on the web)
Hi, Robyn! Yes, I always try not to pack a space full to the gills so that there will be room for new items that are needed. I am also a fan of the “one in, one out” policy, so when I bring something new into a space, I try to get rid of something that is worn out or unneeded, etc. I hope this helps! Have a great week!