organizing deep bathroom closet

bahansenJanuary 16, 2010

We have a deep closet in our master bathroom (probably about 20 inches). We store medicines in it, along with other bathroom-type supplies. It was designed to be a linen closet but we put linens in the hall closet.

Right now I have all of the medicines in tubs, which fit three across. I'm always digging through the tubs to find what I'm looking for (and what everyone else is looking for, too, because no one can find anything in there). I've tried labeling the tubs, but inevitably someone throws something in the wrong tub.

Does anyone have a better solution? I've thought of risers, but things tend to get pushed off the back of them where I can't reach, unlike in my spice cupboard, which is only 12 inches deep.

I will be ever-grateful to whomever has a solution to this dilemma! Thank you for taking time to read this!

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Get some drawer silder kits and put your shelves on them. Then you can pull them out and see what's in there. If you know soneone who's handy they could build simple open drawers that fit inside the doors. Then you could mount the sliders on them. Much like what's in pantry cupboards.

or--Check the hardware stores or Ikea for pull out metal sliders shelves.

One thing I thought I'd mention--damp humid air lessens the shelf life of medications, so I'd watch that

    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 7:18PM
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I have the same problem as you. All the bathroom items are in baskets, labelled, 4 wide, two deep. I would gladly trade it for a closet twice as wide and 1/2 as deep!

I had not thought of sliders, I'll have to think about that.


    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 7:42PM
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Melissa Houser

I like your tub idea, but might try putting things in shallower tubs. That way, people can see what type of things are in each tub and put them away in the appropriate place.

Another trick is to put the stuff everyone uses on the shelf closest to eye level. If your crew uses bandaids and neosporin the most, then put those things front and center on the shelf most of them can see. It will make it simpler for them to put them back.

Things you don't use as often can go in either the side tubs or in tubs behind that most used tub. I use extra space at the back to store things that you don't need daily. In my case, that means I would store extra shampoo and soap behind the medicine tubs.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2010 at 1:51PM
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I would get the small lidded totes- like shoe box size or smaller and organize by type of item such as bandaids, neosporin, in one tote, cotton balls and q-tips in another, extra makeup and small items like that in another. Walmart has a good sale right now (most places do since it's January and everyone is organizing). Then I would stack and label. Try to get just enough size in your container for the items you want to put there, so they aren't too overloaded. Then you can just look at the label and pull it out to get something.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2010 at 11:56AM
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I have a similar closet, and put the stuff in a plastic drawer unit from Walmart, then labelled the drawers.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2010 at 4:45PM
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Can you get an 18" rotating shelf, like the ones used for corner kitchen cabinets?

Lee Valley has stuff like that, probably others available too.

Lee Valley also has lazy susan bearings, if you wanted to build your own, or put a rotating round bin on each shelf.


    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 12:22PM
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Wow, GREAT ideas! Thanks so much everyone! I'm feeling like there is hope for my closet now.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2010 at 4:38PM
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We took the bottom shelf out of our deep bathroom closet and put in an inexpensive tall (about 30 inches) plastic storage unit. The unit is on casters and has 4 drawers. We keep pain and prescription medicines in the top drawer; extra tooth brushes, toothpaste, floss, etc. in the second; bandages and other stuff for injuries in the third; and miscellaneous stuff in number 4. We have ready access to these items, and it is easy to pull the plastic unit out occasionally to vacuum the closet floor.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 8:55AM
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i installed shallower shelves between the deep ones in the back and on the sides..and used lazy susan on one deep one for bottles and jars

    Bookmark   January 29, 2010 at 5:48PM
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They make stacking plastic drawers, too. Label them!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2010 at 8:19PM
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Here's a link to a really nice pull out drawer that I'd love to put in my bathroom cabinet:

Here is a link that might be useful: Closetmaid

    Bookmark   February 4, 2010 at 6:08PM
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First off since you mentioned you have another closet that you're using for the towels in which this closet was meant for I'd bring the towels back into the bathroom. Like oilpainter mentioned it's not always good to keep your meds near damp places.

We had two linen closets in our last home and this is how I used them....
Like I mentioned above, I kept the towels in the deep closet in the bathroom, where they are used the most. No one got got undressed just to realize they'd forgotten and towel having yell for someone to please hand on in through the door.
Buy your self a couple over the door clear pocket fabric-like shoe storage. They have four vertical rows with five pockets in each row. Being there were four in our family, we each had our own row to store our bath and beauty supplies in. It worked out for use that no one needed the bottom pocket so that was used for items we all used such as baby powder and oil, extra bar soap and toothpaste.

In the other linen closet we had in the hall that wasn't as deep we stored out bed sheets with the smaller bed sheets near the bottom and the larger sheets near the top. Extra pillow slips were on a shelf between them. The top shelf was used for muscle massagers and such. This door also had an over the door shoe holder.
In this one we had the everything needed for owies and muscle creams. Basically a first aid kit that had easy access even while someone was locked in the bathroom taking a shower. We lived there for fifteen years and never had a problem finding what we needed.

I even used these over the door shoe storage in the coat closet with each of us having our own row for hats scarves and mittens. Oh and those shorty umbrellas? They fit just fine too.
Sheets were in the hall linen closet closer to the bedrooms.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 10:49PM
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justgotabme, that's a clever idea. I also saw somewhere that they hung one over the pantry door and used it for storing small hand tools that you use often.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2010 at 2:37PM
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Thanks idie2live. Their possibilities are endless. I would have used one in our last homes pantry, but had bought an over the basket/shelf unit before I got the idea to use the shoe storage things. Our pantry door here is a bifold. It would have been a pocket door had their not been a large beam brace in the way. Though no storage can be hung on a pocket door they do make it easier for other places for storage.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2010 at 1:49PM
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We attached two of these to the inside of the door of our bathroom closet. Frequently used items are kept in these, so I seldom have to go digging on the shelves, and yielding more space for...towels.

We keep prescriptions in the same kitchen cabinet where we keep vitamins. We generally don't keep prescriptions that we're not actively taking, so it's not much (thankfully!).

Here is a link that might be useful: door rack

    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 7:47AM
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What about putting boxes/baskets on the back of the door? That'll use up some of the shelf space, but also create "easy in, easy out" storage for the stuff people use all the time. It'll be easier to toss stuff back in, and if they misfile, you'll be able to see it.

Get several, and space them close.

Like this:

If nothing else, it'll keep people out of the other sections, and you can be in sole control of those.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2010 at 2:12AM
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Also--reconsider stepped risers; just be sure that each one of them has a *front* so that things can slide between one riser and the next.

Like these--but maybe you'll want them w/ greater distance between the shelves, if you can swing it; the greater height will mean the stuff in front won't so easily tip backwards onto the shelf behind.

You can get 2x4's or 2x6's and cut them to the right length, then stack them.

Put one of these in a corner--the ledge on the front will keep stuff from trying to move from one level to another.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 6:12PM
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