Getting bathroom counter cleared

GinaXOXONovember 14, 2012

I have seen pictures of other people's solutions to getting everything off the bathroom counter. I saw shelves and cubes with plug ins for hair dryers, flat irons, shavers, and toothbrushes. Now that I have help at my house I cannot find anything.

Do you have ides? Pictures? What works?

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Annie Deighnaugh

We built a stack in the middle of the vanity between the 2 sinks and in the bottom is a lift door, like an appliance garage with an outlet inside....a place we can stash our waterpik, etc.

We also have a linen closet which is behind the bathroom door where we stash other stuff. The vanity has a center stack of drawers which we can both reach from our sinks, and of course more storage under the sinks.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 9:41AM
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Before we added our master suite, we used the hall bath which has a pedestal sink, so everything was stored in baskets in the linen closet or in the medicine cabinet.

Now we have two separate vanities. We added outlets to them so dryers and electric shavers could stay plugged in but out of sight. Everything is stored inside the vanities except for decorative soap dispensers, folded hand towels, and a mirror on my side. We also have a matching built-in cabinet under the window for extra storage.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 10:02AM
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Start with the basics:

a)Decide on where and how you use the bathroom counter. Hair? Makeup? First Aid supplies? Bathroom supplies -- like towels or toilet paper?

b)Clear Clutter -- no amount of organization aids or skills will help until you literally take everything thing out of the drawers and cupboards. Sort it into workable piles -- like Face Makeup; Nails; Body; Hair; First Aid/Medicines. Be ruthless -- and throw out ANYTHING that does not work for you or is out of date.

c)Clean the cupboards and drawers.

d)Measure the cupboards and drawers. Lengths; Widths; Depth; Height. Its all important! Write it all down this is an area where exact measurements are crucial!! Use every inch wisely!! :)

e)Now head out to places like The Container Store. Take a tape measure and your own storage measurements.

e)Check out less expensive alternatives -- like discount stores.

f)If you put things into boxes or baskets -- don't forget to label them.

Just some thoughts -- hope these help out! :)

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 10:13AM
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Teacats, that's a very fine programming plan - particularly the advice to sort, organize, measure, and then take the measurements with you to The Container Store or equivalent.

You see people wandering around those places muttering about what will or won't fit, and whether or not they might need three of these or one of those or wouldn't that work? Then after a pile of money is spent, the attempted solutions become part of the problem.

Smart you.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 10:21AM
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I designed this for our master bathroom because I dislike a lot of appliances (hair dryers, etc) out on my counters. In the corner is a built-in unit that has cabinets on three sides. The main cab in front holds towels, sheets, meds & first aid things. It acts as our linen closet and more. Inside, I keep the small things (such as the meds and first aid items) organized in clear plastic shoe boxes. The bottom section in front holds travel things such as the travel iron, travel hairsetter and ironing board, our hanging toiletry bags, etc., etc. I use clear plastic boxes of various sizes to keep it organized down there.
On each side of the main cab are tall triangular cabinets that hold our personal things. DH's is accessed right next to his sink. Mine, on the other side of the main cab, is next to my dressing table. It holds my everyday hairsetter, hairspray, hair dryer, etc. Below are the only decent pics I have of that area. All the doors to this unit/cab are punched tin that match others in our home. They also coordinate with the punched tin framed mirrors over both sinks.
The cabs under both sinks have those inexpensive tiered shelves that fit around the pipes to hold whatever else.
My grandmother told me once that we people of Scottish descent tend to be a wee bit O/C when it comes to organizing our things. I fit that description 125% (LOL)!

Sorry that the side doors don't show up in these pics, but they're smaller versions of the main cabinet door.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 10:49AM
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OMG! If I were able to do a total bathroom re-do I would love to have your vanities. I LOVE the idea of an appliance garage.

AnnieDeighnaugh: your vanity is beautiful. What a great space you have!!

Porkandham: that is what I was hoping to achieve without getting new vanities.

Teacats: love your tips. I have learned the hard way to sort first and then take an inventory of the containers that I need. I have containers sitting in my closets empty because I did not measure and they do not fit where I intended them to OR what I intended to put in them does not fit.

Lynne: you may be a bit OC but I still would love to see a picture of the inside of that cabinet. I do not like having the dryer, flat iron, water pic, charging toothbrush, electric shaver and makeup on my counter either. But, my current system is SO inconvenient that it is out more often that it is put away.

I am going to look for some pictures so I can show you what I was thinking about and get your advice. I wish I could have the beautiful well planned out vanities that you have but I can't re-do the bathrooms right now.

BRB (I hope!)

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 10:57PM
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This isn't what I was thinking of (I will keep looking) but . . . this could work too.

Here is a link that might be useful: cabinet door

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 11:03PM
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I bought vanities that have drawers instead of a cabinet space under the sink. And went with recessed medicine cabinets that have tons of room in them.

Toothpaste, mouthwash, toothbrush, hairspray, make up are all in the medicine cabinet.

Hair dryer, pedicure stuff, etc are all in the drawers. I am AMAZED at how much space is in the drawers. And I went with 36" by 21" cabinets (3" shallower than a normal cabinet).

Drawers rule :)

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 7:28AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Engineering Chic, underdrawers are pretty hot too!


Sorry, I couldn't help it.... I guess I didn't get enough sleep last night.....

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 7:38AM
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Tilt outs work nicely for small 'sink' items.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 6:11PM
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It's true, Annie, my under drawers are FABULOUS ;)

(Says she who had plenty of sleep last night and plenty of wine with dinner)

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 8:40PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

hee hee

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 6:40PM
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I gave each child a mirror in their bedroom and told them to keep all their hair/makeup/clutter in their own room.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 5:27AM
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Isn't this largely a question of habit?

I have as little storage as anyone else and my bathroom counter has on it one liquid soap dispenser and that's all that's been there since we've lived in this home.
Hairdryers, brushes, toothbrushes- all the normal bathroom flotsam is stashed away when not in use. It's in a drawer, a cabinet, a closet- certainly not just left sitting out.
I use a brush and a hairdryer to dry my hair then I put it away.

And FWIW I've never stood in a bathroom to apply makeup- that is for sitting at a comfortable makeup table in way better lighting than my bathroom has to offer. It doesn't have to be fancy- my current makeup mirror is setup on a small table in a corner of my bedroom under a window- must have natural lighting, lol.
I have never understood why folks take up space in a bathroom doing stuff that could just as easily (and way more comfortably) be done somewhere else.

So yeah, habit.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 7:31AM
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Cearbhaill: I agree with what you are saying about habits. But, I have a toothbrush and razor that need to be plugged in. So, I can't just put them in a drawer. So, I am looking for a solution to that and additionally, as a bonus, would like to find a solution that will work for all of the things that would ideally be on my counter if I didn't dislike having anything on my counter. (:

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 5:05PM
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I use all my under-sink storage for towels and wash cloths as I don't have a linen closet or tower. The toiletries and small stuff go in the drawers and medicine cabinet.

My hairdryers and curling iron and flat iron are in a pretty basket that sits on the floor. I always keep two hairdryers (I will never be caught again with wet hair and a dryer that won't work). They just take up too much space in the drawers, I use them every day, so it is not a problem for me that they are "out-in-the-open" yet not taking up counter or drawer space.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 10:41AM
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