It is my personal philosophy that your home is only as clean as your messiest room. For me, that is my bathroom. I’m not proud of it, but since my bathroom is attached to my bedroom, I kind of treat it like an extension of my room, and it is often overflowing with crap. (Heh heh, did you catch that toilet pun? But in all seriousness, my toilet is usually clean. It is the other stuff that I let get messy.)
Since I treat my bathroom like Bedroom 2.0, it often feels cluttered, instead of clean, white, and spa-like, as bathrooms are supposed to be. I store my towels and linens in there, and hang wrinkled clothes over the top of the shower door to try and let the shower-steam smooth them out. I blow dry my hair daily, and let the hair I lose in the process collect on the floor until I slip on it. I also hoard shampoo bottles that are empty, hoping I can squeeze every single penny I spent on the thing out of it before giving in and throwing it away. Again, I’m not proud. But I am trying to get a handle on it. And after spending a solid chunk of my summer doing a severe deep-clean of my bedroom, I’ve only more recently begun to get a handle on the bathroom portion of my living space. Here is what I’ve learned so far, and the tips that have helped me most.
1. Actually clean constantly.
Because bathrooms are disgusting. Even personal ones that are rarely used by anyone but you. I used to think it was cute to clean my sink or shower every few weeks. Now I can hardly make it a day or so without cleaning them, because a clean bathroom automatically looks nicer and neater, even if you have seven issues of Vogue lying on the floor next to the bowl. (Even a quick wipe/spray down after every shower or sink usage will do wonders for the overall vibe of the place — daily shower spray is great.)
2. Have a designated spot for everything.
Speaking of having seven issues of Vogue lying on the floor next to the bowl, you probably shouldn’t do that. The bathroom isn’t really on display for the world, so it is easy to just kind of toss shampoo bottles and hair appliances and your toilet-reading around, and not really worry about having a proper spot for it all. But I recently invested in a heck-ton of baskets and other storage bins. I keep all of my towels folded in one (since I don’t have a bathroom closet, or a better spot for them), all of my hair appliances in another, and I even have a waterproof container in my shower where I can keep all of my soap and shampoo instead of letting them lie on the shower floor.
3. Mess with some mason jars.
Because I know you have some leftover that you bought during a frenzy of Pinterest DIY ideas that never came to fruition. Mason jars are the single most useful item in my bathroom at the moment. I have my toothbrush (and the toothbrush of my best friend, because she and I are #committed to our adult friend-sleepovers), in one, all of my makeup brushes in another, cotton balls in one, and I even have one on the ledge of my shower to hold my razors. They are perfect, because they are multi-purpose, easy to clean, and always look chic and uniform no matter what you keep in them.
4. Treat it like a room, not a sterile white dungeon.
I lived here for two years without ever putting anything mildly attractive into the bathroom. Everything was white or chrome, and purely utilitarian. However, I recently started messing around with getting a little more ~decorative~ in there. My favorite way to do this is with plants. I have two very simple (fake) plants in there, (one placed on top of my toilet tank, and one tiny one next to some pretty perfume bottles) and the added pop of green makes everything feel a bit more cheerful. You can put real plants in there too, if you think you can handle the pressure of keeping those suckers alive.
5. Keep it well-stocked, but don’t let it get cluttered.
Meaning, if you bought a bulk package of 78 rolls of toilet paper from Costco, maybe keep five or six under your sink, and keep the rest in a closet or basement or other storage area to prevent yourself from being faced with 78 rolls of toilet paper on the reg.
6. Only leave out the stuff you regularly use.
I have bottles of goop and junk for days, but my daily hair and makeup routine consists of pretty much just dry shampoo, concealer, and sometimes a little powder or blush. Since I’m not doing a full-blown makeup routine on the daily, I don’t need to have any products easily accessible besides my trusted tube of concealer and a brush or sponge to apply it with.
I keep my daily skincare products in the most easily-accessible drawer in my bathroom, and hair and makeup products on the lower ones that I don’t usually go into. The two or three makeup products that I use every day stay out next to my soap and perfume and other things I keep on the counter. Leaving them out doesn’t feel like clutter, because it is just a couple of things, and it is convenient because they’re the things I use without fail every day.
7. Organize drawers with bins and separators.
Bathroom drawers tend to be a free-for-all. Mine have always been kept full of products that are not in similar categories whatsoever, or products that I never touch or even think about using. The mess makes it so that when there is one specific thing I’m looking for, it is nearly impossible to find underneath the uncategorized, useless, expired mess. To fix this, I went through and tossed out every single expired, unused product, or anything else I just didn’t like. Then, I categorized the drawers and used dollar-store storage bins to keep all lip products in one place, all face products in another, etc. It is so much easier to find what I need.
8. Get a soap dispenser and tissue box cover that you like.
Because to be honest, cardboard tissue boxes and plastic soap dispensers kind of just look like garbage. I mean, they’re disposable, and they definitely look that way. I bought cheap-as-heck matching ones at Home Goods for under $10 each, and it makes everything in my bathroom look so much nicer and cleaner than just tossing an ugly, brightly-colored Kleenex box on the back of the toilet tank and calling it a day. Anything to make this decidedly un-cute room look a little cuter, right?