While we're finishing up the wallpaper in our bathroom, I've finally moved everything back into the new cabinet and closet. This took way longer than it should have because:
1) We had WAY too much stuff crammed into the old bathroom AND
2) Everything was coated in dust! This was totally my fault for not completely unloading the bathroom closet at the beginning of the project.
Now I can say that we're actually using the new bathroom, instead of running back and forth between the other bathroom and guest room, where everything had been stashed!
So rather than just bring all of that stuff back into the bathroom, I took the opportunity to really sort through and re-organize everything, only taking back what we actually need and use. While Daughter was home over Christmas break, we started a similar process with her bathroom (i.e., the guest bathroom, if we ever had a guest!), so I finished that up at the same time.
As a side note, a friend recently told me about two missions supported by her church, and I was excited two deliver two full bags (soaps, lotions, hairbands, etc.) to support their work. I always, ALWAYS try to donate before throwing things away!
Unfortunately, I failed to take any "before" pictures of the drawers and closet, but you'll have to trust me when I say they were BAD. We had stuff in the bathroom which dated back to our daughter's pre-school years. I am not kidding! Obviously, this process was WAY overdue!
--- CABINET ---
The biggest change with the vanity/cabinet is now we have six drawers instead of three and two side cabinets instead of four. The overall space is probably about the same, but it's just configured differently. When planning the new cabinet, we chose more drawers instead of cabinet space because with drawers, the space is used more efficiently. With cabinets, unless you have a shelf midway up, you can lose a lot of functionality.
Now I have one set drawers and Spouse has the other. I placed small baskets inside the drawers for the items we use each time we're in the bathroom. After paring things down, everything fit nicely into these drawers, with room to spare.
I applied new shelf liner and put back only the items we actually need in the bathroom. I wish you could have seen the cabinet areas before! DISASTER AREA!
--- CLOSET ---
I've spent most of my time on the re-organization of the closet. I truly believe a closet can be both functional and enjoyable each time you open it, and that was my goal for the bathroom closet. It was previously an eyesore and far from functional due to the fact that I had ignored it for so long! You may remember when I re-organized my craft space a few years ago that I spent a lot of time on the closet, and it still remains my favorite (and the most functional) part of that space!
So back to the bathroom! The wire shelving makes it a little hard to set things directly on the shelves without tipping, so most everything is now contained in a basket or box of some sort.
For the most part, I used containers we already had on hand, picking up just a few white baskets at the dollar store. I wanted to be sure that every container was white or tan, unlike the mismatched containers which were previously in the closet. When the containers match in color, it can give even mismatched contents a more pulled-together look!
A few years ago, I bought these white boxes at the dollar store. They're still very functional but I found that I wasn't using them very efficiently. Two or three of them contained medicine and first-aid items, and we were constantly having to dump out the entire container to find what we needed. Now I'm using the boxes for items we don't need quite as often, or items that might leak if stored horizontally.
I moved the medicine, first aid items, and soap (we have enough soap for the next century, even after donating a LOT!) to a large stacking drawer system. Now you can just pull out the drawers and easily see what you need!
I ended up putting this container on the floor of the closet, which you obviously WOULD NOT DO if you have children in the house! It may not stay there long-term but right now I don't have any other use for the floor of the closet, so we'll give it a try.
I had been keeping this set of drawers since we cleaned out my dad's sister's house. I'm glad I was able to find a use for it. Now I think of my late aunt each time I use it.
I also went through all of our towels and bagged up a LOT to take to our local animal shelter. Towels are badly needed for kitty cages and comfort and I am only too happy to support the work they do. Thanks to a lovely gift from our daughter, we now have completely matching towels and washcloths for the first time since we've lived in this house (that would be 22 years)! We actually have a few more than this, except that they were in the laundry when I took this photo! :)
I also made a few quick labels for those white storage containers which is another way you can make even inexpensive containers look a bit more custom. But labels mainly make it easy to find what we need and put things back where they belong, which is not my strong suit. I kept myself under control and did not label everything in the closet, but I can't promise you that I'm done labeling!
So far I think the newly organized bathroom closet and drawers are a breath of fresh air! When we tackle our bedroom (next on the list), we'll also be tackling our clothes closet which is actually part of the bathroom space and was left untouched with this project. Now THAT will be a major test of my organization skills!