Saturday, March 10, 2012

Inside My Bathroom Closet

Almost a year ago I promised here that, at some point, I would bare the inside of my bathroom's built-in cabinet / linen closet in a blog post.

I am often reminded, when it starts to get messy in there, that putting together that post would be a really good excuse to clean it out and reorganize it. Well then, my freak husband recently posted this pic onto his Facebook page....with the cabinet doors open behind him!! AAHHH!! (For the record, he cuts his own hair and always starts with something silly to show the girls.)

His caption - "Ever wonder what I will look like when I am old?"
Having this personal space surprisingly exposed on Facebook motivated me to get down to business in there as soon as possible. Well, that mixed with Thursday's weather that gave me the urge to get an early start on spring cleaning. It wasn't really that bad in there to begin with.

On the inside of my cabinet door I have taped up a copy of My Mother's Day Pledge for daily reminding.
For the most part, everything has its place. And for the most part, all of my baskets and containers for corralling things are from yard sales and thrift shops or repurposed gifts. I think the only items I purchased new at one time were blue photo boxes. I chose those because they were cheap, easily stackable, had built-in change-able labels, and at the time, they sort of matched my color scheme.

So that is what it looked like inside the doors. Here are what it looked like in the three drawers below:

Door Drawer #1 - Kid bathing stuff

Drawer #2 - Towels

Drawer #3 - Personal Hygiene & Beach Towels

So Thursday night, as soon as I closed the girls' bedroom door and chugged a warm mug of coffee, I set to the task of cleaning out and reorganizing...and I was determined to finish before I went to bed. I was also determined only to use what I already had in the closet or around the house. 

If I was to go and drop $$ on beautiful new organization containers I would like something along these lines...

This is a bedroom closet pic but I like the containers from The Container Store, a royal rip-off.

LOVE it all
But I'm cheap so I used what I had and I'm proud to say I completed my task in just a couple of hours. It doesn't look drastically different but it felt SOOOO GOOOD to throw out half a trash bag of crap including expired medicine, old half-used bath and body products, and threadbare washcloths. I also passed along a bunch of unopened bath and body and personal products for our church's homeless outreach.  And now I smile when I open those doors because I'm greeted by the inside of a closet that is as clean and organized. It's border-line on the tacky side of eclectic but it's as beautiful as I could make it by sticking with what I already had. Ta-daaaa...

The top left is still obviously bath towels, only I hid the blue ones since that's not the color scheme in my bathroom anymore. To the right of those I still have all my cleaning products handy. (Warning, from here on out I mostly used no flash since it was creating too many shadows. So in my poorly lit bathroom that receives no direct sunlight, everything is looking a little dim and yellow.)

Laundry Pre-Spot, Clear Power for glass, Tough & Tender for all purpose, Tub & Tile, and Sol-U-Mel for tough stains

I LOVE my Melaleuca EcoSense brand household cleaning products. All nature-based, most including tea-tree oil. No bleach. No ammonia. No harmful chemicals. Safe for my family. Safe for the environment. All concentrated for less plastic waste. I shop online so they come right to my door. And I don't pay any more than I would for grocery store brands. Interested? Ask me for more information on how you can become a Melaleuca customer and check out Melaleuca's website in the meantime.

On the next shelf I kept my basket of sun tan/block lotions and aloe gels, only I weeded out a bunch of old stuff that barely fit. I've had the basket forever and assume it was a 25 cent yard sale find or something. In front of that I moved up hubby's tray of toiletries, which don't include much other than deodorant, a few old colognes and lotion.

The tray is one of many I'd bought at a yard sale years ago. I loved the design on them. It's hard to explain what they are made of - almost like paper mache. I have a few that are in good shape hanging up in my kitchen and I use three as trays in the closet.

To the right of those are our three travel cases. The classic black L.L.Bean style fold-out hanging one, a little pink one for the girls, and an H&M floral bag my friend "Teeny" bought me years ago.

Top view since you can't see them all from the front
 I added this old metal in-box I wasn't using anymore to corral the travel cases. A yard sale find I'm sure.

To the right of those I kept another yard-sale basket I've had forever to hide things like extra razors, cotton balls, contacts, and other misc stuff we don't use often.

I also brought in two little flower dishes that were yard sale finds. The only other times these were getting used was for putting out seasonal candy on the buffet table in the kitchen. Now they keep hair elastics and barrettes in one and nail clippers and tweezers in the other.

Down another shelf and I kept hand towels and washcloths stacked on the left. The stack of each here is super low since I had mountains of laundry to fold when I took the picture. I added this old fishing basket that I got at Bernat Antiques some time within the last year. It was one of the few things I bought without a specific use in mind at the time. It had been sitting patiently on a chair just waiting for the perfect use, other than holding our Thanksgiving Tree.

Now the basket is home to hubby's hair clippers/trimmer and various attachments, cord, etc. In front of it is another one of those trays where I keep cologne and toss off jewelry onto. Baby's hygiene tools are collected in this mini galvanized tin bucket.

My comb, nail files and scissors all remain in this little green pitcher, a cheap yard sale find of years gone by. Before this was hidden towards the back, now its up front.

To the right of that I moved my tray of Melaleuca Body Satin deodorant and Melaleuca Sei Bella pharmaceutical-grade skin-care products. (What you buy at the drug store or even Mary Kay are only cosmetic-grade.) Again, if you're interested in learning more about Melaleuca's brands, let me know! I will rarely if ever discuss them on my blog again.

Behind that tray I moved my basket with my hairbrushes and flattening iron, which you can't really see well in the picture.

On to the bottom shelf, I moved over my big open basket of miscellaneous stuff and I tucked my hair dryer into the corner. This basket is another yard sale or Sally's find I've had and used for bathroom storage almost as long as we've been married.

I swapped sides with the old blue photo boxes I use for storing more stuff. One blue box keeps "Extras" of stuff like tooth brushes, toothpaste and deodorant, so when you run out, that's where you check for more. One keeps "First Aid" stuff like band aids, ointments, wrapping tape, etc. And the other one keeps "Meds" like all my kids pain relievers, cold medicine, etc.

On top of that box is my basket of make-up.  I think that basket came as part of some gift set years back. And tucked in the right corner is my hair spray. The beat-up blue boxes are the only things I would bother to maybe replace with something brand new. But they still function just fine so they haven't left yet.

Now, moving down to the drawers. The top drawer still holds kid-bathing stuff - baby towels, colored bath foam, bath crayons - you know, the fun stuff!  This is the drawer where I cleaned out the most stuff.  I'm mostly using just Melaleuca's Renew brand of body wash and lotion for all the kids. It's awesome for eczema. Almost everything else that was already opened got tossed and other brands that hadn't been opened yet got passed along to a shelter. I was able to sort of neatly organized what was left now instead of just shoving it all into a jumbled mess.

The second drawer still just holds extra towels but I now hide all the towels with blue in there.

And the bottom drawer - which an adult can reach while sitting on the toilet -still holds personal hygiene products and beach towels.  TMI alert -  The stash of yellow things are nursing-mom necessities passed along to me from a friend when didn't need them anymore. Other more personal items are tucked in the back - the drawer is only open two thirds of the way. :)

So that wraps up my bathroom closet refresher. And refreshing it is.

So tell me you're not at least a little motivated to go clean out and organize a closet now? It's never too early to start spring cleaning. :)
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