Imagine what it would be like if your bathroom vanity was organized.
No more frustration, or cussing, when you reach into the bathroom cabinet to grab your favorite hairspray, the tall silver can with the black cap, only to knock over the can of Scrubbing Bubbles sitting in front of it, creating a domino of falling lotions and potions.
Or desperately searching through a crowded makeup drawer for that brown Mac eyeshadow pot you know just saw yesterday.
If you’re ready to end the chaos, keep reading. I’m giving away all my trade secrets on how to organize your bathroom vanity.
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Step-by-Step Bathroom Vanity Organization
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Bathroom organization isn’t just about corralling products, putting them in containers and then setting those containers somewhere in your vanity.
The key to good bathroom vanity organization is space planning. A well thought out plan is the difference between feeling like you have a personal valet handing you what you need when you need it and digging through bins to find what you’re looking for.
With that in mind, your first step in organizing your bathroom vanity is to declutter. Decluttering and emptying your vanity will allow you to visualize how to best use your vanity drawers and cabinets.
How do I declutter and organize a bathroom?
If you’re wondering how to get rid of clutter in the bathroom, just follow these steps.
- Pull everything out. Don’t make a decision about it yet, just empty your drawers and cabinets.
- Then, do a quick pass through to throw away trash, broken and expired items. Set aside anything you’re not using to resell or donate, as long as it’s in good condition.
- Group like things together to create categories. Some common bathroom categories are:
- Bathroom Cleaning products
- Bath and body
- Linens – this includes makeup towels or hair towels in my bathroom. It might also include towels if you don’t have a separate linen closet.
- Kids- many households use the primary bathroom for bath time.
- Pet- we tend to groom our dog in our bathroom, so those supplies are stored in the bathroom
- Back stock
- Daily Use (ex. Morning routine, evening routine)
- Next, consider who uses the space and how each person uses it. If there’s more than one person, I suggest separating personal belongings.
- Finally, make final decisions on what to keep, toss, donate, or relocate for each category.
Now that you’re left with what you’re keeping, you can start thinking about what to put where. This is your opportunity to create a customized organization system that serves you.
First, think about how you want this space to feel. What is currently working and what isn’t? Determine why those things do or don’t work. This may require a little investigative digging, taking time to think through natural habits, your morning routine, how you manage time, and your mindset regarding this space.
- Has your bathroom turned into a storage closet?
- Does your space feel too small?
- Are too many products competing for space?
- Do all of them belong in the bathroom?
- Do you tend to run late?
- Are everyday items easy to find and access?
- Is the floor littered with dirty clothes and damp towels?
- What side of the sink, or which sink works best for you?
- Are you left-handed or right-handed?
- Are too many people using the space at one time?
Consider possible solutions to each of these, and any other questions you may ask.
While many of these issues can be resolved with a new organization system, some may require habit changes or mindset shifts. This is the hidden or behind-the-scenes part of organizing. How you organize can help you create new routines that support better habits.
Keep this in mind as you consider how this space needs to function. Practically speaking, you also need to take note of:
- How many drawers you have
- How many cabinets there are
- Whether your vanity has two sinks or one
- What products you use every day. What do you need at your fingertips to simplify getting dressed and getting ready for bed
- Which products aren’t used daily
All these answers help you determine the best use of your space, always keeping your vision and goals for your bathroom vanity at the forefront as you decide what goes where. It all needs to align.
Once you’ve analyzed your space according to your needs, you can start organizing.
First, place items based on where you initially plan for them to go. Once your space plan, measurements, and organizing system is finalized, you’re ready for containers.
How to Organize Vanity Drawers
I suggest using shallow drawers for items you use everyday. I call it the daily drawer.
If you don’t have enough drawer space to store all the items, prioritize what you want at your fingertips. Then, store the rest in cabinets, while still making it easily accessible. For example, if all your makeup doesn’t fit into a drawer, pare it down to the products you use most of the time. The rest of your makeup can go on a shelf or under the sink.
If you happen to have some deep vanity drawers, they’re perfect for storing tall items like hair styling tools, bath and body products, back stock, or stacks of toilet paper.
How to Organize Bathroom Cabinets
Vanity cabinets are ideal for storing heat tools and hair accessories, hair styling products, makeup, skincare, nail polish, grooming tools, and cleaning supplies. The trick is to maximize your storage space.
Use over-the-door organizers on your bathroom cabinet doors to store hair tools and accessories or cleaning supplies.
If you have deep bathroom cabinets, you can use the space behind your daily bathroom storage to stash back stock.
If you’re short on cabinet space, you can use an over-the-toilet organizer, add bins to a shelf, or even stack sliding drawers on the floor.
Bathroom Organization Ideas Under a sink
You’ll need to know the height, width and depth of your space to determine what size storage containers to use. If your vanity cabinets are under the sink, be sure to account for plumbing when measuring.
Plan to use the vertical space. Stack narrow drawer organizers and bins. A modular storage system is perfect for organizing under a sink.
I recommend stacking bins and drawers against the walls of the cabinet. Ideally the sliding drawer container will serve as the bottom or base of your organizing system. This will prevent you from having to unstack bins to access what you need from the bottom.
How to Organize a Bathroom Counter
Bathroom countertops can easily become a catchall. But, all those products can create visual clutter, distracting from the serene, spa-like vibe you’re after.
A few ways to tidy up a bathroom counter to make it practical yet pleasing to the eye is:
- Corral everyday toiletries in a vanity tray.
- Use a countertop organizer for makeup.
- Decant lotion and soap into decorative pumps. If you know you aren’t likely to decant every time you refill, you can get products with clean, simple packaging to reduce visual clutter.
- Use apothecary jars for cotton balls and cotton swabs.
And, if after decluttering, sorting, and organizing, you have more product than space, consider using a linen closet, or other nearby closet for anything you don’t need on a daily basis, especially back stock.
When you put these bathroom vanity organization ideas to use, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the spa-like experience of getting dressed every day. Keep in mind your organization system will require a little maintenance from time to time, but you are so worth it.
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