Check Out Our Tips for Organizing a Bathroom Vanity

Organizing a bathroom vanity is a must to optimize its utility. It’s the key to preventing clutter and making essentials easy to locate.

Not only that, but ordering a vanity well is a pillar of organizing a bathroom well, making bathroom use more efficient when you’re in a hurry, as well as playing its part in keeping the room looking its very best. 

For a bathroom vanity that keeps everything neat and tidy, we’ve put together these guidelines together with advice from organizational experts.

Check Out Our Tips for Cleaning Out a House Full of Junk

The Organizing Professionals

No matter how diligent you are, clutter easily piles up. Whether it’s an attic that has become a box warehouse or years of living in a house catching up to you, sometimes you need to hit the reset button.

Just how do you clean out something as big as a home without being overwhelmed? We’ve asked the experts at Becoming MinimalistGet Organized AlreadyThe Joyful Organizer and The Organizing Professionals for their tricks to plan a successful home cleanout.

Step 1: Plan Your Home Cleanout

You don’t build a home without blueprints and you wouldn’t take a road trip without a map. Cleaning out your home is no different. As you get ready to start, it’s important you take the time to step back and figure out why and how you’re decluttering your home.

Check Out Our Bathroom Tips in Homes & Gardens!

An organized bathroom closet is a huge asset whether it’s built into the room, or a freestanding piece of furniture. But you might be wondering about the best ways of organizing a bathroom closet in order to optimize the space it provides. A careful consideration of what should be kept there and how it should be arranged is the answer and it’s an important part of the task of organizing a bathroom from top to bottom. 

How to Organize Your Children’s School Papers

By Gyll Samson, Lead Professional Organizer, The Organizing Professionals®

As parents, we all find the amount of paper that enters our home from our children’s school a bit overwhelming.  Some pieces are works of art, some celebrated first written words, some graded assignments or report cards, and some, well, we’re not sure what it is!  But, as parents, we struggle with the choice of what to keep and what not to keep.  I have found that this thought process is different across generations.  For instance, my parents and their parents wanted to keep everything!  Now, as they get older and try to downsize, they want me to take what they’ve kept, but I don’t want all the clutter.  I do appreciate a few items as a snippet of my youth, but I don’t see the need for all of it.  Now, as a mom, I am faced with the same decision.  My two daughters, who are four and seven, bring home multiple pieces of paper daily.  At this rate, if I keep it all, I will be buried alive in paper by the time they hit high school!  That said, it can be difficult to decide what to keep and toss.

As a Professional Organizer, and the owner of a cozy-sized home, I knew I had to figure out a system that worked for me and my family.  What to keep?  Where to keep it? And what would my daughters want to see when they were ready to take their belongings in the future?  I always tell my clients to follow this rule of thumb when deciding what to keep or let go of; If you don’t love it, need it, or use it, then it’s time to let it go.  So, that’s what I do.

So where to store those papers? I knew, with my busy lifestyle, it needed to be an easy and efficient system.  I decided to keep clear “Sweater Boxes” from The Container Store close by to their backpacks for sorting their papers each day.  Those two lidded clear boxes are stacked and labeled with the child’s name and school year. This system makes it easy for the kids, or my husband, to add additional keepsakes to the collection.  You can use any type of container with this method, but I find that the clear lidded boxes avoid the step of transferring those contents into a storage bin later and provides a specific measurement for how much I want to keep.  If the box gets full, I review the contents and try to downsize the pile. Either way, this is a quick-thinking first pass at whittling down the clutter.

My short-term plan is to store these boxes in my basement each year. My long-term plan is to revisit these boxes every few years and use the rules, again, to decide what to keep and to avoid clutter.  I’ll then consolidate items into elementary school, middle school, high school, and college categories. The end goal is to have only one large bin of keepsakes per child by the time they move out so it’s manageable for our storage and for them to take. If your children decide to keep a collection of their own keepsakes, limit them to one bin as well to keep clutter in check.  I promise, they will thank you later.  Don’t forget to teach them the rules about how to decide what to keep.  I hope this information is helpful if you are faced with the flood of paper like I am.  Having a system as easy as this one will keep you from getting overwhelmed and give you a plan for managing it in the future.  Happy organizing!

Pro tips:

If you enjoy seeing your children’s artwork and have a tough time deciding what to display, here are a few options that will help manage the load.

  1.  Wall frames –display one picture/piece of art while storing multiple pieces of paper in its case for easy rotation. 
  2. Photos – Take a photo of each piece of art and use a photo app on your phone, laptop or digital picture frame that rotates the images so you can choose more than a few.
  3. Keepsake Books – There are companies that will take a box or folder of unorganized artwork/crafts/photos/papers and scan them into a beautiful keepsake book.  This option is a wonderful way to preserve the items in a way that saves space and can be easily passed down to your children later. 

The Organizing Professionals Top Five Organizing Products That Will Change Your Life!

Okay, so maybe they won’t completely change your life, but I hear you need a compelling title for folks to open a newsletter and it worked–You’re reading this!

Seriously though, after more than a decade of transforming people’s homes, there are some items that really work, help maintain organization, and simply put a smile on your face when you open a cabinet, drawer, or closet.

Here they are:
#1. on our list is the trusty, slimline hanger. This staple ranks number one for several reasons:

  • They give the biggest bang for the buck in terms of transforming a closet
  • They maximize closet space
  • Their swivel neck ensures clothes hang in the same direction (creating that professional look)
  • They boost emotional well-being (hundreds of clients can’t be wrong!)

If you haven’t yet made this small investment, we recommend purchasing black hangers. Other colors look great too but sometimes the manufacturers change the color slightly and if you need to purchase additional hangers in the future they may not match perfectly. Black, however, remains black. Check out these slimline hangers from Amazon!

Pro tip: Buy more shirt hangers (without the bottom bar) than suit hangers. You rarely need the bottom bar and shirt hangers are easier to manipulate.

#2. The Lazy Susan. These joy-of-my-life turntables solve a multitude of kitchen sins.

  • They work especially well in corner cabinets where the back of the cabinet becomes a scary nether region of long-forgotten items.
  • They keep narrow cabinets organized when used for either spices or bottles of oil and vinegar.

Organizing Your Kitchen With Lazy Susans

Check out how we transform these kitchen cabinets and maximize space by using lazy Susans. Learn how to organize your spices, oils, teas and baking supplies!…

Watch my “How to Organize with Lazy Susans” video (with over 8K views!)

#3. Drawer Organizers. The enemy of the messy drawer and one of our least expensive best friends!

  • These little guys help maintain organization in any drawer where like items need corralling.
  • With so many sizes to choose from you can tailor-make a drawer specifically for your items

Check out our favorite drawer organizers from The Container Store.

Pro tip: Purchase a pack of museum putty and place a little dot on the bottom corners of each container. This prevents the drawer organizers from sliding around.

#4. Clear Shoeboxes. Yet another cheap but valuable addition to your organizing arsenal.

  • For all the little items around the house that need a designated small container.
  • Use them to corral batteries, small tools, art supplies, small travel-size toiletries, etc., etc.
  • Still using actual shoeboxes? It’s time to upgrade not only for the convenience of visibility but also for the sheer satisfaction

#5. Tension Dividers. These rank last in our top five only because they’re a bit of an investment at around $20 per pack of two. They work wonders at taming the following:

  • Kitchen drawers that contain long utensils
  • Dresser drawers that house various items such as socks and underwear
  • Or even coffee paraphernalia
  • Take a look at the pic below. The dividers look custom but they’re simply bamboo tension dividers magically creating order!

Click here for one of our favorite divider and here for our other favorite! Both from The Container Store.

Pro tip:  They come in both 2” and 4” height.  Use 4” for deep dresser drawers
 
Happy Organizing!