Don’t you hate it when you’re in a rush in the morning and you can’t find your toothbrush or that favorite shade of lipstick? When you’re on a schedule and minutes count, time can’t be wasted trying to find shavers and hairdryers or bobby pins. If only you were more organized then you wouldn’t have to stress out each morning trying to find the things you use every day in your bathroom.

Well, you know what they say, “Awareness is the first step to recovery,” and you, my friend, know the problem all too well. Have no fear because after you are done reading this article and applying the principles, you will be on the road to creating a smooth traffic flow for all users of your bathroom during peak usage times.

First let’s examine the top usage time, the morning rush hour dash for the bathroom. Scheduling and limiting the time family members spend in the bathroom is a good start. But there should be a little leeway for something going wrong, compromise is not a four-letter word, an example being, someone can be taking a shower while someone else brushes their teeth. Yet you should try to stick to the schedule as closely as possible to ensure individuals don’t begin to take advantage of the situation and put everyone else off schedule. A good way to remind everyone whose turn it is is to place a pad or chalkboard outside the bathroom door listing the person and the time allotted to them.

We have discussed in a previous article how to unclutter your bathroom, now we will go into further detail on the best practices of how to organize the things that you use in your bathroom for optimum efficiency by creating a more effective storage system. For starters, having lots of drawers and cabinets will keep your bathroom looking neat and organized. In the bathroom you can never have too much storage space.

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First Aid and Medicines – It is pretty much a given that every home should have basic first aid supplies. Because of its clean towels and running water, the bathroom is a good place to store these items. Allocate one specific container or drawer for first aid things and put nothing else in there but those items; you don’t want to have to dig through a whole bunch of stuff to get to the bandages in an emergency. Make sure everyone knows where it is in case of a crisis and make sure it’s in an easily accessible spot.

The benefit of putting all first aid items in one container is that you can take out the drawer or container and move it to where the injury occurred instead of having to move the patient if that is not an option. The best place to store medicines as well, in the medicine cabinet. Labels should be facing out for quick scanning and arranged in a logical manner such as kid medication on top while adult medication can be stored below or beside it in a group. It should be noted here that medication should be stored away from the curious hands of children but easily reached by adults.

Shaving Accessories – These items should be kept near the sink but out of sight such as in a shallow drawer or bin below the vanity or the lower shelves of a medicine cabinet are good hiding places. Electric razors can be kept neatly in their cases on the vanity near an outlet and mirror or a designated drawer under the vanity.

Tooth Care Products – There are many bathroom accessory sets that allow you to easily organize your toothbrushes and toothpaste, ranging from wall mounted units to countertop units. A narrow shelf above a pedestal sink also works well. Just make sure to store the items in plain sight within easy reach of the sink. There is also the alternative of storing your tooth care products in your medicine cabinet if counter space is at a premium.

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Grooming Accessories – When it comes to personal grooming items, the optimal solution is to store these things away from the high traffic area of the bathroom. Drying your hair or applying makeup can be done in the bedrooms as long as there is ample light and a place to sit. A dressing table with shallow drawers to store and organize your makeup and a mirror would be ideal. If that is not possible, a handy all in one makeup storage case on your bathroom countertop would do nicely to keep all your makeup in one place and reduce counter clutter.

Because of its bulkiness, a deep drawer in a vanity cabinet is the best place to store hairdryers and other bulky items like hair crimpers and curling irons. As noted above, it would be best to store them away from the bathroom if everyone is on a schedule. Brushes, combs, hair clips, and accessories for easy touch-ups, can be stored in a shallow drawer under the vanity but if you plan on doing your daily routine of 100 brush strokes to bring out that shine, then take it to the next room and vacate the bathroom for someone that really needs to be in there.

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Soaps, Shampoos, and Creams – Buying these items in pump form not only saves space on the counter, but can add flavor to the décor by your choice of decorative containers. Most of these items are refillable so you can buy in bulk and in the end save some money. Shower caddies will help to organize your soaps, shampoos, and other bathing accessories, keeping these items within easy reach and plain view.

Towels – Heated towel racks not only keep your towels toasty and dry; they can also be used to organize your towels for each member of the family depending upon the model that you purchase. Hanging your towels on the back of your bathroom door with a multi-clothes hanger will keep your cottons separate and organized. Installing pegs in your bathroom walls is also a great way to organize your towels.

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Fresh towels and washcloths can be stored on open shelves or pull-out bins in a vanity or in an adjacent linen closet next to the bathroom for easy access. But what about those damp towels? Purchasing a bathroom hamper is one solution to keep those dirty towels and washcloths out of sight. The other is simply hanging them on your heated towel rack until you are ready to take them down to the laundry room.

Cleaning Supplies – The last thing that we want to mention is cleaning supplies. Slide-out drawers under the vanity would be the optimal solution but if this is not doable then a simple bucket or plastic container behind the toilet or under a stool would be an alternative. Needless to say, if you have kids, dangerous chemicals should be kept behind secured doors or in child proof storage containers.

Whether you use drawers, shelves, trays, tubs, bins, pegs, hooks or bars, the best storage solution must be suited for the item it stores and aid you in de-cluttering and organizing your bathroom. Using the right means of storage will make sure things are where they should be when you need them which translates into you getting in and out of the bathroom in a timely manner.

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