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Bathroom Drawer Organization

As Published At Organize My Drawer
Bathroom Drawer Organization

Is your bathroom a wreck? Crap all over the counter, cabinets overflowing, and drawers a jumbled mish-mosh of who-knows-what-the-heck-you-have-thrown-in-there? How about we get you organized and make some better use of your space, shall we?

Focus On Your Grooming Routine

The most important items in your bathroom are those that you utilize every day or week — not what you’d “like” to use “someday.” So before you start organizing, mentally run through your hygiene routine. What face-and-body-cleaning, skin-pampering, tooth-brushing, hair-fixing, contact-inserting, makeup-applying, and whatever-else products do you employ? These get top priority in organizers on the counter and in your main drawers — banish everything else to a less-convenient space.

Think In Terms Of Categories

Once your everyday stuff is set up nicely on the counter and in your top drawers, it’s time to set up individual organizers for the rest! The easiest way to deal with toiletries is to think in larger categories — “hair care,” “skin care,” “dental,” “medical,” “kid stuff.” For example, your “hair care” tray would hold extra shampoos and conditioners, curling irons, dryers, combs, brushes, barrettes, headbands, and ponytail holders — while dental will need to accommodate toothpaste, brushes, floss, and mouthwash.

Segregation And Separation

In figuring out these categories, you’re guaranteed to come across toiletries that are just for special occasions — when you dress up for a fancy occasion, travel, go to the beach, etc. It will make your life a lot easier (and save you time hunting for activity-specific getting-ready supplies) if you break each of these groupings out into their own individual category. So, for example, instead of keeping all your daytime, nighttime, and costuming makeup together — set up one organizer for each.

Consolidate Or Let It Go

The biggest bathroom space-waster I see is a cabinet full of half-empty bottles, tubes, and jars. If you’re not philosophically opposed to combining products, you might want to consolidate some of those items into one container (like pouring two half-bottles of shampoo in together). But if the mere thought wigs you, ask yourself whether that quarter-jar of Vaseline is really worth keeping when you’ve just opened a brand-new one. (And do your best in the future to finish one container before starting on another!)

Travel-Sized Toiletries

Beware of collecting travel-sized toiletries from hotels — it might seem like you’re saving yourself having to buy shampoo and conditioner, but what you’re most likely doing is creating clutter. It’s fine to keep a small selection of those items you actually use in a travel cosmetics organizer — but either consolidate the rest into your larger bottles and jars, or donate a batch of minis to your local homeless shelter for their residents to use. (Smaller sizes of toothpastes and soaps are especially useful and appreciated.)

Pay Attention To Expiration Dates

My mother NEVER threw out toiletries, no matter how ancient — after she died, I found a 20-year-old bottle of bubble bath under her sink! Unfortunately, not everything in your bathroom lasts forever. Even over-the-counter medicines have a clear expiration date on them. But did you know that items like sunscreen, hair dye, and whitening strips lose their potency over time? These aren’t the best option for bulk purchases — only buy what you can use before the expiration, and purge outdated items regularly.

A Special Word About Cosmetics

Experts recommend tossing most makeup after a year, if not sooner. This is because the chemistry in cosmetics is highly volatile — foundations separate, lipsticks change color, perfumes smell different, and powders develop a grainy texture. Not to mention the fact that makeup (especially the kind that touches your skin, like mascara and lipstick) grows bacteria very easily — which can cause sties, acne, and a whole host of infections that you don’t want to get. Be safe, and refresh your makeup annually.

Find A Home For Your Extras

I’m all for buying in bulk to save money — but it’s easy for your main bathroom drawers and cabinet to get overloaded when you bring home a ginormous Costco purchase and cram it all in with your everyday toiletries. If you can manage it, set up a large divided organizer elsewhere in your home (like the laundry room or garage or basement) for storing bulk quantities. Only keep as much as you need for a couple of months in the bathroom, then refill your supplies from this larger stash when you run out.

Don’t Forget Your Other Spaces

Most under-sink and medicine cabinets are pretty useless — just a large gaping hole waiting for you to pile it full of clutter. But subdividing these spaces up using organizer trays is a great way to maximize your storage — set up individual containers for each of your categories of grooming products (plus one for bathroom cleaning supplies). And to make the best use of otherwise-wasted vertical space, consider a freestanding cabinet shelving unit that will hold each tray individually, for easy access.

Make The Most Of Closet Shelves

Many people have a linen closet in or near their bathroom — but this space isn’t just for towels and 24-packs of toilet paper! You can create an amazing organizational system on these shelves with divided trays. Use the shallower kind for smaller items (like makeup, dental care paraphernalia, hair accessories, and medicines) — or stand up larger bottles (of shampoo, conditioner, bath wash, lotion, hair gel, peroxide, rubbing alcohol, etc.) in deeper dividers. Then just pull any tray out to get at its contents!

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Ramona Creel is an award-winning 15-year veteran organizer and member of the National Association Of Professional Organizers. As well as having birthed “The A-To-Z Of Getting Organized,” Ramona is also the author of “The Professional Organizer’s Bible: A Slightly Irreverent And Completely Unorthodox Guide For Turning Clutter Into A Career”—and the creator of more than 200 “quick-start” business tools and templates for use by productivity professionals. She writes seven different blogs, has worked with hundreds of clients, and has delivered scores of presentations on getting organized. Ramona resides on the roads of America as a full-time RVer—living and working in a 29-foot Airstream. Learn more at and

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