Friday, November 4, 2011

Bathroom/Laundry Room Storage

Every so often, I get a wild itch to just change something up. Either the thing is just not working as well as it could be, it isn't aesthetically pleasing or for whatever reason, it just bugs me. Well, this is what happened with our bathroom recently.

Our bathroom has the oddest layout I have ever seen. It looks something like this:

You can click on it to make it bigger if you want. It's just a very basic layout of out bathroom. You can see how the room is long and narrow. We didn't design this space, that is just the way it was when we bought the place and we are doing our best to make the best of it. The one area in question that was bothering me to no end was the area to the right of the toilet (when facing the far end of the bathroom). I had two sets of storage drawers in that spot. Two sets with drawers apiece to be exact. In white frames, clear drawers. The cabinet next to the drawers is black. Two of the drawers were actually broken and needed to be thrown out.

There drawers are where I store our extra toiletries and supplies. Extra toothpaste, toothbrushes, body wash, shampoos, conditioners, feminine products, etc. All of that stuff is stored in these drawers. But the problem wasn't really with the drawers themselves. It was with the stuff that would end up getting piled up on top of the drawers. It was driving me crazy. That and the fact that we didn't have any place to store dirty laundry.

So on one of our WalMart trips, I picked up one of those cheapy PVC piping plastic laundry dividers ($10) and brought it home to assemble it. My thought was that it could maybe go on the other side of the toilet, between the toilet and the wall where the furnace is. Except it was bigger than I thought it was. So, thus began the reorganization of the bathroom.

First step was to remove the drawers. Second step was to clear out the black cabinet. That was where I had originally had all the products but I cannot reach much past the front of two of the shelves so for storage purposes, it was okay, but I needed to figure out a different plan for those things. That was when I moved them into the drawers and put the drawers next to the toilet.

But now, I wanted the drawers out but I wanted the products to stay so I had to figure something out. On a whim, I took one of the drawers to see if it would fit into the cabinet on the shelf. It did! Then I had to see if two of the drawers would fit on the top shelf and on the main shelf (only one drawer fit on the middle shelf). And two drawers did fit!

So I had six white-framed drawers that I could divide up to put into the cabinet to keep the toiletries divided and organized and put away. But I also knew that I had a set of five black-framed storage drawers in our bedroom where I keep the kids' PJs... I am guessing you can see where this is going.

I had Hubby empty out the five drawers and bring them in to me. I transferred all of the products from the six drawers into the divided-up five drawers and put those drawers in the cabinet. It is beautiful and it works incredibly well. On the top shelf, in the top drawer, I have all of Hubby's shampoos and conditioners and body washes. In the bottom drawer on the top shelf, I have my feminine products. Next to the shelves is a gap that is the perfect size for the extra rolls of paper towels that we have on hand.

On the middle shelf, which can only hold drawer, I have our oral care supplies stored. Next to the drawer is the same gap as the upper shelf and that is where I have stored extra rolls of toilet paper.

On the lower shelf, there are two drawers. One is mine for lotions and cremes and body washes, etc and the other one is for shampoos and conditioners. The gap next to the drawers on this shelf is where I keep a basket of smaller items that are partially used. This is the basket that we go to first before opening something new.

I then put the laundry sorter where the drawers had been and loaded the sorter up with laundry that was on the floor of the bathroom in various places and moved the white-framed drawers to the front room. I wasn't sure exactly what to do with those, so we let them hang out in that room overnight.

This is the conversation that Hubby and I had that night about the drawers:
Me: You know, we could put those drawers in the front closet and use them to store the kids' shoes in there.
Hubby: Yeah, we could do that.
Me: Or we could use it to store winter stuff like mittens and gloves and hats and stuff.
Hubby: Yeah, I think that would work.
Me: Or we could put the drawers in the boys' room so that they can use it to store their toys.
Hubby: That would make sense, since they seem to be wanting to be more organized these days.
Me: Or I could give it to Oralee for her room. The boys already have some storage tubs in their room.
Hubby: Yeah, you could do that.
Me: Or we could have them in the living room and store the boys' music stuff in them near the keyboard.
Hubby; Whatever you'd like to do, I'm sure it will be fine.
Me: Ooooh! I bet we could put them in the dining room next to my desk so that the kids can put their special papers from school in them to go through at the end of the year and decide what they really want to keep from school.
Hubby: Well, whatever you decide, I am sure will look fine. Just let me know if you need me to move anything else. I'm going to go watch some T.V.

That is a pretty typical conversation at our house when it comes to organizing and rearranging or whatever. Hubby is 100% supportive and will move things around for me. He just prefers that I am 100% sure where I want everything to go before he starts moving things around. This was a lesson he learned the hard way.

In the end, the white-framed drawers ended up under my desk, where they are out of the way, yet accessible and look neat and orderly.

Oh - wait, this was about the bathroom/laundry room storage though. So here is a picture of what the end result was:

I know it doesn't really look all that different, but it is a huge difference! What you cannot see from my aerial view drawing is the pile of stuff that cannot end up stored on top of the shelves. The cabinet is now fully functional. I can store things in the drawers, which actually go all the way to the back of the cabinet. I can reach everything and not worry about things getting knocked over and spilling in the cabinet. It will only spill in the drawer or the basket that I am using to store the items.

I also now have a place to sort and store our dirty laundry without it being on the floor in front of the washer. Extra bonus there! Plus, the cart is on casters, so if I were so inclined, I could even roll it over to the washer, but I have yet to do that. I just grab an armful from the sorter and walk over to the washer with them.

Well, thanks for reading. I am sure it wasn't the most riveting piece you have ever read, but it was a great thing to get done around here!