De-Stressify Your Bathroom
Is the state of your bathroom stressing you out? For most of us, the bathroom is the first room we spend time in after waking up, and nothing is worse than starting the day by facing a stress-inducing mess. To wrap up Bed and Bath Organizing Month, I’m sharing my favorite tips for keeping your bathroom orderly and your countertops clear and clutter-free.
Between makeup and makeup brushes, hair care items, dental care supplies, nail and skin care products, shaving tools, and possibly even medications, there’s a lot going on in what is likely the smallest room in your home. And if you share a bathroom with others, multiply all of the above by two or more. Yikes! It’s no wonder your bath feels anything but spa-like. The good news is that with these five simple tips and some minimal maintenance, you’ll be able to keep it tidy, organized and functional.
#1 Streamline - Clear away all those excess bottles of...whatever. Get rid of the half-used conditioner you no longer use, empty bottles of lotion, expired eyeshadow and lipstick, and horrible hues of nail polish you will never wear. If you’ve been following me on Facebook, you know that I issue a simple 1-day (more like 1-hour) challenge each month...a simple task to put you on the path toward more orderly living. The June challenge is to perform this very task. Keeping half-used bottles of products you no longer use is not going to make you miraculously use them up. It’s going to make you lose your mind from having to navigate through the clutter they create on a daily basis.
(Aside: Once you’ve completed this step, go to my Facebook page and add a comment, photo or GIF to the pinned challenge post at the top for a chance to win a $15 Amazon gift card in the monthly prize drawing. You have until June 30th to enter.)
#2 Categorize - Once you’ve cleared your clutter, divide what’s left into some basic categories:
#3 Take stock - It’s okay to stock up on your favorite products to ensure you don’t run out, but take note of what you have before you purchase more. If you decide to switch brands, use up what you have first or otherwise eliminate the old brand so that you don’t end up having to repeat #1. Also be sure to organize to allow adequate space for storing your stockpile, and try not to exceed it.
#4 Think Vertically - Most bathrooms have limited space, so maximizing your vertical storage options can make a huge difference. Here are a few examples:
#5 Clear countertops daily - Put everything away after each use to reduce surface clutter. One easy way to do this is to place all of the items you use each morning in a single basket or tote you can pull out of a cabinet, closet or off a shelf when you’re getting ready and then put the whole basket away when you’re done. Easy peasy!
Following these five strategies is guaranteed to de-stressify your morning routine. What are your favorite bed and bath organizing secrets? Please share them in the comments or email firstname.lastname@example.org!
Coming Soon: July is Organizing for Dollars Month! Over the next few weeks, I’ll be covering how better organization can save you money and the financial benefits of owning less, as well as sharing some budget-friendly organizing tools and tricks to help you streamline your home and life. Make sure you don't miss out! Subscribe to the EPL Blog to receive each weekly issue right in your inbox.
Rest Easier with Orderly Linens
The past 14 days have been quite a whirlwind in the Sheridan household! After celebrating three birthdays, a high school graduation, Juneteenth, and Father’s Day...all within a two week period...I’m ready to stop eating and finally fall into my bed...a nice, crisp, freshly-made bed, please!
Which brings us to this week’s topic: organizing your bed and bath linens.
Linen closets are high on the list of problem areas for many of the clients I visit. Whether it’s having too many linens, missing set components, not easily identifying sizes, or not knowing how to neatly fold fitted sheets...the struggle is real! Not to worry. With these easy tips, your neatly-ordered sheets and towels will evoke only feelings of soothing comfort and luxury instead of frustration.
How many is too many?
Ok, let’s address the elephant in the room. The biggest issue for most people is they just plain have way more sheets and towels than they really need. Why is it that everyone feels obliged to keep enough sheets and towels to open a hotel? Think about it: you can only use one set of sheets on a bed at a time, so two sets per bed is plenty...one on the bed, one in the wash. Include one set (two max) for each air mattress or sofa bed you use when guests visit. Your guest sheets can also serve as “backup” sheets if you ever need them during non-guest times. You really should not require any more than that. It is better to replace your sheets more often than to keep more sheets than you can comfortably store. So the formula is # of beds/sofabeds/air mattresses x 2. Period.
When it comes to towels, decide how many towels each person in your home uses between laundry days to determine how many you really need, then add just four more for guests unless you routinely have lots of guests visiting at once. Most guests won’t stay long enough to require more than two towels, and if they do, you can always do laundry. Any inconvenience of suddenly needing to wash a load of sheets or towels in the midst of their visit is far outweighed by the everyday inconvenience of wrestling with too many linens. Also remember, that if you really need to, you can always borrow extra sheets or towels for your visitors from someone who has too many. Trust me, there is no shortage of such potential lenders out there.
I know, I know….nobody wants to hear those two little words because almost nobody knows how to properly fold sheets and towels. However, taking the time to learn will save you hours of frustration in the end. Trust me, if I can learn how to fold a king-size fitted sheet, anyone can. It just takes some patience and practice. (Long arms are helpful but not required.) Check out this tutorial to learn more. The point is that when you take the time to fold everything neatly to the size of your space, you’ll not only fit more in, you’ll be better able to find what you need and keep it neat. You will be amazed at how much more you can fit when everything is folded correctly. I have organized many a linen closet that was too full to fit everything in beforehand and had room to spare afterwards...simply by folding everything correctly.
Take a little time to figure out what size to fold each item so that it makes the best use of the space where you are storing it. It will be different for each situation, but once you know how to fold items that go in a specific location, always fold those things the same way and store them in the same spot to ensure an optimal fit. If you place items so that the folded edge faces out (or up if it is in a basket), it will be easier to grab without upsetting the entire pile.
One size does not fit all
Don’t you just hate digging through all the sheets just to find the size you need? One way around this is to differentiate by color or pattern. For example, solids for twin, stripes and plaids for queen, and patterns for king. Even better, store your sheets in the closet of the room where they are to be used instead of in a central spot like a linen closet. That way, you’re not only guaranteed to get the right size, you will also have your extra sheets handy and won’t wake up the entire household if you need to do an emergency sheet change in the middle of the night (which any parent of young kids should appreciate).
Keep it together!
Stop wasting time searching for the flat sheet that matches your fitted sheet and vice versa! Keep sheet sets together either by inserting the folded fitted sheet and pillow case into the folded flat sheet to form one neat and tidy bundle, or by placing the flat and fitted sheets inside the pillow case. No more digging through your closet to locate the right pillow case!
Use your vacuum
Most people don’t think of their vacuum cleaner as an organizing tool, but when it comes to eeking out storage space for extra pillows and bulky comforters, it can be a lifesaver. Using vacuum bags for storing these items when not in use is a great space saver and keeps them well-protected from dampness, dirt and pests, even when stored under your bed or in the back of your closet or basement storage area.
Think outside the box
Just because it’s called a “linen closet” doesn’t mean you have to store your linens there. As I mentioned above, storing bed linens in bedroom closets offers convenience, as well as saving space for other things in the hall closet. Here are a few other alternative storage options:
What did I miss? Get more ideas and see photos of some of these by following my Organizing Outside the Box board on Pinterest. Share your ideas with us in the comments!
Have you taken the June 1-Day EasyPeasy Challenge yet?
In case you missed it: Each month I issue a simple challenge that can be completed in one day (usually in well under an hour) that will put you one step closer to more orderly living. Once you complete the challenge, you can enter a monthly prize drawing just by adding a comment, photo or GIF to the 1-Day Challenge post that is pinned to the top of my Facebook page. The June challenge is to eliminate from your bed/bathroom any makeup or toiletries that have expired or which you no longer use. Clear those half-used bottles of shampoo and conditioner out of your shower and toss the expired makeup from your makeup bag to make the products you do use more accessible. That’s it!
May’s winner received an Amazon gift card. Will you be next? Remember...you gotta play to win!
Making Your Accessories Accessible
Last week, I shared my favorite tips on keeping your clothes organized, accessible and in tip top shape. But for many of you, the real struggle is what to do with all your accessories so that you can both easily see what you have when putting together an outfit and effortlessly put them away when you are done wearing them. Nothing is worse than realizing as you’re rushing out the door that you’ve misplaced a shoe or an earring. Not only that, it’s likely that a lot of your bedroom surface clutter consists of stray jewelry, scarves and other accessories that are strewn around, collecting dust and creating lots of visual noise and chaos in the one room that’s supposed to feel the most peaceful and calming. Never fear! You’ve come to the right place for options on maintaining accessible accessories.
Shoes, purses, jewelry, scarves/ties, belts, hair accessories...with all that going on, it’s no wonder your bedroom can get out of control so quickly! There are as many different ways to organize all these accessories as there are styles. The good news is that you don’t need to own a huge walk-in closet or spend a fortune on customization to impose an adequate amount of order. The key is creating an organization structure for each accessory type that:
1) fits within your available space
2) is accessible enough to both see what you have and easily put things away
3) accommodates your collection (paring your collection down to fit within your chosen organization structure is a great strategy for keeping it in check over time).
I’m going to share multiple storage options for each accessory type, along with some of the pros and cons for each, so that you can easily choose the right fit for you.
Shoe cubbies or shoe chest - whether you are lucky enough to have built-in shoe cubbies in your closet or a piece of furniture specifically designed for storing shoes, or you create one using boxes, cardboard tubes or crates turned on their sides, this option creates a spot for holding each individual pair in your collection so that they are all visible at a glance.
Tip for boots: Inserting pool noodles or cardboard tubes to keep them standing upright will preserve their shape longer and save space in your closet.
Shelves (tip: stuff purses to maintain their shape and help them stand up...great use for those air pillows that come with your Amazon purchases)
Belts and scarves/ties
Drawers - fold scarves, coil belts or ties and insert in dividers; or lay ties flat
Jewelry and hair accessories
Jewelry box, chest or trays (including drawer inserts or dividers)
Think outside the box
There’s lots of room for creativity when it comes to storing your accessories. You’ll find a wealth of ideas on my “Organizing Outside the Box” board on Pinterest. Some of my favorite ideas include:
Stay tuned next week for tips on keeping your bedroom and bathroom linens organized, easy to access, and under control!
Are you following EasyPeasy Living on Facebook? Don’t miss out on daily tips, advice and strategies for streamlining your home and your schedule to make more time for the things that really matter. Enter prize drawings by participating in the monthly EasyPeasy 1-Day Challenge that’s announced at the beginning of each month on Facebook. Find quick and easy recipes, discover simple solutions to everyday problems, and learn the answers to commonly-asked organizing questions from others just like you. It’s all at www.facebook.com/easypeasyliving.
Can you believe it’s June already?!! This month is Bed and Bath Organizing month. We’ll make your bed and bathroom the restful sanctuary you deserve with tips on organizing your clothes, accessories, linens and toiletries so that getting ready for your busy day or a peaceful night’s sleep will be seamless and easy peasy. This week I’m sharing my favorite strategies for keeping your clothes easily accessible, tidy and organized.
Now that the world is opening back up and life is beginning to take on some semblance of “normal” again, it’s time to take stock of that wardrobe. Some of us have put on a few pounds since the beginning of the pandemic, while others have lost weight. Whether you’re in a new size now or not, taking stock of what you have, purging what no longer fits the way you'd like or works in your current lifestyle, and organizing your closet and drawers will ensure that you're ready to get back out there in the real world looking your best. An organized clothing system will also save you time and hassle in the morning, keep clothes in better condition longer, and -- my favorite -- reduce dry cleaning bills and ironing. Follow these ten tips to maximize space and functionality in your dresser and closet.
Are you following my Facebook page? If not, you're missing out on daily tips, advice and strategies for streamlining your home and your schedule to make more time for the things that really matter. You'll find quick and easy recipes, discover simple solutions to everyday problems, and learn the answers to commonly-asked organizing questions from others just like you. What's more, you can win prizes when you participate in the monthly 1-day EasyPeasy Challenge that’s announced on the second day of each month on my Facebook page. You'll find it all at www.facebook.com/easypeasyliving.
Valerie Sheridan is a professional organizer, wife, mother of two, and Founder/Owner of EasyPeasy Living.