Warning: We interrupt your regularly scheduled witchiness to bring you tales of the mundane life. What you may see below may change your perception of pagan life, give you organizational ideas or simply even bore you. Reader discretion is advised.
My husband and I live in a two bedroom apartment in Kansas City sub 1000 sq ft - the smallest apartment we've ever lived in as we attempt to save money for a house. One of my goals this year is to simplify our home by cleaning, donating and properly storing items to make the most of our space. While I didn't give myself an organizational goal for this month, the bathroom's clutter was driving me absolutely insane. Last night, I went to the store and purchased a few extra items for the bathroom, then went at organizing it (unfortunately between midnight and 5 am, because I'm a night owl like that. Also coffee.). I don't have any "before" pictures - trust me, you wouldn't want to see them - but I will take a brief moment to explain the changes I made in each section of the bathroom as I go along.
Also, in attempt to be fully transparent with just how clean these areas are, I will be showing every cabinet open and displayed. Enjoy!
This rough diagram should give you some idea of the kind of area I'm working with. The bathroom is pretty long, but narrow, with minimal storage. Before organizing a single thing, I cleared the entire bathroom out into the hallway and gave it a good scrub. And not just any scrub - an OCD, toothbrush-to-the-tiles, bleach-in-the-tub, soaping-up-the-walls scrub. It was cathartic. And much needed.
Once I finished cleaning, I ran out to purchase some storage options. One of the biggest problems we've faced in the narrow bathroom we have is a lack of storage space. The first thing I instantly nabbed an etagere (space-saving shelving unit over the toilet). I bought ours at Target for $26, and it was probably the most expensive part of organizing the space.
I also picked up some towels, hand towels and washrags at a local store that matched the red, tan and black Asian theme in our bathroom. Why would I add to towels when I already have? Getting new ones allowed me to get rid of all of our previous ones. Anything that had the slightest stain, tear or discoloration was immediately thrown in the donation pile.
Originally, the entire linen closet was filled with, well, linens. I wanted all of our linens to, for the better part, fit inside the etagere. Here's the result!
A quick note that all of the decorations - the fan and the vase - were found at thrift stores. I don't know how much I paid for them as it's been many, many years ago, but I can't imagine they were more than a buck or two each. They were originally stashed away in storage until I found the perfect place for them right here.
I was gifted that shelf when we moved into a rental house a few years ago. I don't want to get rid of it because it's extra storage. However, after all of the sorting, donating and trashing I did to clear out our bathroom, I found that I had absolutely nothing to put on it yet. I'm certainly not going to pick up more things just to fill it. If I can't find anything to go on it within the next few weeks, I'll likely donate it too. I just hate giving it up!
And for the sake of being totally transparent, there's pretty much nothing behind Curtain Number One.
This side was probably the easiest to organize. The side with the linen closet and the double vanity (where, you know, all of the storage space originally was) was obviously a bit harder.
The double vanity itself was crowded with hair sprays, shaving products, toothpaste tubes and tooth brushes. I mean, it probably wasn't crowded in the sense that you couldn't see the counter, but it wasn't the cleared-off counter I wanted it to be. Here's that vanity now!
|Empty space is cleanly space.|
And before you ask, the lights do work. But I seriously love me some string lights.
So just where did everything on the counter go? To two places specifically. Place one: The medicine cabinet.
It's not that I wasn't originally storing much of this in the medicine cabinet. I just had way too much stuff. I found empty cans of hairspray and sea salt spray. Why in the world was I keeping that? As a trophy testament to how much I load my hair up with waves? Pfft. Useless.
I also cut down on the number of hair products I had. I found some products that I realized I hadn't used for years. That certainly helped minimize most of this cabinet.
Also, little red pouch = all of my make-up. I don't need much, it's easy to store and simple to grab when I'm traveling. That was already something that was going on before cleaning the bathroom and it's something I'll never change.
Before I get to the second part of where some of the hair products went (a few bottles were too tall for these shelves), let me show you the cabinets under the vanity too.
You do not want to know what this looked like before organizing. It was a nightmare. I found expired Children's Benadryl (we used to give it to Nyx to calm her nerves as prescribed by the vet), tangled thread spools and empty boxes. The original version of these cabinets was packed from one side to the other. Nope. Nope nope nope.
So where did most of it go if it didn't see the trash bag? The linen closet, of course!
Two things about the linen closet. (1) We have three cats, so it is the location of our litter box. That means that the linen closet always has to be open. (2) It was originally packed from ceiling to bottom shelf with towels and wash rags. Meaning that all of our linens were on display (and a sloppy mess of stacking, might I add). The minute I got the etagere, I used it to hide what I saved of our bath linens in the upper cabinet.
This left the linen closet completely open. While I knew I wanted to move things from on top and under the vanity to this closet, I didn't just want them to be sitting there like some sort of cluttered shelf. If they were going to be on display, they needed to be properly organized. Here's my solution!
You can probably pick up these little storage boxes for $0.97 at your local store. They're simple, light weight and keep everything stored away! I took the liberty of sorting everything up into categories, such as "Lotion," "Cold/Flu" or "Fix It." Using a Sharpie, I labeled each box clearly. Now, I'm not concerned about guests seeing inside our linen closet. Go ahead and take a look!
A while back, I found that readers were asking me to talk about my mundane life, including a potential walk-through of my living area, to show that pagans, Wiccans and witches may not live the way we're stereotyped. As you can see, my bathroom isn't painted black, draped in spiderwebs and filled with poisons. It's mostly white with an Asian theme based on Chinese dragons that my husband and I would gift each other with in high school.
Not what you expected? Exactly what you expected? Let me know in the comments below!