How Organized Is Your Bathroom Storage Cabinet?

How my husband and I organized our bathroom together

Are you obsessive about where the toothpaste goes? Is it a challenge to even find the toothpaste in the mornings? What about medication? Or dental floss? Is your counter a pristine surface or covered in makeup, soap, and other beauty products? Does opening your bathroom storage cabinet produce an avalanche or a neat array of products?

Bathroom Organizing Wars: One Woman's Real-Life Story From The Front Lines

When Tonya and Sam got married, they had been living in different parts of the world for most of their relationship. Finally sharing the same space, they quickly found out they had dramatically different ideas about what "organized" meant.

Q: What was your first indication that you and Sam had conflicting organizational philosophies?

A: When we unpacked I let him do most with the bathroom. I figured it's just a storage cabinet and some shelves; that's not too hard. But when I went to find the toothpaste I had no idea where it was! I always left things like that on the counter, but there was nothing in sight. Nothing. I knew we were going to have issues.

Q: What happened then?

A: I finally found the toothpaste in a drawer, but he'd also put the toothbrushes in the storage cabinet behind the mirror. I hadn't realized that the mirror was a bathroom storage cabinet, so I was doubly lost! For me, he was too rigid and orderly. Having everything hidden feels really cold to me; I like a little clutter so things look lived-in. As we unpacked more and more in the house, it became obvious we were going to have to both change our ways.

Q: What did you change?

A: We started to organize together. For the bathroom, getting some clear, stacking tubs really helped categorize related stuff into groups that made sense to both of us. We agreed to leave the toothbrushes and toothpaste on the counter, but in a holder that keeps everything vertical.

Q: Any tips for couples setting up their bathroom?

A: Having multiple bathroom storage units – cabinets, shelves, and drawers – really helped us divide the space in a way we both understand. I have my shelf in the "stealth" bathroom storage cabinet behind the mirror; he has his drawer and we can be as neat or messy as we feel in our own space. It's much less confusing.

More Tips for an Organized Bathroom from California Closets

To further help organization, throw out old shampoo bottles, cosmetics, and expired medicine. Have a dish or bowl that's dedicated for accessories or jewelry so things don't get lost or too scattered. By organizing your bathroom and storage cabinets in a manner that both of you are comfortable with, you’ll enjoy spending more time together, even in a small space.