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Living Space: Organize your bathroom to make most of space

By By Kathryn Weber
Aug. 23, 2012 at 3:23 a.m.

Have a foot of unused wall space? Add a tall, narrow storage cabinet.

When your bathroom is small, clutter is an ever-present enemy. Even if you have a large bathroom, chances are good it could use some re-organizing. Once you do create a sense of order, whatever the size of your bathroom, it will open up and feel larger.



Take it outside

Just because it's a bathroom doesn't mean everything medically related needs to be stored there. First-aid items are often needed closer to the back door or kitchen. Instead of stashing them in the medicine cabinet or a bathroom closet, pack these items in a portable tackle box. Everything you need will be in one convenient place, and you can even grab the box to take along on trips and hikes or park it in the backyard for barbecues or family camp outs.

Move medicines you use only occasionally, such as cold remedies or those for stomach upset, to a cabinet closer to the kitchen or laundry room. Keep daily medications in the bathroom, where you'll see them every day.



Shelve it

The most serious cause of bathroom clutter is lack of vertical storage space. Expansive countertops and mirrored walls are nice, but these require stooping and bending to retrieve items used daily. To correct this, install some decorative wall shelves or cabinets. This way, you can store frequently used items at eye level and make using - and perhaps, more importantly - putting them back, more convenient.

When storage is only below waist height, more items end up on the counter, eating up precious space and creating visual clutter.



Double up

A single towel bar holds a single towel. Get double the drying power by opting for a European style double towel bar that allows you to hang two towels in the same space as one.

Limit shower items to what will fit into a single organizer. Forget shower caddies that are small, rickety and, frankly, annoying. Instead, use a three-tier standing corner shower organizer, which you can find at an Ikea. This handy device holds more items neatly and is more convenient to use.

Add shelf organizers inside bathroom cabinets to double your storage space and place items you use the most on a lazy susan to help you get to find them quickly. Some organizers can be found at bedbathandbeyond.com.

Pick up some office desk organizers for makeup and remove make up from bathroom drawers and counters.



Quick tips

Use organizers to separate dental floss, pill bottles and other bathroom essentials. Utilize even the smallest spaces by using hairspray caps to store dental picks, swabs, tweezers or bobby pins.

Add an over-the-sink shelf, or if you have a foot of wall space, add Ikea's Lillangen mirrored cabinet. At only 11 3/4 inches wide, this storage workhorse, at more than 6 feet tall, can hold a large number of items in a very narrow space.

Don't overlook your bathroom cabinet doors. Install door shelves to hold bottles and items such as toothbrush holders.

A little organization can open up a lot of space you never knew you had.

Kathryn Weber is a home and decorating columnist and publishes the Red Lotus Letter feng shui ezine. For more information, contact Weber through her website, redlotusletter.com.

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