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Living Space: Banish bathroom counter clutter with clever storage

By Kathryn Weber
June 2, 2011 at 1:02 a.m.

Bathrooms quickly become an eyesore when toiletries litter countertops. Installing glass shelves is one way to help conquer countertop clutter.

Bathrooms today are a beauty to behold - when they're clean. But too often the glamour bath, while great to look at, is often woefully short on usable storage space. Sure, the glass shower looks good, and the wall of mirror gleams, but the counters are usually overloaded, clutter-filled and an eyesore. However, some clever storage ideas can help corral the clutter and make the bathroom glamorous again.

Out with bars and in with hooks. Towel bars require neat folding to get two towels hung up on the same bar. By adding hooks, you can hold more towels and hang them closer together and still look neat. This works for both bath and hand towels.

Furnish your bathroom for storage. If you have room in the bath, re-purpose an old china cabinet or armoire and use this to store towels or toiletries. If it has glass shelves or doors, use this to display pretty containers and keep glass perfume bottles dust free.

Place necessities only on the counter. Remove everything off the counter except what you use every day, like toothbrushes or a razor. Place these items on a tray. This will keep the toiletries together in one place, look neater and more pulled together.

Rethink your hairdryer. Hairdryers take up lots of precious counter space, so take a cue from hotels and consider adding a wall-mounted hair dryer. There are also many wall mounted holders that can be found online to hold hair dryers and curling irons. Either way will store the dryer conveniently for use and won't eat up countertop real estate.

Install shelving. Whether you purchase a shelf unit, a cabinet or glass shelves, you can more than double your available storage by adding shelves above the toilet, above towel bars and inside counter cabinets. Better still, items placed on shelves will be at eye level.

Restore order on the counter. By using decorative storage boxes, you can store frequently used items on the counter top, yet keep them neatly out of sight. Select a box or basket with a hinged lid that will work with your décor and be convenient too.

Create a first-aid kit out of a fishing tackle box. Rather than take up valuable storage space with infrequently used first aid items, create a first-aid kit in a brightly colored fishing tackle box. This will enable you to find everything you need quickly for injuries and take on the go for outings or camping trips.

Customize your cabinets. Install roll-out shelves or a double-tiered lazy Susan to gain more storage. Most can be installed in a matter of minutes. Install wire organizers to the backs of all cabinet doors to conveniently hold hairspray, deodorant and other frequently used toiletries. Place organizers in drawers to help you organize and manage bath items.

Streamline your belongings. Many bathrooms suffer from sheer overabundance of unused items and half-empty containers. Pare down belongings to what you like best and use the most to help conquer bathroom chaos - and make it a point to routinely throw out unwanted, unused items.

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, www.redlotusletter.com.

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