While some of us are currently learning how to cook, others are mastering TikTok dance choreography (and nurturing a potentially perilous new addiction) and the rest of us are either getting exhausted working from home or exhausting every last show on Netflix, a responsible few have been using this extended period of insulation to purge their closets and clean out their pantries. And they have the right idea. You’re likely never going to spend this much time in your own personal space, so now is a better time than any to make it as sacred, soothing and serene as you possibly can, and—surprise—it can all start with organizing your bathroom.
We’ve already taught you the power of paring down (if you haven’t yet, read this first, so you can throw out what you don’t need or use and start off with an edited area). Now it’s time for part two: working with what you’ve got and making it all as aesthetically satisfying as possible.
Start with a deep, aggressive clean and be merciless. Throw out products you haven’t used in more than six months (you probably have more of them than you think) and don’t be afraid to say goodbye. Out with the old! You’ll free up lots of space which translates to less chaos, and even better, it will be cathartic. What not so long ago seemed a little OCD now sounds reasonable: Wipe down all the products you’re keeping with disinfecting wipes (followed by a swipe of Windex, if you really want to get serious) for a sparkling clean.
Everything has its place.
And when it comes to organization, every problem has a solution. One of the keys to consistent order is to imagine your space and the things in it as a kind of matryoshka, better known as a Russian doll, more conceptually than literally. Think containers within containers; even the smallest of objects have their own home.
If you have drawers in your bathroom or vanity table, you know they are breeding grounds for cosmetic clutter. Throw it in the drawer and forget about it because out of sight, out of mind, right? But there’s no reason that opening said drawer should come with a vague sense of dread. Like you do with your silverware in the kitchen, you want to divide in order to conquer. A sectioned-off clear tray, also known as drawer inserts, like this one, or shallow storage bins will force you to keep things in their specific spots. If you’ve accumulated countless sample packets and sheet masks, gather them in cute zippered pouches so they don’t end up scattered all over the place. If you have floss picks, cotton rounds and Q-tips, tuck them respectively into neat little boxes. You get the idea.
If you’ve got it, flaunt it.
From tampons to towels, if you present them like they’re intentionally on display, they’ll be easy on the eyes. Are you familiar with tampon bouquets? If you’re not, well, there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. All you have to do is arrange them in decorative glasses, like these fleur-de-lys tumblers, and voila! No need to hide them away. The same goes for makeup and brushes: Designate a cup for each category and don’t overcrowd them for uncluttered ease. Glass dishes are your friend when it comes to pots of lip balm and eyeshadow; John Derian offers a wide selection of decorative round plates at various price points. Put the products in clusters and categories and place the ones you use most frequently in the front. Finally, perfume bottles and beautifully packaged cosmetics (Tom Ford, Charlotte Tilbury and Pat McGrath win in that department) deserve to be displayed in the proverbial spotlight.
If you’ve got limited space, you’ve got to maximize it. Don’t be afraid to reappropriate: A lid-topped wicker basket (the lid is paramount for keeping unsightly things hidden away) is great for storing useful things like Clorox wipes, Woolite and extra rolls of toilet paper. When in doubt, go high and make free wall space work for you. A shelf-accented mirror that mounts easily to the wall will make your bathroom look larger and grants you new storage space; it’s perfect for those aforementioned perfume atomizers. Don’t be afraid to think outside the powder-room box. Arrange some decorative hooks on the wall (ideally next to wall mirrors or framed photos so they don’t look like they’re floating in space) to hang necklaces, headbands or hand towels. And don’t forget: Whether impeccably organized or just a little messy, the place where you get ready for the day and unwind for the night ought to be a shrine to yourself, proudly showing your sense of self-care.