Medicine Cabinet Update

I am lucky to have a medicine cabinet in my bathroom that’s on MY side.  Poor Mr. Brown does not have one on his side.  Well, I suppose it’s his side because it doesn’t have a cabinet.  And you may have noticed the recurring theme here that I have basically taken over the bathroom.  Oh well, that’s married life I guess.

In any case, back to my not-so-glorious medicine cabinet.  I love having it.  I don’t love the cabinet itself so much.  It’s the cheap builder kind that comes with all new construction houses.  Functional but not fabulous.  But for now, it’ll have to do.  It holds all the lotions and potions I need to get myself ready for the day.  Until recently it looked pretty much like this:

Now it looks like this:

“Wait,” you’re asking, “what’s different?”  This is what’s different my friends – The InterDesign Med+ Organizer:

I found this little number at Target.  It was an organizing tool I hadn’t seen before and for the bargain price of $9.99 (okay, not such a bargain, but not as expensive as putting in a whole new cabinet) I quickly dropped it in my cart.

I realized later that I had no idea if it would actually fit in my medicine cabinet. I was delighted when I got home and found that it was just the right size.  (Are medicine cabinets a standard size?)  I used it to corral all the little things floating around. 
It’s kind of deceptive because it doesn’t look like it changes much.  But having little slots for things actually adds quite a bit of storage ability to the space.  It means that things like tweezers and nail clippers don’t get lost behind bottles of things. 

They had other layouts as well.  I picked up the one I thought would work best for my things.  You might have different needs.  I’m tempted to head back and grab two more – one for the tall bottles on the bottom and one for the wide jars and bottles on the top.

*** Disclaimer.  This product review is not an endorsement of a specific company or product.  Suzanne and Delightfully Organized have not been compenstated in any way, monetarily or otherwise, for this review. Opinions given are entirely the personal opinion of Suzanne Brown.

Master Bath Mini-Makeover Part 2

You might remember my confession about the disorganization in my Master Bathroom.

The Master Bath

The Drawer. There is exactly one (1) drawer in our master bath. I have commandeered 95% of it from Mr. Brown. It works because I don’t keep it overstuffed. But there are a lot of little things lurking in the back that probably need to go.

And you may remember the Part 1 of my bathroom mini-makeover:

Well, I’ve completed Part 2 – The Drawer!  Like the vanity, this was quick, easy & cheap. 

Total cost: $5
Inspiration: Amanda @ Kuzak’s Closet

I found the wire mesh baskets for $1 each at the (duh!) Dollar Store.  Instead of Velcro on the bottoms I put felt pads.  This means the baskets can move and I can adjust my configuration whenever I feel like it.  But the felt keeps the wire from scratching the high-quality (::cough::::cough::) laminate drawer.

And the results:

I went with 4 baskets.  One for my hair drying supplies (brushes & a clippy).  One for my makeup (I just pull out the basket to apply makeup and put the basket back when I’m done).  One for miscellaneous extra stuff (like face wash, eye cream, dental floss, etc).  The last one has *some* space for Mr. Brown.  At least his extra hair product, razor blades, and lip balm get a home.  And the first aid supplies we need most often (band-aids, antibiotic ointment and alcohol swabs).

So there you have it.  My total spent on bathroom makeover so far is $8.  That makes me happy.

This post is shared at:
At Home With Kay Terrific Under Ten Tuesday #9

Quick & Simple Bathroom Vanity Makeover

This took me less than one hour and cost a grand total of $3.

This is what my bathroom vanity looked like before:

As you can see, Mr. Brown & I have separate sinks.  We use separate toothbrush holders and have separate toothpaste.  (these are great things for anyone wanting to eliminate arguments over whether you squeeze in the middle or what brand to use)  But our collection of bath accessories was a mish-mash of things collected over years of separate apartments and joint apartments and so they didn’t really match.

A quick trip to your local bath accessory store will reveal that these things while they try to be “stylish” just end up feeling, well, bathroom like.  I wanted spa-like.  What’s more spa-like than glass?

So instead of hitting up one of the big-box stores I went to the dollar store and found 3 glass candle holders.  I combined these with a variety of glass objects we already had to create this after:

What I used:
My toothbrush – vase I already had on-hand
Mr. Brown’s toothbrush – candle holder $1
Toothpastes – a mug from a wedding Mr. Brown was in back in 2003.  That couple is no longer together and the mug was just not something he really used.  So now instead of taking up space in our kitchen cabinets it’s being useful in our bathroom
Cotton Balls – candle holder $1
Q-tips – candle holder $1
Lilac Soaps (smell lovely) – brandy snifter that was taking up space in my over-the-fridge cabinet for the last 10 years

I then put all of it and the things that didn’t really fit in a glass container on a tray I’ve had for several years and used intermittently as a Christmas decoration.  Putting everything on the tray makes it feel like the little tray of amenities you get at a hotel.  And it will make it easy for me to lift all at once and clean underneath.

Now let’s just hope Mr. Brown is on board!

Confessions & Resolutions

Today I was playing around with the manual settings on my camera.  I was inspired by this post by Centsational Girl.  I decided it would be a great opportunity to take some before pictures of my biggest organizational embarrassements challenges.

These are spaces that are functional enough for now but really, really could be better.  However, because they are out-of-sight they are also often out-of-mind. 

The Master Bedroom
I have a hidden drawer in the top of my dresser.  I use it for two things – jewelry & unmatched socks.  The socks come and go as their matches eventually make it through the laundry cycle.  The jewelry is here to stay.  For now the pieces are sorted (mostly) into their original boxes.  But the labels on on the SIDES of the boxes.  And while I know which pieces are where for the most part, I still end up having to pick up the box to see if I have the right thing.

The Master Bath
The Drawer.  There is exactly one (1) drawer in our master bath.  I have commandeered 95% of it from Mr. Brown.  It works because I don’t keep it overstuffed.  But there are a lot of little things lurking in the back that probably need to go.

Mr. Brown’s cabinet.  Much like the drawer, I have commandeered most of Mr. Brown’s vanity cabinet for cleaning supplies.  Just looking at this makes me wince.  At least I have child locks to keep the little people out!

My cabinet.  Not too much of an issue for me on a daily basis because I only get in here to grab my blow-dryer and flat iron.  But definitely needs some help.

Above the loo.  This space is screaming to be utilized.  I think we’ve hung something on that towel bar exactly 5 times in our 5 years in this house.  This spot would be so amazing with some functional beautiful shelving.

Our Command Center
This space works well for the most part.  It has a clock, hooks for keys, a pen holder and 7 drawers of various assignment.  The top of it tends to be a clutter collector, however.
*Note – the paper on the side is my daughter’s “checklist” (in crayon!) of things she needed to do to plan a special treat for daddy on Sunday.

My drawer.  My father worked on this project over the holidays.  We turned our cute little drawers into a charging station.  The top two drawers have hidden power strips mounted to the inside back and hold all of our chargers (phones, camera batteries, etc).  It’s so convenient.  But because all the stuff was removed to do the modification I have held off on putting things back until I knew how I wanted it.  So for now my drawer is mostly bare.

And la piece de resistance….
Our ultimate clutter catcher…. the kitchen island.  This is especially bad because it has all the things that came out of the drawers during the modification and my sadly dying birthday roses. But even when this stuff isn’t here, it’s so hard for my family to leave this flat surface alone.

This year, I plan to find new solutions for these spaces.   Stay tuned.  And if you have any good suggestions for me, feel free to share!

Quick Tip Thursday

Do you have a huge frustration over socks in the laundry?  Do you hate matching them and trying to find the right mates?

With two kids we are overwhelmed with little socks.  But about a year ago I made an executive decision and have never looked back…

Both kids wear the same socks.  Plain, boring, white socks.  I’m sure my daughter would love to have some crazy pink ones but since she’s only 3 and I’ve never given her a choice, she doesn’t know the difference.  We buy one brand, one style, one color.  Then it doesn’t matter which kid’s drawer they end up in.  And matching is a breeze.  And if you are really a free-spirit you could even skip matching them and just throw them in the drawer unmatched.  Then just grab two when you need them.

(Remember… this principle can apply to adults too!)

Organizing Gaffe

I found this product at Solutions and I just cannot fathom it being a good idea in most homes. I like things that are easy and convenient. I like organizing up off the ground whenever possible. I’m not such a fan of personal care products on display with the exception of some lovely perfume bottles or the like. Toilet paper as decor – not so much.

I suppose this could be used in a very private bathroom such as a Master Bath. But even then, do you really want to stare at toilet paper while doing your business? I’m going with no.

If you are worried your guests will need an extra roll while visiting, then put on a new roll before they arrive and save them the hassle of digging through your cabinets.

There are many ways to discreetly store your extra rolls – in a cabinet or in an opaque container next to the toilet. Here are a few of them:

Banana Leaf Toilet Paper Holder

Basket to sit on back of toilet