Getting Organized At Home: Organizing Your Shower Supplies

Organize your shower supplies to be less stressed in the mornings.

Is your bathroom in a big mess? Are you always looking for that new hair product you know you bought last week? Do you have trouble finding some soap when you shower? Are you always surprised when you run out of shampoo or toilet paper? If this describes you, organizing your shower supplies will help you be less stressed in the mornings and help you to become a savvy shopper when you have to replenish your toiletries or cleaning supplies.

To decide how to organize your shower supplies, you first need to take stock of everything you have in your bathroom. Allow some time for this because you will have to take all your things out of the cabinets. (You might find some products in the back of the cabinets you have not seen for awhile.) Group the supplies as to purpose: hair products, soap and body wash, shaving supplies, cleaning products, towels, makeup, teeth cleaning supplies, etc. Get rid of that three-year old mascara, the shampoo bottle with an inch of shampoo, the toothpaste you hate to taste, and anything else that needs to go in the trash.

After arranging your supplies into categories, you will have a clearer idea of what kind of organization you will need. It will be much easier to keep your supplies organized if you put each grouping into separate containers, even if you have adequate cabinet space. There are many different kinds of containers, racks and shelves you can use to organize, and the type and quantity will depend on how large or small your bathroom is, or if you even have your own bathroom.

One of the most basic types of organization for shower supplies is a plastic basket or tub with a handle. Many baskets have holes in the bottom and on the sides so water won't stand in the bottom. Put all the things you will need for your shower in the basket: soap or body wash, shampoo, conditioner, shaving equipment, etc. If you are a college student or house roommate without a private bath, this will allow you to have all your supplies ready to grab and go. It's very unpleasant to start showering and then discover you've forgotten to bring your soap or deodorant, and keeping your supplies together in one basket helps prevent that kind of surprise.

Another basic organizing tool for a small bathroom is a caddy that hangs over the shower head. Caddies can be found in many different kinds of materials, such as solid plastic, plastic-coated wire, and stainless steel. Choose a caddy with at least two shelves for your shampoo, conditioner and body wash bottles. Some caddies have a small shelf at the bottom for a bar of soap, and hooks on the sides to hang soap-on-a-rope, net poofs and shower gel. More expensive caddies can have built-in tanks with spigots at the bottom for shampoo, conditioner and liquid soap. Some even have radios and mirrors included. Shop around to find the caddy that works best for your bath.

Triangular-shaped shelves that fit in the corner of the shower are also very useful and can hold a large amount of supplies. Shelves can be found in both plastic and stainless steel and are arranged on a spring-loaded pole that can be adjusted in height. Most sets come with either three or four shelves and the shelves can be spaced in many different arrangements. Look for this type of organizing tool in the bath section of housewares, department and discount stores.

If you like baths more than showering, an over-the-tub rack might be just what you need. This type of rack is usually made of plastic-coated wire or stainless steel bars and fits across the width of your tub. If you have a seamless fiberglass tub enclosure, this type of rack might not fit your tub, but for cast iron and old-fashioned claw foot tubs, this is an ideal organizer for bath lovers. It will hold your bath salts, bubble bath, scented oils and soaps, and you can even prop up a book on the rack.

If you have a small bathroom with inadequate cabinet or shelf space and you have supplies spilling out everywhere, adding space should be a priority if you want to be neat and organized. If there is no room to add shelves against a wall, consider an over-the-toilet storage piece. There are many styles, colors and sizes of this type of shelving, ranging from stainless steel open wire shelves on spring-loaded poles to wooden fully-enclosed painted cabinets. Over-the-toilet shelves can even be put against a window wall; put a vining plant on the top shelf to add a little color to your bathroom.

Even if you have adequate cabinet space or have added additional shelves to your bathroom wall, your shower supplies can get disorganized very quickly if you don't have the time to be constantly arranging them and keeping them in order. Adding baskets, pull-out cabinet organizers or under-the-sink shelving can help your supplies look neat and orderly. If you have your supplies grouped into baskets (for instance, all your soap, body wash, and poofs in one basket, hair products in another) you will be able to find what you need easily, you can remove the basket from the shelf and take it to the counter or sink as you use the supplies and then replace it, and you can tell at a glance if you are running out of any supplies.

There are many types of baskets designed to keep order on shelving and in cabinets. Wicker baskets with fabric liners are available in sets and are excellent for corralling small bottles of lotions, bars of soap, makeup and extra toothbrushes. Some sets have nested baskets containing both large and small baskets to accommodate different types of items. Plastic baskets are also available and are often very inexpensive. Use your imagination to find unique containers to hold supplies on shelves; just make sure the containers or liners are easy to clean since drips and smudges are inevitable. For example, colorful plastic or metal sand pails would be useful and attractive lined up on the bathroom shelves of a beach cabin or vacation lake house.

Pull-out organizers have little wheels that fit on a track you install on the shelves inside a cabinet. If you have deep cabinet shelves, this type of organizer is very useful if you are constantly losing things that have migrated to the back of the cabinet. You can obtain wooden pull-out organizers at home supply stores, or more inexpensive and easy-to-install plastic ones can be found at discount stores. Pull-outs come in various widths to accommodate most cabinets; you can add a pull-out on the side of a wide shelf and still have room at the side for towels or other supplies.

If you have a very tiny bathroom, such as in a studio apartment, boat, or RV, and have very limited storage space, an over-the-door shoe organizer can add storage space for your supplies. Get the type that has plastic pockets to hold the shoes; most have 24 pockets and sometimes a couple of larger pockets at the top. You can put quite a bit of supplies in these pockets, including your blow dryer, curling iron, brushes, and cleaning supplies; just about everything you need in your small bathroom will fit in a pocket. If you get an organizer with clear plastic pockets you will be able to tell in a glance just where everything is located.

Organizing your shower supplies is easy if you take a little time to design a plan. The next time you find yourself in a store with a housewares section, look around at the possibilities available for organizing your bathroom. Sort through your supplies and throw out what you don't need, decide if you have need of supplies you don't yet have, and group your available supplies into categories to be put into containers. After your supplies are organized, it will be easier to keep up with what you have and what you're running out of, and hopefully you'll never have to yell, "Please, somebody, bring me some soap!" in the shower again.

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