Monday, June 24, 2013

Making the Most of Under Your Bathroom Sink

I hope y'all had a wonderful weekend!  Ours ended up pretty busy with a pool party, a date-night, a BBQ with friends and a week-late Father's Day celebration that included brunch in Seattle and a trip up the Space Needle.  Hard to believe I have lived in this town for 30+ years and had never been up in the Space Needle before.   About time!

Now that our bathroom drawers are all spruced up after the first 30 Minutes or Less challenge, I thought it would be helpful to talk about organizing under the bathroom sink.  This is a tough space to deal with because it typically consists of a tall empty cabinet with a clunky pipe running through it. And since it is also usually the largest storage area in a bathroom, you really want to maximize its full potential.  A while back, I came across this picture from of a perfectly organized under-the-bathroom-sink cabinet and it got all my type-A organizing juices flowing!


If you aren't familiar with Alejandra, she is a mega-organizer who makes videos of her organizing tips and shares them with the world.  I went slightly gaga when I saw this photo because I knew it was the key to my under-the-sink disaster zone. 

I did this project before I started the blog so unfortunately I don't have any before photos; you'll just have to trust me that it was a total mess.  And I know you might not want to believe me because I write an organizing blog, but the truth is, there are a lot of spaces in my house that are in complete chaos and I just do my best to hide them behind closed doors.  Anyway, this was one of those spaces.

The thing I loved the most about Alejandra's cubby system was the way she was able to take advantage of the vertical space and work around the intrusive J-pipe.  I had a vision for the potential of my own under-the-sink cabinet and began my search for the perfect storage system.

(Sorry for the poor lighting.  It's hard to get a nice natural light in a bathroom cabinet!)

I knew I wanted drawers instead of cubbies for a couple reasons.  First, my cabinet isn't as tall as the one in the inspiration photo and I figured drawers would stack together more compactly.  Second, I wanted the ability to pull the drawer out and put it on the counter if I wanted to sort through it.  I searched high and low for a good stacking drawer unit and ended up finding some Sterilite drawers at Fred Meyer.  They were a bit pricey for me, but since then I have noticed that sometimes they go on sale for buy one, get one free or buy two, get one free.  (Sadly, I discovered this after buying them so I paid full price -- wa-wah!)

I had to measure and re-measure the cabinet several times before making my purchase to figure out the right combination of small and large drawers.  I then grouped everything into categories that would fit into the drawers.  My categories are: shaving & waxing (oh the things you disclose when you choose to start a blog...), dental, lotions, soap, q-tips/cotton balls/Kleenex (travel sized), and travel. 

And, of course, I also made some snazzy labels so that it is easy to find what we are looking for. 

I took another cue from Alejandra and ordered a wall-mounted rack to hang on the inside of the cabinet door to hold lotions. 

With the storage drawers and the wall-rack in place, I was able to organize everything that had been strewn across the cabinet floor plus I was able to move a bunch of stuff from our miniscule linen closet to this area as well.  Bonus!

Thank you Alejandra for the wonderful inspiration!  What has inspired you lately? 

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