Once upon a time, when you pulled open the top drawer in your bathroom, you knew exactly what was in there. Same with the second—and third—drawer. Now? You hunt and dig and rummage for what you’re sure is in there… somewhere.
Tidying up your bathroom drawers will help make your mornings feel less stressful and make your evenings calmer. Follow these easy steps to declutter, sort, and arrange your personal items to get your bathroom in order and drawers organized.
Step 1: Empty Your Drawers
Take everything out of the bathroom drawers you’re organizing. While they’re empty, wipe down the inside with an all-purpose disinfectant cleaner. A microfiber cloth or an eraser sponge can help you get out any stubborn stains. Once dry, place slim-profile, adjustable drawer organizers in each drawer. Don’t worry about them sliding around and creating an even bigger mess—these come with non-slip feet to hold them firmly in place when you open and close the drawer.
Step 2: Sort Your Toiletries
As your first level of organization, sort like items with like items: makeup together, lotions in another group, and so on. If you have a lot of items in one category, sort into subcategories, like eyeshadow and blush or hand cream and body lotion.
Step 3: Purge Rarely Used Products
Next, figure out what you should toss—specifically, the stuff you don’t really love: It may feel like a waste, but if you’re never going to use an item, it’s just taking up space. (You can donate unopened cosmetics to a local shelter.) It’s okay to keep once-a-year items like the glittery eyeshadow you only wear on New Year’s Eve or the sunburn cream that is (hopefully) rarely needed, but consider storing them in the lowest drawer, and in the back—and check the expiration dates before you do.
Step 4: ID the Duplicates
When drawers get cluttered, you wind up buying multiples of things because either you can’t find or can’t remember if you already have the item you’re looking for. As you’re organizing, look for redundancies and consider keeping the back-up item in the lowest drawer or another location. Likewise, if you have similar items that do the same task, like say, two different types of toothpaste, pick one to use up first and store the second one elsewhere.
Step 5: Measure and Shop
You should be left with your keepers: The toiletries and tools you use daily or weekly. Measure any awkwardly-shaped items you need to store, like a battery-operated razor or an electric toothbrush. Then measure the drawer itself. For long and narrow devices, these adjustable drawer bins work great. If you want more flexibility in what you store where, consider a set of organizers that accommodate items of various shapes and sizes.
Step 6: Arrange Your Organizers
Fill your drawers with your organizers, aiming to make use of every inch. If you have awkward small spaces leftover, look around your house for items you can repurpose to fill the gaps: A small candle votive can hold q-tips, an old tin of mints can house bobby pins, a shot glass can corral nail clippers—the possibilities are many.
Step 7: Return Items to Drawers
As you put your items back in the drawers, wipe down the exterior of each product or tool with your all-purpose cleaner and a fresh cloth. Then, group them by use, not by product type. For example, you’ll want to store all your evening skincare routine items in one spot. Use an organizer with separate trays or bins to divide items within each category (night eye cream in one compartment, eye drops in another, and so on).
For next-level organizing, bust out your removable labels, write the name of the item you’re storing on a label, and adhere the label to the inside of the segmented tray where the item goes. This is especially helpful if multiple family members use the same set of drawers. For bonus style, remove labels from products with less-than-lovely packaging: The more minimalist look will make your bathroom drawers feel almost spa-like.