New Year, New Projects, New Bathroom Closet

It’s a new year, and it’s the time for resolutions and organizing!  I love to organize.  In fact, I have to organize.  If a closet or drawer isn’t kept under control it will keep me from sleeping soundly.  I organize for my health.
My bathroom renovation may not be happening, but this doesn’t mean I can’t have some fun with workin’ with what I got.  Earlier this week, I crossed off an item on my to-do list that has been lingering since April 4, 2010, except that I was hoping to tackle it during the whole-bath renovation.  Consider this my partial-bath renovation.
I’ve been planning to organize my bathroom closet for a while now.  Once I saw the Dog Days of Winter – Organize It Challenge posted by I Love You More Than Carrots blog, I knew I had to finally tackle the ugly space hiding behind my bathroom door.
My goal for my bathroom closet was to make this space less embarrassing  more functional, and to do it all for free.  While the paint and shelving paper is pretty awful, my incredibly embarrassing lack of organization was the biggest motivator.  I’m airing a little dirty laundry here.  We all have dirty little secret, and this closet is mine.

I’m pretty sure the individual who installed a closet with shelving in the bathroom of my house didn’t own a level.  Or a measuring tape.  The bathroom cabinet was the only corner of my house that still held a paint color that I didn’t roll on.  (It looks light gray in the pictures but it is actually a medium purple-gray color and the shelves were green marble shelving paper).

Joe Louis (our curious 7 mo. old puppy) has a guilty pleasure of digging in the trash can.  To remedy this, I shoved the garbage can into the jam packed area of the closet so it could be hidden away from puppy access.  No, I didn’t take anything out of the closet to make room for the garbage.  And it (very embarrassingly) ended up looking like this…
Tile samples, cleaning products, a storage basket and now a trash can all jammed into one little space when I had a full closet.  It needed help.
First, I unloaded the closet so I could evaluate what needed to be replaced.
I removed all the shelves and tossed them since they were poorly made in the first place.  Then I removed all the uneven and unlevel shelving braces.  The old closet had a lot of wasted space, so I measured the distance between each shelf to be 12.5″ and was able to add one more shelf.  Below you can see the area where the old braces were and the new pine boards I installed for the new shelving.
I had 1/3 of a MDF sheet leftover from my hallway and master bedroom closet project from last year.  It turned out to be the perfect size for creating 4 shelves in the bathroom.  I made a few cuts with my circular saw and had no scrap wood leftover!   The scraps I had sitting in the garage for 12 months ended up being perfect for this makeover.  I ended up being 1 shelf short on wood, but after a visit to my friends new construction house the next day, they had a small scrap of MDF in the basement left by the builders that they offered up to me.  After I installed the new shelves, I added two coats of leftover Ultra White Eggshell paint, and it was already looking a lot better.
Since I now had more room, I brought in the towels from the linen closet in the hallway and stacked all the bulk bath products on the top shelf.  I reused all the same mason jars I was using before and just added a few numbered vinyl decals I had leftover from a Christmas Ornament project (sorry, I was slacking and didn’t blog about this).  The baskets also came from the linen closet to separate different bath items.
In case you’re wondering, ‘5’ is holding mouthwash.  I like the look of plain jars and often transfer over consumer packaged products to jars.  I wash the jars regularly and any time I refill product to keep things sanitary.  Hello, my name is Mary and I’m obsessed with jars.  and numbers.  I can’t stop.  #jarhoarder #everythinginmyhouseisnumbered
Previously I had always kept the towels in the linen closet.  Now that I have all this extra space I transferred my towels over to the bathroom.  Which really only makes sense.  I only have 4 bath towels, 2 hand towels and 4 wash cloths that are used daily (I keep old towels in the laundry area that are used for cleaning the house or drying off the dogs or cars).  I’m a little OCD clean about my white towels and because they are a bit pricey they are only allowed to be used to wipe clean water up…my favorite towels can be seen here.  The top towel roll is actually two hand towels rolled together to give a consistent look.
The basket on the left holds all of my beauty products…lotion, deodorant, nail polish remover, makeup and brushes (which are both kept contained in a little carrier case).  This is all I use on a daily basis.  I keep it pretty simple.  The basket on the right holds some of Justin’s products that have accumulated at my house.  I love that we each have our own storage and that if someone needs to use the bathroom, we just need to grab our basket and get ready elsewhere.
The storage is now so functional and organized that I have no need for the fourth shelf.  I may transfer my brush and hairdryer to this area, which is currently stored in the dresser in my bedroom.
The floor storage has seen the most improvement.  I moved the tile samples to the basement, hid the cleaning products behind the garbage can and got rid of the extra storage baskets.
Here is the area behind the garbage, which isn’t visible unless you crouch down and remove the garbage.  I hung the brushes and spray bottles on a tension rod (meant for curtains) and stabilized it with two screws.  This isn’t very kid-safe, but we don’t have to worry about that just yet.  The dogs don’t access this closet and it’s always kept shut so I think it’s okay to store these here for now.
I’m pretty happy with this little makeover.  Especially since it only cost me 4 hours of my time.  I might just sleep a little better tonight.
What organization projects do you have planned for this year? Please tell me I’m not the only one who likes to number stuff? 
Mary

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