Bathroom Cabinet Organization – Before & After

Before and After ProjectIn my bathroom lurks a dirty secret. Behind the custom-made medicine cabinet, with custom knobs to match our very carefully constructed interior is a terrifying mess.

Plastic containers are stacked precariously like some leaning tower of crap.  I once purchased three eyeliners, because I kept losing mine in the depths of this organizational despair. This cabinet is where contacts go to die and sometimes the door won’t shut because of the junk I’ve shoved in there.

I’m not proud of what I’ve done to this cabinet.  Cabinet rights groups are probably going to flour-bomb me.

Exterior of the Bathroom CabinetMy 90-year-old home is lovely, with oak crown molding, glowing wood floors, original glass door knobs and a bathroom that resists every attempt at organization. There is no room for shelves, no room for storage.  No room for much at all. When my husband and I renovated the bathroom, we planned on adding shelves, but therein was the problem. Because of the size of the room there was only one place to hang a shelf or medicine cabinet—over the toilet. And that narrow space of wall was too small for most commercially made medicine cabinets and we know, we searched for two years. In the process we bought and returned five separate cabinets, before my husband broke down and restored the original cabinet. This is our only choice and it has to store my stuff, my husband’s stuff and my infant daughter’s growing pile of hairbows.

The plastic containers represent my previous attempts at organization. But as you can see, those organizational attempts were futile. Mostly because they were impractical. In the early morning rush to workout, shower and get ready before my daughter wakes up at 6:30am, I don’t have time to reorganize every small thing back into its proper plastic tub. My make-up and hair products are strewn over the small counter top.

My organizational philosophy is that organization has to fit your disorganized life. You organize where the mess accumulated, because where the mess is, is where you live. I can’t very well move my make up to the bedroom, I tried. I just end up with make up all over the bedroom and the bathroom.

Acrylic organizer full of bathroom itemsI needed something simple. Something easy. Something that would contain the clutter where it accumulated and offered a level of organization beyond my previous plan of “shoving it all in a large bin.”

So I chose the expanding acrylic organizer. I can adjust the size for my narrow shelf and it offers enough compartments to collect bobby pins, hair ties, make up, contacts, extra razor blades, my daughter’s hair ties, and jewelry.

Total time to organization? 15 minutes. It was so easy, that I am actually ashamed I’ve lived like this for over a year and done nothing about it.

Before: After:
Cabinet after acrylic organizer was added.

As my daughter grows, I’m sure my organization will have to grow with her (anyone have good ideas for bow organizers?) but for me, this solution fits perfectly and no longer will I be fishing bobby pins out of a Tupperware filled with spilled dry shampoo. Ew.

Lyz Lenz is a writer and moderately successful organizer. In addition to living in a 90-year-old home, she also lives online at
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