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Bathroom Organization for New Year

Simple strategies for storing bathroom essentials.

Cluttered bathrooms where the medicine cabinet contains everything from batteries to old toothbrushes and a linen closet where towels and sheets are intermingled with flashlights and scrub brushes can be the bane of anyone’s existence. However, a new year can offer a fresh start in one of the most-used rooms in one’s home.

Local organizers say it is possible to gain control of the clutter in a few simple steps. From multi-functional decorative items that add more space to small lavatories to cabinetry designed to offer extra storage, they offer strategies for tackling one of the biggest household annoyances.

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Guy Semmes, of Hopkins & Porter Construction, Inc. in Potomac, says there are organizational and space-saving advantages to using floating vanities in a bathroom.

"When bathroom storage space is very limited, I have used items like a [portable space-saving cabinet]," said Susan Unger, of ClutterSOS in Vienna. "It fits over the toilet, and adds additional storage space and is not unattractive."

Making use of decorative containers can save space and add aesthetic appeal to a bathroom as well. "I suggest putting cotton balls, soaps and sponges in glass jars for looks and to save on cabinet space," said Sallie Kjos of GreyHunt Interiors in Chantilly, Va. "For ladies, I suggest getting acrylic desk organizers and using them to organize your make up instead a [make-up] bag that takes up more space and is less functional."

Courtney Thomas, of The Picket Fence in Burke, suggests using vintage locker baskets for a touch of nostalgia and added storage. "Place them under the sink to corral cleaning supplies or hang them on the wall to hold extra toilet paper or toiletries," she said.

Kjos agrees that decorative baskets are a top organizational tool. "Clean out the linen closet, refresh your towels and organize your personal items in lined baskets that match," she said. "You can pull them out like drawers and they look better than simple stacks."

For those considering a bathroom-remodeling project, Guy Semmes of Hopkins & Porter Construction, Inc. in Potomac, suggests a floating vanity. "It hangs above the floor," he said. "There is room for a laundry hamper and other storage. There are a lot of advantages to it. You can add a light under the vanity, which gives it a nice look at night, and it makes it easier to clean the floor."

Joe Starkey, of Old Town Kitchen and Bath in Alexandria, said, "We just installed … a full-height, semi-recessed cabinet into a master bathroom in Fairfax and the additional storage space it offers is tremendous."