Unless you’re one of those lucky few with a gorgeous, master bathroom (complete with Jacuzzi tub and dressing room), odds are you don’t spend much time in your bathroom — beyond what’s necessary. But shouldn’t the place where you start and end your day be just as special as the rest of your home?
We spoke with Professional Organizer Liz Jenkins to learn about the best ways to keep our bathroom clean, organized and beautiful year round. Take a look at her best tips below to get your bathroom in shape for the new year!
Rethink your routine. “Bathrooms are often not thought of as places to be organized, usually because people don’t spend a ton of time in there and when they do, they’re usually in a hurry,” says Jenkins. “Investing more time into organizing the bathroom can save people a lot of time and money in the long run.”
Define problem areas. Under the vanity, drawers, medicine cabinets and bathroom shelving become automatic dumping grounds in many bathrooms. Take the time to sort through each space. “I recommend completely emptying the whole area, sorting what you have and then grouping like with like,” says Jenkins. “You may find you have 8 bottles of hair spray but you didn’t realize it because they were scattered around in different spots.”
Zone your space. Organize each space according to usage. Do you do your hair and makeup in front of the mirror? Put hair and makeup products in the medicine cabinet. Do you put lotion on right after your shower?
Paint. Color can add new life to an outdated bathroom. “Usually fixtures are white,” says Jenkins. “So you can really have some fun with color in this small space.”
Use colorful accessories. If you don’t want to paint, use your shower curtain, curtain rings, towels and art to bring color into your bathroom. “I usually encourage people to think ‘spa’ when doing a bathroom, unless it’s for kids in which case you can go wild! But I love blues and greens in a guest bath, relaxing tans and creams in a master and have been loving gray for most spaces,” says Jenkins.
Change out fixtures. Replacing old fixtures can make a bathroom look like a brand new space. “Go with a brushed nickel or stainless for a clean look that won’t go out of style quickly,” says Jenkins.
Add new storage. Install small storage shelves, a new vanity or a medicine cabinet to expand your bathroom’s storage. Try creating a shelving unit in the wall if you don’t have a lot of room — shelves can be built into your drywall between studs to create a niche (just make sure to get a professional’s help with this).
Install new lights. Everything from recessed can lights to new vanity lights can make a dramatic difference in the way your bathroom looks — plus, it’ll make getting ready in the morning that much easier.
Retile your floor. “This can be labor intensive, but it can also be a real room changer,” says Jenkins. “I’d suggest going neutral on color here, because unlike paint, this is a pretty permanent renovation.”
Replace mirrors. Taking out old mirrors and replacing them with a new vanity, medicine cabinet or stylish framed mirror will refresh your bathroom’s look and better reflect light around the room. “If you have one of those old frameless wall mirrors, consider having it framed in with picture molding,” says Jenkins. “Paint it to match the cabinetry!”