(ARA) Have you been bitten by the organizing bug? Are you constantly searching for new spots in your home for storage? If so, you re not alone. Suddenly, organizing your home spaces is in, and there are entire television shows, magazines and stores devoted to helping homeowners clean up their act.
Even if you re not a natural organizer, you can get a grip on clutter in your home. Experts advise taking it room by room, and starting small, so you re not overwhelmed by the scope of the project. Set aside enough time so you can focus on the task at hand -- you don t want to tear apart a room and have to stop midway through and run out to pick the kids up from school leaving the mess worse than before.
A good place to start is the bathroom. Usually the smallest room in the house, the bathroom is also the most heavily used. It serves as a dressing room, a first aid station, linen storage area, spa, hair salon and more. While you may crave a room makeover, there are less drastic (and more affordable) solutions to battle bathroom clutter.
For example, if you have room, replace your current vanity with one that offers more storage. You can also add usable space by installing shelves with pegs; this solves the practical problem of where to hang robes and towels while also providing a place to add some decorative touches. One of the most innovative storage solutions is a sliding bath/shower door that has storage built right in. It eliminates those rusty shower caddies, flimsy wall brackets and cluttered bathtub ledges, and can store bottles plus other accessories and bath toys.
You still have to get organized, however. Here s a step-by-step guide to decluttering and reorganizing your bathroom:
* Empty all cabinets, drawers, linen closets, medicine chests. Throw away any expired medications, no longer used or empty bottles, and threadbare towels.
* Clear all the assorted soaps, bath oils, shampoos, conditioners, razors and toys from the shower and tub areas, tossing anything that is leaking, empty or that looks like a lab experiment gone wrong.
* Now that the bathroom spaces are cleared, give them a thorough cleaning, especially areas such as under the sink that may not have seen the light of day for a while.
* Sort through the items you have collected and sort them in a way that makes sense to you. Then figure out the best way to store them. Because storage space is at a premium in a small room like the bathroom, you may have to get creative to make the most of the space available. The good news is that you may be surprised by how much space you have now that you ve weeded through and discarded some of the clutter.
Once you take stock of what you have to organize, head out to your local store to pick up storage supplies. Plastic pails or bins can store bath time toys out of sight; drawer dividers can help corral makeup and other miscellaneous items; small plastic boxes are great for storing medications (every family member can have a different color so there s never any confusion). Two-tiered under-the-sink storage shelves can double the space you have to stash toilet paper and cleaning supplies.