Updated 10/26/2016 from an article originally published on 9/5/2013.
We all know how a kid’s bathroom can go from neat-as-a-pin to a complete disaster in less time than it takes to fold a stack of towels. Whether you have one child or a whole brood sharing a bathroom, some innovative organizing and design tips can save you time when it comes to cleaning up that all-important room. Here are 6 to try out on your child’s bathroom.
1. Labeled hooks will help towels get hung.
Keeping wet towels off the floor of the kid’s bathroom is the goal of many parents. This is increasingly difficult when the bathroom is used by multiple kids. Ginger Bowie of Ginger Snap Crafts suggests replacing those door hooks or towel bars with a hat rack—choose an oversized rack with six or more hooks for more versatility.
Consider painting the name of each child, or better yet, place a picture of them above their hook. This will prevent arguments (who used MY towel) and help you keep track of them for laundry day. Plus, how cute would it be to have photos of your favorite littles all in a row?
2. Corral dirty clothes with a bathroom hamper or bin.
If you don’t have a laundry shoot, you probably keep hampers in each family members’ bedroom. But do clothes fail to make the trip from the bathroom before a shower to their proper destination? Placing a hamper in the bathroom will give your kids an easy dump zone for dirty clothes.
If you have younger children, plastic bins in the bathroom are an alternative solution to a laundry hamper for your bathroom. Plastic bins are perfect for wet clothes after an afternoon at the pool or muddy clothing from playing in the rain. Even better, you can easily carry the bin to the laundry room or even rinse it out in the tub.
3. Keep cleaning supplies close.
Your children’s bathroom probably needs a cleaning about twice as often as your own. Who knows what goes on in there! Save yourself a little time by making space for your cleaning supplies right in the bathroom. A small caddy works perfectly and often fits under the sink.
And if your kids are old enough to be a part of the clean-up crew, consider including a checklist with the cleaning supplies. That way they have no excuse for forgetting to clean the toilet bowl or the mirror.
4. Come up with a code or system for toiletries used daily.
According to Becky Mansfield of Your Modern Family, one of the most effective things you can do to help the kids keep their own bathroom organized is to set up daily use bags or totes for each child. Fill the bags with each child’s toiletries—deodorant, makeup, hair supplies or whatever else they might need. This is particularly helpful as the kids get older.
Store the totes out of site in a linen closet or drawer. If you don’t have the space to hide them, a shelf works just as well. And when it comes time for a move or remodel, you children’s belonging are already ready to go! Just throw the daily use bag or tote into an overnight bag, or take your neatly organized bins to storage until you are ready for them.
For an added degree of organization, you can color code everything. Each child gets a color. His or her bin, toothbrush, hairbrush—even towels—can be the same color, making it easy to find the owner of any item in the bathroom. Color coding also makes packing a snap, whether you are packing for one night or for a move.
5. Reclaim the space behind the bathroom door.
Often, one of the biggest issues in bathrooms is simply a lack of space. With a little ingenuity, though, you can easily reclaim some of that lost space for storage. For example, are you taking advantage of the back of your bathroom door?
The experts at MarthaStewart.com nix the idea that the back of the door is just for one towel bar. Instead, they suggest you hang three, spacing them to hold one folded full-size bath towel.
What about the doors of your vanity? There’s another potential storage space for you right there!
6. Add storage to a small bathroom with corner shelving units.
Very small bathrooms can benefit from corner shelving units. Many of these are quite narrow, providing just enough space to store extra toiletries or linens. This is a great solution for houses with kids of multiple ages—the lower shelves are perfect for the youngest kids while the older ones can easily access the higher shelves.
A Few Final Tips for Keeping Your Kid’s Bathroom Organized:
Before you get down to organizing the shower caddy, take a few minutes to think about the overall organizational plan of your child’s bathroom. If you have several kids using the same bathroom, you may not want use the linen closet for towels—it might make more sense to use it for storage.
Overall, when organizing the kid’s bathroom, try to sort into bins or totes. These will store neatly in your linen closet or under the counter, helping to keep the bathroom clean and making it easy to move bathroom accessories when you need to.