organizing kick, part two

I’m still at it, and part three (our bathroom) is almost complete.  Part four (my downstairs desk) is itching to be done, and is perhaps the biggest job (and least fun) of them all.  In my defense, re-doing all these areas had a bit of a ‘cascade effect’ and by moving things to new locations, I then needed to re-do another space, and then another…and so it continues!

After re-organizing two key areas downstairs, I moved upstairs.  Instead of a traditional ‘linen closet,’ we have two side-by-side sets of built-in cabinets and drawers in the hallway.  We have loads of space, and I know when we moved in eight years ago it was pristine; medicines were grouped together, towels and sheets folded neatly, nothing out of place.

Unfortunately, in my zest to begin tackling the cabinets, I forgot to take ‘before’ pictures. Suffice it to say, I’d let the cabinets go. The medication shelf remained the only pseudo-organized’ area, but each bin was teeming with expired bottles and errant gauze pads. Meanwhile, each shelf (and everything on it) was coated in a thin layer of dust from our recent hallway lighting project, and Andrew’s camera accessories mingled with mailing supplies and bath towels. It was a disheveled mess that had been nagging at me each time I opened the doors.

The Home Edit to the rescue!


I took time during one of Maelle’s naps to completely empty it all out, group items, sort, and clean all the dust and dirt.  I really liked the bins I’d purchased for Maelle’s room, so I tried one in the cabinet and it was a perfect fit.  I grabbed a few of hers that aren’t currently full of stuff to test out how they would work in the space and how much each would hold.  I knew I needed storage for candles, lightbulbs, backstock, travel and miscellaneous items. I also wanted a new solution for my manicure accessories and nail polish collection, and I loved THE’s recommendation for a caddy I could carry around.  I took my measurements, re-purposed what I could (the smaller clear bins, two larger bins with teal lids), placed an order with The Container Store and waited with baited breath for everything to arrive.

In the meantime, I folded all the towels neatly and fantasized thought about where things should go. Just like with my downstairs cleaning areas, I used this as an opportunity to do some ‘baby proofing’ by putting light, harmless items (like toilet paper and feminine products) in the lower drawers, and keeping off-limit items (like medicine, candles and nail polish) up higher.  I also intended to label each bin, and used a white chalk marker to make erasing easier. 

Once the bins arrived, I couldn’t wait to get started. I kept the medicines on the same shelf as it’s become second-nature to reach for them there.  I simply needed to purge the old stuff, organize each one and stock up on fresh, non-chemical sunscreen

The other categories were mostly things we’d already kept in the cabinets, such as lightbulbs and batteries.  I especially enjoyed organizing my nail polish into a rainbow (of sorts) and purging enough to fit my collection into the two acrylic locking cases that had previously been filled to overflowing.  (While I’ve made great efforts to ‘clean up’ my skincare and makeup routine, I’ve decided nail polish is just an area I’m choosing not to change right now.  I don’t wear it that often, I already have plenty and enjoy having a plethora of colors from which to choose.  Going forward, I’ve put the kibosh on buying a single polish more, unless it’s totally non-toxic and for Maelle.)

The hallway cabinets might be the most value-added of my organizing projects, but I think I’ll enjoy the work I’ve done in my bathroom the most!

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