What can I say? Putting things away in an organized fashion is a great joy to me. I think about the time, money, and energy my clients are going to save and it truly makes me happy.

As you organize, work in two phases. First, put related items into the containers or drawers, or onto the shelves, you feel are the most convenient. Next, make decisions about your backup supplies. If you have a large bathroom with lots of storage space, it makes sense to have all such items here. If you need to use a hall closet or the linen closet, keep one thing in mind: As a product gets to the end, you want to transfer the backup supply in a few days early. (Standing soaking wet in a shower is not the time to remember you need the shampoo that’s down the hall in the linen closet!) If you are using a guest bathroom for storage you still need to be mindful of your waning products in the master. Knocking on the door and waking Grandma because you need a roll of toilet paper isn’t the best way to start any day.
Over the course of about a week, you may move your categories around a bit in order to find the perfect placement. Be sure you keep whatever is stored under the sink in containers. Why? On that inevitable day when you need a plumber, it’s going to be a breeze to take out a few containers rather than a chaotic mound of products. Your plumber will be impressed. By the way, were you able to put in a shelving unit in the garage for paper products? Overflow of sanitary supplies, toilet paper, and bathroom cleaning supplies can be stored here before they have to migrate upstairs. Be consistent with your placement and you will always be in charge.


Whether it’s Grandma, Auntie, a cousin, or your best friend, if a guest is sharing a bathroom with Baby, you need to set parameters. What, for example, happens if Grandma or Grandpa gets up frequently in the night? If the baby is in your room, there’s no problem. But if he’s in his room and it took two hours to get him to sleep, you don’t want flushing or fumbling to wake him. The ideal solution is for your guests to use the entry powder room at night and during the day when Baby is asleep. As a last resort, your bathroom is the likely target. It’s concerns like these that will help dictate how much live-in family help you have and for how long.


It takes as little time to refold a towel or put it in a hamper as it does to toss it on the floor. It takes less than a minute to wipe off a counter with a sponge so that any sticky residue from a beauty product won’t cake on the counter. It takes no extra time to place your products where they belong rather than toss them willy-nilly on the countertop.

Some tasks each person using the bathroom must do. Most of my clients, for example, use a squeegee on the shower glass just before they exit the shower to keep the soap scum under control. Here is a list of bathroom maintenance tasks each person can do to keep this room pristine between cleanings:

• Wipe off the counter with a sponge or a pop-up cleaning wipe as you prepare to exit.
• Squeegee the shower when you are done.
• Rinse the bathtub to avoid a ring around the tub.
• Check the garbage. Does it need to be emptied?
• Put products away.
• Fold your towel or put it in the hamper.
• Spray the mirror and wipe off the spray of toothpaste and other debris that inevitably collects on the mirror just above the faucet.

If this seems like a lot, remember that you don’t shower or take a bath every time you are in the bathroom. Neither do you take out all of your products during each visit. Very few things are done each time. These small actions make the bathroom an inviting place for you and for your partner. If one of you habitually leaves towels on the floor, you have a choice. Either that partner grows up and acts like a responsible adult or the other person becomes the maid or the butler. Which of these do you want to offer your baby as an example of the ideal way to share space? Let me close with this bit of advice: Never leave the bathroom knowing that there are two squares of toilet paper left on the roll. We’ve all been there. I rest my case for this week!
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