When my son went back to school in August, I decided to do some extra cleaning in his room and bathroom. I started with cleaning the cabinets in his bathroom. And that turned in to cleaning under the cabinets in all of the bathrooms! One small job turned into a much bigger job. The neat-freak in me was up to the challenge.
You don’t realize how dirty and gross it gets under the cabinets. It even gets plain, old dusty under there. I try to clean out and wipe down the cabinets about every 3 months. If that seems too overwhelming for you, just start with once or twice a year. The cabinet police will not arrest you for slacking. I promise.
Yes, I line my bathroom cabinets with Contact paper shelf liner (yes, they still make Contact paper). It’s totally 80s, but totally awesome! Something about putting items down on the bare cabinets bothers me. I use plain, white Contact paper to line bathroom cabinets. It comes in other colors and designs too, and it’s fairly inexpensive. It’s pretty easy to cut and size it to your cabinets. Contact paper is easy to wipe down. I either use a damp paper towel, or you can spray a multi-purpose cleaner and wipe that down. In my kitchen cabinets, I line the cabinets with a soft, cushiony, gripper liner. Aaaaah, the kitchen cabinets are a conversation for another day.
If you don’t use a shelf liner, that’s okay. Just wipe down the cabinet surfaces with either a damp cloth, or use a multi-purpose cleaner.
Storing items under the cabinets in bins and containers makes cleaning easier, and gives you a more organized look. I prefer to use plastic bins, especially in the bathroom and kitchen cabinets. That way, you can easily clean and wipe out the bins of spills or anything wet. My son’s bathroom cabinets are easy. I only have 2 bins in there. One for his spare toiletries and toilet paper. And one for some additional toiletries. If you have multiple kids, getting different colored bins for each kid is a good idea. That way, they feel like they have their “own” space in the shared bathroom. Using a variety of sizes and colored bins would also be a good idea if you have a child with hair accessories, or other do-dads.
You can find many different sizes and styles of bins. I like to keep everything uniform and streamlined, so I use all of the same kind of bin. In my bathroom, I use clear bins so that I can see what is inside. In my son’s bathroom and the guest bathrooms, I use stackable bins with handles.
Group like things together. I have 2, clear bins for my nail stuff. One keeps all the tools I need for doing nails. The other keeps all my nail polish. When it’s time to work on my nails, I just pull these 2 bins out and they have everything I need.
Makeup is a little trickier. I don’t wear makeup, so I have it easy. With makeup, just do what makes sense to you. Some people like to store their daily makeup out on the counter since they use it every day. You can store your other, infrequently used makeup items under the cabinet. Use a bin that works for the items you have. I like the Caboodles-style bins.
Tip: Keep everything under the counter in some kind of a bin. That way, the bin can be pulled out as needed. And this will help prevent items from falling into the black hole vortex of the back of the cabinet. You know what I’m talking about. The stuff that falls back there usually only makes an appearance when you clean out and move out of your house.
Clean out your cabinets of old products at least once a year. This is the time to get rid of old, expired medications and products. And to get rid of the 5 different shades of hot pink nail polish you just had to try back in 2005.
Tip: What goes in, must come out. You need to clean out old items periodically, to make room for new items. If you have 4 different hairsprays, but you only use 1, get rid of the other 3. It’s okay. Don’t be afraid to let go. Your old stuff will forgive you.
Other than that, there are no hard and fast rules. Organize your cabinets however it makes sense to you. In general, group like things together such as hair products. Use bins that work for your cabinets. Don’t be afraid to tackle this project. It can save you time and money. When you know where everything is, you don’t have to spend extra time searching for it. And, if you know that you already have 2 toothpastes on hand, you don’t need to buy a third.
Onto the kitchen cabinets!
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