Home Improvements

Since my mother-in-law moved in last month, some much needed reorganizing was brought to my attention.  It’s not that she has complained in the least.  I just became aware of sloppiness that didn’t matter to me as much when we didn’t have another person living here.  For instance, it was no big deal before if I had max pads lying around in the bathroom, but suddenly I felt kind of embarrassed.  And if I let towels hanging over the shower curtain to dry it didn’t inconvenience anyone else who wanted to take a shower because there was no one else besides me and Bailey who used that bathroom to take showers.

As a result, Bed, Bath, and Beyond has being seeing quite a bit of me lately.  Actually the first thing I bought was this bathroom “spacesaver” from Wal-mart for the half bathroom downstairs.

That bathroom had absolutely no cabinet space at all, just the toilet and a pedestal sink.  There was one little corner shelf on the wall just big enough to hold two rolls of toilet paper.  Once I built this and put it in the bathroom, I started asking myself why I hadn’t done it sooner.  The top cabinet was the perfect place to put my little basket of band-aids and ointments that had been cluttering my downstairs bookshelf for years.  On the open shelf I put a decorative box from Michael’s to hold my feminine napkins, and the pull-down cabinet holds about five rolls of toilet paper.  I also keep a basket on top with hair elastics and a hair brush, so I don’t have to go upstairs when someone’s hair needs a quick fix.

It became quickly apparent that I needed a second one of these for the upstairs “Girls” bathroom.  Unfortunately the one above has a cardboard backing which I figured would disintegrate quickly since Piper is infamous for very raucous baths leave water splattered on the other side of the room.  I ended up going with this all metal one from Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

My mother-in-law keeps a basket with her haircare and hygiene supplies on the top shelf.  On the bottom shelf I have a canvas box that holds two rolls of toilet paper, making it much easier to reach in an emergency than the cabinet under the sink.  Bailey has room to keep her train case that she just received for her birthday, and there will be space for the other girls to keep theirs eventually.  But for now the extra space is a great place to put my clean clothes for after my shower.  I also was able to loop a hand towel along one side which is much easier for my smaller girls to reach to dry their hands.

I had an idea of how I wanted to handle the bath towel situation, but I had never gotten around to implementing it.  Last week, though, I went ahead and bought two four-peg wall-mounted racks.  I removed the old bent towel bar on the wall between the door and the bathtub and put those up instead, one high and one low.  This gives me a place to hang towels to dry out of my mother-in-law’s way.

I also bought six new bath towels:  two navy, two pink, and two purple.  I assigned Bailey the navy ones, Piper the pink, and Katie the purple.  I assigned the old yellow ones that we’ve been using to Sabrina.  Now each girl has her own towel set to use and a place to hang them up to be reused a few times between washings.  I’m hoping this will cut down on some of my laundry loads, especially as they get older and need to take showers more often.

The last organization item I bought actually was not for the bathroom, but for the kitchen.  We’ve always been kind of haphazard about our mail, and a day doesn’t go by in which my husband isn’t searching for his keys before he leaves the house.  So, I picked up this mail center from Bed, Bath, and Beyond to put my mother-in-law’s mail as soon as it comes in so that it doesn’t get buried under all of the clutter around our house.  It also has a place to stick my husband’s keys whenever I find them lying around. (Although, I did buy the other version they had in the store without the cork board.)

All total I think I spent a little less than $150 by utilizing coupons and sales.  But it has been well worth every penny.  It’s funny how little things like that can make your home feel so much nicer and more livable, especially when you have so many bigger and more expensive projects looming in the distance.

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