The Complete Bathroom & Laundry Room Tour (Part 1 of 2)

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As requested, I’ll be doing a home-tour series.  If you read my Month-By-Month Plan for the year, you saw how I divided up my home into sections.  I like to focus on reorganizing a different room each month.  This really breaks it down into manageable bits for me and although the room never ends up ‘perfect’ things are always getting a bit better as time goes on.

Throughout the year, I’ll be posting a photo tour of a different room each month.  This is to give you an idea of how a small home (under 1,000 square foot) can stay ‘relatively’ organized (with little kids underfoot) on a shoestring budget.  Yes, those are my three challenges.

I believe the secret of living in a small space lies in only keeping what you use and love.  It requires you to be intentional about what you keep around and what you don’t.  I’m an unabashed minimalist and have found such freedom in just having less stuff.

Staying organized with littles in the home sometimes means settling for the ‘good enough’.  I don’t have a picture-perfect, magazine-inspired home, but we live here, love here, and can usually find what we’re looking for without too much stress.  That’s the goal.  Our home is functional, and most importantly, peaceful.  Someday when my kids are older, I’ll be able to employ them to paint the bathroom a prettier color for me, but that’s just not our stage of life right now.  No painting’s going on around here until the littles are old enough to not eat or fingerpaint with it.

Working with a shoestring budget means creativity and contentment come into play.  I could go out and buy a $300 shelving system that would solve all my closet’s problems, but what would be the challenge in that?  Budget living sometimes requires yard-sale searching, Craigslisting, or multipurposing of an unlikely items.  The whole process can be fun if you set your mind to it.

So let’s get started…

In our home, we have a single bathroom which doubles as our laundry room.  If you divided the room into sections, it would include the sink area…

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The less-exciting, more functional area…

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The shower/bathtub and laundry corner… (the cute kid is one of my favorite accessories)

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A set of cabinets above our washer/dryer…

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And this little corner which doubles as an open broom closet and our shoe-holding spot (since it’s close to our home exit/entry).

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This spot is a prime example of putting an odd, unused corner to better use.  I thrifted a flat, rectangular basket to keep our shoes in and installed some sturdy nails into the side wall to hang our broom, mop, and all-important fly-swatter.

Because I like to make things pretty without doing much work, I (thanks to pinterest) repurposed some wall-decals and stuck them to my light switch and washer and dryer.  They’re entirely removable and such an easy way of adding prettiness.  Besides, having ‘Every Day is A Gift’ written across your dryer door makes it hard to feel sullen about warm, fresh-smelling laundry, however mountainous it may be.

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Let’s visit those cabinets above the washer and dryer.4

Someday, I’ll have a full linen closet that looks like this… Ta-dah!

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But until then, we’ve been keeping our towels on the shelves like so.

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Since each person re-uses the same towel throughout the week, we don’t need a lot of them.  Since we don’t have a complete set of the same colored towels (someday, we will!), the striped towels belong to my husband and the brown ones are mine.  The boys each have their own hooded towel.

In the lower right are our ‘junky’ towels that come in handy more often than you’d think.  We use them to mop up spills, dry off the dogs, or to keep our kitchen from flooding when the downpour starts leaking in at 4am.  (Ah yes, the adventurous life!)  The red handtowels are our spare kitchen hand towels (the kitchen is right off the bathroom) and the brown hand towels are the bathroom spares.

I should point out that the towles that are in use that week are hung up on the back of our door.  Since everyone has a different pattern, its easy to remember whose is whose.

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I switched to hooks after realizing the profound truth of this pinterest find.

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Now that I’m a towel hook convert, I’m never going back.  Someday, when we have the budget for buying a set of new towels, I’m going to buy a complete set of the same color.  It’ll do my type-A heart good, I think.  I’d like to sew different colored ribbon loops on like these so everyone will still know which towel is theirs.  (Plus, that kind of sewing project seems just on my level!)

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Now that we’ve covered towels, lets continue with the cabinet tour.  I keep all the bottles of pills and syrups corralled in this dollar tree basket.  Do you like my little masking tape label?  In the little box (actually a lid) to the right, I keep ointments, syringes, and droppers.

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Each box can be pulled down so I can view the contents more easily.P1260809

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On the other side of that shelf, I keep my favorite nail polish colors (in the tin), polish remover, cotton balls, etc. (And a pregnancy test I’m hoping to get to use this year)

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We have a shelf for our sunscreen, bug spray, and aloe vera (for sunburn) in the summer.  In the winter, we also usually have chapstick and moisturizer there as well.P1260821And since my husband and I have sprained/injured a variety of different things in our life (we were both into martial arts for several years and it comes with the territory), we’ve managed to collect a shelf full of splints, braces, and heating pads.

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 To the side of my washer/dryer, I have this multi-tiered shelf.

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The top shelf has our Great Value laundry detergent (off-topic note, but I am now searching for cheap homemade laundry detergent recipes! If you have a favorite, please post a link to it on my facebook page!).  It also has a small little box I’ve repurposed to hold my stain treatments, dry-clean envelopes, and mesh bags.  If I have a spare sock that loses its mate, I’ll also stick it there until the second one reappears.

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Behind this shelf, I keep my baby bath seat (similar to this one) so when my child is still insecure with the whole sitting thing, he can still sit, play, and splash around without my hands holding him up the whole time.

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The next shelf keeps all my bathroom cleaning supplies.  I like to keep it simple.  I use Scrubbing Bubbles bathroom cleaner for cleaning all our surfaces.  It works well and one bottle seems to last FOREVER.  I use off-brand windex for cleaning the mirror and bleach for washing my cloth diapers.

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The next shelf down houses bubble bath and candles (in case the bubble bath is for the adults and not children…  *cough*)

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And lastly, within reach of the kiddos, I keep the wipes on the bottom shelf.

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In my next post, I’ll be giving the Below-the-Sink Tour and showing how I organize my hair-styling supplies, make up, ‘man drawer’, and more.  You can find Part 2 here!

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20 thoughts on “The Complete Bathroom & Laundry Room Tour (Part 1 of 2)

  1. becky says:

    Not to gross you out at all but I noticed in your vanity photo that you keep your toothbrushes out in the open. Did you now that every time you flush the toilet there are tiny particles of water, urine, feces that go in to the air. You really should store you tooth brushes in a drawer or something.

  2. Cassie says:

    Oooh, I’m excited about this series. I’m all about trying to develop a more minimalist lifestyle as I’ve been living in a two room, one bath area of my parents home since a few months after my divorce and we just have way too much stuff!) and my boyfriend and I are getting married and buying a pretty small home this summer, this is going to be even more useful!

  3. Tricia Regar says:

    You presented some really cool ideas here. About the whole minimalist thing… WOW. My husband has been seriously considering us building and then moving into a “tiny house,” so this minimalism thing may actually come true for us one day, in a HUGE WAY. (The tiny house would be a temporary situation, but still…)

    • I'm Kelsey! says:

      What fun! Building from scratch always seemed like an exciting idea! What a great opportunity to personalize a home to your own needs! Thanks for commenting, Tricia!

  4. Coco says:

    Last year my mother in law got all the grand kids new bath towels with their names embroidered on them. We got all white and then each child has their name in “their” color (we color code out kids). It keeps the bathroom looking fresh, but I can also see which towel belongs to which child. We have hooks in our bathroom as well and it has been a sanity saver!

    • I'm Kelsey! says:

      Ooh, I love it! Embroidered names would be ideal for us in so many ways, especially as our family grows larger! Thanks for sharing, Coco!

  5. Aisha says:

    Wow! Not sure if I ever lived in a place that was under 1000 Sq ft. I always dream of the small custom built tiny houses for me and my husband after our kids get out but I know he won’t go for it. You definitely made a great use of your space. I love the laundry/bathroom makes sense when that is the main place people take their clothes off at. 🙂 love your blog and thanks for the tour.

    • I'm Kelsey! says:

      Thank you, Aisha! It does get a bit tight at times, but we’re thankful for the opportunity to live here while we can save up for our future home. 😉 Thanks for reading!

  6. Eddie says:

    read the comments with interest…I’m on the flip side of life from where most of the posts are coming from… grandchild is 23…over the years (46) we have fixed up several homes to sell and built one from scratch…I ran the double ground for a 200 amp service myself following a how to do it book…hubby had to work that day and we needed it to pass inspection…can not stress enough learning how to do things for yourself rather than pay for someone to do it for you. We used to raise animals and most of our food…had a milk cow, ground wheat to bake our bread (I call that my back to nature period)…was so glad to hear that some actually still use cloth diapers…my kids were raised with them and they are so much cheaper if you have access to a washer and dryer. Don’t over look wild greens that are free for the picking in the spring time…you should be able to get books to identify the edible ones in the library…you can grow a lot of food in pots on a patio if yard space is limited. We use many herbs as part of our decorative landscaping, and have a small garden area even though we live in town now….best of luck with your blog…I hope lot’s of young women will use the tips to help them stay on a budget…you can always spend as much as you can earn It takes discipline to live below your means and put money aside.

  7. Eddie says:

    Also want to say Kudos for being a stay at home mom…Homemaking is like any other job…the more you put into it the more you get out of it. With small children most women can save more staying home than they can earn after they pay for child care. After our youngest left home I went to work full time for a few years and part of the job was training the young women when they were hired…I knew what they were being paid and by the time they paid for child care and transportation, and sometimes lunch they were basically barely making enough to squeeze their way into a higher tax bracket so that someone else could spend quality time with their kids instead of them. I did licensed day care when my kids were young…got paid for them to have daily play dates…it was a lot of work but well worth it to me.

  8. lina says:

    Very well organized room , well done ! We live in a flat and have the washer in the bathroom too.Thanks for sharing your tour !

    BTW, we too are used to always close the lid before flushing the toilet .

    I really like how you reply to readers so sweet no matter the comment 🙂

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