Whether you have several children sharing a bathroom or one child with their own, keeping a child’s bathroom clean and tidy is a challenge. Your children may not share the same fastidiousness you have for a neat bathroom and may not understand the problem that wet towels can cause. But when their bathroom is customized to suit their needs and style, their pride will take over and you’ll find your little ones are tidying up their own domain, and happy doing it!
Step One: Inventory Your Child’s Bathroom Necessities
The key to keeping a child’s bathroom organized is to limit the amount of things that are allowed in there and teaching them how to put things back where they belong. If your children share one bathroom, you’ll need to be vigilant assigning each child his or her own “area” in their shared space. Start by taking everything out of the drawers, closets, and shelves. Set aside the bare essentials to put back in the bathroom. How many towels do you actually need in there? Do you need to store extra toothpaste and soap in the bathroom, or can that be better stored elsewhere in the house? How much extra toilet tissue will you want to store? Once you decide what’s staying, it’s time to devise the plan for storing everything and keeping their bathroom clean.
Step Two: Storing The Flotsam And Jetsam
Plastic buckets are great storage ideas for shampoo, bubble bath and the like. Either specially designed buckets or leftover buckets from food items can be used to corral items kept on a bathroom shelf or even on the back of the toilet. Buckets with separate compartments can store all necessary grooming items for each child, stored under the sink or in a closet, and pulled out only when needed. Consider purchasing racks designed for holding shampoo, soap, and bathing incidentals that can be attached to the shower wall or hung over the shower faucet. Look for other creative storage options that are made to hang over the shower rod, install over the toilet, or slide under the sink. Toys are a great way to encourage kids to take a bath, but keeping toys organized and out of the way isn’t always easy. Mesh bags made for storing toys in the bathroom are a great solution. Hanging the toys up in the tub allows them to drip dry. It’s probably still a good idea to soak the toys in a weak bleach and water mix from time to time in order to clean and disinfect them. If space is at a real premium, allow the kids to only have a small number of toys in the bathroom at a time. Divide the toys into groups, and store the extras in a closet. Then, the kids can rotate which toys they use for a set period of time.
Step Three: A Home For Towels And Washcloths
You’ll need to both store the clean towels and washcloths, and have a spot to hang wet towels and washcloths. Look at the space you have available and get creative! Behind the door is probably your number one space for hanging damp towels. Either purchase over-the-door hooks, or attach some hooks to the back of the door, designating a spot for each child to hang these items. Don’t forget to hang some hooks low enough on the door to encourage even your littlest one to take care of their own towels. If you have space on the walls for hanging towels, look into towel bars and racks that have different levels and options to encourage kids of different ages to hang up their towels. It also helps if each child has their own unique towel set with a favorite color or character. Limit the number of towels and washcloths to one or two a piece, and any spares can be stored in a closet outside of the bathroom, taking up less space. I don’t recommend keeping a hamper in the bathroom because damp towels that get thrown into the bottom of a hamper and forgotten will mold. You may want to consider paper towels on a holder at the bathroom sink for convenience and sanitary reasons.
Step Four: Keeping Dental Care Items Clean
There are cute toothbrush holders that help keep all the dental care equipment in one location, but you’ll need to have room available near the sink. Most bathrooms have a medicine cabinet built in and, since this area wouldn’t be used for storing medicine, it makes a good spot for your child’s dental care equipment. You might find some narrow plastic bins, such as you’d use for kitchen drawer dividers, that fit on the shelves in the medicine cabinet to separately store your children’s toothbrushes and floss. If toothpaste tubes get too messy for your taste, the newer toothpaste pumps are somewhat less messy and sit upright in a medicine cabinet.
Step Five: Hair Care Tools
Hair care tools like brushes, combs, blow dryers, and curling irons need to be kept together in their own bin, drawer or shelf. However, you need to designate a specific place for the blow dryer and curling iron to cool off after use. If you have a closet, hanging a hook behind the door to hang up these tools is a good idea. You can also find little bins that hang on the wall, specifically made for cooling hair care tools. Let your older child know that leaving a hot curling iron on the counter is not an option and it needs to be stored in the place you have designated.
No matter what age your children are, they can help keep their own bathroom clean and organized when they are given a simple plan to follow. Having places for everything will help your child put everything in it’s place!
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