Organizing My Bathroom Drawer

Organizing My Bathroom Drawer title at

I organized my bathroom drawer today.  I didn’t plan to, but it happened.

It began when I finished my daily checklist (which was overly time-consuming because I hadn’t done it all week) and realized I had a bit of time before lunch.

I decided that I would declutter my bathroom counter.

I sorted out the things that never get used because:

a) I’m just not that fru fru.

b) I don’t like the smell.

c) I have another version of the same thing that I like better.

In ten minutes, it looked like this:

Ten minutes, which meant I still had 25 minutes before lunchtime.

I considered an early lunch . . . but decided to tackle the real project I knew I should focus on.  The one that has been bugging the crdaylights out of me for weeks, months, or maybe even years.

It’s a spot that has remained un-blogged since the creation of A Slob Comes Clean.

My bathroom drawer.

The drawer where everything goes, but nothing can be found.  I would say it’s where I put my jewelry, but it didn’t contain any of the jewelry I wear regularly.  (I’m too afraid I’ll lose it if I put it in there.)

I started pulling things out and sorting into piles.

Keep – make-up, tweezers, jewelry I like, hairbrushes, etc.

Take somewhere else – pens (oh the pens), staples (yep), matches, etc.

Donate – Jewelry I know I’ll never wear, random why-in-the-world-is-these-in-here items.

Throw away – Broken jewelry, make-up that I tried once and didn’t like (happened a lot during the height of my couponing days), trash.

At the point when my daughter’s lunchtime-alarm-equipped tummy alerted her to the time, it looked like this:

Totally depressing.

We had lunch, and I went back in, fighting off my how-in-the-world-am-I-gonna-get-this-done-why-did-I-ever-start feelings.  I continued taking everything out, and then did the easy stuff.

I took my daughter’s hair stuff to HER room:

I took the handFULL of foreign money to another un-perfect spot:

And pens.  Oh my.  The pens.  I’ve always known that pens get eaten by this home, and evidently this drawer is the belly.

I divided them up between all the different places where I generally search for pens.  (Decluttering question #1)

Once I had purged and moved and sorted, and I felt that I was left with only the things I really wanted to keep . . . I didn’t know what to do.

Simply shoving things back into the drawer wasn’t a good option.  The drawer needed to be officially . . . organized.

But organizing makes my brain hurt.  And I didn’t have the necessary boxes and containers and fancy doo-dads.

So I chose to land in the middle.

No, I couldn’t “do it right” because I honestly don’t know how.  Leaving it all out on the counter wasn’t an option, and shoving it back in randomly was a hopeless thought.

So I headed to the fridge.

I removed a small-last-little-bit of Velveeta from its box.  (My mother uses these types of boxes in drawers a lot, and even though they aren’t fancy, they’re better than nothing.)

I started putting jewelry in one, and soon realized that this is NOT a great solution.  I’m sure it will get just as tangled as it would in the drawer, but at least it will all be together.

Cutesy little jewelry organizing solutions are starting to make sense to me now.

I put the hair stuff and beauty tools in one, and then put make-up in another container I ran across in the kitchen.

I used my not-acquired-too-long-ago understanding of “contain”ers and decided that I needed to purge make-up until it could easily fit in there.  I got rid of several items that I really never use.

I did keep the blood-red lip stuff . . . because it’s blood-red. Perfect for adding the finishing touch to the boys’ Rocky costumes for Halloween.  (This mama can make one fantastic and realistic black eye!)

I removed the blue liners and washed them, and scrubbed down the 80s paper liner.

Finally, it looked like this:

The make-up that is not in the container?  Those are the four items I actually use.

The work I did in the garage recently has made me realize that I’m getting to the point in this deslobification process (after a year and a half) when I have to start organizing.  I’ve decluttered (like a crazy-woman) and have developed maintenance habits, but now it’s time to start solving some problems.

And that scares me.  Because organizing “stuff” is completely out of my comfort zone.

But I consider this a start.



Check out my Decluttering page to see more of my decluttering projects and read what I’ve learned (from way too much experience) about how to declutter.

Organizing My Bathroom Drawer pin at

I’ll be linking this up to 52 Weeks of Organizing over at



  1. 1

    Good job!

  2. 2
    Rebekah from Simply Rebekah says:

    I did the exact same thing today!! It wasn't fun and sadly I'm not done…

  3. 3
    Megan@declutterdaily says:

    If you're worried about your jewelry getting tangled then I am assuming it's necklaces and bracelets. I use a little board with cup hooks in my closet. THere is another one for my girls jewelry in the bathroom. THat should alleviate tangles.

  4. 4

    Good job!

  5. 5

    That looks awesome!! I love progress – or the "P" word as we call it at our house. Any forward motion, no matter how small, is always progress.

  6. 6
    mary1day says:

    I found the perfect organizer for my jewelry several years ago,in the crafts department at Wally World of all places.The clear containers for embroidery thread are perfect for this.They have oodles of compartments and are stackable. I just lift the lid to find what I want to wear that day.Everything is neatly separated and never gets tangled.I own six at this point because I also use them for hair accessory's.The compartments can be rearranged too into bigger or smaller sizes.

  7. 7
    Anonymous says:

    Good for you for finishing it TO THE END!! That is my biggest problem. I get through a lot of it, but then there's the stuff that doesn't have a place to go….so it sits around for a while until it attracts enough additional stuff for me to go through again…only to come back to the "ok-now-where-do-I-put-this-stuff?" phase…

    Go Nony!!


  8. 8

    I'm the opposite…. decluttering is SO hard for me, but the organizing part I love. New boxes/ bins, whether cardboard or plastic, are fun to me… and I'm a real sucker for those organizing products at the thrift store or garage sales. (Although I have to say that I've gotten much better about NOT buying them.)

    I think every new organizing system I come up with holds the possibility that THIS will be the one that sticks… I'll finally stay organized. I haven't actually hit that point yet.

    Coming up with elaborate color-coded systems for storing things? I'm great. Maintaining that system? Not so much. 🙁

  9. 9
    Anonymous says:

    My slob vision comes into play in a major way in the bathroom. I have makeup and hair items/products that haven't been used in years, but I no longer "see" them. Because I have lots of drawers it's easy to let it go without it looking messy to the casual observer. You've motivated me to purge in the next few days. I like Mary's idea to use the plastic craft organizers. While thinking about how to do that it occurred to me that my two girls have three small drawers full of hair accessories, but all they ever use are the snagless bands and headbands. Guess what's going to the Girl Scout yardsale next week??!

  10. 10

    Oh my! The Velveeta box idea is BRILLIANT. I do love your blog. 🙂

  11. 11
    allysgrandma says:

    I think you are doing great. I am right there with you too! You should see my office/crafts room right now, you would feel so much better!

  12. 12

    I really appreciate your honesty! I know how depressing it feels to get into a project and then get interrupted by the kids and when you finally get back to it you just feel so overwhelmed and you've totally lost your mojo, right? I so get that! Kudos to you for spending that 25 minutes on the scary drawer in the first place… I would have been on the computer. And dang, you did it. Great work.

  13. 13
    SherrieB says:

    I'm not sure if you've read this book before, but "Confessions of a Happily Organized Family" is an oldie, but a goodie! (by Deniece Shoefield). (I have the OLD edition, apparently she updated it.) I love to organize, and even though I'm decent at it I'm also a packrat, so sometime I need a good book to shove me in the right direction. You can get lost in a sea of good organizing books, (I've read at least a dozen) but I'd highly recommend this one as well as Peter Walsh's "It's All Too Much". I love your posts, they are very motivational as I'm also trying to purge with you. Organizing can be tough especially when you're lost for ideas or dont enjoy it. Keep up the good work!

  14. 14

    I had to laugh at the comment about trying make-up you got with coupons! I am definitely a couponer, and currently have a blush in my make-up bag that I scored for free, but am not convinced I'm in love with. Even though it was free, I find it hard to toss, since it's brand new! I know better, but it's still hard!

  15. 15
    Slob with OCD says:


    This entry finally helped me figure out something. We’re coming at this from totally different vantage points. I got the organizing bug ages ago, and like you spent ages hoping that buying the right gadgets would help make me organized. I even had lots of successes organizing. My out of date files would be perfectly color coded, in the back of the closet, while walking through my living room was a challenge. It’s was so much easier to organize dead stuff, that no one ever touched, so it stayed in the same places. And when you do that you don’t have to face that you are keeping too much stuff.

    I’ve finally this year come to realize that having theoretically organized stuff is useless. My new years resolution was to finish a room, and actually have nothing in it that belongs somewhere else, nothing that I just leave somewhere because I don’t want to deal with it, nothing that I’ll get to later. Finally achieving this with my living room has let me see that I need to clean, and that cleaning is actually worth doing. I’m finally tired of the adrenaline rush of heroic cleaning, and love having a room where people can drop in, that I can clean up in 5 minutes.

    Now I just have to learn the discipline of daily and weekly tasks. Thanks for all the inspiration.

    • 16

      “The adrenaline rush of heroic cleaning”, I was there too and had to admit defeat. Things like an imperfectly machined throw rug will bother me so much I will consider driving to the store to return it, meanwhile the whole house is falling down around us. And the “dead stuff, that no one ever touched”, this is why I always clean something and then say, “I am putting police tape around this so it stays this way!”. So annoying to be crazy.

  16. 18

    Hi. I’m a new reader to your blog. I started at the beginning and am working my way through. It’s a fun journey!!!

    Just wanted to share an idea that works great for me. I keep my jewelry in a bathroom drawer, too….in ice cube trays! A friend gave me this idea and it works famously. My drawer is even deep enough that I can stack them two deep. And at the dollar store, ice cube trays are, well, only a dollar!

  17. 19

    I know this post was a long time ago, but as I read it and saw the progress you made through the pictures, my thought when I saw the last picture of your victoriously organized drawer was, “Oh, she’s gonna get such a thrill and rush of satisfaction opening that drawer next time she uses it as it’s USABLE!”. 😀 And then I thought, why does that wonderful ‘I did it and it works now’ feeling feel so recently familiar to me? And then, in a rush of extremely happy recognition, I remembered that, through motivation gleaned through reading your blog, I just tackled and finished ‘THE BAGS’. I know that means absolutely nothing to you, but lemme tell you, it’s a big huge deal here. 🙂 For the last two or three months (who knows how long it was?) I have had a growing pile of bags in my master bedroom- tote bags from different outings, diaper bags, two unorganized purses, duffle bags I never finished unpacking from our vacation in….um…..August, all waiting to be emptied, organized or restocked and put away so they would be ready to grab as we run out the door. But since I hadn’t done that in FORever, it was an extremely frustrating mess. But its all done now! Bags are emptied, or restocked and ready to go! And I finally cleaned out and organized my purse for the first time in……let’s just say that as I was cleaning out my purse(s) I found my old appointment card log for my prenatal appointments for my last pregnancy……and my baby will turn 1 next month. Lol. Thanks for the inspiration you’ve given me through sharing your own struggles and victories.

  18. 20
    Betty819 says:

    OK! Seeing your before and after pictures of your decluttering process gave me some inspiration and ideas. My trouble is that my ADD gets me in trouble; I’m constantly aware of it but I start too many projects and my mind wanders to something else that needs fixing or cleaning and I don’t complete one project before I start another. Nobody to help me that won’t do nothing but chastise or criticize me. I’ve been after my Dh to declutter his home office desk and He just doesn’t want to tackle it and doesn’t want me to tackle it as he knows I might throw something he’s been keeping for years out and he’s right. He’s been retired since end of 1993, those office telephone directories are heavy and weighting down the one drawer. He only keeps up with a few of his friends/co-workers, supervisors from where he worked for 36 years before retiring. I could discard the contents, keep the 5×7 notebooks and use them myself. Who needs 3 walking pedometers when you don’t or can hardly walk any distance anymore without a cane? Trinkets that the grandchildren made him out of plaster of paris when they were little. They now range from 15-21..they’ll never miss it if it gets thrown out. They seldom come to visit unless we call for some physical help or they want money for a special reason/need.
    I printed off a weekly planner from somebody’s website that I think could help me if I print it off and use it daily. Seeing a list each day might motivate me to stick with one project at a time or only line up so many in one day. If I don’t accomplish any of them, add it to next day’s list and on and on. Some days/ weeks of the month are loaded with volunteer work and Dr. appts. I like to work in the early hours as I am an early riser and can accomplish more before 11 am than I can in afternoons. I should set aside some projects to do in the evening that don’t take a lot of time when DH is hogging the TV..I spend way too much time on the computer, browsing for organizational ideas and inspiration and genealogy searching.
    Good Luck in your decluttering process!

  19. 21
    Brittani A says:

    Yesterday my best friend came over. Togrther we did a marathon folding of every item of clean clothes my family jad. I added to the half full contractor bag and had another whole large black lawn & leaf bag full of stuff to donate. And after purging that, I emptied ALL the kids clothes out of the closet and dresser and put everything back into the closet. That’s it, just the closet. We took the dresser out of the room! I found a broken, but still useable hamper that I could part with too. It was an awesome feeling. Getting rid of things felt good.
    Then today, since I didn’t have tubs and baskets of clothes filling my bathroom, I noticed the top drawer sticking out with crap laying all over, preventing the closing of the drawer.
    Wow, what you can’t see with clutter all around!
    Slob vision, I’ve got it!
    Anyway, I took the 3 minutes to put items where they belong, but I doubt where I look for them, and closed the drawer. Small victory, bathroom drawers can be.

  20. 22

    Looking great! Tip for making the stuff on the counter look more polished – just put everything on a tray. Easy to use for us slob (no doors or drawers involved, you just dump it down but on a tray instead of the surface), and it naturally limits how much clutter you can accumulate up there. Plus, easy to clean around it when you wipe the counter!

  21. 23
    Danielle says:

    Mystery solved! Thank you for answering my question about garbage. My husband does a lot around my house, and he does take the garbages to the curb, but I am usually the one gathering garbages and taking them out to our big black garbage containers. You might notice am not responding on that same thread because I closed that browser, and going back and finding it would be too much for my brain… But I think you will find this comment here and know what I talking about even tho it’s on a different post.
    I think you and I have a lot in common, but I have never once considered myself a slob….I guess I thought of a slob as someone who doesn’t care-or expects someone else to fix their messes and I like you care a lot, so yes I’m messy but since I keep trying the word slob never occurred to me.
    Unlike you I have a husband who really really cares what the house looks like will comment out of frustration when it bothers him….and so in my marriage there is more contention over housekeeping than there is in yours which is the downside, but the upside is that my husband helps out a ton. Not saying yours doesn’t….but I have never once had to clean out a garage and I rarely clean the pantry and I could go on and on about projects my husband does because he gets annoyed before I do and jumps in and fixes many of my messes.
    I love your blog, I’m telling all my friends about it. I’ve been searching for cleaning blogs to help me do better (because being married to someone who really wants a clean house can be rough when you aren’t very good at the housekeeping thing) and your blog is my favorite because it’s so relatable. Thanks for your wonderful honesty and for sharing your journey!

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