Published on March 19, 2019

Since the dawn of bathroom vanities, messy drawers have doubled as graveyards for miscellaneous and untouched products. We’re all guilty of it: shoving cleansers, cotton swabs, and extra toothpaste in there because, hey, it’s fine if you can’t see it. Corralling clutter behind closed doors seems like a suitable tidying strategy, that is until you can’t find your favorite lipstick or your only remaining hair tie. The answer for messy drawer syndrome? The Home Edit’s new book. 

Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin—the decluttering gurus behind the Instagram-famous home organization service—have released their first book: The Home Edit: A Guide to Organizing and Realizing Your House Goals. Effectively a master class on all things organizing, the book takes an orderly and unsurprisingly color-coded approach to arranging every space in the home. Somewhere in between finding storage in a shoe closet and crafting a coffee station, we discovered we’ve been tackling our dreaded bathroom junk drawer all wrong.

Categorizing odds and ends is only half the battle when it comes to divvying up storage. Recognizing what should be neatly stowed away in a drawer—and what shouldn’t—is the other. From where to stash your moisturizers to how to compartmentalize cotton pads, we’re breaking down five bathroom lessons we learned from this year’s most anticipated organizing book.

Group products by brand

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Reprinted from The Home Edit. Copyright © 2019 by The Home Edit Print, LLC. Photographs copyright © 2019 Clea Shearer. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC courtesy of the home edit

A bathroom drawer is a great place for awkward items like odd-shaped chargers, one-off tools, and sets of products. In this perfectly tidy scenario, compartmentalized containers help to create a seamless look and stop objects from rolling around. More important, this system makes it easy to find duplicates. Grouping items by brand rather than category can be a helpful sorting strategy if you tend to stock up on products in advance.

Tip: “Almost all bottles can lie flat as opposed to standing upright—just make sure lids are on extra tight to avoid an oil spill,” suggest Shearer and Teplin.

Save the medicine cabinet for taller items

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Reprinted from The Home Edit. Copyright © 2019 by The Home Edit Print, LLC. Photographs copyright © 2019 Clea Shearer. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC courtesy of the home edit

In an effort to make the most of prime real estate, medicine cabinets are commonly used to house items and tools that we use on a daily basis. Despite popular belief, this shelving spot is often best suited to meet niche needs and hold bulkier bottles.

“For this nonmedicine medicine cabinet, we created a dedicated spot for everyday face regimens,” write Shearer and Teplin of this skin-saving storage solution. 

Each shelf has been divided according to three categories (cleansers, moisturizers, and treatments), and excess packaging has been removed to take full advantage of the cabinet’s height.

Dedicate one drawer for daily items

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Reprinted from The Home Edit. Copyright © 2019 by The Home Edit Print, LLC. Photographs copyright © 2019 Clea Shearer. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC courtesy of the home edit

The everyday items that used to sit in your medicine cabinet can thrive in their own designated drawer. A flat and clean display makes it easy to grab a new razor or toothbrush at a moment’s notice.

“Think of your ‘daily’ drawer as the bathroom’s greatest hits,” explain Shearer and Teplin. “These are the go-to items that you used twice a day without fail: toothbrush and toothpaste, contact lenses, face wipes—whatever suits your daily routine.”

Tip: Bulky items that don’t roll around can be organized without containers and act as secure dividers on either side.

Display makeup on the countertop

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Little things like lipsticks can easily be swallowed whole by a cluttered drawer. If there’s one category of bathroom product to store on the countertop, it’s makeup. Stackable acrylic containers will change the way you feel about leaving your go-to beauty goodies out in the open.

“Makeup can be kept in this single tower or broken up into a different configuration, and individual sections can be removed while items are in use,” suggest Shearer and Teplin. In the case of this effortless lineup, products are arranged in each drawer to ensure that the label is always visible.

Neatly display “other” items in a cabinet

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Reprinted from The Home Edit. Copyright © 2019 by The Home Edit Print, LLC. Photographs copyright © 2019 Clea Shearer. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC courtesy of the home edit

Everyday products and “other” products (think: nail polish and body lotion) mixing together in a deep-set drawer is a recipe for chaos. Instead of giving rarely used items a prime spot in your drawer, group occasional ones together in a separate cabinet, caddy, or shelf with larger, semi-transparent bins.

“When you want clear storage for visibility, but maybe don’t want all your personal items on display, a frosted clear helps achieve both goals,” share Shearer and Teplin.

Want to better your bathroom (or really any other room)? Snag your own copy of The Home Edit: A Guide to Organizing and Realizing Your House Goals.

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