Today we’re organizing guest bathrooms for Day 8 of this series on how to get an organized and clean home. We’re over a week into the New Year. How are your resolutions holding up?
If you’re just starting, check out the series overview for an introduction and links to prior days’ missions.
Every day’s mission has four parts to it:
Keep It Clean
Organizing Guest Bathrooms – Day 8
What’s a “Guest Bathroom?”
Not every home has a bathroom primarily for guests to use. In homes that do have one, the guest bathroom typically consists of a toilet and sink, but no bathing facilities. In some parts of the U.S., this is called a “powder room.” Outside of the States, it’s called a “water closet” – — “WC” for short — or “the loo.”
If your home doesn’t have a guest bathroom, follow today’s steps in whichever restroom your visitors typically use. By the end of the mission, it will be less cluttered and cleaner. The rest will get done on Day 13 when we ROCK the other bathrooms.
Gather Your Supplies
- Trash bags
- Boxes for items you’ll donate
- Microfiber cloths
- Cleaning spray (homemade bathroom disinfectant)
- Glass cleaner (glass cleaner recipe)
- Toilet bowl cleaner
- Mop and floor cleaner (homemade floor cleaner)
Removing clutter from a guest bathroom is more straightforward than other areas of the home. If guests don’t need it, and you’re not storing it there to make cleaning easier, then it doesn’t belong there.
So, after throwing away obvious trash, look over the vanity and in the cabinets and drawers. Remove the following from your guest bathroom:
- Things that belong elsewhere (set these aside)*
- Ratty linens and stained/fraying floor mats
- Reading material (because
- Décor you no longer like
- Things just gathering dust
*As for things that belong elsewhere, if your family isn’t sharing this bathroom with guests then be sure to remove medications, toothbrushes, hairbrushes, and cosmetics, too.
Put things that are in good condition into a box for donation, and stash that box in the trunk of your car. Next time you’re out, drop it off at your local charity.
Organizing guest bathrooms works on the same principle that we followed when organizing the formal living room. That is, unlike more private spaces in our homes, areas which guests use should be organized primarily for their comfort and convenience.
In a guest bathroom, that means making sure your company can find necessities without the embarrassment of having to ask for them. For example:
- Fresh hand towels
- Spare rolls of toilet paper (a/k/a loo roll, bog roll, bathroom tissue)
- Additional hand soap
- Air freshener (or Poo-Pourri — it works!)
- A discretely placed toilet brush
- A clean trash can
Guest bathrooms typically have only one vanity. These days, that’s often replaced with a pedestal sink, so maximizing vertical space essential.
A freestanding toilet paper dispenser with storage and a cell phone shelf makes storing spare rolls easy in the guest bathroom. Who doesn’t appreciate having a clean, dry spot to put their phone while they use the facilities?
Make sure the trash is easy to find, too. If you keep the wastebasket under the sink, remember that guests will see everything else stashed there. Using covered storage baskets under the sink keeps things looking tidy.
For a quicker yet excellent once-over, do the following:
- Dust the walls, light fixtures, exhaust fan cover, shelving, and baseboards.
- Wipe the cabinet fronts (including handles), door knobs and light switches
- Spray bowl cleaner in the toilet bowl
- Clean the vanity and sink
- Clean the toilet exterior
- Scrub the toilet bowl and flush
- Polish the mirror
- Empty, wash, and line the wastebasket
- Sweep and mop the floor
- Set out fresh towels
Keep it Clean
Keeping areas clutter-free and clean once we’ve ROCKed them is an essential part of every day’s mission. This step breaks the clean/clutter cycle — the one where you knock yourself out getting your home spotless only to have it turn into a mess as soon as you’re done.
By spending 10-15 minutes in total buzzing through areas we’ve already done, you’re resetting your home daily. This habit overcomes clutter-blindness — the tendency not to notice messes until they become overwhelming. Finish ROCKing your guest bathroom, then…
Don’t skip this step!
Entryway: Throw away trash. Wipe the door handles. Pick up anything that belongs elsewhere. Sweep the mat or shake it outside.
Coat closet: Everything hung up? Toss trash. Grab anything that belongs somewhere else.
Dining table: Throw away trash. Pick up stuff that goes somewhere else. Wipe the tabletop.
Kitchen cupboards and counters: Make sure food containers are tightly closed. Put away things that belong in the cupboards. Wipe cupboard and drawer handles. Grab things that go elsewhere. Wipe the countertops.
The rest of the kitchen: Wipe spills on refrigerator or freezer shelves. Sweep up messes on the floor. Wipe floor spills with a damp cloth.
Enforce the No Clutter Rule
Up to this point, I’ve been encouraging you to have children do chores that kids can do to earn back things they’ve left lying around the house. Now, only you know your family, but at some point, you may want to get more stern about the matter.
One way to do this is by taking a photo of each space after you’ve ROCKed or reset it. Yes, even the guest bathroom. Show your kids the picture and have them pick up and put away everything that doesn’t belong in the space.
After a week or two of doing this in my own home, I began docking my kids’ allowance by $1 for every item of theirs I found out of place. To be fair, I did warn them I’d be doing it, and I gave them 10 minutes before bed to race around and grab their things. Following a couple of weeks with no allowance, it worked.
See You Tomorrow!
Check back tomorrow for the next mission. In the meantime, come join our Do Home Better group on Facebook as we cheer each other on through this series! You can even show off what a great job you did ROCKing your guest bathroom today.