When you move every 1-3 years and live in military quarters where it’s not your house to renovate, you find creative ways to make a house your home. When you have over 20 moves under your belt and never know when the next move is coming, you learn to use practical and flexible organizing tricks. Because each new house is not yet our home, I make sure to make the space our own by using our favorite items to decorate and organize with. Here, let me show you our master bath tour and organizing ideas.
Let me sum up my master bath in 2 words – Nineteen nineties.
There are also these boring cabinets that I don’t like. Not only are they unattractive, they’re very short. I’m a short woman who is 5′ 3″ tall. These cabinets are even short for me. I feel like Alice in Wonderland every morning and evening using the sink.
I’m accustomed to making a house our home without changing much about the house itself. What I do is use favorite items to decorate and organize each room. Since we don’t have a special connection to or memories of the house, I surround my family with pictures and objects that are special to use and invoke favorite memories.
Let me start with the bathtub. It has a ledge around 3 sides so I figured why not display some memory-evoking treasures.
The blue fishing float is one of my favorite purchases. I bought it while stationed in Japan at a shrine sale (like a flea market, but held on the grounds of a local shrine). Not only do I love the color and shape of the fishing float, but every time I see it memories of our time in Japan come flooding back. The shell next to the float is special because my dad got it for me when were stationed in Turkey. Every weekend, my family would go snorkeling in the Aegean and my dad dove to retrieve this shell for me … many years ago. The white shell on the right was a gift from Santa when I was 7 years old… many years ago. And the vase on the left was gift from my best friend from college.
On the other side of the tub, I displayed perfume bottles that my husband brought back from Egypt. These are special, because I told him early in our marriage not to bring me trinkets back from his deployments or trips (I didn’t want him to have that pressure of finding the right gift while he was deployed), so it was an extra special surprise when he brought a bottle back for myself and each of my daughters.
On the walls, I’ve hung some art from Hawai’i that reminds me of home when I’m feeling homesick (which is often enough that it’s good to see these pictures every day). These pictures have been in many of our homes. They’ve hung in the living room, the dining room and even the laundry room. I joke that I must have Garanimals art; art that can mix and match with each other and fit almost any room of the house.
Because we move so often and I can never anticipate the size or design of the next house, years ago I purchased small organizing bins that can fit into small drawers. You’ll also notice that I’m using another keepsake for organizing, a clay pot my son made for me in kindergarten. It makes me smile every morning when I open this drawer.
In the left cabinet, you’ll see the wire storage basket that I love for organizing my hair appliances. And again I’m using keepsakes to organize. 1. A Longaberger basket that I received as a gift from my mother-in-law 14 years ago. 2. A decorated Mother’s Day gift from my youngest daughter about 10 years ago. 3. A souvenir from my high school prom just a couple of
years decades ago. These items make me smile when I open this cabinet in the mornings. I purposefully use them every day to make me happy rather than pack them away or put them high on shelf where I’d only see them when I dusted them.
On the right side, the organization is all business. I have the flexible shelves and bins that I can reconfigure for smaller cabinets or spread out in larger ones. They’ve served me well in many different homes.
I guess you’ve gathered by now, that practical and flexible is my focus when it comes to organizing the master bath (remember we’ve lived in over 20 homes, so practical more than glamorous makes sense). I often look at those lovely creative organizing solutions that I see on Pinterest and drool. But after you’ve moved 5 times in 6 years, you give up the dream of glamorous organizing solutions and go for (yep, you guessed it) practical and flexible.
This “potty room” (as our real estate agent in Alabama called it) is so very tiny (it’s kind of like doing your business sitting in a coffin). There’s no place to put the TP, feminine products or reading material. In a Pinterest world, I’d build the perfect tiny cabinet or shelf, but in my practical world, I use a basket. This basket has served my family holding toys, stuffed animals, magazines, coloring books and now TP. It has earned it the flexible organizing award. Although I choose to be practical, I also choose to add a sentimental picture to make me think happy thoughts and not regretful I-wish-I-didn’t-have-to-be-so-practical-all-the-time-woe-is-me-thoughts.
My dear friend from high school gave me this picture. When I look at it I smile and think oh-isn’t-that-cute-and-I’m-blessed-to-have-such-wonderful-friends thoughts.
If’ I’ve learned anything from 20+ moves about organizing and decorating in our master bath, it’s to use practical and flexible organizing tools with a liberal dose of keepsakes mixed in. Those keepsakes immediately make every new house our home.
More Bathroom Decorating Ideas