Organize my "medicine" cabinet!
April 21, 2012 12:37 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for creative ideas for organizing a bathroom "medicine" cabinet. The depth of the shelves is only 3.5 inches.

The shallow shelves in my bathroom over-the-sink cabinet-with-mirrors-on-front thing are getting cluttered. (I put "medicine" in quotes because I store the medicines in different cool and not-humid room, so no need to organize pill bottles or bandaids!) I'd like to take advantage of the vertical space by storing things upright instead of horizontally, including heavy things like hairbrushes as well as less hefty items like electric toothbrush heads, tweezers, nail clippers, nail files, tubes of toothpaste, spare razor blades, etc. A big heavy cup-like thing will work for the hairbrush, I guess, with some smaller cups or bowls to corral the other stuff? Or something with cubby holes? (I'm a huge sucker for cubby holes.)

I've also got some hair things to wrangle, like ponytail holders, large barrettes, and octopus clips.

I've looked at some bathroom, office, and kitchen organizing stuff, but my 3.5-inch shelf-depth excludes a lot of otherwise promising containers. I've seen a bunch of keen magnetic organizing accessories online, but our cabinet doesn't have a metal back—though I could possibly put one in.

I'd really like a clever, quirky, cute-looking (and cheap) up-cycling deal, but I'm also willing to buy something that's right for my needs. I'm looking forward to your ideas!
posted by BrashTech to Home & Garden (7 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I thought this was cool, I saw it on Pinterest a while ago.

You could probably also use magnets somehow to do a similar thing. Somehow magnetize the inside of the door, and stick little magnets on the backs of your brushes, cosmetics, etc.
posted by katypickle at 12:40 PM on April 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

I have a bunch of these little boxes from the Container Store in my medicine cabinet. They are see-through, which is handy, and come in several colors. I take off the lids (which allows you to stand up a brush or a comb inside) and flip the lids over, and hey, extra little box for small things like hair ties and safety pins.
posted by donajo at 12:49 PM on April 21, 2012

Mugs, possibly? I have a very deep (15 in) drawer rather than a medicine cabinet, but it's filled with mugs to organize all my stuff. For instance, I have one mug filled with teeth-brushing stuff, another with hair stuff, another with shaving stuff. I like them more than typical bathroom storage because they're sturdy and easy to handle.
posted by acidic at 1:16 PM on April 21, 2012

I use a bunch of lidless jelly jars for this purpose - one for cotton balls, one for q-tips, one for nail clippers and files, one for mascara and chapstick... You can buy a pack of 8 oz jelly jars for under $15. I think they're narrow enough to fit in your cabinet.
posted by vytae at 1:39 PM on April 21, 2012

I have a bunch of single clips that work on this principle around the house (mine are simple galvanized metal, u-shaped with a single screw) that I found in a hardware store. They're for hanging a broom against the wall, but in the kitchen, I use it for the bottle opener, for example. I'd imagine that it would hold a hairbrush nicely too. My husband has a plastic version on a suction cup for his razor in the shower.

In the past I've used retail display risers to help with making better use of space when storing my craft stuff. I got them when the store where I worked went out of business. In fact, any time you see a store going out of business, the display stuff is often great for storage.

At our school, I've outfitted the lost and found with a lot of 3M Command Hooks along the walls, to get the gloves out of the piles on the shelves. They'd be great for ponytail holders. You could also hook tweezers over them, and if you get the right shape, anything with holes or that you can add a key ring to would be good to hang on them.

We have no closed storage in our tiny bathroom. None. So on the back of the bathroom door, we have four of the Bygel rails installed, and everything we need in the bathroom goes either in containers, baskets or hung on hooks on those - even the blow dryer and my curling iron. Along those lines, anything you can hang on cup hooks from the underside of the shelves in your cabinet might be useful.
posted by peagood at 6:12 PM on April 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

I don't have a magnetic surface on my cabinet either, so I put up magnetic tape like this. I found it at the dollar store but have also seen it at various craft stores. I store bobby pins, tweezers, and a lightweight pair of nail clippers on it. My curling iron, dryer, straightener and brushes are stored in PVC pipes on the wall using something like this held up with the heavy-duty 3M hooks.

Hair ties and octopus clips are the bane of my existence. I think I've finally found a solution for hair ties by using carabineer clips that I've hung up using 3M hooks. Right now I've got the octopus clips on a folded up hand towel, clipped around the towel.
posted by kro at 9:36 PM on April 21, 2012

Response by poster: Oooh, magnetic tape is a great idea—and easier, I think, than putting a metal back into the cabinet.

And I love the broom-clip-holder for the hairbrush, though a PVC pipe stuck to the back of the mirror is a great idea, too.

kro, I was thinking about a wide ribbon run across the underside of a shelf or something, for octopus clips.

Cool ideas, everyone, thanks.
posted by BrashTech at 5:21 PM on April 22, 2012

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