Containing It All: Organizing the Bed + Bath

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We made a huge amount of progress in the bed and bath over the last week, so much so, that we’re now pulling our favorite hoodies out of a real, live closet. You guys, we have a bedroom closet for the first time in three years! And, and! All of our hair goos, toothbrushes, face potions and dog shampoos are living in the master bathroom! We’ve officially moved out of the first floor guest bath, and we’re finding so much happiness in the rooms that we’ve spent all our time working on for the last several months. Sometimes, in my morning half-sleep, I’ll walk all the way downstairs to grab my toothbrush, only to remember – oh, yeah! – everything is now tucked away, nicely, only a few steps from the bed.

Getting to this point has felt like a long time in the making, but now that we’re nearing the finish line, it has all been worth it. When deciding on room layouts, we aimed to make thoughtful decisions for storage and organization. We sought out that tall and skinny storage nook. We purposely chose four deep drawers for our bath vanity (as opposed to a standard double door). We each picked the best closet configuration that would contain our tees and jeans.

With all the systems in place, the next step was making sure we had the tools to ensure sanity and order for all the things. I measured the depths, widths and heights of every drawer, shelf, unit and even below-the-bed space. With our numbers in hand, we took this list to IKEA and picked up containers to – well, contain. (This is otherwise known as my most favorite thing to do, like, ever.)

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No department was left unseen! (Scott, by the way, is such a champion at IKEA. It is weirdly fun for both of us.) We stocked up on kitchen containers, media bins and, of course, all the nifty organizers that are specially made to IKEA specs to fit only IKEA things.

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The TILLSLUTA food jars were one of our favorite finds for wrangling and stacking smaller like-items such as bandages with ointments and ibuprofen with Dayquil.

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The VARIERA bins work well in the nook, but you can see we used them in our vanity (below), too! Let’s take a peek inside our proverbial medicine cabinet:

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During the renovation, we added a GFCI outlet behind our vanity. Below, you can see that the vanity we chose has an open back, and we used strong tape to adhere a small power strip to one of the slatted drawer backs. We keep the strip powered off unless in use, and it’s a great little hiding spot for charging our toothbrushes and Scott’s razor while keeping the counter clutter-free:

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As we organized, we tossed expired medications (or anything unlabeled, really), and we donated our mis-matched baskets and bins that were no longer a good fit. The empty cubbies make me incredibly happy!

With the bathroom all set, we moved into the bedroom and got working on filling up our PAX closet systemthe KonMarie way! For anyone who has read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, you might be nodding along. If you haven’t, the KonMarie method for cleaning out your closet is, by far, my favorite way to purge. (Hi, I’m Kim, and I love purging.) It may seem daunting at first – it’s certainly more time consuming! – but by laying every item of clothing you have on the floor (or in our case, the bed) and only putting back the items that spark joy, you no longer have an excuse to say, I have nothing to wear! It has felt liberating to rid ourselves of items that have been around for far too long for somewhat nostalgic reasons, but also out of guilt – like, if a shirt once belonged to a parent and you maybe wore it twice in high school, for example. Following KonMarie, we thank the item for its time, and we donate so that it can bring joy to someone else. Our closet’s (and home’s) real estate is far too precious. 

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We added LED lights to our PAX system, which have the option to stay on, stay off or turn on and off automatically. We have them set to auto, and it’s always a happy surprise when we open those doors, like icing on a cake:

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You might remember that I chose double wide drawers, which allowed me to fit three by two rows of clothing. The only thing I didn’t think of – as obvious as it may seem – is that I need to have both doors of my closet open to access them. But my goodness, the space! I’ve never had a dresser that allowed for this much room, so consider me thrilled:

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Scott opted for single drawers, and he included an organized space for his ties, too:

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As much as we love our closets’ guts (literally), can we take a moment to talk about the doors? Heart-eyes, rainbows and unicorns all day long!

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Although we originally thought we would trim the doors with decorative trim molding, we hit a road block; because we recessed the closets in an enclosed space, the extra depth the trim added wouldn’t allow for the doors to open properly. Womp. But as the rest of the room has started to come together, we realized we weren’t too upset by this turn, and once we added these 18″ Mission pulls (more rainbows and unicorns!), we couldn’t care less!

We did, however, call in the professional help of our friend Meg to give the doors a new white finish. Wanting them to match our existing trim, Meg’s team at MegMade gave them a fresh coat of Behr’s Ultra Pure White (the same as the trim and ceiling) and finished the look with a satin clear coat. The finish is absolutely perfect! (Side note 1: if you’re in Chicago and looking for one-of-a-kind furniture or need your own piece refinished, Meg is your girl! You’ll be surprised at how affordable it is. Side note 2: As a good friend of ours, I think everyone should know how boss she is. I love her, and you will, too.)

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Phew! Are you still with me? I could talk about organizing all day long, but instead, I’ll say this: The bathroom is officially done! Photos to come.

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  • Courtney @ Foxwood Forest - April 8, 2016 - 7:37 AM

    I love Ikea for many reasons, but their organizational products might be my favorite! They make it so easy (and cheap!) to get things organized in such clean, design-friendly ways. Good finds!ReplyCancel

  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia] - April 8, 2016 - 7:59 AM

    Our closet is a black hole. And this post made me so, so, SO excited to tackle it one day hopefully soon! I just want to copy exactly this.ReplyCancel

  • Laura @ Rather Square - April 8, 2016 - 8:50 AM

    Love all the organizing and purging – things that you can do once in a while but that pay off every day!ReplyCancel

  • Josh @ The Kentucky Gent - April 8, 2016 - 9:09 AM

    Thank you for the reminder that I need to visit IKEA like my life depends on it. My house is so unorganized that it pains me a little..ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - April 8, 2016 - 11:10 AM

    watching your bedroom and bathroom come together has been such a TREAT for the eyes. i devour every picture and word of your posts. it’s always a pleasure to get that boost of inspiration before delving into my daily work.

    i too LOVE purging and organizing. finding that perfect container for a bundle of items just gets me so excited!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 8, 2016 - 11:23 AM

      That is so, so sweet, Rachel! Thank you for giving us a little boost today!ReplyCancel

  • Romy @ Argentina - April 8, 2016 - 12:24 PM

    God save KonMarie!!! :)

    I should have married someone who loves organising as much as I do.ReplyCancel

  • Allison - April 8, 2016 - 12:57 PM

    Cincinnatian here– LOL @ Scott’s Foxy Shazam shirt.ReplyCancel

  • Julia@Cukoo4Design - April 8, 2016 - 3:54 PM

    That gif is the bomb! I just got the Ikea vanity too and it’s life changing how organized my stuff is now.ReplyCancel

  • Dani and Danielle and Co. - April 8, 2016 - 7:50 PM

    It looks so good! I’m jealous of those amazingly wide drawers! All the heart eyes!

    http://danielleandco.comReplyCancel

  • Jodi - April 8, 2016 - 8:23 PM

    It looks SO AMAZING!!! You guys are seriously rocking this house. And I kind of can’t believe it’s been three years already since you bought it!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 9, 2016 - 4:55 PM

      This June it will be 3 years since closing! We can hardly believe it either.ReplyCancel

  • Colleen - April 10, 2016 - 3:59 PM

    Love how this is coming together. the scones are perfect with the dark wall and Ilove how their shape schuss the headboard. I am wondering where you ordered (or did you sew?) the roman blinds? I am looking for the exact thing! Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 11, 2016 - 9:13 AM

      Hi Colleen, I wish I could sew pretty roman shades! They’re from Bali Blinds, and we wrote more about them over on the Bali blog: http://blog.baliblinds.com/motorized-tailored-roman-shades/

      As a quick tip, Bali has a collaboration with West Elm, and they have a handful of roman shade options readily available: http://bit.ly/1SZlhovReplyCancel

      • Colleen - April 11, 2016 - 11:19 AM

        Wow! That is fantastic to know. I have so many windows and thinking of sewing them myself is daunting! (not a experienced seamstress!) I will look in both places you suggested! Thanks for the quick response.ReplyCancel

  • Donna at Self Styled - April 11, 2016 - 4:26 PM

    Love a good closet purge! Did my own a few months ago and SHOCKINGLY it has stayed neat and tidy for over two months! I’m kind of floored, to be honest, but the fact that a clean closet makes it so much easier to get dressed in the morning makes the upkeep worth it. http://www.selfstyled.com/blog/2016/1/31/wanted-a-four-bedroom-kondoReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 11, 2016 - 4:40 PM

      It looks GREAT! I love that under bed storage with wheels – maybe we should upgrade our regular ol’ bin?!ReplyCancel

  • John @ HamptonBay Lighting - April 18, 2016 - 8:41 PM

    I need to be more organized. thanks for the article. Getting motivated is my hardest thing.ReplyCancel

  • SIEN - September 25, 2016 - 5:10 AM

    The closet doors look so good, especially with the new paint. Are they the Ballstad door? I know some people opt to only get the box from Ikea and use a custom door company for a more high end look, but these look so good.ReplyCancel

  • Amy - October 16, 2016 - 9:56 AM

    Hey Kim! I get a natural high from well organization! I would love to know what those clear bins are called. I’m not seeing a link to them at all?ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - May 30, 2017 - 11:27 AM

    How did you install the handles? Had to be nerve-wracking to make sure you didn’t drill the hole in the wrong place.ReplyCancel

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