Organization Tips for a Shared Family Bathroom

Of all the areas in our homes, bathrooms are some of the hardest to keep clean, and this is even harder to do - and more important - when you have kids. A kid-friendly bathroom should never be chaotic or messy and, in fact, if you develop a routine and stick with it, your kids are more likely to do the same.

Here are the best ways to go about making your family bathroom easy to use and keep clean.

Use medicine cabinets, drawers and shelves effectively. Color-code hairbrushes, combs and toothbrushes. Everyone gets a color, and there's no arguing over whose toothbrush was left on the countertop. I can't tell you how much trouble this has saved me when organizing toiletries for my three kids. If you have enough drawers for each child, assign one to each for toiletry items like brushes and combs. Otherwise, purchase a bin or washable carry case for them to store these items.

If your children are older, they'll appreciate the use of a separate organizer for skin cleaners, astringents, hairstyle products and other items. They're easy to clean and can be moved back and forth from bedroom to bathroom, and it makes packing an overnight bag so much easier.

Be safe. If you have very young children, keep all cleaning supplies and chemicals out of their reach by investing in cabinet locks. Our family used magnetized locks for years, and I still keep one on the drawers where I stow makeup and razors.

Get rid of clutter. As tempting as it might be to collect bottles of shampoo and lotion from every hotel room you visit, you've got to store it once you get it home. All of those tiny soaps and tubes take up a lot of space! Choose a few favorites to keep for sleepovers and overnight trips and store them in a zippered bag. If it doesn't fit in the bag, use it or donate the unused bottles to a charity. I like to set aside a few pretty sets specifically for guests. When they arrive, they get their own special set of fancy soaps and shampoos.

Easy tips to keep sinks and mirrors clean. Keep a bottle of vinegar and a white washcloth in the bathroom specifically for wiping down the sinks and mirrors after use, or keep a bottle of cleaning wipes for quick clean-ups. Clean the washcloth in a hot cycle with diluted bleach and reuse it. Encourage your children to wash their hands and wipe down any splashes after they're done using the sink.

Things to keep near the toilet. Make sure you have at least two extra rolls of toilet paper in your bathroom at all times. Instead of hiding it, store it in an attractive tray or container with a lid, and mark it with a pretty tag. Your garbage pail should also be close at hand (if you're worried about this, consider purchasing a small step-can with a lid).

Game, set, match! If you store your towels in the bathroom, organize them by sets or color. That way, when you change out your towels, you don't have to dig to find a matched set. Donate any damaged, worn or incomplete towel sets to a pet shelter, or turn them into rags and store them out of the way.

Check the bathroom before bedtime. Make sure all towels are hanging up, toothbrushes are put away and the cap is on the toothpaste. Empty out the garbage can if needed. This way, when you start your day, the bathroom is tidy and inviting.

It doesn't take much effort to organize your family bathroom and keep it in tip-top shape. Get your whole family in on it, and it'll be one of the cleanest, most inviting rooms in your home.

Content by Kimberly Morgan.