Bathroom Medicine Cabinet Organizing — with Color!

Soooo, it’s going to be 84 degrees F here today. Woo hoo! And while you might be outside planting or doing other outdoorsy things, I’m showing off my pretty bathroom medicine cabinet, organized with a shot of color.

Did you already see the way-back before? I honestly can’t recall. I have owned these plastic bathroom cups forever, and love them for both storing things and for sipping from. This "before" shot (left) was already fairly organized, I’ll admit.

But then one day I got the bug to make things pretty. I have used this pretty contact paper in my bookcase and in my laundry room. (Hey, if you love it, use it! It’s just peel and stick to the back of the cabinet.)

I couldn’t put those (super useful but not pretty) plastic cups back in here, so I went scavenging, and found some pink votive candle cups (right) that sat in my cabinet forever. I’m not crazy about having a lot of glass in the bathroom because I’m a klutz first thing in the morning, but the pink against the blue was so pretty.

The other big change in this shot? I added a whole new glass shelf. That allowed me to move all the smaller makeup to its own shelf. It’s such a simple fix, and for just $4 of glass cut at my local hardware store. If you could use this trick yourself, be sure to ask for the “jalousie” glass, which is made for shelves like this. Best deal ever! Take one of your old shelves in so they can cut it to exactly the right size for you at the hardware store.

And so it went, glass cups and all, until this spring, when I finally spied the perfect upgrade for my medicine cabinet at — where else? — the front of the store at Target. These adorable filigree cut metal cups (bottom left) are perfect for the medicine cabinet. Both of my kids actually uttered an audible “whoa!” when they saw them.

Filigree, by the way, means fine ornamental metal work (you can read more about in Wikipedia). But this may actually be more accurately called ajoure metal work because the pattern is probably cut from the metal rather than designed by the metal. Interesting.

Whenever possible, I choose metal, glass, structured paper or wood materials over common plastic items. These materials tend to last longer, be easily cleaned, can be painted and have more interesting forms. That is certainly the case here. One cup stores cotton swabs. One stores cotton pads. One stores makeup and brushes I use every day. And the last one stores cream for scrapes and bites. More of my occasional-use items are stored in the bathroom closet, so it’s easy to keep this one little cabinet uncluttered. This is where I stand each morning to get ready for the day, and it’s a nice way to start.

The only glass that’s still in here is a small juice cup from Ikea. This one I will swap out for a plastic cup if I ever find one nice enough.

This a good example of how good organizing sometimes takes a while. It’s ok to use what you have for a while, while you are searching for the right item to upgrade to.

Darla DeMorrow is a Certified Professional Organizer® from Wayne, PA, who also blogs at

Categories: MomSpeak