Eco-Friendly Bathroom Organization DIY Ideas

By Ashley Ess in Thinking Sustainably

We all deal with bathroom clutter at one time or another. Who doesn't have personal care products stacked in the back of a cabinet, half-empty boxes of cotton swabs wasting space, or a cache of hair pins floating in the corners of every drawer? All that clutter builds up easily and is difficult to avoid. Or is it?

Each of those situations calls for some bathroom organization DIY ideas that help save you money and reduce landfill waste.

First, Take Stock of What You Have

The first step to take when organizing a space, especially a smaller room such as the bathroom: evaluate what you need versus what you don't need. Oftentimes, our bathrooms become magnets for almost-empty bottles and small items housed in large containers. Whether you have loose bobby pins, cotton swabs that fell out of their packaging, a stack of old toothpaste tubes, or that catch-all corner brandishing clothes and towels, your bathroom may be aching for some DIY TLC.

When assessing the products and items you no longer need in your bathroom, first consider your disposal options. Can the item be reused elsewhere in the house? For example, an empty shampoo bottle can be used as a kid's water squirt toy, or the tops can be cut and the body painted to be used as a pencil holder. Once you've determined the items you want to keep in your bathroom, it's time to get organizing. Consider the following bathroom organization ideas to create a space that serves your needs better by using items you may already have around the house.

Bathroom counter

Countertop Organization

For items such as toothbrushes, makeup pencils, tweezers, and cotton swabs, you might use mason or jelly jars to help keep the clutter at bay. Or, for another decorative approach, you could salvage used candle holders to keep clutter in one place. Housing bathroom necessities in reusable containers lying around your house can prevent disorganization and give a used item new purpose.

Candle Holder Bathroom Containers

Here's what you'll need to make candle holder containers:

  • Decorative candle holder (glass and metal work well)
  • Butter knife
  • Freezer

First, you'll need to remove the wick and any remaining wax from the container. Simply place the candle holder in the freezer for several hours (time varies based on the size of the candle). Once it's completely frozen, chip the wax out with a butter knife. For any remaining stubborn bits of wax, you can try pouring boiling water in the candle holder and continue scraping with the butter knife.

Wall Storage

When countertop and cabinet space is scarce, you still have plenty of DIY organizing options. For example, you can use the wall space in your bathroom for more than just framed art by adding function.

Reclaimed Wood Bathroom Shelves

Take a look around your house for these items, or take a quick trip to your local hardware store:

  • Reclaimed wood from an old fence, a piece of unused furniture, or old shelving
  • Sandpaper, sanding block, or electric sander in varying grits (generally 80 to 150 grit, depending on how rough your particular wood is)
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Leveler
  • Wall screws
  • Screwdriver
  • L brackets or angle brackets (metal or wood)

Optional items:

  • Hand saw or electric saw (for larger pieces of wood)
  • Wood glue
  • Eco-friendly wood sealer or paint and paintbrush
  • Eco-friendly paint stripper and paint scraper

Once you have decided on the piece of wood you are going to use for your shelf, you'll need to assess what is needed to prep it. For a piece of natural wood, cut it to your desired size (if necessary), then sand any rough patches. Attach narrow pieces together with wood glue or screws. Then, seal or paint it. For wood with chipped paint, you may need to use paint stripper to remove the paint. Afterward, sand and seal or repaint it. For a unique, vintage look, simply sand the chipped paint and apply sealer.

Once your wood has been prepped, it's time to install it to the wall. For sturdy installation, find the wall stud by knocking on the plaster until you hear a spot that doesn't sound hollow. Use a measuring tape, pencil, and a leveler to measure and mark where you'll place the shelf and brackets to ensure that everything will sit evenly. Screw the L or angle brackets into the studs, then screw your prepped shelf onto the brackets.

Upcycled Crate Cubbies

Here's what you'll need for your cubby:

  • Reclaimed or unused wooden crates or boxes of any size
  • Wood glue
  • Small to medium screws or nails

Optional items:

  • Paint, stain, or sealer
  • Wall screws

If you'd like, you can paint, stain, or seal your wooden crates or boxes. Afterward, decide how you would like to display them, then attach the boxes together with wood glue and screws or nails. You can attach smaller displays to the wall studs with screws. For larger crate displays, simply set them against the wall.

Wood cubbies

Drawer Organization

The bulk of bathroom clutter tends to build up where we don't often look. A simple go-to for bathroom drawer organization is a repurposed kitchen utensil holder or a desk drawer organizer. But for spaces that need more customization, opt for creating your own drawer organizers from scratch.

DIY Bathroom Drawer Dividers

Gather these items to start:

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Reclaimed wood or ¼-inch poplar board pieces
  • Wood glue

Optional items:

  • Shelf paper or fabric
  • Hand saw
  • Small screws, screwdriver, and corner braces

Remove and measure the inside of your drawer. If you decide to use shelf paper or fabric to line your drawer, attach it beforehand. Plan the divider design you want for your drawer by measuring and drawing the size of each section. Measure and cut the wood or board pieces based on the height of the drawer space and length of each section. Next, glue the edges of the dividers together and place them along the lines you drew in the drawer. If your drawer requires more sturdy dividers, screw the wood pieces together with the small braces after gluing the edges together.

Are you inspired to start a bathroom organization DIY project? Check out more ideas on the DIY Naturally board from @tomsofmaine on Pinterest!

Image Sources: Unsplash | Flickr | Pixabay

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Why It's Good

The bathroom can easily become cluttered and disorganized. But you can combat clutter by repurposing items from around the house to reduce waste and reorganize your space for function and beauty.