I am not a professional organizer or a expert photographer. I’m not a gourmet chef, super nanny, or consistent blogger. And will never claim to have it all together. But from time to time, I stumble upon a product or accidentally develop a system for managing my home or time that works for my family’s lifestyle, and I feel compelled to share it. The most recent trendy term for this kind of thing is known as a “life hack” and if you’ve ever attended MOPs at Big Valley Grace, you may have been blessed by a segment called “It Works for Me” where a few moms at a time have the chance to share a life hack with the group. (You can find my first IW4M post here.) Throughout the first seven years in this house, our hall bathroom remained essentially unchanged. We tossed a hand-me-down shower curtain up on the wall, found some rugs and towels (that didn’t even match), and called it a day. No paint, no style. Upon our return from Illinois, I tried to bridge the gap between a guest bathroom and a kids’ bathroom without making it overtly kid-ish. I started with a cool shower curtain, and in an effort to pay homage to the giant tree in the middle of it, I chose a shade of green paint that reminded me of leaves in spring. Except that when it dried, it more closely resembled parts of Buzz Lightyear’s uniform. “Neon” doesn’t adequately describe the blinding glow emanating from ALL. Four. Walls. This may very well be the only photo of that color that exists, and it doesn’t quite do it justice… but it makes me giggle. And cringe. As time went on, I just couldn’t stand it anymore so it was time for a re-do. I knew that whenever we got around to repainting the walls, I would replace the standard towel bars with decorative hooks. I just couldn’t stand to pick up on more towel off the floor, and the boys couldn’t get the hang of tossing them over the bar. So after lots of searching, I stumbled upon this awesome wall-mounted hook/shelf combo for 50% off at Hobby Lobby.
It reminded me of an old weathered treehouse, and when combined with the tree shower curtain, a theme for the “new” bathroom was formed. We had it painted a nice neutral shade, and the new decor went up right away. I couldn’t be more in love with this room. The accessories lend a vintage feel, and it’s fun and boyish without being down right kid-centric.
This room is full of life hacks – some are ideas I found on Pinterest. Others were developed out of necessity.
Life Hack #1: I found a shower curtain liner with mesh pockets, and it’s perfect for storing shampoo, rinse cups, and bath toys. It keeps the clutter at bay, and everything drips dry into the tub. You can find it on Amazon by clicking here.
Life Hack #2: The apple crate on the wall is cute, but also functional. When you have two busy boys and a 115lb. puppy, leaving your extra TP anywhere near the ground is a recipe for disaster. So all the extra toilet paper and a package of flushable wipes are kept out of harm’s way. (Harm = Lobo… if you catch my drift.)
Since that photo was taken, I’ve added an antique canteen on top, and moved that little lady bug (made to look like it was made from nuts and bolts and other building materials) up there next to it.
Bonus Life Hack: If your family uses flushable wipes (we buy the Costco box) and you need a quick way to clean the toilet before company arrives, grab a wipe, swipe all the surfaces, and then flush it away. If you have boys, you may find yourself doing this more often than not, because YUCK!
Life Hack #3: If there’s one thing I constantly strive to eliminate, it’s clutter. So in order to keep the counters clear, I found a silverware tray in the dollar spot at Target and keep the boys’ toothbrushes, toothpaste and combs in it. They’re organized, it’s easy to wash, and the counters are clear. (Inspired by this pin.)
Life Hack #4: As I mentioned before, I replaced the builder’s towel bar with an awesome set of hooks (at a discount – WOOT!). Not only did it add color and personality to the room, but it’s easy for the boys to hang up their own towels.
That leads me to Life Hack #4: Using a large hand towel instead of a bath mat. Somewhere between potty training boys and a dog who thinks everything on the floor is his to shred, I decided bath mats were overrated. The only problem was that when the boys got out of the tub, the floor was slippery. After one too many bruised tushies, I tossed a nearby hand towel on the floor to give the boys a safe place to dry off their feet en route to their bedroom. My little discovery keeps my boys safe, and was even more awesome when I discovered that the hand towels from IKEA are inexpensive, colorful, and have built-in hooks. <fist pump!>
I store extra hand towels and a couple of guest bath towels in a cute basket on the half-wall for easy accessibility.
I love the challenge of finding creative ways to make my home functional while showcasing our personality, and this bathroom is a prime example of that. It works for me!