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Preparing Your Home For The Holidays: Moving On To The Bathrooms

by Tara Kuczykowski on November 4, 2010 · 12 comments

Mandi of Life... Your Way and I have teamed up to bring you a special series over the next two weeks called Preparing Your Home for the Holidays.

In my quest for a saner and less hectic holiday season, I've now turned my attention on the bathrooms. Well, to be honest, I focused on our guest bathroom for this post as I only had enough time to finish that one to completion before leaving for Boston for an event, but it's the most important one as far as guests go, and I'm planning to tackle the other two this weekend.

As you can see, our guest bathroom is quite small, without a lot of storage space. My biggest challenges in this space are:

  • This is a high traffic area for us that needs maintenance cleaning multiple times per week and some deep cleaning once per week.
  • The pedestal sink, though lovely, creates storage issues for necessities.

:: Keeping the Bathroom Clean

I quickly assessed the state of the bathroom using Mandi's handy printable checklist, and right away I could see that there were some things I could toss out or find a new home. I trashed the Glade plugin that was completely used up, and found a new home for the wipes container that we no longer need on a regular basis (yay for being diaper free!!!) and also the toilet plunger which was just an eyesore and not often used.

Though relatively clean, there were some areas that I've been neglecting in this space. I pulled out my handy microfiber cloth once again to surface dust, and then again I used it damp to wipe down the baseboards, the grimey doorhandles, light switch covers, and the walls. I think I forgot to mention the other day how fantastic these are for cleaning walls! They really work well without stripping the paint like the Mr. Clean Erasers have a tendency to do.

I also noticed that my flower arrangement was extremely dusty. The microfiber cloth didn't seem to do much as far as removing the deeper dust, so I pulled out my Dyson Handheld Vacuum (pricey, yes, but I literally use this several times a day) and used it to pull the dust off each individual flower. I was surprised to find that my arrangement looked almost brand new when I was done!

And then of course I cleaned the sink, making sure to wipe down the pedestal, the toilet, and the floor around the toilet -- blech. You moms with young boys know what I'm talking about here.

:: Creative Bathroom Storage

As storage is at a premium in our guest bathroom, I've needed to get a little creative here.

I picked up this medicine chest at Target many years ago, and I love that it's both attractive and decorative, while also being functional. The drawers on the front are perfect for storing feminine needs, as well as cleaning cloths and toilet scrubber tips.

And this is my creative toilet paper storage solution. I just stick it inside of a tissue holder on the back of the toilet. We don't really use tissues in the bathroom, so this works perfectly for us.

Going forward I just need to stay on top of wiping everything down weekly, following Mandi's maintenance tips. Oh, and reminder to self, I need to purchase some new hand towels because we're down to only one, and that's just not cutting it.

You can join us in Preparing Your Home For The Holidays over the next couple of weeks by using the handy printable checklists that Mandi has created for each room of the house! And of course we'd love to hear your tips and tricks for getting your home ready for the holiday season.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Deb November 4, 2010 at 10:19 am

I'll be using one of our Lysol No-Touch systems in the primary guest bath-folks will like the novelty & I apprecaite the germ control on little hands :)

We also carry our folk-art, retro holiday theme in the bathroom as well-featuring some Johanna Parker whimsical figures-we LOVE her snowmen.
Also have a heavy hand on the fresh greenery-I put it on back of toilet with red berries. It will also look fab put around your mirror with little white twinkling lights(safely mounted away from any water).
Just a few ideas...

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2 guest November 4, 2010 at 10:44 am

Handtowels are on clearance at Target for .74

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3 Jenn November 4, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Your bathroom looks frightingly just like mine, minus the flowers at the sink ( which looks nice by the way) I only have an empty vase so I may be rethinking the empty vase, my storage cabinet ( also from target) has a small cabinet I keep t.p in , my last touch will be a painting I need to finish that will match the amazing towels I found at marshalls.

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4 joanne November 4, 2010 at 12:14 pm

We use the Lysol no touch with the Kleenex hand towels. It works well for guest. They get a kick out of the soap!

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5 Deb November 4, 2010 at 2:01 pm

Don't ever pay for greenery during the holidays! You can go to Home Depot and take away all their lovely cuttings from folks getting trees!
They LOVE to get rid of it-less for them to deal with. I've been loading up my CRV for years, and you get several different tree cuttings too!
Then go out in your neighborhood & ask friends if you could have a snip or 2 of their holly branches -with those brite red berries! (Make 'em some cookies in return!)

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6 Tara Kuczykowski November 5, 2010 at 1:08 pm

What a fantastic idea! I can't wait to decorate this year.

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7 kristy November 4, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Those microfiber cloths are amazing. I've found that a little water + microfiber cloth cleans my mirrors just as well as chemical glass cleaners. I'll never go back!

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8 Tara Kuczykowski November 5, 2010 at 1:09 pm

I agree -- we use the cloths for everything. It really helps to stretch the few cleaning products that I do need to buy.

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9 Martina November 4, 2010 at 8:36 pm

A super easy, fast and cheap way to clean flowers like that - I think it can be done even with the pot. Take a garbage bag and pour some salt in it - about a cup or so? Hold the bag tightly around that pot and shake - it doesn't have to be a huge effort at all. I have only flower branches, so I close up the whole bag instead. The salt takes the dust off! Works like a magic. I am actually so cheap that I store the bag with cleaning supplies - even with the used salt - for next time, and next time... So far it worked but eventually I will have to replace the salt. ;-)

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10 Tara Kuczykowski November 5, 2010 at 1:10 pm

LOL, that's a great tip! I'll definitely give it a try next time.

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11 Vanessa November 4, 2010 at 11:33 pm

My mother in law has a small bathroom like this as well. She makes it beautiful and quite cozy without you feeling cramped. She has 2 stackable dark brown wicker cubes/boxes to the left of the sink on the floor which she stores extra toilet paper and etc. in. To the right on the floor she has a large decorative vase with a floral arrangement.

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12 Lana November 5, 2010 at 7:14 am

I have a young boy. I use baking soda or, else, pet stain remover to clean the floor around the toilet.

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