Getting Organized: The Bathroom
The bathroom can be a place where old medications and supplies go to die. Don’t let your cabinets become a graveyard for unused items.
- Unnecessary objects: When organizing your bathroom, first focus on any outdated or irrelevant items, which you should trash every six months. “If you get it out of there, you can find what you really need,” says Amy Tokos, a certified professional organizer and member of the National Associationof Professional Organizers.
- First aid: Corral your first-aid supplies into a single container for easy access in a pinch. Then move them out of the bathroom. These supplies should be kept away from heat and moisture, which can be a problem due to hot showers and baths.
- Expired medications: Weed out old medications by putting them in a separate basket to be properly destroyed later. On certain weekends, local agencies host medicine takebacks, and various pharmacies participate. “You can take all of your old medicines there so they are disposed of correctly,” says Tokos.
- Through the door: The bathroom can be a danger zone for people with loss of sensation in their feet due to neuropathy, who may trip over uneven surfaces, says Tori Goldhammer, MS, an occupational therapist. A contractor can help you remove the threshold and create a smooth entry to the bathroom.
- Beside the toilet and shower: Grab bars—both on the wall beside the toilet and in the shower—can help you move around, if needed. You can raise the height of the toilet with a taller model or seat extension if it’s too low.
- In the bath: Bath-fitting services can add a door to your bathtub or convert it to a shower.
- Out of the bath: Sliding bath mats can be hazardous to people with neuropathy, other foot problems, or balance issues. Secure the bath mat to the floor using double-sided tape or a rubber spray coating on the underside.
- At the sink: Some people may have trouble grasping the small handles of toothbrushes, razors, and other toiletries, but there are ways to get around the problem. You can buy useful gadgets, but homemade solutions, such as using multiple rubber bands to bulk up the handles, work just as well.
Make sure all unlocked medications, expired or not, are out of reach of children and pets.