Here are my bookshelves. I couldn't get a shot of all five shelves because our futon is in the way of the bottom two. You get the idea though. This is the non-fiction shelf. The individual shelves are, for the most part, categorized further into Church, Reference, Photography, etc. I wasn't too big a stickler. If you look closely you'll see some intermingling. I like the idea that if I need to find a book, I know exactly where to look. In fact, I was looking at some Christmas gift ideas for Chance and I needed to see if he already owned a book I was considering. I went right to this shelf and spotted it within seconds. It was awesome.
The fiction shelf. Ah. It's funny but the non-fiction shelf is basically a few books away from being Chance's Shelf. The fiction shelf then, belongs mostly to me. :) You can see I have no problem stacking the books creatively to allow for decor and such. I also didn't break these shelves up into genre specific categories. The top shelf is my "antique" book collection. I LOVE old books. For college graduation I got a dictionary from 1908 that belonged to one of my great-grandparents. It's one of my most treasured possessions. Anyway, I digress. The next shelf was exclusively Harry Potter until my birthday. My best friend loaned me some books about writing fiction. I needed to keep them all safe and together so they are with HP. Her mom gave me those awesome frog bookends. Aren't they perfect for the Harry Potter collection?! The stack of books on the third shelf belongs to Chance. It was a lot shorter when I first organized the shelf but the public library had a ridiculously good book sale. AH! I can't keep myself from going off on tangents. I love books. Let's move on before your eyes cross and you give up on this post all together!
Under the bathroom sink. HA! How many of you would be willing to post a picture of THAT on the internet? Sorry about the flash on all these pictures. Without it everything is blurry. So I bought these blue totes at Wal-Mart for $2.50 each. The light blue handles fold into the tote to create a flat surface on which to hold another tote. Essentially they are stackable as long as you don't over-fill them.
I put all our bathroom stuff on the floor in the hall and sorted it into piles that made sense to me. Then I figured out what items need to be IN the bathroom and what items could go into the linen closet. Then I thought about which items are accessed the most. Those bins went on top.
The linen closet contains: towels (on the unpictured top shelf), Skin Care, Wound Care, Medicine, T.P, and extras. Here's a full view. Then I'll zoom in for you.
Our shelf of extras is basically just my bathroom supply version of food storage. I shop sales AND coupons to get good deals on Health and Beauty (H&B) items that we use frequently like shampoo, body wash, and deodorant. Chance and I are quite brand loyal when it comes to these things so that just makes sense for us. Having it all in one place allows me to know when I need to buy something. I just bought hand soap. They had seasonal scents for .99 each. I bought three. I usually buy those big refill containers but sometimes it's nice to change it up a bit. After organizing this shelf I banned myself from Bath and Body Works until my stock pile goes down a smidge. :)
Finally, the totes. Here are the categories I have, including the ones under the sink: Skin Care, Wound Care, Medicine, Feminine Hygiene, Hair Care, Travel Size, Make Over/Mani-Pedi; and Ears, Eyes, Nose, and Mouth. That last one is a weird one I know but bear with me.
Skin Care=Lotions, sunscreen, any kind of creme for bug bites or athlete's foot or whatever.
Wound Care= band-aids, neosporin, wound cleaner. We have more of this than the average household thanks to my accident. Also this bin came from the hospital. Ah, memories.
Medicine=Duh. Tylenol, NyQuil, anything really that one would take for an ailment. Except I put gas medicine and Immodium in our medicine cabinet in the bathroom. If we have a guest with an embarrassing need for one of these I want them to find it without having to ask. I'm thoughtful like that.
Feminine Hygiene and Hair Care= also duh.
Travel Size= I keep all travel size items handy for guests or when we travel. You often get these things free with a purchase of something else or you keep it after a hotel stay. Why throw it away?
Make Over/Mani-Pedi= This tote is really girly. I have those packets of face masks, nail polish, biore strips.
Ears, Eyes, Nose, and Mouth= Weird name but it makes total sense. Nasal spray, eye drops, orajel, mouth wash. See? They aren't medicines per se, so they all go here. :)
Anyway, the best advice is to sort your stuff into categories that work for you. If you are like most people and you have one box of bandaids and a tube of neosporin you might not want to devote a whole bin to wound care. Or if you aren't OCD about pinching pennies and you throw out travel size stuff you won't need a bin for it! These categories just worked for us.
Finally, I took twenty minutes and made labels. I used card stock and ribbon that I already owned. (The ribbon was from our wedding announcements). It didn't cost me anything but it has made keeping track of everything much easier.