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kl23

Please help me live with my husband's clutter!

kl23
last year

After over 20 very busy years of living and working around my husband's "clutter", we finally realized I have been all wrong about WHY he has clutter. I thought the problem was that he just bought too much stuff and couldn't store it all. I thought he was trying to economize and bought stuff that was too big to fit in our storage spaces, so he just left it all out. That wasn't it at all! He's one of those people who MUST have everything out and visible or he CANNOT find it. It's hard for me to imagine, but there are people like that. I supervise someone at work like that, and I just let him have spaces he can make messy. But now I realize that's what I am dealing with at home. I need some ideas from people like my husband and the staff at work to tell me how to get stuff off the work spaces but still make it all visible to you. I'm thinking very narrow shelves? So there's nothing getting lost behind other things? But I can't really think beyond that. You get bonus points if your ideas look attractive to someone like me who like to put everything in a drawer or behind a door. Say... I guess a walk-in closet works for my style and his. So that's two things. Please help me brainstorm! I love my dear hubby and want hime to be happy and functional too. We are remodeling the house to age in place, so this is a good time to rethink everything. Sorry there are no pictures; just imagine lots of clutter everywhere he spends time, and austere everywhere else. That's what he calls my spaces... austere. He thought it was because I was so poor when we met. He thought I didn't have anything, because he mentally blocked out anything put away.

Comments (40)

  • Sherry8aNorthAL
    last year
    last modified: last year

    "My spouse is exactly like yours". Yes, mine is also. He also watches tv I can't stand. and stays up late at night. I like to read and go to bed early. I have a spot for everything and it goes back in exactly that spot.

    We got spare bedrooms after the kids moved out. He has his messy bedroom with tv and his bath with junk, magazines, and clothes piled everywhere. He keeps it clean, but messy. He also took one room for his hobbies. I took the master bedroom and bath. I wish I had a spare sewing room, but I took the living room, which is next to the master bedroom. His "suite" is on the other side of the kitchen/den.

    It has helped so much. I wish that they were two master bedrooms, but it is working okay. Since you are planning your house, try to plan a room for his hobbies and a room for yours. Maybe a roll top desk or a armoire type desk where the door closes. Two walk in closets would be good also.

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  • Toronto Veterinarian
    last year

    I'm like that. Part of it is that I forget things that are not visible to me, and part is that I like it: It's like having pieces of my personality around the house, rather than having a clear place that could belong to anyone.

  • Sherry8aNorthAL
    last year

    Mine could not belong to anyone, Think Julia Child's kitchen. BUT, everything has it's own hook and it's own place. Every pot, every spoon, every knife. Also, every book, every plant, every piece of clothes.

  • Linda
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Is your hubby willing to compromise? How about he puts all his stuff "Out" in a spare bedroom where you can close the door? Clutter makes people feel like they live in eternal chaos. Thats not fair to you.

  • Toronto Veterinarian
    last year

    " Clutter makes people feel like they live in eternal chaos. "

    No, it makes SOME people feel like they live in eternal chaos. It makes some other people feel like they live in a place of comfort and familiarity.

  • kl23
    Original Author
    last year

    Thank you each and all so much for helping me find a happy spot for the two of us. My husband I talked a bit, and it may not have been as bad as I thought. He said he can cope with having things behind doors and cupboards, but what really challenges his ability to function is having some items behind others. So I am thinking we may be helped by shallow shelves. I am starting a new idea book on shallow shelf ideas that inspire me. Some of them can be purchased like a unit that can be hung on a wall. Others are individual shelves that can be arranged like art. I noticed one picture I saved had a bright red pantry, and I thought the bold color made the clutter look less bad. I'm thinking it's like collectables, so I am going to re-read articles about displaying collectables. I guess I am going to have to learn how to use a feather duster. My hubby says there are Swiffer versions now.

  • kl23
    Original Author
    last year

    Little bug, no horizontal surface is safe! Haha... Bless his heart he cleared the table so I could use a Christmas tablecloth my deceased mother gave me. Two years after she passesd, I am making my first attempt at going through the motions and decorating for Christmas, and he is trying to help. How can I not try to meet him halfway. :-)

  • kl23
    Original Author
    last year

    Sherry, I hear you! Why not divy up the house if it allows you to live in peace and still love each other? We do the same sort of thing. The house plan includes turning four bedrooms and two baths into three bedrooms each with its own bath. He wants to turn one of them into his "office". That's fine. Though I don't know what a retired person is going to need with an office. I think it will just be familiar feeling. Retirement can be traumatic to a lot of people. He can work on his photography in there or some other hobby. I plan to turn it into a library office for him, stacks and all.

  • kl23
    Original Author
    last year

    Toronto Veterinarian, thank you so much for identifying with dear hubby. Maybe you can help me bounce some ideas around too. I agree he cannot find what he cannot see. 

    You really opened my mind with your other explanation that this clutter is his personality display. A very interesting concept! I think we could do more along those lines. I have been looking at some of my own things I would mostly like to display so my kids will say they want them. They won't want everything of course, probably very little, but the key is that if the remark on it, they can have it and I am ok with that. I think if I display some of "my" belongings along with his, it will look more planned. How would you react to that?

    The next part was a real mind-bender. I get that a blank space could belong to anyone... But are you also saying that it feels like "not-yours"? If so, that wo make a blank space for you feel just like a cluttered space makes me feel. How very fascinating!

  • kl23
    Original Author
    last year

    Sherry, OMG, he adores Julia Childs! And he's a great cook! And so is my clutter-bug staff! Is there a correlation?

  • kl23
    Original Author
    last year

    Linda, yes he is sorta willing to compromise, as long as that word isn't used. :-) I view the situation more like a mild disability and treat it with the appropriate compassion. He's brilliant, high-functioning, and devoted to me.  But he has this thing where he has to see everything. I'm just relieved to hear he can tolerate a door, as long as it opens to shallow shelves.

  • kl23
    Original Author
    last year

    Toronto Veterinarian, I can definitely see he needs the clutter for comfort and familiarity. How would it make red you feel for someone to suggest grouping and rearranging your clutter as long as it is the same place and still visible?

  • Toronto Veterinarian
    last year

    " I get that a blank space could belong to anyone... But are you also saying that it feels like "not-yours"? "

    Yes, it feels like a transient space - like a hotel room where no one (including me) actually lives, only visiting for a short while.

    " How would it make red you feel for someone to suggest grouping and rearranging your clutter as long as it is the same place and still visible? "

    Well....if you arrange it, then it's not clutter - it's stored (even if it's on display). That order you impose likely feels foreign to him, as it would to me.....that's your personality, not his. However, it does help with the memory and retention problem of forgetting something (or forgetting where it is) if it's not visible. FWIW, I even store my clothes on open shelves, because I am more comfortable seeing everything before I decide what to wear than having to look for things and not being sure of what choices I have until I open the drawer.......Do I have a blue shirt available, or are my choices just teal or black? etc. Did I have a blue shirt that got destroyed, is it in the laundry hamper, or is it available? (I still have drawers for underwear and socks, though.)

  • kl23
    Original Author
    last year

    Toronto Veterinarian, you are being so helpful. Thank you!


    I am thinking that we will need some spaces that are mine, some spaces that are his, and some spaces that are ours. Would that be realistic? May I ask if you live with anyone? And if so, are they like you? Or are they like me regarding "clutter"? How do you divy up your space either way?  What is a less opinionated word for "clutter"? "Stuff"?


    I'm thinking the kitchen has to be ours, because we both have to be able to function there. And I'd like to be able to share a bedroom with it's bathroom and closet. I think he is not the only one who would benefit from shallow shelves. I could get used to it. I think I'd even like it. 


    He keeps saying as we remodel that we need lots of storage. But I think maybe we need to discuss "storage" because if I put in normal storage with normal depth, he won't use it and the stuff will just grow. Do I need to have lots of custom storage?


    We have a problem where he keeps buying certain OTC medicines because he can't find them, so we ended up with 12 bottles of Advil as the worst case. At the moment, I alerted him to this and now he asks me about our supply status before buying more. It's like I go "shopping" for him in our supply cabinet. The system isn't working for him. I'm curious if you are content with your storage system for medicines and first aid stuff and what it looks like. 


    My mom stored canned and boxed goods in our pantry and kitchen shelves with multiples stored behind each other. We could judge the amount of things by knowing the depth of the shelf. That doesn't seem to work for him. What works for you? 


    Another problem we have is that when we run out of usable storage and he can't see what we have, and he buys more than we can use, he likes to put stuff in the garage or a bedroom that we currently are using for storage. But then he forgets it's there. It becomes useless space for me as walkways are closed off by an avalanche of stuff. Can you help me cope with this? In a previous home we had a basement filled with open shelves. We don't have a basement here.  I really think part of our problem is that we moved into a too small house too suddenly and never learned how to store stuff here because we were too busy.


    I am starting to wonder if in an ideal world he would have a "store" of things in a basement that he could use to restock his working supply of one of everything in the kitchen or bathroom. What do you think? Have I missed something?

    You make me realize clothing is not a problem for us. He is content to use drawers and our closets for clothing. I think that may be because clothing in a closet is literally one deep when it's on hangers. His drawers function well enough for him that he doesn't have to leave clothes laying on furniture. Our plan to install a walk-in closet could become a disaster, because it will be too "deep".  I will have to plan that very carefully.

    I wonder if there are people like you and dear hubby who are interior designers or cabinet makers.

  • Toronto Veterinarian
    last year

    Wow, K L, this is the first time anyone has thought my cluttered home was helpful! (though this is more about my weird mental imaging memory thing). One thing that might be different is that I don't have a lot of stuff (so I've been told by past cleaning people, who've compared it to other homes they've cleaned) - just to make it clear to some readers that liking clutter is not the same as hoarding, or a desire to keep (rather than dispose of) things.

    " May I ask if you live with anyone? And if so, are they like you? "

    I have lived alone most of my adult life (since college), but for a while I did have a housemate. Yes, she was like me in terms of clutter - in fact, before moving in she warned me that she had not had luck living with women in the past because she was "messy" and generally did better with male roommates. By "messy", she didn't mean dirty, so we got along well with our possessions scattered about.

    " And I'd like to be able to share a bedroom with it's bathroom and closet. "

    A separate bathroom might not be a bad idea, especially if he prefers his Advil, toothpaste, shaver, and eyeglass case out on the counter. Besides, a friend of mine swears that the secret to a happy marriage is separate bathrooms.

    All of my regular bathroom needs are out on open shelves on the bathroom counter: contact lens solutions, toothpaste, meds, baby powder. Stepped shelves with different heights help me see everything easily.

    " What works for you? "

    Open, visible storage. For instance, pantry items on open metal shelves: When I had a walk in pantry with shelves like that, it was easier to see things behind other things because everything was open and I could see through shelves to the shelf above or below - but if you do that, you can't pack things in too tightly, or they won't be visible. Also I use those "step" shelves in kitchen cupboards (and the bathroom) so things are at different heights and they don't get hidden behind other things.

    " I am starting to wonder if in an ideal world he would have a "store" of things in a basement that he could use to restock his working supply of one of everything in the kitchen or bathroom. "

    That is what worked well for me, but on open metal shelves for improved visibility. Mine wasn't in the basement (since I was in a condo), but the concept is the same: There's just one place to go to look for something you need if it's not where you think it is or if you run out. Then it's also easy to see what needs to be restocked, and when.

    " Our plan to install a walk-in closet could become a disaster, because it will be too "deep". "

    On the other hand, it might reduce the depth because once he walks in, everything is just one level deep, but spread out wider.

    " and he buys more than we can use, he likes to put stuff in the garage or a bedroom that we currently are using for storage. But then he forgets it's there. It becomes useless space for me as walkways are closed off by an avalanche of stuff. "

    That may be a hoarding tendency, and that's a deeper, psychological problem. If there are huge multiples of things creating narrow corridors and piles of unused forgotten stuff, that might be a sign that some mental help is needed to deal with his inability to get rid of things. Or it might just be a sign of some dementia and forgetting.......what does he do if you want to dispose of those things? If I accidentally end up with a dozen bottles of [whatever], I will gift, donate, or sell some to get my amount down to a reasonable size (maybe 2 or 3 bottles). I don't berate myself for forgetting and buying extras, but I don't want or feel the need to keep all those extras either.


  • kl23
    Original Author
    last year

    Toronto Veterinarian, I wish I could come up with terms more appropriate to people like you and my hubby. Stuff or possessions vs clutter is fine, but there are non-judgmental words for introverts and extraverts. There should be non-judgmental terms for people who need things stored in the open vs people who can function with layers of things. Maybe "deep people" and "surface people". I don't see being in the minority as a fault any more than being left-handed.

    I am interested in the shelves you talk about. Are they wire shelves? Would you be willing to send an image from a store or from home? Would glass shelves also work? I like variety. :-)

    We currently have separate bathrooms and that helps with the vanity areas. When we go to a hotel, it can be a challenge if there is only one sink. Typically, we choose sides of the sink top. The good news is we have to remove all once a day for the maid to clean. At home we made a bargain that he empties the entire bathroom once a week and I will clean it. This is one of the challenges for other rooms like his home office. There's no way I can see to clean it, and he doesn't clean, so the dust bunnies are coming to life in there. That's a hiccup with the idea of dividing space. And it is motivation to designing storage space for him.

    You are right about the walk-in closet, and I am relieved about that. As long as we provide single-layer storage for everything. He stores his camera equipment in go-bags for different occasions: one for the beach; one for the grandchildren; one for our garden. I'd love to hang them on a pegboard for him, but I'm not sure that is what he would want, so I will check of course. In our garage, we have two ceiling-mounted shelves that come down with a push-button motor. I wonder if a ceiling-mounted rack might be helpful for the middle of the closet.

    Do you have any good storage strategies at work?

  • Sherry8aNorthAL
    last year
    last modified: last year

    We have a dry-erase board on the side of the fridge. Anything we are out of is wrote on it. If I have a spare purchased, I set it on the counter for him and erase it from the list. I do the shopping.

    The bathrooms have a shallow medicine cabinet with glass shelves. You cannot put anything more than one deep. The only thing under the bathroom sink is large things such as toilet paper and the trash can.

    I don't have enough wall space to have the pegboard that Julia had, but I have one large pot rack and one small. I love them. The big one not only holds the cast iron and big skillet, It has a row for utensils and my measuring cups.

    ETA: Read the kitchen forum about have mostly drawers instead of lower cabinets. I don't have them, but everyone that does seems to love them, since you can see at a glance what is in them.

  • Toronto Veterinarian
    last year

    " I am interested in the shelves you talk about "

    They're often called "metro shelves", or "metro-like shelves" because Metro shelves are widely used commercially, but there are lots of other brands. They're available from Costco, Ikea, Home Depot, and a lot of other places, including U-Line https://www.uline.ca/BL_3878/Chrome-Wire-Shelving They're easily adjustable and come in various widths, depths, and heights.


  • kl23
    Original Author
    last year

    Thanks, Sherry. I think you are right about the drawers in the kitchen. I've been reading about those too. I'll add that to my list. My mom had a silverware insert that stacked on another to store more stuff, and I thought that was great, but he couldn't remember the deeper layer and didn't like it.

    He has talked about a pot rack on occasion to hang over the sink. But he also wants can lights there, so I am not sure yet how to make both happen. Also, our All-Clad pots don't have holes or rings in the handle. Currently he just leaves them on the stove top, and they are so nice I don't mind. Currently, he is the cook and he is the shopper. I used to follow your system when I was the cook and shopper though. It's a good one. He wants to be texted when I use the last of something.

    He tells me our medicine cabinet shelves are too short and he barely uses them. I think we may need shallow cubbies with adjustable or varied-height shelves framing our mirror over the vanity. Maybe glass shelves... Toronto Veterinarian inspired that idea. Again, I think I may need a really good carpenter.

  • bpath
    last year

    I am like your husband. I like shallow shelves so things don’t get behind others. I like clear boxes and drawers so things ar contained, but visible. And I like them labeled, besides. I like them on shelves, especially wire metal shelves like the Metro system, so thqt light gets through and makes it easier to see what is in the boxes. I like the elfa shelving and drawer systems. I like hooks for my outerwear so it’s easy to hang up, and a soot nearby for my accessories (scarf, gloves). I need places for things where they make sense to me.

    I also need understanding and help from my sweetie, without words like ”would you clean up your space please” and deep heavy sighs of ”this again” or ”I won’t bug you about this for a week.” I need acceptance and for my sweetie to recognize what works for me, and not try to impise their own methods etc on me. I may adopt some if their methods and tools, but on my own terms. (binders as a filing system. thank you, sweetie. and thank you for color-coding your binder labels that make it easier for me to identify their general subject matter, even though you would prefer that they all be white. Green for finance, blue for health care, kids’ school colors for their stuff.)

  • Mrs. S
    last year
    last modified: last year

    I haven't read every reply, but got far enough along to get the picture, especially about the multiples of things that disappear problem.

    For that, I love clear plastic bins, like these.

    Our pantry has a dozen of these, and also a metal shelf or two, as shown, for canned goods.

    I put "chalkboard labels" on the front of the plastic bins, and write on them with chalk pens.

    We have one for Oils, one for Vinegars, one for Hot Chocolate(and hot chocolate goodies like marshmallows and sprinkles), etc. etc.





    For medicine/first aid, we keep those in a kitchen cupboard (and some upstairs in the master bathroom), in close-topped plastic bins that stack and fit perfectly to use up the cupboard space. Again, label them with the chalk labels: First Aid (antibiotic ointment, bandaids, sterile pads, sterile tap or ace bandages); Pain Relief (advil, tylenol, Excedrin migraine); Prescription Meds;

    etc.



    All of this will allow you to see your stuff, and also categorize it.

  • kl23
    Original Author
    last year

    Mrs. S and bpath, I was surprised that the storage system you both recommended, and also makes sense to me, is the very one in which the multiple Advil bottles originated. It also gave birth to 12 fingernail clippers. I had fun arranging them artfully on the dresser top. One thing we have stumbled on in the past year is that we both enjoy making fun of ourselves and each other in ways that tap into our mutual fear of getting older and the impending end result. Anyway... back to our strategy... one thing I failed to do is label the clear boxes. I will try it and point it out to dear hubby and see if that helps. It would for me, of course.

    However, I am starting to think of strategies like that as working for "deep" people like me, but not "surface" people like hubby. And yet, bpath, you said this actually works for you. So I am wondering if there are different varieties of "surface" people, or maybe we all are on a spectrum. I remember my brother saying that very few people have the ability to imagine things in three dimensions (he was learning architecture and failed). Maybe we all would benefit from "surface"-ready storage systems, even though some of us could get by without them.

  • kl23
    Original Author
    last year

    bpath, you mentioned elfa shelving, and I looked it up. Thanks! There are lots of options here. I have something similar in our garage. All my gardening and home-repair tools are hung up on the paneled walls. I have some storage cabinets for pesticides, paints, and oils. I have motorized drop-down shelves for bulky camping and holiday items. 

    We have a narrow pantry with storage on the door that holds oils and vinegars, which I like, but I often hit my head on. So I like the shallow shelving, but not on the door. 

    We have a new narrow storage closet next to our laundry closet. It is way deeper than we can use. However, the strategy of stocking bottles of bleach and detergent, paper towel rolls,tissue boxes, tp rolls, from back to front seems to be working, even though it doesn't work well for little items in other locations. Lazy Susan's work for hubby for spices.

    OK, here's a thought. There are some gadgets, like clear boxes with labels, and lazy Susan's, that TRANSLATE "deep" storage into "surface" storage. And they work for some or all "surface" people, while also maximizing the utility of the space. Except really they waste a little space, like the inside of the lazy Susan and the corners of the shelf the lazy Susan rests on. But they are still improvements. So what other similar gadgets are out there? At work we have giant floor to ceiling shelves that slide along floor and ceiling rails. We call them "the stacks". Is there a smaller version for shelving? You know those tall narrow boxes you can put on shelves in an office for holding loose papers? Can those be used elsewhere like to hold a series of vinegar bottles? And would they be helpful to a "surface" person? I'm going to spend some time on that question and will appreciate any recommendations from "surface"people.

    What is a "soot"? Sorry if it's a misspelling; that is embarrassing to me: I am always misspelling.

  • Toronto Veterinarian
    last year

    " One thing we have stumbled on in the past year is that we both enjoy making fun of ourselves and each other in ways that tap into our mutual fear of getting older and the impending end result. "

    Awesome! Laughter makes everything better.

    You may need to get away from the idea of "maximizing" storage and filling every space with something -- that may lead the exact problem that limits visualization of the important things (the equivalent of a deep shelf). But ask your husband if labels help.......For instance, a full drawer of spices might be OK if he's looking at it from above and the tops of the jars are all labelled. That's a "shallow, single depth" shelf from a vertical standpoint, and might do the trick to fill the available space but still have things all visible to him.....but maybe labels and words aren't as good to him as visualizing the item itself.

    There are lots of varieties of shallow/slim pull-out shelves (here's a google image page), some which can be built in, and some that can be retrofitted into current cupboards or cabinets.

  • kl23
    Original Author
    last year

    Can I "like" a comment multiple times? Toronto Veterinarian, THANK YOU for https://www.google.com/search?q=pull+out+narrow+shelves&client=firefox-b-d&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi-tNDvrJL8AhUTI30KHTuyA5EQ_AUoAnoECAIQBA&biw=1920&bih=938&dpr=1

    I had see these before but didn't realize they could be used to fill in traditional "deep" space. I didn't realize standard cabinets could be retrofitted to include these. I can't wait to learn more about them and to show dear hubby.

    And you are right that any system we use won't be 100% space efficient, but it will help with the use efficiency, and that's the ultimate goal.

    We were talking about options this morning, and he is getting interested... like there is hope.

    Please send more ideas anyone. I don't think this topic will ever be outdated.

  • bpath
    last year

    Lazy susans optimize storage even if they don’t maximize it. And optimization is more valuable. You can cram plenty on to a shelf, but if you can’t get to what’s in back, or in the middle, what good is it? Lazy susans let you see and reach almost everything. I have them in my spice cupboard and refrigerator, and under the bathroom sinks for cleaning supplies and for my personal products that don’t go on drawers.

    On my vanity counter I have a long, narrow bin for my vitamins and daily med. Yes, other miscellany winds up there, like emery board and the nippers for the cat’s claws, junk from my pockets (because I get ready for bed in the bathroom), but at least it is contained. Mostly. and looks tidier. And I just pick it up to wipe the counters.

    My container labels are pretty simple: a sheet from one of those square notepads and a sharpie, and my best printing, and an outline around the edge, taped to the inside. (Big bins have a sheet or half-sheet of plain or colored paper.) Some containers where that wouldn’t work have a labelmaker label. My friend does fancier, but she has been known to run out of her cute labels or time to print the labels from the computer. I always have paper and a sharpie handy.

  • kl23
    Original Author
    last year

    I finally got a chance to ask, and dear hubby said he thought bins might work if they had labels on them. Yay!

  • kl23
    Original Author
    last year

    In comments on one of the stories about bathroom clutter one person was very dismissive and seemed to think the solution to clutter was to put everything in a medicine cabinet. I asked my hubby about that. There are items in his but he never uses them. Apparently I put them in there and he promptly forgot they were there. He told me the shelves are too small. Nothing he buys fits on them. My medicine cabinet is heavily used and is full of small packages of medicines. He needs big storage for his electric razor, his water pick, and economy size bottles of mouthwash, boxes of Q-tips. He has at the shower a bottle of shampoo and a bar of soap. Simple! I have multiple bottles, a pumice stone, razor, electric toothbrush. Everyone is different. He has all kinds of stuff under the sink. I have a blow dryer and curling wand. Its going to be difficult to design bathroom storage for us I think. He needs big spaces and I can make use of tiny spaces. Those aren't going to be symmetrical, are they. The thing that surprised me most is that a medine cabinet was of no use to him. It is shallow storage after all. Maybe I design storage for big items and install some translational inserts for my tiny things. Thanks, TV!

  • Toronto Veterinarian
    last year

    " put everything in a medicine cabinet. "

    I hadn't specifically thought about medicine cabinets, and that's probably because I never use them. In fact, the last 2 homes I had didn't even have them, and I never missed them. I guess I might use them for small things that I use rarely, like a tube of Polysporin or nail clippers, but I would never use them for things I use regularly - those stay within easy reach on the counter top. Why would I hide something that I use twice a day? That's an odd idea to me, but I guess for those that like empty counter tops, it might make sense.

  • bpath
    last year

    You don’t have to worry about symmetry in the bathroom. Maybe you can consider his-and-hers baths? Or, you could design his vanity, or his side of a double vanity, to have a tower on the counter sized for his needs. and you can design drawers differently for both your needs.

    Take into account future needs for storage: for compression stockings, ointments, medications, lidocaine patches, wound care. And make sure you can move about easily with a mobility aid like a cane or walker. And have someplace to put the walker when using anything in the bathroom!

  • kl23
    Original Author
    last year

    Toronto Veterinarian, you are definitely like my dear hubby in your thinking! Would you use open cubbies or shelves constructed around the vanity mirror? I ask because cleaning is a thing I am expected to do, and the worst part about cleaning is removing the stuff on the surfaces that need cleaning and then getting told I didn't put them back right. Since you live alone and clean your vanity counter that's not an issue for you I am guessing.

  • kl23
    Original Author
    last year

    Bpath, currently we do have his and hers baths because I couldn't cope with it anymore. The problem came when we both realized we had different assumptions about who was supposed to be cleaning "his" bathroom. We discussed it and agreed I would clean it if he removed all stuff on Mondays. It has worked out well enough. I am noticing there is a little less stuff when it is returned, and it tends to be in baskets instead of all individually set out... a little.

    All of our bathrooms are quite small and there will never be a lot of room for storage in the bathroom. But since each bedroom upstairs will have a private bathroom, I think some items some people put in a bathroom can be stored in the bedroom. We store our towels in a bench at the end of the bed, for example. Also, our hall closet will be expanded and can hold medicines for sick days, summer needs, and winter needs, since we don't use them every day. But I need to be careful in the planning of the space we will use. Thanks for saying it doesn't need to be symmetrical! And for making sure I am thinking about future needs. I already use compression stockings on days I need to do heavy lifting. I am doing that this week and forgot about them, so thanks for reminding me! :-)

  • Toronto Veterinarian
    last year

    " Would you use open cubbies or shelves constructed around the vanity mirror? "

    Probably, yes -- more likely and frequently than using a cupboard or medicine cabinet. I probably wouldn't think of adding them myself (since I live alone), but if they were already there or if I was requested, then yes I would.

  • kl23
    Original Author
    last year

    Thanks, TV,  good to know!

  • Laurel C
    last year

    I'm still reading through this thread, and very much enjoying it. I personally function better and am more relaxed in a space with most things "put away," but when it comes to actually doing things, visible storage is required for me. I too am an avid cook, and being able to look at a large shelving unit that's open with all of my ingredients helps me greatly, otherwise, like OP's husband, if there's something behind another thing, unless it's commonly accessed, it gets lost. For me, keeping everything in one place (or 2, if both are high-traffic) is a necessity, otherwise things get forgotten I had an old dresser that i used to store uncommonly used items in the laundry room at our old place and threw out so much very old food when we moved. Same thing with medications, they all need to be stored in one easy to access location. My husband will get things out, use them, imagine another use, and then leave them on the coffee table until I pick them up and put them in his hobby room, and it makes me crazy. A landing strip next to the door that's most used is required for us. Keys, wallet, stamps, extra cash, etc all go there (I have a little tray to help keep it contained, if there's more than fits on the tray, that means we need to do some management). But overall, removal of flat surfaces is the key to this for us. I'd like to have a dining table, but when we had one, it became a clutter pile and didn't get used as a table, so we got rid of it.


    I highly recommend reading up on the clutterbug organizing styles, there's a quiz, might be worth having your husband take (it's very short) which will give you a better idea of what organization style works for him, and how to fuse the 2 together.



  • kl23
    Original Author
    last year

    Laurel, I'd like to see the quiz. Can you help me with a link?

  • kl23
    Original Author
    last year

    I started a new idea book with shallow shelves. And I am thinking of shallow shelves turned so they are to the left or right in an alcoves for a vanity and around a bed.

    Urbanology Cottage · More Info

    The Urban Sanctuary · More Info

    Contemporary Bedroom · More Info

  • Laurel C
    last year

    @kl23 here's a link to the quiz. She also has a bunch of youtube videos about organizing for the various style types and recently reorganized the same bathroom shelves with the same stuff on them for the various organization styles https://clutterbug.me/what-clutterbug-are-you-test

  • amanda99999
    last year

    Sounds like my DH.

    I wouldn't do shelving unless its behind doors of some sort - he'll never dust/clean alllll that stuff nor the shelves. So you'll be looking at the stuff and the dust. Ugh. Ask me how I know... :)