How to Survive If You Only Have One Bathroom at Home
Here's how you can make the small, shared space clean and functional
It can be tricky when you've got one bathroom in the house for the whole family. You've probably lost count how many times you have heard a knock on the door, either your husband asking you not to take so long because of the call of nature, or your toddler who is impatient for your presence even though you just stepped inside. But perhaps the most stressful and challenging part of having one bathroom is how to keep this shared area clean and organized, with each person (grown-up or not) having his own essentials, towels, and more.
Here are 10 tips to help you manage a shared bathroom without getting stressed:
1. Set the bathroom rules.
We’re sure you’re familiar with the friendly reminders posted on the doors of public restrooms. You don’t need to do the same at home, but you need to set the rules of having a shared space. To get started, remind everyone to extend courtesy to the next user by flushing the toilet, putting the toilet seat down, and making sure the bathroom is clean after you use it. Keep your essentials in a bin and avoid leaving bottles and soaps on the counter. You can also have a hamper in place for dirty clothes.
2. Create a gender-neutral space.
It’s easy to decorate space if you're the only one using it. When it comes to decorating a shared space, it’s best to stick to neutral colors like gray, white, and mocha to make it pleasing to all users. To make it extra special for the kids, you can always bring in bathroom accessories in pastel colors. Consider getting a printed shower curtain and a yellow bath mat.
3. Use your kids’ artwork as décor.
And speaking of making everyone feel it's their bathroom, have your child's drawings and school projects framed to serve as wall accents. Install them on a blank wall for an instant personalized touch.
4. Install hooks to keep towels in place.
While you can always hang your towels outside, it’s inevitable to see them draped over chairs, on the bed, and even on the floor. Hooks are versatile must-haves you can always depend on. To make sure your towels are accessible, install big, decorative hooks on an empty wall, so each family member knows where to get and return their towel. Worried about switching towels? One mom shared how she installed numbers on top of the hooks and assigned each member to a number. As an option, you can also work with letter decals.
5. Put safety first.
Since it’s a shared bathroom, the kids and the elderly will use the space. Avoid accidents by placing a non-slip mat by the door and in the shower area. As an additional precaution, you can also ask your neighborhood manong to install grab bars (available in hardware stores and home depots) to help them stay balanced and move around the space.
6. Have a huge trash can.
Sachets, sanitary napkins, and used tissue are often found in the bathroom. Instead of picking these up off the floor, place a huge trash can in a corner to remind everyone there’s a place for trash in the bathroom. Put a trash bag inside the bin to make it easier for you to throw the garbage (and keep it more sanitized). As soon as you see that it’s full, replace it as quickly as possible.
7. Place a common bin on the counter.
Everyone uses shampoo, conditioner, and soap. Place these in one caddy to make it accessible to all users. This helps to prevent clutter, too.
8. Make sure everyone has his or her own shower caddy.
Your bathroom routine differs from your kids, and they have essentials that you don’t really need. It helps if each family member has a bin where all his essentials are kept so you can easily grab it during bath time. Label each accordingly to avoid mix-ups and misplaced items.
9. Prioritize storage.
In a small and shared bathroom, every inch of space counts. Do away with unnecessary accessories and allow space for storage. Throw away unused items, old toothbrushes, and empty bottles. Your medicine cabinet and shelf (if you have one in the bathroom) must be kept clean and organized at all times.
10. Clean the bathroom regularly.
Dirty bathroom floors are typical, especially if you share them with the young ones. Follow a regular cleaning schedule to keep it neat and smelling fresh. If your schedule permits, scrub the floors daily to keep it spotless. Every weekend, make sure you scrub the walls as well to prevent molds and mildew. Air out the bathroom to avoid the kulob smell, and don’t forget to place a bathroom deodorizer as well to keep funky odors at bay.
This story originally appeared on Smartparenting.com.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Realliving.com.ph editors.
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