Ask Jennifer Adams: Spa-inspired product storage when you think there's none

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Organize your products per occasion, and store in separate baskets in a nearby dresser or hall closet outside of your bathroom.

Q: The bathroom in my apartment doesn’have much space on the counter — or any storage, really. I have a lot of product bottles for makeup and my hair, and my boyfriend thinks it needs to be put away. I would — if I had the right place to store it all. And I do like the open, clean bathrooms that remind me of a spa. How can I get that in my bathroom?

A: A lack of storage, especially in a bathroom, is one of the biggest complaints people have with their entire house. Whatever amount of storage you do have never seems enough. And it’s hard to resist trying new products as trends come and go.

Ironically, spas maintain beautifully inspiring, airy, and clutter-free spaces while storing the most amazing variety of products you can imagine. Of course it helps that many spas also have entire rooms dedicated to storage. And the products that are out are exquisitely organized for visual effect and efficiency.

For your own bathroom, first declutter thoroughly by throwing away old products, even if you haven’t used it all. Makeup, lotions, and skin and hair-care products get stale, dry up, or become less effective. Most makeup you shouldn’t keep past a year, anyway. And sometimes we keep products that don’t work, maybe because it was expensive or we bought it for a special occasion. If you don’t like a new product, share it with friends and don’t take it back!

Buy small bottles and fewer quantities. This could actually save you money if you often throw away product because it went bad. Plus, small containers are much easier to store. Or buy your favorite products in large quantities to save money, and decant into decorative containers for your shower or counter top. Refill as necessary, and store the large bottles in a hall closet. Or decorate and refill smaller bottles of the same product. This idea is good because the product bottles may dispense and preserve that particular product better than a more decorative container.

Organize your products per occasion, and store in separate baskets in a nearby dresser or hall closet outside of your bathroom. For example, group the products you use from head to toe for work, a night out, post workout, or whatever. Have duplicate product bottles if necessary, for efficiency, or just put the sparkly extras in a separate basket to add to your normal routine. Pull out the basket for that event, and put it away when you are done. This strategy could save you time as well as space, because you don’t need to root through all of your stuff that’s out on the counter or mixed in a drawer.

Have a design problem? Jennifer Adams is an award-winning designer, author of the upcoming book “Love Coming Home, and TV personality. Send your questions to AskJennifer@JenniferAdams.com, or for more design ideas, visit Jennifer’s blog on her website at www.jenniferadams.com.