My house has two bathrooms, one in the hallway, and one in the master bedroom. The one in the master bedroom is very tiny. There is almost no counterspace left around the sink. A few of our grooming tasks to get done in there, such as my husband's shaving so that the razor is not within the reach of little people, but for the most part, we all take care of our daily brushing and deodorizing and whatnot in the hall bathroom.
That means that a lot of things belonging to a lot of people get left in that bathroom. That has usually meant a very messy countertop. And try as I might to keep things neatly lined up and wiped down, it never lasted very long.
I'm going to share a very old picture with you (I had to search WAY back because there just aren't many dirty bathroom pictures taken, and I had not thought to snap one before I started), but in the years since not much has changed, sadly. The child in this picture is now in 1st grade, but I've since had another one of these running about, and I've had the same scenario play out, so yeah...
What a messy sink! (Cute kid though! She had asked for privacy to go potty! Ha!) I was sick of it! And my youngest is now old enough to know to put things where they go, so a couple weeks ago when I was cleaning this bathroom, I was brutal. I was throwing away toiletries we were never going to use, some of which had even expired. I decided only the necessities would stay. But that was still looking pretty messy to me.
Then I had an idea that prompted a trip to the .99CentsOnly store. I came back with baskets. I was expecting to pay $1 each for them, but I actually found 3 packs for $1, so I paid $2 for 6 baskets.
Now we each have a basket on the counter. We all know which basket belongs to us and we keep our stuff in our own basket. We each have our own toothpaste, toothbrush, hairbrush (we can never find those in the mornings, and in cleaning I found enough to put one in each basket with leftovers! Where have they all been hiding??) We've got the shared handsoaps and mouthwash, but other than that everything is in the baskets.
It is still taking some training and practice on all of our parts. The girls will bring a brush in the front to get me to help brush int he morning and we will leave it there. They will leave their toothbrushes and toothpastes lying on the counter at times, but at least now when I ask them to put them away, "away" doesn't mean tossed on the counter at random. Slowly, we are all getting there!