This $18 IKEA Item is My Secret to a More Organized Bathroom

updated May 4, 2020
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I find organizing to be very calming, and generally, I end up rearranging things when I feel restless. So it’s no surprise that spending so much time at home these days has inspired me to make all sorts of changes around my apartment, including in the bathroom. I tackled my medicine cabinet early on, parting ways with lotions and potions that I wasn’t using, which ensured my go-to products had a prime spot up front and center. But when it came to organizing smaller cosmetics and toiletries, I just came up with a storage solution that I truly love—and the good news is that it’s super easy and affordable to replicate, if you are searching for a way to deal with your own stuff.

While I keep my day-to-day makeup in a cosmetic bag that I would normally throw in my work bag, I still have a few extra items, such as additional tubes of mascara and shimmery palettes for nights out, that needed a home. Many people opt to display makeup in acrylic bins or other clear storage systems, which does make it easy to see what you have. But I prefer a more visually streamlined look. I’ve always been this way, but since my apartment has just one bathroom, I find this especially key. Everyone that uses the bathroom (in the future, that is) doesn’t need to see my embarrassingly large collection of highlighter—some things are best left a mystery! 

Credit: IKEA

Enter IKEA. While placing an online order recently, I scooped up this new trio of woven boxes for just $17.99. I didn’t know exactly how I was going to use the KVARNVIK boxes, but the price was right, so I knew I’d think of something. A few days later, while staring at my bathroom’s built-in shelves, I thought of a solution: I’d simply stack the two smaller bins on top of each other and keep my extra cosmetics inside. The shelf would still look nice and tidy, but everything I needed would be within arm’s reach.

Credit: Sarah Lyon

The top bin now holds extra lip glosses, and the one on the bottom holds palettes, highlighters, and the like. The largest bin was too big for this shelf, but it sits in my hall closet, and I’ve used it to house extra candles. 

Credit: Sarah Lyon

My favorite part about this solution is that the IKEA containers look much more chic than your average storage box and even have a cute dot print on their insides, too. With their woven paper exterior that resembles a beige grasscloth, they’re a nice cross between boho and grandmillennial styles, which makes them design chameleons. I’ll be able to use these boxes in lots of rooms for years to come. Better yet, they’re super practical for the bathroom right now. Unlike see-through storage pieces, I don’t need to worry about putting everything back into these boxes perfectly—I can just throw things in, close the lid, and move on. How’s that for a lazy storage hack?