The $5 Organizer That Transformed My Bathroom Closet

published Nov 18, 2021
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I like to think of myself as an organized person, but that feeling only lasts until I open my bathroom closet. Not only does the tiny space function as a linen closet; it also acts as a medicine cabinet (and storage for my extra paper towels, toilet paper, and cleaning supplies). It’s relatively easy to keep most of the shelves tidy enough, but the area where I keep my medicines and vitamins is a totally different story. 

Credit: Ashley Abramson

At first, I tried to keep all of them corralled in a basket with compartments. But as I added my winter vitamin lineup to the mix, I ran out of room. When I went to take my medicine last week, the shelf was littered with bottles, and I had enough. I found myself digging for Ibuprofen or Tylenol whenever a headache hit, which became a headache in itself. Next time I organized my makeshift medicine cabinet, I thought, I’d need a new tool — something that would keep my bottles orderly, visible, and easy to grab in a pinch. 

That’s when it hit me: I needed a spice organizer. Most of my bottles are about the same size as spice jars, and I envisioned setting them up on tiers, with the smallest and most-used in the front and the largest in the back. I also wanted the organizer to be vertical so I could see everything when I stood in front of the eye-level shelf. 

That’s where Target comes in. Until today, I didn’t have a Target within 10 miles of me, so I usually used Shipt to order groceries rather than browsing the aisles. So when the brand-new store opened blocks from my house, I set an alarm and showed up the minute it opened. I didn’t go with the intention of finding a spice organizer, but little did I know, the perfect riser would be waiting for me in the aisles of the new store.

Credit: Ashley Abramson

Typically, I hit the Dollar Spot first to check out the kids’ stuff. That’s when I noticed a whole aisle of $1 and $5 organizers — baskets, jars, and risers. The riser I landed on isn’t marketed as a spice organizer, but it’s exactly what I’d use in a kitchen cabinet or pantry for organizing spices (I keep mine in a drawer with this KonMari x Container Store organizer). It was just the right size to fit in my closet without taking up the whole shelf, so I grabbed it and brought it home, knowing I could use it for pretty much anything else if I didn’t like it for my pill bottles. 

Reader, I loved it. One great thing about organizing one area is that you also kind of have to organize everything else around it. To start with a clean slate, I took everything off the shelf and picked the medicines and vitamins I or my family members use at least a few times a week. (Everything else stayed in the basket next to it.) It took some trial and error to figure out a set-up that works, and I had to move my tiny house full of essential oils to the back, but I’m so happy with the configuration.

The best thing is how versatile this piece is. I could see the riser working well for organizing skincare, makeup, perfume, and of course, spices. Any excuse to go back to Target!