Tuesday, February 17, 2015

42 Quick Tip Tuesday: Personal Kiddie Care Kits

We recently managed to snag the flu bug, and instead of squashing it, it squashed us.  One of the kiddos brought it home and it slowly made its way through the family.  It got me thinking about some of our systems and how I could be better about reducing our risk of cross contaminating our yucky germs.


Of course there are many ways to prevent sharing the cold/flu; hand washing, sanitizing, scrubbing, cleaning... not snuggling the kiddo that is sick (oops)... but I really wanted to focus in on personal care.  Although it was quite awhile ago when I organized the boy's shared bathroom, I placed their toothbrushes and toothpaste in a single cup under the sink.


Something wasn't working....


It was our first time without vanity drawers, and we quickly realized we didn't account for a few things.  And then my boys decided that they didn't want to share toothpaste, in fact, they all liked different kinds.  Sigh.  And then they would fight over the toothbrushes and which one belonged to each of them.  They never even pick out the same toothbrush from the store, how hard can it be?  And you see how they just toss them back in the basket because the cup became filled with random tubes of paste and bottles of lotion?  It was time to take back the cabinet, while also preventing this mess from happening again, while also preventing their toothbrushes from being thrown haphazardly into a germ infested mess.  Yuk.


Three boys meant I needed three small containers.  But stacking would never work with these kids.  So back to drawers I went (I used these).


I labeled each drawer with my Silhouette (number stickers would work just as well), and then filled each drawer with their very own oral care belongings.


Each drawer has:
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Floss
  • Chapstick
The boys also clean and clip their nails, but I didn't want to toss their nail clippers inside of the drawers.  So on a whim, I took some empty Q-Tip containers...

(You guys, save these always, they work for so many great things!)

I sliced the lids off and attached them as small pockets inside of the cabinet door with clear command strips.


This was just a random act of awesomeness and the light-bulb got brighter as I realized that these probably would have worked well for the toothbrushes all on their own.  But instead I tossed some cotton swabs and nail clippers inside each one.  But think of how else these could be used?  The opportunities are endless; makeup, razors, office supplies, small packets, stamps.... I want to make many more!


As I emptied everything out to clean up the shelves and tidy things up, I realized we had some duplicate bottles of lotions, mouthwash, toothbrushes, etc... I placed them all into the now empty basket, and stored them in a cabinet in the guest bathroom.  Now we have a back-up supply, but they are not cluttering the space we use daily.




Easy peasy and so much better!  And although this was just a super quick post (it has been nice heading back to the organizing basics), I ended up cleaning out the entire cabinet so here is a delightful before and after to end on.




Looking for more quick tips?  Check out the entire series here!

42 comments:

  1. I love love love this idea! I'm a nurse by trade and can't believe I never thought of this. It's genius!! I just went to look in the bathroom and guess what??.... we are a cross contamination nightmare just waiting to happen! Can't wait to do this, it's going to be my project first thing in the morning on my day off. Thank you!

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  2. Awesome idea Jen!!! I too have 3 kiddos (girls) and it is SUCH a pain to get teeth brushed! Seriously, how can they not remember who picked out the HOT PINK PRINCESS toothbrush! LOL

    Anyhow, I'm down to give your system a go! Can you please share where you got the 3-drawer organizer and what size it is? Again, working momma of 3 here, no time to hunt it down myself ;)

    Thank you so much and keep the "Quick Tip Tuesday" coming, it's my new fave!

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    1. Oops! Sorry about that! The drawer unit can be found at Target or Walmart, it is Sterelite and around $4-5. You can snag all of the specs on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1EmLIfl xoxo!

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  3. This is such a great idea! I think another great way to help curb yucky germs is for the boys (and yourself) to use Steripods for their toothbrushes. I have a four year old and he can get his off and on his toothbrush himself.

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  4. Love this! I'm still trying to figure out the best way to organize my make up and crafting stuff. It's a little hard because I'm in a dorm. Your tips do inspire me, though!

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  5. I've got 3 girls and even though the smallest is still shy of 2yrs old, she is pretty aggressive and will fight over toothpaste, toothbrushes and hair bands. This might just be the thing for me too. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. What great organization tips! I'm hoping I don't get the flu this year!

    Her Heartland Soul
    http://herheartlandsoul.com

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  7. Hi Jen! I'm seriously geeking out about the Q-tip holders. I normally buy them in bulk but now I'm reconsidering adding a few just for the container! One other thing I have to know...are the octopus and fox dental floss containers? They are so cute that I want one just to make me smile as I floss even though my son is going on 13 and would totally roll his eyes at me...don't care!

    Love the drawers...what a great way to give your boys their own space but keep it within a manageable footprint.

    Thanks again for sharing...I'm really loving the Tuesday Tips!

    Peggy :-)

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    1. Thanks Peggy!! And yes, those are little dental floss holders. They are so cute and I love that they encourage a good habit. :)

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    2. So cool! Where are they from?

      Thanks for sharing so many useful tips with us :-)

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    3. Hello! Here is the direct product link: http://www.kikkerland.com/products/monster-&-spider-floss/ I found mine at The Container Store and have also seen them at smaller specialty shops and even Amazon. xoxo!

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  8. I love the idea of drawers. Keep things more sanitary and not have open toothbrushes by the cleaning supplies. I also have boys who have different opinions on toothpaste. We have sonicare brushes that have to be plugged in and it grosses me out that they are on the counter even though they have covers on the bristles. Wonder if hubby would be willing to drill through the side of the vanity for the power cords??!!

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    1. Kim, we have sonicares too. I typically charge them overnight once every two weeks. Maybe something like that could work for you? That way you can get them off the counters.

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  9. So cute, where did you get the dental flosses? And the blue containers?

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    1. Hello! Here is the direct product link for the floss: http://www.kikkerland.com/products/monster-&-spider-floss/ I found mine at The Container Store and have also seen them at smaller specialty shops and even Amazon. The blue containers are empty travel size Q-Tip containers from Target or Walgreens. xoxo!

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  10. I love how you reused the Q-tip containers! Too bad the ones we have in France are not like these (plain rectangular boxes with separate lids or even plastic bags). I wish you could send me your spare ones! ;-)

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  11. I LOVE this idea! I have one of these drawer sets in my sewing room being under utilized, so yay! Could I make one suggestion? Switch the placement of the drawers with the cleaning caddy. The drawer unit has to be angled to clear the hinges and where it's being used 6 times a day...easier access will result in less toppling of the rest of the cabinet contents. Just a thought :)

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    1. Thanks for the suggestion! There is actually the same amount of space on either side. I pushed the drawers to the edge of the cabinet for the photo as the blank space on the side was a bit visually distracting, but day-to-day it is moved away enough to clear the hinges with no issue. :) xoxo!

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  12. What a smart little idea! Our "adult" bathroom has been (very slowly) undergoing some plumbing work, so the whole family is currently sharing one tiny bathroom. Our "stuff" is literally everywhere and its been driving me nuts in the mornings! Obviously great for sanitary reasons, but also great for a streamlined morning without fights! You've inspired me to give my bathroom some extra attention on this snowy day! Thanks for another great idea, LOVE the quick tip Tuesday articles!

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  13. I, too, always buy Qtips in bulk. But I love the cute containers that can be reused later on! Where do you find those? In the travel section of Target or Walmart? (PS...I'd love a post dedicated to all the uses for those Qtip containers. Did you once use them to store ear buds?)

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    1. Hi Jennifer! Yep, they should be in the travel section of most stores, I have found them at both Target and Walgreens. I typically only purchase cotton swabs in those containers now, since I love to use them for anything small. Bobby pins/hair ties in my purse, store gift cards, ear buds, jewelry while traveling.... So good! xo!

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  14. This is so smart! I need to do this for my boys.

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  15. This is great! With 4 girls, this would be a perfect solution for us!

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  16. I have a plastic bin the we keep the boy's toothpaste, brush,and mouthwash in. It seems to get gross SO quickly with toothpaste blobs, water, etc. Boys are gross! LOL. I found that laying a washcloth in the bottom helps temendously. I cant just toss the nasty washcloth in the wash and lay down a clean one. OR, even better, I should teach him to do it once a week!

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  17. Genius! Great post. I think I might try it all with my two boys.

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  18. Yay yay yay! I have one of those three drawer things sitting at home waiting to return bc my essential oils wouldn't fit in it. I am totally going to use it for this and save the hassle of returning! I've also been thinking the co-mingled toothbrushes are nasty.

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  19. I'm only 20 years old and I'm already planning on how to organize with kids.. I'm crazy but I don't care! :)

    Rachel | The Quirky Collegiate

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  20. Brilliant! I've been looking for a toothbrush storage solution and this looks really good.

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  21. Those qtip containers are a wonderful thing!
    Great idea to use them on door.
    -Tina

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  22. Thank you for sharing all your ideas. I'm keeping notes for our own small home and being organized is a must!

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  23. Such a simple solution and so efficient!

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  24. What a great idea! I am never again throwing away q-tip holders!

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  25. Oh man Jennifer I'm so sorry you guys were pummeled by the flu!!!! We've started a whole new system about a year ago that has drastically affected illness in our house--as in there has been NONE, and while part of this is chance, most of it (for us) can be attributed to the changes we made. If you're ever interested, shoot me an email. We're nearby you guys so I totally get the winter germ infestation that tries to happen every year! I hope all of you are feeling better!!!!

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  26. What a spectacular idea!! We live in a tiny house with one closet-sized bathroom and organizing that little space is always a struggle. This is genius though- everything easy to find and everyone has their own!

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  27. This is such a great idea! So creative!! I love organizing but share a house with 2 other adults so it's hard for me to be as organized as I want.

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  28. J'adore... Merci beaucoup pour ton organisation au quotidien qui m'enrichit chaque jours. Amicalement.

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  29. Any chance you remember where you got the mint green caddy? I have a project I'd love to use something similar for.

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    1. Hi Steph! The caddy is from World Market: http://www.worldmarket.com/product/mint+housekeeping+utility+bucket.do?&refType=&from=Search

      -Jen

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  30. Just wondering how this is still going? Do the drawers not get yucky with the water from the toothbrushes? We have a cup and the bottom fills up with water every few days!

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