As a mom, there are days it seems a miracle if everyone gets out the door on time and in one piece. With several kids on different schedules—or even harder, the same schedule—it can be a real juggling act, especially if they have to share a bathroom to get ready.
Brushing up on a few professional organizer and mom tips can clean up morning routines and reduce squabbles. Try these simple bathroom tips for kids who share the same bathroom space.
Create Pride in Ownership
Create a cute environment they can be proud of sharing with siblings and friends who visit by featuring their favorite movie or television characters. Start with a fresh coat of paint and then add wall decals or art to make the room a happy place to get ready in the morning. RoomMates peel and stick wall decals are a fast, fun and affordable way of decorating with your child's favorite television and movie characters. Featured below is an adorable Mickey Mouse-themed bathroom using RoomMates Mickey and Friends Wall Decals.
Perhaps finish the décor by coordinating the shower curtains, towels and bath mats.
Finish your bathroom-sharing project by creating a cleaning schedule--to help keep the peace. If the kids have to participate in keeping the bathroom clean, they are less likely to make it a mess. The schedule can be as simple as assigning someone to wipe the countertop and sink each day or assigning turns to clean the fixtures and take out the trash each week. A wipe-off board on the back of the bathroom or linen closet door is a great place to keep a checklist.
It’s About Time
Getting out the door in the morning is all about time. Help your kids manage time by putting a clock in the bathroom. For young kids, you can use stickers on the clock face to mark what time they need to be out of the bathroom so they can see the hand inching toward a visible deadline.
Create a schedule so there isn’t an argument about who gets to shower when, and set the timing based on who needs to head out the door first. If the kids need to leave at the same time, set up a routine that alternates. Some ideas include assigning odd/even days of the week or switching by month or week. Having one child shower at night can also help.
Stop the Hunt
Help eliminate the frustrating calls of “Mom, where’s my….?” by assigning each child a spot for their own belongings. Putting things away in their own drawer means being able to find it tomorrow. If drawers aren’t available, try baskets on shelves or wall baskets. Be sure to label them with a name or photo.
Use Your Own
Supply each child or teen with their own products. This eliminates one child complaining the other is using all of the hair gel or another child from so slowly using the tube of toothpaste the other one is yelling in frustration.
Stock each child’s drawer with their own toothpaste, hairbrush, ponytail holders, deodorant and so on. Use a permanent marker to label the items. As a bonus, you’ll always know who didn’t put their things away.
Step On It
No one wants to stand on the cold tile floor, so there will be a foot fight to stay on the warm, plush bath mat. It is pretty hard to fit two or three children on one small rug. Either stock the bathroom with a long runner everyone can stand on or place a rug in front of each sink, the tub and the toilet.
Buying extra bath mats is a great idea for a kids’ bathroom. When they spill or get dirty, simply toss them in the wash and immediately toss down the spare set so no one has to wait for them to dry.
Get Color Coded
After finding wet towels on the floor or in the hall with no one to claim them, I came up with the perfect solution. I bought three towel sets in three different complimentary colors and assigned one color to each of my teens. When a towel was found, I knew whose it was. Even better, it stopped the child who didn’t hang up their towel from stealing a siblings’.
You can easily add iron-on initials to your current towel stash or have them monogramed. Or, do as I did and shop for specific colors or patterns to assign each child.
Stock the bathroom with the necessities so there isn’t an excuse for not cleaning up. This helps stop the complaining that one child leaves a mess for another one to deal with. Make sure there is a hamper for dirty clothes and a trash can. Keep cleaning supplies handy—especially disinfecting wipes, which are easy to use and discard.
Lea Schneider is a declutter guru and mom who writes for The Home Depot about organizing your home and life. Lea provides actionable ideas and tips to help make sharing a bathroom easier. To find bath rugs and mats that might improve your own bathroom organization, you can visit Home Depot’s website here.