The Transformation of My Scary Bathroom Vanity

Happy Labor Day Weekend, Everyone!

Guess what?

My darling son Cale is with me in Bronxville for the long weekend.

And, knowing that I didn’t want to be tethered all weekend to my laptop, I decided what might make for a somewhat interesting post that won’t take me 12 hours to produce.


Actually, I’ve been planning on attacking my crappy (no pun intended) bathroom vanity for some time.


However, I wasn’t sure if I just wanted to get a new vanity. See the post here. The problem is that by the time I purchase the vanity and get it installed, it’s going to be a fair amount of money. And while a slightly larger one with a better design would definitely help, it won’t be enough for all of my stuff.


Still, I hadn’t the foggiest idea of what the best option would be for my bathroom vanity. Thus, inertia sets in. If I just ignore it, it will go away, right?


But, Laurel, aren’t you supposed to be an expert?

In the case of Chocolate cake, definitely. But organizing? Um, no. So, please stop asking me for help with your organization. The image below will most likely explain why you don’t want me to help you with your organizing.

However, before you assault your eyes, a few words.

I know from a survey 100s of you took a couple of years ago that 25% of you are “neat freaks.” That’s wonderful. And, I mean that. However, please try not to judge(too much). Just because the rest of us struggle in this area doesn’t mean we’re enjoying it. Please remember that.

(The clutter sensitive might wish to skip ahead.)


"organized" lol bathroom cabinet

I know. It’s terrible.

Do you STILL want me to give you organizing advice? haha

Please also note that my entire apartment does not look like this. Most of it is perfectly presentable.


So, why has it taken me so long to fix this?


I don’t have a good answer.

Plus, it wasn’t always this bad.

But, yes, of course, I’m not proud of this mess. I am showing it to you because it’s my reality. And, I know that I’m not alone. However, that doesn’t mean it has to stay that way.


Therefore, I started looking for bathroom vanity storage organizers.


There are a lot of them. And, my crappy little bathroom vanity is only 25″ wide. Also, what’s frustrating is that there’s plenty of room for a 30″ vanity. So, naturally, I was confused by which organizing system would work best for me.

My criteria are:

  • Sturdy
  • Easy to install
  • Nice looking.
  • Maximize the available space with enough storage to find things easily.


Anyway, I’ll stop blabbering and tell you what I did to solve my bathroom vanity issues.


I realized that I needed the help of some pros. That one was easy. Once again, I contacted the fabulous professional organizing mother-daughter team, Ann and Kate of Done and Done Home.

Some of you may recall that Ann and Kate came over a little over two years ago and did a number on all of my closets and my entire kitchen.

I emailed Ann, and she got back to me immediately. First, she asked for more measurements than I had initially given her. I gave her those, and then she got back to me right away with the answer to my problem.


She sent me a link for the perfect storage system for my 25″ bathroom vanity.


Elfa Bathroom_Sink_Organization

This is one option out of dozens of possibilities for cabinet and closet storage by Elfa. Here’s the link so you can check it out if interested.

I know of Elfa and believe it to be a brand with an excellent reputation. And, great, it’s on sale too! Plus, the reviews at the Container Store are excellent.

I love the unit on the left and decided that two of them would be fabulous. However, I wanted to do the other one with two small drawers and a medium-deep drawer. No problem. They have that option available, as well.


Naturally, since I’m the queen of procrastination, I didn’t do it right away.


However, knowing that Cale was going to be showing up and that he could help me gave me the push I needed to put in my order.  That was the easy part, as was fetching the merch from my local Container Store.

By the way, the trick for you procrastinators is something I realized exactly five years ago while working on my first guide, Laurel’s Rolodex. It was very difficult for me. I kept wanting to stop. But what made me push through it was that I had told thousands of people that it was coming out September 26th.


That is when I realized the secret to getting things done.


ACCOUNTABILITY is the answer. At least it is for me.

Did you ever notice that when company is coming, all of a sudden, you are motivated to clean and tidy?

Ummm, Okay. This is not for you neat freaks out there.

Message to the compulsively neat and tidy.


Organizing comes NATURALLY to you.


However, for most of us, organizing and tidying does not come naturally.


It is possible to learn new strategies. But it takes awareness, education, and systems to make it happen.

That’s where Done and Done Home comes in.

Not only will they come and organize your stuff, but they have also created a how-to course to help you bring out your inner neat freak.


Love Your Home Again - Done and Done Home

They are calling it, Love Your Home Again

So, I am going to take this course.


Who wants to take it with me?

I mean, I need you! I need the accountability.

Okay. Full disclosure. If you sign up for the course using any link to it on this page, I will make a small commish. However, please note that product links on this website are probably going to make me a small commish. And if they don’t, it’s either a mistake or the company/brand does not do affiliate marketing.


Butttttttt, I know that this course is going to be amazing.


I’ve already done the first module, and it flooded back memories of working with Ann and Kate. Not only are they super expert at all things organization, but they are also the kindest, most understanding, non-judgmental people ever. I was sad to see them leave.


Ann and Kate’s approach is not about perfection; it’s about doing things BETTER. And, they give you the tools and encouragement necessary.


There’s even a Facebook group you can join for additional support. If you’d like to learn more about the course, please click here.

Oh, and here’s the best part. They are offering an incredible discount during these difficult times. It’s a discount of 60% off the regular price. I don’t know how much longer that discount is going to be.

However, I do know that if you want an in-person organization, Done and Done’s day rate is $2,450.00. If you can swing it, they are worth every penny and then some. And, I cannot recommend their services highly enough. However, not all of us can afford that expense.

Taking this course is the next best thing. That’s because, in the ten modules, they’re promising to teach every trick and technique they know.

Therefore, if anyone is interested, please sign up for the course, and let’s do this together.


Okay, back to my crappy bathroom vanity and its reorganization.


Can I tell you how excited I am?

I’m so excited that it put me right back in bed.


Of course, I began writing this blog post.

But, now, it’s time to get to work!


Cale and I put the cabinets together.


Elfa storage pieces

Above are the elements minus the storage drawers of which there are five.


Elfa pieces bathroom cabinetHere’s a close-up. I very much recommend that you get the mallet if you don’t have one already.


Elfa instructions bathroom storage cabinetInstructions that make Laurel dizzy. It’s just me, I’m sure.

So, how was it putting the pieces together?

Well, we did it. And, it wasn’t too bad. Actually, once Cale got into it, he did most of the work.


Could one person put these shelves together?


Yes, absolutely. But, if you’re not used to putting things together. Or, you’re not great about reading instructions like I am, then, I do recommend two people.

Of course, the second cabinet went much faster than the first one.

It really isn’t too difficult. And, everything fits beautifully together. Plus, they feel super-sturdy.

Now, all we need to do is stick those babies into the horrible bathroom vanity and then organize everything.


Well, that’s how it’s supposed to be.

Only one problem. And, it’s an even crappier problem than the bathroom vanity itself.

The crappy plumbing


crappy plumbing bathroom cabinet

See that ring in the center pipe? It sticks out an eighth of an inch too far. And, I couldn’t get the unit on the right far enough in so that the front legs weren’t hanging slightly off the front edge of the cabinet.

However, there is close to an inch on the left side.

Cale fixing crappy pipe
The pipe seemed to have some give, so Cale thought he could squeeze the cabinet in.

And, hooray, he did it! Phew! That was close.


Just one problem.


When I turned on the water, the pipe started freaking leaking! Now THAT is seriously crappy!

Cale tried to fix it and couldn’t.

Laurel called the super, and it’s Saturday night. I’m sure he was swearing at me under his breath when I hung up. Like, did I REALLY just ask him to come over and fix my leaky bathroom sink? Of course, he couldn’t come over tonight. So, the cabinets are in, but we can’t use the sink. Isn’t that a riot? It’s okay; we’ll get it fixed. Hopefully, later today.


However, I’m loving the new Elfa storage drawers.


And, I’m so glad I got one with the extra tall drawer because I definitely need it for some of my stuff. Like the giant bottle of Kiehl’s moisturizer I got at the Nordy Anniversary Sale.(actually, they are having another sale!)

Right now, I’m taking a break. But, here’s the thing. I AM going to finish this tonight because I HAVE to. Well, I don’t have to, but I kind of do.

That’s what I mean by accountability.


Okay, I’m finished now.


One issue is the gap behind the cabinets. It’s about five inches, and you know, and I know that stuff will fall back there unless I figure something out.

I found a small basket and a shallow tray. At least those two things will prevent most things from falling back there. I just have to be careful with what I put on top.

Of course, the cabinets come out of the vanity easily. Or, the right one will, when the super comes to fix the pipe, hopefully, later today.


Bathroom Vanity beautifully organized Elfa system

And, here’s the finished result! Yes, it was a bit of work. But, in the end, it’s going to make finding things so much easier. The drawers do come with labels. However, that’s difficult because some of the drawers have a fairly large variety.


One thing I learned from Done and Done Home is to try and put like with like as much as possible.


before and after bathroom vanityPlease pin to your Pinterest boards for reference.


Again, if you would like a link to the Elfa Storage System, click here.

This is the link to the cabinet on the right.

And, please check out the Done and Done Love Your Home Again – organization course.

Also, please be sure to check out this week’s HOT SALES. It’s one of the top five shopping weekends of the year. Sensational sales!




PS: Update: September 16, 2020

The super fixed the leady pipe, however, he assured me that he could NOT get the cabinet in. I thought I had measured carefully. But alas, I didn’t notice the ring that sticks out an 1/8″ too far. Or, I just ignored it. I would’ve been far more anal if it had been a real client. I suck when it comes to doing things for myself.


Elfa Bathroom_Sink_Organization

Anyway, if I had gotten the piece on the left and the plastic containers that are part of the original vanity set at the Container store, I would’ve been fine.

Sooooooo, I should do that. They aren’t expensive. However, now I’m thinking that I would like to change the vanity. What bugs me is the gap on both sides. It’s frustrating that they didn’t put in a 30″ vanity! Then, all problems would’ve been solved.


Welcome To Laurel Home!


Hi, I’m Laurel, and Laurel Home is the website and blog for Laurel Bern Interiors.
I’ve been creating new-traditional interiors since 1988. The blog is where I share all.

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