Tuesday, February 2, 2010

In the Bathroom

Touring Tuesday is up and running. Today, you get to look at my bathroom. Fun stuff, huh?

Above is the view from the door as you enter. The bathroom is 5'x6'. It has a sink, toilet and shower stall. The bathroom in our old apartment had a toilet and full tub, but no sink, so it's a trade-off.

If you fold towels in three one way, then in three the other way, they fit on the back of the toilet.

This is Brad. He's been with us a long time.

On the door we have some artwork of friends and family. The Thomas potty cover is hanging by Velcro.

Some of you will be very proud of me. We had a tall narrow set of drawers below the light that held all sorts of stuff. I went through and decluttered and decluttered and was able to eliminate it. It's now part of my craft corner, but that's a whole other story.

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The Missus said...

This is Brad. He's been with us a long time.

LOL! We name our car. It's a male this time. He's french (license plate came with a french word - unintended!)... I do the same with our towels.

Mrs. Money said...

Is it easy to bathe babies in the shower? Just curious, not snarky. :)

Emily said...

Mrs. Money, sort of. We still do water play, but it's more like water play in the rain. We can adjust the water pressure so that we can leave the door open.

Lucy said...

Ah-ha! I'm refolding our towels so see if that will work. Our bathroom is small too and there is no storage, no shelves, nothing, so towels are kept in bedrooms.

Tree Huggin Momma said...

Emily - smoking in the loo is not uncommon among smokers, DH used to do it when we first lived together, but it drove me nuts, so I drove him nuts to stop.

My only concern is that light in the bathroom, its a safety hazzard. Bathroom lighting fixtures are specially made to handle the humidity, so talk to the landlord.

Babes can also be bathed in the kitchen sink when the are small. Once they hit the toddler level, showers are fine.

Also kids do fine with a sponge bath (and it uses less water).

If you can find one of those over the toilet deals you can add some more storage space for bathrooms stuffs (I don't care for anything over the toilet, but DH won on this one and we have one).

vm said...

I'm impressed that you're managing 3 kids and no bathtub, but I too am concerned about the light (& hot lightbulbs). Maybe this will motivate you to call the landlord today & get that light fixed!

Penniless Parenting said...

Emily, I was wondering what that was that is hanging between the toilet and the sink?
How do the towels dry if they're kept folded up?


Our Family Is His said...

I second the sinks (if you ever wanted to move bathing locations). My sons were both kitchen sink bathers when they were little. Goodness, my 2 year old could still do it if we wanted him to (I know this because he had to a few weeks ago when Daddy was replacing the tub surround.). He thought it was great. We put toys on the counter and he could easily reach them. I wish there was a way to do it with both boys all the time because it's so easy since I get to stand up and have everything within reach. =)

I like the pictures on the back of the door, cute frame.

frugalredneck said...

I am not sure I could do a small bathroom again.....Well I could, but might not want to haha. I was so happy when we found this house and someone had taken one of the smaller bathrooms and made it a bedroom. I am guessing this place originally had no bathroom, It is 110 years old and I see no where one could have been. Anyway it is 8x10 bathroom, with what would have been the bedrooms 4x12 closet in it. The one thing about this house is the closets, they are all huge, I don't really care for them, They are like long tunnels, waste of space. When we had a small, really small bathroom after the twins were born, We bought a small blow up pool, And bathed them in that, My mother almost had a cow, But they loved going "swimming" to take a bath, I just surrounded it by towels to protect the floor. Glad your little one is good, Mine had his thyroglossal cyst surgery last thursday, surgery went fine, Still was really hard to see him where his throat was cut open. He is doing good though, running like mad!!!! Michelle
frugalredneck.blogspot.com (I put a pic after the surgery on my blog if ya wanna peek lol).

Sue said...

I agree with tree huggin momma. The light is a huge fire hazard – please talk to your landlord asap. The only other thought I have with your bathroom has to do with the towels on the back of the toilet. You may already do this, but because you have the towels there and the sink next to it, make sure that everyone closes the lid of the toilet before flushing.

“If you flush with the lid up, a polluted plume of bacteria and water vapour erupts out of the flushing toilet bowl. The polluted water particles float for a few hours around your bathroom before they all land. Some of them will land on your tooth brush.” - Karl S. Kruszelnicki

(Source - http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2004/07/01/1143577.htm)

Another article for more information - http://www.sanicone.com/disease.html

Otherwise you seem to be making do with the small bathroom. I think the bright blue tile is interesting against the green (obviously not you doing). Oh- and what is hanging in-between your sink and toilet? Thanks for sharing!


connie said...

Please tell us the story about Brad!!! He looks cute!

Fascinating Womanhood book discussion coming soon!!!

Lexie said...

What a nice little set up everything seems compact. The piece of art work hanging above your towel rack is very pretty what painting is it?

I'm Lori...and maybe I'm you, too. said...

I'm with Tree Huggin. I would be very concerned about that desk lamp.

And also, I would never ever use towels that sat on the toilet. The whole idea makes me want to run and take a shower with very hot water and bleach and a wire brush. But it's possible I have watched too many things on Dateline about e. coli contamination spread by water droplets from a flushing toilet.

Anonymous said...

You know folding those towels that way is a good idea, I'm having trouble fitting my towels in my linen closet and your way looks alot neater, thanks for the tips :)

Mom in Canada

Melanie said...

Tree Huggin Momma said...

Also kids do fine with a sponge bath (and it uses less water).

Tree Huggin Momma, you have obviously never smelled my kid. He's a sweaty little man and has to have a bath or a shower. :)

Emily, I like the art work. Cute touch.

Anonymous said...

The lamp looks like it is wedged into the towel bar; that seems pretty precarious. Top that with the fact that it is plugged in and turned on mere inches from the shower is an electrical hazard. You really need to get your landlord in to fix the main light instead of this option. As an architect I am telling you that this is a serious hazard to your family, you are at such a higher risk of fire from that.

Also, maybe you can find a basket or some sort of tall sided box to keep your towels in if you are going to keep them on the back of the toilet. Maybe you haven’t read the studies yet, but the results show that keeping things like toothbrushes and towels there can collect a lot of bacteria and fecal matter from the toilet. So maybe just for a little more sanitary, you could find a way to cover them up?

Sarah said...

I have a couple quick questions. What the blue materials between the sink and the toilet? Do you have any storage underneath the sink? Thanks!

ly said...

The towels on the back of your toilet are collecting germs everytime you flush.


If you google it there are other sources but this one spoke the most about a bathroom.

I do not understand why you would have a desk lamp perched on a towel rack right by the shower.
Is that safe for anyone in the family? Can you just put a note in with your next rent check? Also there may be a short in the wiring behind the light. It may be a fire hazard and needs to be looked at by the landlord. It may be a sign of rodents, they like to chew through wires.

With the burns on the floor, renters usually take horrible care of a property and in lower income propreties it is usually worse. If you have nothing invested in, why take care of it. It is why we are not in the rental business. It is very disheartening to see something you work hard on or for destoryed by others.

Anonymous said...

We have a massive bathtub, to big to fill, and well the baby might get lost in it. lol! I use a rubbermaid tub to bathe our little guy, works great and conserves water. - ecomama

Sarah said...

Does the bathroom have an exhaust fan? I only see one switch near the door. Does it come on with the light? Do you store your toothbrushes in the cabinet?
Also, it almost appears to be a license plate near the shower. What is that? Thanks!

Diana @ frontyardfoodie said...

Love it! I have a very small batheroom, probably smaller than that but it does have a tub which I'm grateful for and a very tiny cabinet that I'm able to fit SOME towels in. The rest I put in the bedroom.

I love the towels on the toilet idea! Great use of space.

Moxie said...

You can put a little dab of paint over the burn marks....use a Qtip or small brush...it will last for a long time...if you have white nail polish it would work too. The corner sink is cute.

Plane Jane said...

Alas, I fear my little one will never take to showers over to baths, mores the pity.

One concern, as voiced above, that desk lamp in the bathroom is a hazard on a few levels. The dangling cord isn't safe for babies or toddlers, and not only is that light not made for use in a humid setting (and I know Maine in the spring and summer is pretty humid) which poses a serious fire risk, but it's also dangerous having something like that in the bathroom because of the obvious risk of electrocution.

P.S. You have the most NORMAL word verification words of any Blogger/Blog Spot blogger I have ever seen. Yesterday I had aardvark, miser and then snowey for the comment of mine you didn't post, and today it's "billy." I wish all were as normal as yours are.

Jessa said...

Small bathrooms are honestly my favorite kind. Way less time to spend cleaning them!

Anonymous said...

The towel thing might be a good idea except when you flush the toilet, those particles will get on the towels, which you then clean yourself with? Doesn't sound good anymore!

Stacy said...


Ditto what Tree Huggin Mama said regarding the reading light on the towel rack. Besides being an electrocution concern, it's a fire hazard as well.

How are the pictures framed on the bathroom door? Is it a cloth frame? I really like that look. May have to copy!

Please give us an update on Daniel. I am still praying for the little guy, and hope all is still going well.

Kat said...

Hi Emily, sorry that this is totally off topic (I won't be hurt if you don't publish it since it's not related to the topic being discussed), but I don't know how else to contact you.

I recently came across a book called "Simply Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids" by Kim John Payne, and it made me think of you; it came highly recommended by a friend, and I thought maybe you would like to check it out.

PersonalFailure said...

That light is very dangerous. If you, or your children, were to touch it while wet, you could end up dead.

Before you say "I have the sense not to touch the lamp with wet hands", let me remind you that the human reflex is to catch things when they fall. If the lamp falls while you are wet, and you catch without thinking, you will get electrocuted.

Call the landlord immediately.

jen in MN said...

VERY CLEVER about the thomas potty! I know you're anti chemicals which is amazing since you're brave enough to take the time to learn about stuff. I guess I am lazier... my kids are (THANK YOU GOD) no longer potty training but when they were, I was obsessive about clorox wiping the seats/pots after each use. what's your routine for the oops and dribbles before hanging it back up?

Anonymous said...

peel and stick vinyl tiles are super cheap. If you ever get tired of the floo,r you could lay a new vinyl tile over it in a few hours. Ask your landlord to reimburse you for the materials.

submissivehelpmeet said...

Emily, such a wonderful blog you have here. I enjoyed todays post.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, Emily. Please please please get onto your landlord about the light. That lamp balanced next to the shower? Incredibly dangerous. Obviously you're not using it while you shower, but if there's water left on the floor of the shower in the morning and your oldest open the door to go in to use the toilet while you're in the kitchen, and one of your younger ones, or him knocks the lamp down... you can use your imagination there.


Emily said...

A bunch of questions, let me answer the most frequent ones first:

Thanks for the tips on the light. I'll bring it up tomorrow when I give my landlord the rent money.

Towels (and toothbrushes) only get fecal matter if you flush with the seat up. In such a small bathroom, that stuff would be everywhere if we didn't shut the lid, so we do.

Emily said...

OKay, now for all of the other questions:

Penniless Parenting and Sue and Sarah, that blue cloth between the toilet and the sink holds bath toys.

connie, we found Brad at a thrift store (a free store actually) and fell in love. I've given him various bandanas over the years. Daniel's friends usually like him, although we occasionally get someone a little freaked out by the giant dog over the toilet.

Lexie, I got the artwork from my Dad. It looks like something from the Middle East. I aways imagine it to be Israel, but I really don't know.

Sarah, we do have under the sink storage. That's a cupboard that opens up.

ecomama, that's a good idea with the tub!

Sarah, the fan comes on with the light. it works even though the light doesn't. That is a liscence plate by the sink. It was Dan's dad when he was a kid.

Jessa, Yes! I don't like the white floor as everything shows, but I would like it iven less if it were bigger!

Stacy, the picture frame is vinal, I think. I found it in a free pile by the side of the road. (:

Kat, thanks, I'll look into that. It sounds up my alley.

jen in MN, we keep vinegar under the sink and give it a little wipe with that.

I hope I get everyone's question, if not, ask again. (:

Lida said...


Poor does not mean lazy or disrespectful or vandalous. I currently live in housing that doesn't cost a lot and I take really good care of it. Just because I am renting doesn't mean I don't take some form of ownership of my home. After all, this IS my home. I WANT to take care of it and keep it looking nice for my family. To imply that renters "usually" don't take care of the spaces they rent is quite classist of you.

And, for the record, the rich kids that I grew up with were harder on their property than I ever was as the token poor girl.

Georgi said...

Emily, do you ever feel that people come to your site just to complain? I can't believe how neat and clean your bathroom is, with 3 little kids it must be difficult.

AT said...

Closing the lid when you flush isn't just a health issue. If you teach everyone to close before flushing, you will avoid any of those silly "he left the seat up and I fell in" arguments because with the lid kept closed, everybody (ie: both genders) has to lift something to use the loo. Your future daughter-in-laws will be most appreciative.

That being said, when my kids were training on the "big potty" they loved to watch their efforts disappear down the drain so we relaxed the lid down rule a bit for those times.

The picture is most likely the Amalfi Coast of Italy, not Israel. Google it and you'll see. It's one of the most amazingly beautiful places I have ever been. Israel is also visually spectacular, I've been there too, but in a much different way. It's not nearly as "pretty-pretty" as that part of Italy, if that makes any sense at all.

zerohousepaymentforever said...

I have always wondered how people with only showers bathed their small children. Now I know.

Susan said...

I agree with AT on closing the lid. DH and I have been doing that for 40 years. No incriminations.
When I had a 30 lb cast from achilles tendon surgery, we had a 'top hat' on the toilet and couldn't close the lid. We had a cat who became curious about the 'magic litter box' She learned to flush the toilet herself! Just to watch the water swirl down.

You are getting very clever in using your small space. If you ever find dvds of a show called 'This Small Space' you might enjoy seeing how people find solutions to exactly your problem.

Emily said...

georgi, yes, I think some do.

AT, I liked imagining the picture as Israel, but I think you might be right. I didn't find the exact painting, but some similar.

Vicky said...

Your bathroom is about the size of mine :)

I love having a tiny one, so much easier to keep it clean.

Anonymous said...

Susan, I love this site for small space inspiration



Anonymous said...

when you bring up the bathroom light you should mention to the landlord that your plug needs to be a GFI (per building codes they should be installed anywhere a plug is close to moisture).

they are relatively inexpensive and easy to install, and would help prevent electrocution

Sarah said...

For all those bringing up the toilet-germs thing, did you ever see the Myth Buster's episode on it? They tested items on the back of the toilet, items on the sink, and items in the kitchen. They all had the same fecal bacteria on them. So it might be germy, but its no more germy than putting them anywhere else. Germs are just a natural part of our world - some exposure to them on a regular basis is good for our immune system.

K said...

Emily - you don't have to post this (it's unrelated to the post), I just didn't know where to email you! Saw this book on dooce.com and thought you might like it!

Our Family Is His said...

I didn't see that one. I would have to know all the ways they made sure it was a 100% fair test, remembering that if a toilet was flushed in that room ever before, it was already contaminated. If the toilet was never flushed, the room was clean and it takes time for exposure. There are just so many variables.

But real tests were done showing that toothbrushes in things on the backs of toilets are exposed to fecal germs and so on. It's simple to fix it, and important.

I agree that we need to be exposed to some germs on a slow and regular basis. But really, some germs given to us in certain ways is not only not necessary, but unhealthy.

Anonymous said...

I have an over the door towel rack with several hooks-- my bathroom is even smaller than yours. In the past I've used those stickybacked hooks on mirrors to hold toothbrushes and wash cloths. All rather inexpensive. annie

Alice said...


There is a group of engineers at my college working on a "Tiny House" project and the video and photos they posted have some really cool examples of small space living that I wanted to pass on to you.

Here is the link to a video tour of a tiny house: www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbRvsWuWNUM

Guinevere said...

The towels aren't a big deal. The minimal amount of fecal matter that gets on your toothbrush or towel or whatnot does not carry enough e.coli to hurt you. There's small amounts of e.coli everywhere. For that matter, you're ingesting some fecal matter anyway at some point.

Maybe it's just because I lived in the Middle East for a while, where coming to grips with the "filth" everywhere was unavoidable (unlike America, where we like to fool ourselves), but it's bizarre to me the things people worry about that are, in essence, unavoidable.

Guinevere said...

Speaking of the Tiny House project -- there's a Solar Decathlon every year in D.C. where they showcase small sustainable homes. They're erected on the national mall and you can tour inside them and learn about how they work. It's so inspiring and fun! Emily, if you ever get out this way for a vacation in the summer, you might want to try and visit at the same time as that event. It's such a cool exhibition.

Catherine said...

"Nuff said about the lamp. I think the towels would look better in a basket or box. One of those over the tank things might be something you want to keep an eye out for.

A friend of ours had a small half shower with babies some years ago. They bought one of those great big plastic bins that just fit in the shower and would put water in them so the kids could have baths.

crabcakes said...

I agree that there is a whole lot of "pooh pooh" about the towel issue. I flush with the lid up half the time and I'm not going to waste a minute worrying about it. We're a fairly healthy family.

Melissa said...

I am getting here very late today so you have answered all of the questions I had in the comments. I just wanted to add that I think your corner sink is so cute! I have never seen one before. Thanks for sharing your bathroom. I bet alot of us wouldn't dare open up some of the rooms in our homes for the world to see. (;

God Bless,

Simple in France said...

Emily, great idea on keeping the lid down during flushes, germs from the toilet are gross. In France, the toilet is almost always in a separate and closed room from the washing area: sink, bathtub, towels etc. I think this is quite a sanitary idea.

As for the burn-marks. I hate when I rent an apartment and you have the feeling it never quite looks 'clean' no matter how much you scrub because of stains that were already there. I'm a complete neat freak and often turn our rentals back cleaner than when I came. I agree income does not equal cleanliness!

Emily said...

crabcakes, that made me laugh!

Simple in France, yes! That's how I feel about this apartment. There is white trim next to the all the beige walls. Whoever painted the trim did it when the walls were still wet, because there are streaks of the beige in the white and it looks like grime everywhere.

Anonymous said...

You may be able to cover those burn marks with a little paint, white-out or crayon. I covered some marks on my kitchen vinyl with matching crayon. It covered the spots and lasted quite a while. Just an idea....

Anonymous said...

You should ask your landlord if you can install a removable shower head, you can get them fairly inexpensive and they just screw on. It makes bathing children in the shower so easy, especially when it comes to washing hair.

Anonymous said...

In such a small bathroom, I would be worried about the stuffed toy getting mildew or mold.

CaveGirl said...

That lamp is dangerous. SAY SOMETHING to your landlord. He has a legal responsibility to fix your light.

Have you considered getting a cheap storage rack that goes over the toilet for storing towels, toilet paper, etc.? It looks much nicer than just having towels on the toilet tank and it's more sanitary. You can find them at Wal-Mart for under $20 and they really maximize your storage space. I have them in both of my bathrooms because I don't have much built in storage.

As for bathing small children in the shower, well, I have two bathtubs and my kids still shower all the time. They're 9, 5, and 3 and have preferred showers to baths for as long as I can remember. They're like me and think taking baths is gross--you're just sitting there in your own filth. Yuck.

Indigo said...

I have to say that the light scares the heck out of me, too!

We live in an area famous for blackouts during winter and summer storms, and I keep several push lights around for that purpose. Have you considered those instead of the electric light? They're battery operated and portable, although you can hang them on the wall. A couple of those provides more than enough light in our small bathroom during power failures, and you can get them at the dollar store. Much safer than candles (I love those above all, but have to be wary of fire safety with a small child). In case you haven't seen them, this is what I mean - http://www.amazon.com/54807-Battery-Operated-Round-Closet/dp/B0018QDJ8K/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1265524981&sr=8-2 . Very safe, easy for a child to operate, cheap, and great for backup!

Indigo said...

Oh - we also have a shoe holder over our door. It's one that has 24 mesh pockets; the toiletries that are safe enough for a little one hang in the bottom pockets, and things like rubbing alcohol, bottles too tall for the cabinets, are in the top pockets, near the top of the door so that we have to reach up for them. I throw it in with the laundry once every week or two so that it doesn't mildew, and it saves a ton of space, as well as solving the problem of keeping larger items out of reach (it's fabric, so the pockets stretch to accommodate the items). We have to be very creative with storage as well, living in a tiny apartment, and having a little boy with severe autism, so I know it can be a challenge!

nepamom said...

Trying to get caught up on your blog while hubby is napping because I still can't get my computer to show it properly...

The towels on the toilet don't bother me for the yuck issue others mentioned, like was said that suff floats everywhere anyway. I'm just picturing a distracted little boy accidently spraying them...my 3 little guys have good aim usually but you'd be surprised where I've found the occasional puddle LOL!

As much as I miss parts of the fun of a bathtub, I LOVE cleaning the little ones in the shower. No worries about the floor getting soaked, I can shut the door and let them splash and throw water as much as they want and now that they are getting older but still need help, the frosted door provides privacy without losing safety.

I'm not going to give you a hard time about the light...it served a purpose and I'm sure you were all as careful as you could be. I have friends with no electricity in their bathroom so they use a candle perched on the windowsill. Since it's an old farmhouse with lots of exposed wood, the candle scares me...your light, not so much.

(But if you ever want some major lessons in living on less...talk to them. They simplified simple. A family of 6 living on the dad's 2-3 day a week part time income -and if he wants to take a "week" or 2 off, he does and they still have what they need.)

Anonymous said...

I wanted to add about all the comments regarding where you store your towels and other nonsense regarding "plumes of e-coli" coming out of a toilet flushed with the lid up. This is a urban legend, a myth and a misunderstanding. The fact is, they've tested this. Closed or open, you have e-coli everywhere, all over the house, in rooms far away from the bathroom. e-coli is EVERYWHERE. It comes in on your shoes, your clothes, your skin, the wind likely. People have an unscientific fear that toilet lids can some how prevent you from contaminating your towels. Fret not. Leave them where they are. Unless someone is literally peeing on them (which I doubt) you aren't in mortal danger!

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