Keep These Things Out From Under Your Bathroom Sink

As hard as you try to prevent clutter from accumulating in your home, it can often feel like you're fighting a losing battle. Join the club. Homeowners the world over are constantly looking for space to stash their stuff. In the bathroom, the solution is typically a recessed under-the-sink cabinet or vanity. Cram the fixture with all the items you need to make your bathroom a personal oasis and shut the doors. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Wrong. Turns out vanities aren't the ideal catchall for every one of your bathroom needs, as their dark and damp conditions can trigger mold and mildew growth. Consequently, items such as makeup and linens are best stored elsewhere.

The perfect bathroom vanity combines style and function. After all, who doesn't appreciate having an attractive visual piece to anchor a small space? But let's be honest, when push comes to shove, the appeal of adding much-needed storage to a cramped bathroom often trumps aesthetics. In the long run, a spacious vanity not only elevates your mood, it can also increase the value of your home. Still, to maximize the practicality of a bathroom sink cabinet, it's best not to use it as a dumping ground for all things that don't have a proper home. Instead, keep the space free to store bathroom essentials, such as soap, lotion, toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant, shampoo, and conditioner, as well as hair styling products and accessories.

Store makeup and linens elsewhere

Makeup is a go-to product that you'd expect to be stashed under the bathroom sink for convenience and clutter containment. However, keep in mind, your vanity also houses a sink and its accompanying plumbing — both of which can create a haven for moisture. In addition, heat and dampness from the shower can further exacerbate conditions that foster an ideal breeding ground for mold and mildew.

To prevent fungi from forming on your cosmetics, keep them in a cool, dry place that's not exposed to direct sunlight. Doing so will protect items that come in contact with your skin — like lip gloss and concealer — from contamination. Ideally, store your makeup in a toiletry bag in your bedroom. That way all of your beauty products are contained in a single tote you can easily transport to and from the bathroom each day.

As counterintuitive as it may seem, towels should also be kept out of bathroom vanities. Storing washcloths, bathmats, or hand towels in a closed cabinet under the sink can expose them to mold spores. What's more, you don't have to suffer a major leak for this to happen. Consistent exposure to steam from a shower or sink can stimulate mold and mildew formation. You're safer stockpiling towels in a linen closet or bedroom drawers, where they're able to enjoy decent air circulation in a sanitary environment.