How To Make Bathrooms Work For Multiple People In Chicago

May 9, 2012 3:00 AM

(credit: Thinkstock)

throne vdp How To Make Bathrooms Work For Multiple People In Chicago

(credit: Thinkstock)

For many Chicago-area families, sharing the bathroom with multiple people can be an experience filled with strife. From trying to find the time to squeeze in a shower while there’s still hot water available, to organizing shampoo bottles for multiple people in the bathtub, keeping everyone happy proves difficult if a household only has one bathroom. The following tips can help keep the lavatory a relatively stress-free space.

1) Make accommodations. If you have people with a variety of ages and mobility issues using one bathroom, you will need to make changes to your toilet to accommodate everyone’s needs. For example, small children can use portable toilet seats that make the toilet smaller and easier to use, while those who use wheelchairs or walkers will benefit from a raised toilet seat. Changes to the toilet can be temporary, allowing for other members of the household to use the toilet with ease.

2) Help out the kids. For small children, reaching up to wash their hands at the bathroom sink is no easy task. To help little ones at the sink, Lisa Ortega, owner of Chicago-based Our Baby Inc., a children’s boutique, suggests using Baby Björn’s Safe Step stool. “The stool has rubber on the bottom and top, so it won’t slip,” she explained. Even with a step stool, it can be difficult for some small children to reach their hands under the faucet. Ortega recommended using the Aqueduck, a portable faucet expander. “The faucet expander is easy to use and to clean and kids have fun using it,” she said.

3) Organize a shower schedule. Instead of making a mad dash to the shower every morning, consider devising a schedule so everyone can take a shower or bath before the hot water runs out. Perhaps some family members can take their showers at night, while others can bathe early in the morning.

4) Cut down on clutter. Keeping countless bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body wash and other shower necessities in the bathroom can make it feel cluttered and small, and can be dangerous. Try throwing out bottles no longer in use and see if some family members are willing to share shampoo. Keeping the sink clear of brushes, makeup and skin cleansers will also go a long way for making the bathroom look organized. If you still find the bathroom in disorder, consider giving each family member a shower tote to stash their beauty supplies, then transport the tote back to the bedroom or store in a nearby linen closet.

5) Keep the peace. One source of tension that arises from sharing a bathroom with multiple people is the issue of keeping the lavatory clean. Write up a list of bathroom-related tasks, such as cleaning the shower stall, scrubbing the toilet and wiping down the countertops and mirrors. Divide them up among the members of the household.

6) Maintain supplies in the bathroom. Let everyone know where the extra toilet paper, hand soap, plunger and hand towels are located. If you share a bathroom with roommates, set up a system regarding who is responsible for replenishing supplies.

These local businesses may be able to help you get started:

Advanced Medical Supply, Inc.
3322 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60641
(773) 205-6993

Advanced Medical Supply, Inc. offers a variety of health-related devices, including raised toilet seats, shower chairs and bathtub safety rails. The company is accredited with a gold seal of approval by the Joint Commission Accreditation Program.

Community Home Supply
3924 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60613
(773) 281-7010

Established in 1938, Community Home Supply offers accessories and fixtures for bathrooms, kitchens, closets and offices. The company can also assist in designing and organizing a small bathroom.

Our Baby Inc.
3420 N Elston Ave
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 588-5120

Our Baby Inc. is a designer children’s boutique carrying a variety of baby-related products, including bath and skincare, bedding and decor, furniture, toys and clothing.

Related: Best Places To Help You Get Organized
Related: Green Remodeling Resources Help Homeowners, Contractors

For more great tricks, tips and advice about your home, visit Home.

Megan Horst-Hatch is a mother, runner, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in “-er.” She loves nothing more than a great cupcake, and writes at I Love Trader Joe’s. Her work can be found at

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