Help Wanted: Bathroom Attendant


The shelves can only hold so many towels!

The shelves can only hold so many towels!

Once again I find myself in a battle of wills with Fang, the traditionalist. This time, it’s over a ladder. (Under a ladder would just be bad form, not to mention bad luck!)

A couple of days ago I reported that I had painted my bathroom. Everyone knows you can’t paint your bathroom fuschia and put the same old crap up on the walls that had been there when the bathroom was tannish-pink. Everyone does know that, right? Well, if you didn’t, now you do. You’re welcome!

I’ve always had storage issues in my bathroom, as I have zero floor space— and I do mean “zero” — a problem that no amount of paint will remedy. In an effort not to hang the wastebasket from the ceiling, I have to be creative. I must employ other storage solutions. I hung some shelves, but they won’t do for towel storage on a daily basis. While looking for some new bath hardware, I stumbled across something called an “over-the-door towel rack” — perfect! Of course I got it home and it doesn’t work properly — no amount of jimmying or repositioning will make the door close with the presence of the towel rack.

As much as I liked the towel rack, I’m pretty confident that I could not convince my family to do their business in what amounts to an al fresco environment — plus, who needs to see that?! It also occurred to me that even if they could be convinced and I could learn to live with the bathroom door being forever ajar, it might be slightly uncomfortable for guests — at least the one’s whose company I enjoy. It would, no doubt, work to my advantage for the odd unwanted guest, though. I could just ply them with beverages, knowing that they would be forced to leave once they found it necessary to heed the call of nature.

Alas, the over-the-door towel bar did not provide the necessary solution to my problem, but I am enamored of the concept. “No big deal”, I thought, “I’ll just get one that ATTACHES to the back of the door. That’ll work just fine!” And it would’ve worked just fine — if only such an item existed here in the Northern Hemisphere in the early part of the 21st Century, which, of course, it doesn’t. As anyone who owns a computer and is faced with such a dilemma is wont to do, I turned to my old friend, Pinterest, for inspiration. I found that some folks, including some lady called Martha Stewart, had solved this problem very simply — by attaching two or three towel bars to the back of their bathroom door! Well, why didn’t I think of that?

With this keen idea in mind, I began to look for three black 18″ towel bars to use in lieu of the over-the-door towel bar. If it was good enough for Martha Stewart, it was good enough for me! Guess what? This turned out to be an exercise in futility — because black, I guess, is not de rigeur these days in modern bathroom accessorizing. Black! Not readily available! What the….?

Well, that’s not entirely true. If I want to purchase a decent black towel bar, I can — but I have to do so from one of those specialty stores or websites — to the tune of upwards of $80/bar. That’s $240 — in American money — to hang a few towels from something black on the back of my bathroom door. That’s ridiculous. I could employ a bathroom attendant for less. You know, like they do at some of your finer restaurants. She (I wouldn’t be comfortable with a “he”) could just come in every day and hand us towels, spritz us with the perfume/cologne of our choice, and ask us questions like, “Do you need a safety pin?”

I was beginning to think that this, the hiring of a bathroom attendant, would be easier than finding a simple way to address my towel hanging needs — and then it hit me — I could just hang a ladder on the back of my bathroom door! It, like a towel bar, has rungs! As luck would have it, almost immediately, I found two ladders that would fit on the back of the bathroom door! Success!

I instructed Fang to abandon the Google search for the perfect (and affordable) black towel bar. I was relieved that he could finally stop showing me “oil-rubbed bronze” accessories, all the while trying to convince me that “oil-rubbed bronze” is the same as black. (For the record, let me tell you what I told Fang, “‘Oil-rubbed bronze’ is NOT black!”) I explained to him that our prayers had been answered. I showed him the ladder that I had found on Etsy for $50 (FREE SHIPPING!) and the one that I had stumbled across on Ebay ($30.10 with shipping).

At this point, I figured that we would haggle over the $20 price difference between the two items that I had found — the $30 one would require me to paint it or to stain it (no doubt there would be some sanding involved, as well) — the other one would be ready to hang right out of the box. If I’d wanted to paint things, I could have just bought the “oil-rubbed bronze” bullshit and done just that. I don’t want to paint anything, so the $50 number is, obviously, my first choice.

Not surprisingly — I know Fang all too well — his problem is not only with the $20 price difference. His problem is also with the fact that I want to hang towels from a ladder mounted to the back of my bathroom door — because, as he so eloquently pointed out, “that’s just stupid”. I’m not even going to get into the dialogue that followed THAT comment, but I will tell you what I did do — I showed him the many, many examples of people hanging towels on ladders that exist on the internet. And there are many.

What there are not many of, however, are photos showing the ladder itself hanging from the back of a door — most people lean them up against a wall — most people have the floor and the wall space to do that sort of thing. Even if I hung the trash bin from the ceiling, freeing up the necessary floor space, I wouldn’t have a wall to lean it on. What I can do, though, is hang it on the back of the damn bathroom door.

He then went on to grill me as to how I was going to accomplish such a feat of engineering. Seriously. My reply: “Oh, I don’t know. I thought I’d get crazy and use a couple of screws.” He is still convinced that I can’t “make it work” — as if I’m suggesting that I can fit a square peg into a round hole. This task, as I see it, will require four things — a drill, wall anchors, screws, and a screwdriver.

I’ll just wind up doing it, as I do every other home improvement project, when he’s not around to watch me. And then it’ll be done. And I’ll have my back-of-the-door towel rack. That I’ll have been right about the ladder? That will just be icing on the cake, my friends, icing on the cake! If, for some unforeseen reason, the ladder thing doesn’t work out — I fear that I will be forced to resort to plan B: the bathroom attendant.

photo credit: towels (me)

22 thoughts on “Help Wanted: Bathroom Attendant

  1. Kyle says:

    Why is it that these “over the door” hanging things never take into consideration that one occasionally needs to close the door?

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      I do NOT know! It’s kind of like how no one can invent a broom that doesn’t “unscrew” from it’s handle while one is in “mid-sweep”!

      Like

  2. peachyteachy says:

    Don’t you have a quart or two of “Gateway Black” paint lying around? I would expect to see you out blackening the rubbed bronze stuff out in the driveway.

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      You’d have to spray paint that shit — I don’t mind painting with a brush or a roller, but I hate spray paint. Hate it! Although I do have a can of black laying around here somewhere, LOL!

      Like

  3. shalilah2002 says:

    You sound like me. My bathroom is a cubbyhole but I’ve been looking at videos that advise you to pick up and put away everything in your bathroom for neatness. That’s the furthest I’ve gotten. The makeup is off the counter though.

    Like

  4. beverlydiehl says:

    There is always more crap to put up in the bathroom than there is room. Hope the ladder thing works for you.

    Me, I would (almost) kill for an under-the-sink cabinet, but with a rental, you takes what you gets.

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      Ikea makes some decent under the sink cabinets that go under without installation — they have a cut-out for the pipes and everything. I used to have one in the previous hovel — sadly, this bathroom has a pedestal sink and it’s too wide to accommodate the cut-out, not to mention that it’s practically right up against the stupid bathtub, so it’s not feasible for me, but you should take a look at them. It beats homicide, LOL!

      Like

      • peachyteachy says:

        Stop bragging about Ikea products. I have to drive three hours and cross and international border to get to an Ikea.

        Like

        • javaj240 says:

          And I could throw a rock and hit one, LOL! Clearly, given the fact that I know their inventory, I think it’s safe to say that I spend FAR too much time there, Peach, far too much time!

          Like

  5. Great post, please make sure you share the photo of the solution for those of us with tiny bathrooms. 🙂

    Like

  6. Fang needs to get that knot out of his girdle and get with the program. Ladder. Back of door. Simple. A lot simpler than all the paperwork involved in hiring a bathroom attendant, that’s for sure. 🙂

    Like

  7. Oh nononononoooooo. This is a GOOD idea! Just ‘mount’ (fancy word for ‘screw’ Whaaaa?) the ladder on two 1×1 (or 1×2) ‘furring’ strips (strange) and then mount THOSE to the back of the door. This will give you ‘distance’ from the door and room to hang your junk. Are you reading some way off-color word associations here?

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      My mind is firmly OUT of the gutter, LOL!

      I think there will be enough distance without resorting to mounting the ladder onto anything,. If it proves to be problematic, if there is not enough room between the door and the rungs to comfortably support my towel hanging objective, I could just hang the ladder from decorative hooks. I’d rather not have to mount it onto anything and then onto the door, if I do, I’ll probably use a piece of decorative molding — painted black, of course! — because it will look nicer than furring strips or chocks of wood.

      Thanks for your suggestions, though! Always good to know someone has my back!

      Like

  8. Ginger Kay says:

    Have you considered hooks instead of towel bars? I like them better than bars because they take up less space and – hold onto your hat – my kids actually place their towels back on them.

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      I considered them, but I want the towel bars to hold “clean” towels — if I put hooks there my family will put their dirty towels there or my daughter will use them to hold her earbuds, her bra, or whatever other crap she has in her hand when she enters the bathroom — I wouldn’t rule out finding her field hockey stick hanging from the back of my bathroom door. Even with a bar system, that possibility cannot be ruled out — the rungs may be too great a temptation for her!

      Like

  9. Ned's Blog says:

    I tried the towel racks on the back of the door idea, as a way to save space. It was great. Until my son decided to do chin-ups…

    Like

    • javaj240 says:

      Of course he did! No worries about that sort of behavior here at the hovel, though —- I don’t think my husband even remembers what a “chin-up” is and my daughter is far too sophisticated for that sort of behavior, LOL!

      I do think the towel racks on the back of the door are a great idea — I think the ladder will function quite nicely.

      Like

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