I don’t know about you, but occasionally I turn around and my bathroom has gotten full again! Travel products from hotels, samples from online orders, and multiples of all kinds of things. I wonder if they are procreating in my cabinets! Before we get into the nitty-gritty about the bathroom area in particular, let’s talk about the basics of decluttering any space.
The three pillars of decluttering:
- Stop buying what you don’t need.
- Declutter before you organize.
- Triage: daily, keep, re-home, trash.
1.In order to reduce the clutter in any area, the first priority is not adding to it. Yes, you can obviously replace the items that you have used up or that no longer work. But continuing to shop for anything (purses, kitchen gadgets, body lotions, video games, DVDs, etc.) will only add to the clutter of that space.
2.Declutter before you organize! If you run out and buy a whole stack of pretty baskets for all the goodies, and then end up getting rid of half of the goodies themselves, you are left with empty baskets. Also known as clutter! So it’s important to clean out before you attempt an organization system.
3.The decluttering/organizing triage system –> daily use, keep elsewhere, re-home to a worthy recipient, or trash altogether. Your daily use items need to be in a priority location of the space. The items you need to keep but don’t use daily do not need to live on countertops. Re-homing items can take on a variety of methods, such as gifting, donations, or even re-selling. And finally the trash pile – get rid of it completely! My environmental note of the day: Make sure to recycle the items that can be recycled.
Now on to the bathroom! I first want to mention a few amazing sites that I used as resources to create my personal tips — Make Space, Clean and Scentsible, The Spruce, and Clean Mama. Don’t forget to sign up for your free bathroom decluttering cheat sheet!
General guidelines for expiration timelines!
- Medicine Cabinet – First and foremost, toss anything that is old, separated, or expired. This includes medications, skincare, cosmetics, and fragrances. For an easy guide, take a look at the chart above if your products don’t have a stated expiration date.
- Linen Closet – Take a look through your towels and sheets, and any extra supplies you have stored in this catch-all closet. Are there items you don’t need at all? Are there items that don’t belong in there at all? Are there worn-out items that could be better served with another purpose? Considering donating worn-out towels and sheets to your local animal shelter.
- Cabinets and Drawers – Overflowing??? Give a long hard look to the makeup, skin care, hair care, nail care, and even appliances. If you have a hard time removing something, set aside a space somewhere. When you use an item or a product, place it in that space. After a week, you can easily see what products you use regularly. Once you have purged the items that don’t need to live at your fingertips for daily use, there are a variety of storage hacks for the remaining goodies. Silverware trays work great for makeup brushes or hair accessories; a spice rack mounted to the cabinet door could be perfect for fragrances; what about plastic tumblers for cotton balls and cotton swabs. I like keeping my cleaning supplies in a tub so that I can pull it out easily when it’s time to clean.
- Countertops – I prefer a clean countertop myself. In the morning and evening, I line up the products I need to use, and then put them away one by one as I use it. Countertops should be for truly daily-use items. And make sure that even your décor items serve a functional purpose. A makeup bag can be pretty, but only if you use the contents daily! I have repurposed two of my Birchbox containers from a subscription service – they are pretty prints but have drawers (I use one for my daily contacts and one for little items that could otherwise get lost).
- Shower and Bathtub – How many times do you bathe a day? In that case, do you really need 4 shower gels at once? I will admit I have two – one for regular showers, and a super-moisturizing one to shave with. But the remainder of the collection lives under the sink and I pull out a new one when I need it. If there are partial bottles floating around on the tub ledge, decide whether you will really use them up or go ahead and get rid of them.
- Everything Else – Sometimes the everything else drives me batty! The items that don’t fit easily into one storage container of like items. Like the boxes of first aid supplies. Or the every-growing collection of travel sizes, trial sizes, and sample packets. Or the skincare products you only use periodically. A stackable drawer set could easily keep those items grouped and out of the way, especially if you get one that fits under the sink.
- Unused Spaces! Did you know that there are unused spaces in your bathroom? Especially now that you have cleaned out so much of the clutter. Consider these amazing storage hacks for your space:
- Shoe hangers over the linen closet door for extra toothpaste, etc.
- Mount a magazine holder to the side of the cabinet for your hair dryer.
- Try suction cups – I use a great one on my mirror for my facial brush.
- Try adding shelving above the bathroom door for oversized items.
I hope all of this information has helped declutter and organize your bathroom so that it can be your spa at home! Self-care has become so important over the last twelve months, and having your own personal retreat space can be rejuvenating and calming. And who doesn’t want that!?!?