365 days. 12 months. 52 weeks. You could do ANYTHING in that time, couldn’t you? Renovate a house? Declutter a house? Let’s do March.
How do you declutter a bathroom? Let’s have a good clear out! The bathroom seems to breed sticky bottles of stuff that expire incredibly fast. Well, it feels that way doesn’t it? And what is lurking in the back of that deep, dark cabinet or drawer?
The Vanity Top.
Surfaces. They’re just so EASY to plonk thing on aren’t they? Whether you do your makeup, hair and jewellery or just clean your teeth, things seems to build up. Especially if you have a family: Batman toothbrushes, four types of toothpaste, Barbies hairbrushes, acne washes, moisturisers…. the number of things cluttering up the surface makes it hard to clean and hard to do what you need to do.
- Do a quick check for things that should be else where, out they go.
- Decide if the things that are left are really needed on the surface. If not can they go in the drawer or cupboard below?
- Containerise: Everything looks tidier and it’s easier to clean when little bits and bobs are in containers. Maybe you need more toothbrush holders or a bigger holder for your makeup brushes.
- Consider adding a shelf above the vanity top, to help keep it clear.
Remember to make it easy for everyone to put things away. The easier it is, the more likely it will stay tidy.
Under The Bathroom Sink.
We can’t always choose how our bathroom is constructed. So we make the best of what we have, right? Deep dark cupboards? There’s a trick for that. Annoyingly shallow drawers? There’s a tip for that too. The first step is less stuff.
Cleaning stuff. Most of my clients have too much cleaning stuff under their sinks, because who has the time to declutter that!
If you have a forest of cleaning bottles, with an undergrowth of single rubber gloves (because the left-hand one is still ok right?) curly, dried-up sponges and a multitude of old toothbrushes kept for cleaning grout, it’s time for a rethink. Everyone has different ideas on what it takes to get a really clean bathroom.
Get rid of things that are empty, decant anything with just a little bit left into the next bottle, keep just one of each cloth, sponge or toothbrush.
You might prefer to keep your cleaning stuff somewhere else, and bring them in to do a clean. This saves space for actual bathroom things. Or you might find it easier to keep a small number of cleaning things in the bathroom, so you can easily give it a quick going over.
You also might like to clean the floor and windows when you do the same around the rest of the house. A few less things to store in the bathroom!
Products. How many back up products do you have? Or maybe you have a variety of divinely scented things you bought or were given. How long have they been there?
- Let’s pull everything out.
- Check the expiry date.
- Give the shelf or drawer a good clean.
Put the same kind of products back in the space, but grouped together: Shampoos all together, conditioners all together. Or kids shampoos and conditioners in one spot and adults in another. Put the newest ones at back of the shelf and the oldest in the front. That way, when you go to grab the next one, you know you’re using up the oldest bottle. (See Storage just below for a nifty idea to make this even easier if you have deep cupboards.)
For other things that might be kept under the sink not mentioned here see Other Bathroom Stuff below.
Storage. Drawers can be a pain, but they’re often better than cupboards. Two main problems with with bathroom drawers: things wobble and fall over, or they’re too tall. Also little things vanish. This is where dividers and containers come in handy. Also you can lift them out and give them a good clean every now and then.
Make sure the sides of the containers are tall enough to stop bottles from toppling over, but also fit the height of the drawer. Put little things all together in little containers. Big things in big containers. Put like with like or/and all the things you need for something, (like dying your hair) in one container.
Cupboards are often deep, so things disappear into the dark depths, never to be seen again. Using containers that are the same depth as the cupboard makes it easy to make use of that once wasted space. You can then slide the container in and out like a mini drawer.
Products that are too tall, too big or big in numbers like toilet paper, might be better in baskets or on shelves.
Your medicine cabinet.
Or medicine and first aid boxes, which may or may not be in your bathroom, but let’s not forget them!
Let’s pull everything out.
- Check to see if medicines, cough lozenges and any other products have expired.
- Toss anything that’s too old, or you no longer need or use. Take medicines and drugs back to your pharmacy for safe disposal.
- Store them by medicine type, such as liquids, pills and emergency first aid. Or colds, nits, allergies, first aid. The best way is the one that makes the most sense to you.
- Label your shelf or container if necessary.
The shower or bath.
Normally you might leap into the shower, do the necessaries and leap out quick as a wink, because who has time right? Or maybe you’re a luxury-deep-thinker-almost-as-good-as-a-soak kind of person. In that case, you’ve other things on your mind.
Bits and bobs, bottles and bars of soaps, sponges, scrubbies and exfoliating thingies build up.
- Let’s pull everything out.
- Have you used it in the last week? If not maybe it can go in the undersink area.
- Is it empty? Time to recycle!
- Is it gross? Time to toss!
Other Bathroom Stuff.
Bath bombs. Nail polish and equipment. Hair removal kits. Hair dye gear. Period bits and bobs. Gather them together and store them in a just-the-right-size container that holds everything. Pop the container in a place that makes it super easy to access.
Barbies etc. You might find that bath toys seems to breed. Give them a good weed every now and then and keep the current ones in a big box or basket.
Hair driers, straighteners, curlers etc. Decide which are your best ones. Sell the rest, give them away or pop them into your eWaste box if your chosen recycler also handles small appliances.
If you have the luxury of space, give them their own drawer. Or you could keep them in a basket or pop up a set of hooks in a convenient spot for you to grab and use, and to allow them to cool down. If that’s not possible, use a solid, stable kitchen utensil jar or preserving jar to hold your straighteners when they’re hot. Make sure it’s not too delicate and can take the heat!
Towels and mats. You might store these in the linen cupboard, or maybe you have a set or the whole lot in your bathroom. No matter where they are, make sure it’s easy for you grab what you need quickly.
- Pull the whole lot out.
- Remove anything that you no longer like, need or use (consider donating to your nearest animal shelter.)
- Fold in the best way to fit your towel storage. Maybe change it up and get new storage or cute baskets for underneath your vanity.
- Store in sets or by type or by colour, which ever makes you happiest.
Some other tidy bathroom ideas:
Make sure you have a bin with a liner that’s big enough for you and your family.
Every week or so do a scan for things that don’t belong in the bathroom, with a basket or bag to carry them all back where they belong.
Make it a habit to check for what you need and top up things just before you go shopping.
Who’d’ve thought there’d be so much to do in such a small room!
P.S. I’m committed to sharing my decluttering, organising skills and tools with the world, in the hope that it can help others. If this blog resonates with you, please consider forwarding it to anyone who may benefit from it. If this was forwarded to you, subscribe below.
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