De-Cluttering the Bathroom

Isn't it amazing how the smallest room in most homes, the bathroom, can become the most cluttered?

Most of my clients have multiple bathrooms including a master bath, a guest bath and often a separate bath that is designated to the kids or spouse. (I hear that one of the secrets to a happy household is separate bathrooms.)

Ladies, I must say that we normally cause most of the clutter in a master bath. With our razors, soaps, gels, lotions, body sprays, and makeup that make us smell fabulous and look pretty, we can quickly clutter up a shower stall and vanity top.

Following are some of the ways to minimize bathroom clutter:

  • Bottles of Shampoo and Conditioner: If you have several bottles in your shower caddy, either use them up, give them away, or throw them out. Are you saving them because they were expensive and you don't want to use them up? Did they just not provide the results you expected? Remember that hair conditioner can also be used as shaving lotion and shampoo can be used to clean your makeup brushes and hair brushes.
  • Old towels and wash cloths: Life is too short to use scratchy, dingy towels on your squeaky-clean body. Almost everyone has too many mismatched towels on hand. Consider re-purposing your old towels as car/pet towels or donate them to your local animal shelter. Most households only need two-three towels per family member.
  • Blowdryers, diffusers, and curling irons: The first question to ask is, "Do I use this?" If not, donate it. I would make one exception, however. You may want to keep one travel size blowdryer on hand for overnight guests.
  • Makeup: If the makeup is old and expired, throw it out. Pink eye is not pretty, people. Most women have a core set of makeup for everyday use with a few extras thrown in for dramatic evening flair. Gather all of your non-core makeup in one bag or basket and then be relentless as you decide what to keep and what to toss. If it's the wrong color, made you break out, or is no longer age-appropriate (should you still be using party glitter once you're over 40? I'm just saying...), then toss it.
  • Medicine cabinet: Go through your medicine cabinet and throw out expired meds. A couple of years ago I cleaned out a client's medicine cabinet that contained Chloraseptic throat spray that expired in the 80s. Yikes! And to entertain your nosy friends, put some kind of zany picture on the inside of your medicine cabinet door. It will make them laugh, but they won't be able to comment about it without divulging that they were snooping.
  • Under-sink cabinet. Occasionally pull everything out from under your bathroom sink to determine whether it still deserves to stay. If you can afford to have pullout drawers installed in this area, they are wonderful! If not, you can always use a couple of plastic sweater boxes or shoe boxes as makeshift drawers.
I have only one bathroom in my little fifties ranch house which I, of course, share with my husband. And this tiny bathroom does not have a sink cabinet. Needless to say, we have learned to really streamline our personal toiletries. I installed a small wall cabinet for my toiletries and my husband uses the medicine cabinet for his. I fit all of my makeup into two little cosmetic bags. To be happy and functional in our shared little bathroom, less is definitely better.


40+andlovin'it said...

I believe Ms. Suellen should have her own show on TLC. Thanks for the tips! Having worked as a makeup artist in the 90's I can relate to the "Keep it just in case" syndrome. I went through my meds just yesterday (sensible tip, yet hardly ever done) and now have room for my coffee grinder which I never use. (Baby steps, Kristi, baby steps.)