HOW TO DECLUTTER YOUR BATHROOM
In this article I’m sharing some tips on how to declutter your bathroom. It’s a great place to start if you’re new to decluttering and want to build momentum and confidence before decluttering the rest of your home. Here are some ideas on how to declutter your bathroom.
WHY THE BATHROOM IS A GOOD PLACE TO START DECLUTTERING
The bathroom is the first room I suggest people start if they’re new to the whole decluttering process or have tried but struggled before. It seems to be the easiest place for several reasons:
1. A small space
It’s usually a relatively small room compared to the other rooms in your home. You don’t have to tackle a large space and potentially a large number of items, storage spaces and stuff.
2. Storage space is limited
You can see at a glance how much storage you’ve got in there and what you’ve got to work with in terms of organisational space. The capacity for stuff and storage is limited so you have natural restrictions and lack of choice which can make knowing what to keep and where to keep it, much easier.
3. Decluttering decisions are easier
You tend to readily know what products you use, for example, hair products such as shampoo and conditioner, bath oils, shower gels and soaps, toothpastes and so on. This is helpful when it comes to making decluttering decisions about what to keep and what to get rid of.
4. Easy items to declutter
Lastly, it’s unlikely that there’ll be any sentimental items in there to slow you down. It shouldn’t be particularly difficult for you to look through each item and work out what you’re going to do with it. Things like books and children’s artwork are much more difficult and better left until you’re more comfortable with making tough decisions on what to keep and what to get rid of.
All of these reasons help to explain why your bathroom is a great place to start decluttering. Not only can you practice making decluttering decisions about what to keep and what to get rid of, you’ll also build up confidence, feel less overwhelmed and generate momentum. Hopefully this will encourage you to continue decluttering the rest of your home and really feel the benefits of becoming clutter-free!
HOW TO DECLUTTER YOUR BATHROOM
Now we’ve looked at why the bathroom is a great place to start decluttering, here some tips to help you declutter your bathroom. If you have several bathrooms in your home, just use the same strategy for each one.
1. Decide your decluttering goal
As with any decluttering project, it’s helpful to define what you want to achieve and why. Think about how you and your family use the bathroom. What function does it serve and what does it need to do for you? It could be as a place to get clean, it could be a place to relax, it could be a place to make yourself feel beautiful. What you want your bathroom to do for you will help you understand what you need to keep in there in terms of furniture, storage, products and accessories.
2. Gather things together
Now it’s time to grab a laundry basket and walk around your home. Collect up anything that should be kept in the bathroom but that you find in other rooms. For example, let’s say you’re going to keep your make-up in the bathroom. Do you have any make-up stored in other rooms, for example, your bedroom? If so, pick it up and put it in the laundry basket.[PRO-TIP Clutter can easily build up without you noticing but one really good way of helping to avoid this is by making sure that every item has a proper home and that the stuff you need to use in a particular room should ideally be stored in that room. You don’t keep cutlery in the bathroom so why would you let nail varnish bottles stay on the kitchen counter?!]
3. Empty the space
Take everything out of your bathroom cabinets, off the surfaces and out of the drawers. You should be left with an empty shell of a bathroom and nothing left in it apart from the furniture. Either put the contents in the laundry basket or empty everything out on to the floor or your bed.
4. Do a quick speed-clean
Whilst they’re empty, take a moment to thoroughly clean the inside of all the cabinets, drawers and shelves. It’s much easier to do it now than when they’re full again!
5. Sort and categorise
Look at the pile of items in front of you. Sort everything into three different piles – the items you use regularly, the items you use sometimes but need to keep for the right season (for example, sun cream) and lastly those products that are out of date, past their best or you’re never going to use.
Get rid of anything that you don’t like, don’t use and/or won’t use.
Medicines – If you keep medicines in the bathroom, keep them in a high up or lockable cabinet. Check expiry dates, replenish anything that’s out of date, running low and that you’re likely to use. Medicines that you don’t need should be disposed of carefully by taking them to the local pharmacy.
Towels and linens – Sort through these and get rid of any extras that you don’t need. Think about the number of people in your household, how often you use towels (any avid swimmers out there?!), how many beds, and how many times you run the laundry. You might need one towel or set of bed linen per person on the go and a spare for the wash, plus extra sets of towels for the kitchen and bathroom(s).
7. Organise what’s left
Only put back into the cabinets and drawers the items that you want to use and keep. Check out Pinterest for great storage ideas and invest in some small containers or drawer organisers to keep everything neat and tidy.
Seasonal products or items that you don’t use very often should go back too but these can be put towards the back of the cabinet, shelf or drawer as you don’t need to be able to reach them very often.
8. Deal with your unwanted items
Put the items you’re not keeping into a rubbish bag and throw them away NOW! Don’t leave the bag around where you’ll be tempted to rummage through and undo all your hard work!
9. Décor accessories
The bathroom is a functional place. It works hard for you every day, with water, heat and the combined humidity. For me, it’s not the place for beautiful home accessories that can’t be easily cleaned or don’t mind getting wet. If you agree, limit your choice of home accessories to a minimum. Avoid pictures, wall hangings, ornaments on counters and so on. Keep it functional.
SOME OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER IN DECLUTTERING YOUR BATHROOM
There’s a few other points I’d like to cover in relation to decluttering your bathroom…
Firstly, going back to the make-up we talked about earlier.
Tip all your make-up out on the bed. Make sure you haven’t got any dotted around the house. Throw away anything that you haven’t used in, say, the last 3 months as it’s probably past its best (although this is a bit of a judgement call on your behalf). Some make-up can last longer than others before it’s prone to a build of bacteria, dries up, has a funny smell or loses its colour. Give your make-up a sniff test!
Throw away anything that’s too old, you never wear or is broken. Work out what you wear regularly and invest in some new products depending on your budget. If you have a thing about nail varnish and have 30 bottles, then don’t get bogged down in trying to part with them all. Choose, say 5 or 10 of your least favourite and get rid of those. You can always come back to this another time when you’ve had more practice at decluttering and working out what you want to keep and what you want to throw away!
Clean all the brushes, pencils etc that you’re keeping and find a way to organise all your make-up so that it’s neat and tidy and you can find what you’re looking for easily and quickly.
2. Special occasion products vs everyday products
When I was first decluttering my own bathroom, I noticed a few products that I’d left drift to the back of the cupboards. Not only were they products that I didn’t like to use (they irritated my skin or I didn’t like the smell of them, for example), but they were the luxury, special products that I wanted to save for a special occasion.
The problem was that the seemingly special occasions never really came around and I ended up never using these special products.
Why not make every day special and make the most of being able to pamper yourself each day? Don’t waste the good stuff by letting it drift to the back of the cupboard. Treat your body to a little luxury every day!
3. Bath toys
If your kids like taking toys into the bath with them then it’s easy for these toys to build up in the bathroom. Either keep a little box somewhere in the bathroom just for their bath toys or let them take one or two of their normal toys into the bath with them. When they’ve finished their bath, dry the toys and put them back in their usual place. You don’t want your bathroom to end up like another playroom!?
EXTRA TIPS FOR A CLUTTER-FREE AND CLEAN BATHROOM
Here are some other tips for keeping your bathroom clean, tidy and clutter-free
1. Don’t stock up on extras of things
As soon as something is nearly empty, put it on your shopping list and buy a new one. Unless you’ve got loads of storage space, there’s no need to stockpile 3 identical shampoo bottles.
2. Find a home for everything
Make the best use of space in the cabinets, drawers and shelves so there’s no need to keep anything on the surfaces. This will stop the clutter creeping in and will make it much easier for you to clean the surfaces quickly and easily.
3. Keep the bathroom clean
Establish a regular cleaning routine but whenever you’re passing the bathroom (and particularly at the end of the day) give the surfaces a wipe down with a baby wipe and pour some toilet cleaner down the toilet. This will give the impression of a squeaky-clean bathroom even if it’s not! If you have space, store your bathroom cleaning supplies in a cupboard so you can get to them easily whenever you’re in the bathroom.
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MORE RESOURCES TO HELP YOU DECLUTTER
Here are some other articles and resources to help you declutter your home and simplify your life.
- 11 things to do before you start decluttering – A little time spent planning and preparing can make life so much easier. Here are some things to think about before you start decluttering
- Simplify Your Home – A guide and workbook to help you declutter your entire home, step-by-step with checklists to keep you on track (and keep that clutter away for good!)
- How to decide what to declutter and what to keep – Make the decluttering process much easier by getting clear on what you will and won’t get rid of
- How to declutter your home and life – A complete guide to decluttering with plenty of links and resources to help you tackle specific problems