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Decluttering a bathroom consists of purging old products, makeup, and the various things that tend to gather in drawers and all over the vanity counter.
It’s actually the easiest room to clean because we have less sentimental attachments to the things that are stored there.
The one thing to remember is that necessary household things can be in short supply in one bathroom but actually be stored in large numbers in other bathrooms. So don’t run off to the store if you find you only have one roll of toilet paper. Check the other bathrooms first. My kids were notorious for grabbing entire packages to save themselves a trip back down to the garage.
For supplies usually bought in bulk, like toothpaste, soap and paper products, have one central area where you’ll keep them. In our house, that’s a cabinet near the washer and dryer in the garage.
By not buying these supplies for a single bathroom, you are much less likely to run out.
Bathroom contents can usually fall in one of the following zones:
- Cleaning supplies
- Shaving or other self-care items
Continue to use the declutter by categories and by area as you’ve been doing in other rooms.
Few things can be donated from a bathroom declutter, but some can. A while back, I was given a huge bag of boxed Dove soap. I never use it so I took it to a women’s shelter. Old towels can be given to an animal shelter, or a few can be kept in the garage for rags to clean the car.
Keep that bathroom counter cleared off as much as possible. Things that you use every day, like your toothbrush and perfume are fine but most things can be stored neatly in small boxes in the bathroom cabinets and drawers.
Do you have drawers full of makeup you’ve bought over the years? Supplemented by gifts and samples?
The latest beauty tool you used exactly once?
Special shampoos and creams pushed on you by your hair stylists with promises it would make your hair salon-perfect at home?
Nail polishes of every color because you loved the names? I mean, who doesn’t love OPI’s hysterically funny names.
Indignantly Indigo, Suzi Without A Paddle, Chills are Multiplying, and Can’t Find My Czechbook!
I MAY just have to buy “It’s A Boy!” to wear to the maternity floor when my grandson is born!
Makeup is more than just pretty color in a jar, though.
Why Bringing Order To Your Makeup Is Important
Unlike non-perishable things like books and clothing, bringing order to your makeup means tossing what’s beyond its expiration date. So this is one category that is driven first by safety and only second by the Kondo method.
Basic rules on makeup are:
- Mascara & gel/liquid liners: 3 months
- Lipsticks: 1 year
- Liquid foundation: 1 year
- Pencil liners: up to 2 years IF you sharpen after every use and wash your sharpener after every use
- Cream blushers, foundations, and concealers: 12-18 months
- Powders (eyeshadow, foundation, loose powder, etc.: 12-18 months
Once again, start decluttering your makeup by getting it all out. If you have so much that several drawers are filled, categorize them by types and just put it all away until you can declutter one at a time.
What do I mean by types?
- Eye makeup
Yes, I’m including hair products and accessories because they usually live in the same place as your products.
When you are ready to tackle each category, remember to ask yourself when you bought it and check the expiration guide above. It’s not worth getting an eye infection because you had no time to replace the mascara you’ve been using for a year!
And yes, ask yourself if it brings you joy. The MAC cosmetic eyeshadow collection you bought when the clerk did your makeup for a party might be gorgeous (and expensive) but if you never even cracked it open again, you just don’t love it.
For single use items, like facial masks, do yourself a favor and schedule 15 minutes in your day to give yourself some love. Seeing your bedroom and personal belongings organized and beautiful is a good enough reason to treat yourself to a home facial!
When you’ve completed your makeup decluttering, remind yourself to use the beautiful things that made the cut. They’ll look more appealing and be easier to find too!
You should plan on doing a regular clean-out of prescription medication. Leftover drugs could easily be ingested by a child or pet and are just not worth the risk.
Take your medication till it’s gone, not when you feel better.
In the case of prescription medication you taken routinely, be sure to store it safely away from everyone and discard any that have reached the expiration date put on the label by the pharmacist.
Recycle Or Discard?
When I did my most recent medication declutter, unexpired prescription pain medication went into our earthquake emergency kit. We live in California and are always anticipating “the big one,” so our emergency kit has water, rations, radios, and medication in case we are hurt but unable to get medical help for a while.
Expired medication gets bagged and taken to our local hospital pharmacy for disposal.
Something to consider when decluttering the bathroom is bath linens. It’s easy to use and reuse towels and washcloths until they’re threadbare and worn. A declutter is the perfect time to bring out the new towel set you bought and put away.
Finally, a decluttered bathroom is actually one of the easiest and quickest rooms to clean and tidy on a regular basis. A few minutes a day maintaining your decluttered space will help you keep the spa feel you created and decrease big cleaning jobs to almost nothing.
Would you like some quick wins? Download my free 50 Quick Decluttering Projects You Can Do In A Half Hour Or Less and see results beginning today!
Check out ALL the posts in the Decluttering For Busy Moms series: