10 Tips for Decluttering Your Bathroom

By on March 8, 2013

The bathroom is an area of finite space. Many of us fill up all available bathroom surfaces with the necessary items for daily living. Personal grooming, hygiene, first aid, adult and children’s version products — most people end up with many bathroom items they seldom use. If you’ve got things on every inch of counter and items hanging from your shower panel, it’s time to follow these tips for decluttering your bathroom.

Gather things you use daily. It’s important to be clear about the bathroom products and appliances you need to have close at hand. If you live in a household with several people, ask their input before you start finding new homes for the items cluttering your countertop. Once you have an idea of the things that see the most use in your bathroom, temporarily collect them in a bag or box.

Gather the things you use weekly or monthly. Next, consider the items you and your family use often. These items are going to need to be easily accessed, but shouldn’t be taking up valuable real estate on your counter or swinging from the caddy on your shower panel. As you did with the first group of items, collect them into a bag or box.

Look closely at the things you use rarely. Examine the rest of the items in your bathroom with a critical eye. If you seldom use something, do you need to have it in your small bathroom? Collect these in a third box or bag or throw them away. After this, all the storage spaces in the bathroom should be empty and all your products and appliances in bags or boxes.

Designate areas for each category. Stand at the sink and think about which are the easiest storage places to reach. If you have young children, consider their reach as well. Stand in the shower and do the same. The easiest places to access should hold your daily use items, like toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors, shampoos and hairbrushes. Places that are harder to reach — you have to go on tip-toe or bend down to access them — should hold your weekly or monthly use items. If you have any space left, use that for your least-used items.

Note if you need extra baskets, boxes, caddies or hooks. This is the perfect time to analyze if you need another few organizer baskets for your drawers, a larger or different caddy for your shower stall, hooks on the door or boxes for your shelves.

Purge unused, unwanted and unneeded items. Double-check your choices for the daily use group of items. If you use these things every day, you shouldn’t have anything that is unused, unwanted or unneeded. Duplicates of these items should be kept in the harder-to-reach areas of the bathroom. When you’ve put these items in their new easy-access spots, recheck your weekly use items to see if any of them can be thrown or given away. There may be some products you think you use often, but don’t. Purge as many as you can.

Replace cosmetics that have been opened for months. Make-up, lotions and other cosmetics expire, causing skin irritations or bacterial infections if you apply them too long after the manufacturer’s recommended use-by date. Stay healthy and keep only the newest purchases.

Keep extras elsewhere. Busy people often shop in bulk for bathroom necessities, like toilet paper, for time and cost savings. Unfortunately, that discount-store pack of six deodorant sticks clutters your bathroom.

Give to charity. Working items that you don’t use, or have never used, should be given away to a charity or sold at a garage sale. However, cosmetics and opened bottles of toiletries should not be given away as they could harbor bacteria.

Declutter quickly and regularly. Once a month or so, set a timer for 20 minutes or a half-hour and do a rapid check to make sure none of the seldom-used items have sneaked into the space daily items should occupy.

About the Author: Renata Snow is a writer and mother of four who often writes on topics related to home improvement.

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