As I've said before, once you start decluttering your home, it starts to take on momentum. You open up cabinets and drawers and you shudder that you've accumulated SO MUCH STUFF! I mean, how in the world did this happen? And pretty soon you've gone from not even noticing it, to not being able to stand it. You know it is time for a change.
I really thought that the way to declutter my house would be to start in one room and work in there until I completed that room, and then move on to the next (adjacent) room. But instead, I have found it much more fulfilling to just move on to the next area of the home that all of the sudden is making me crazy! So that's how I started first with just cleaning out my coat closet, giving me confidence to tackle our mammoth basement project, and then on to our kids command center, and next to the kitchen. This week- it was our master bathroom that was making me nutty.
Seriously, how much crap can we stuff into these medicine cabinets? And under the sinks? And how many duplicated items did we own because neither my husband or I ever thought to look into each other's medicine cabinets to find allergy medicine or rubbing alcohol?
And beyond what we stuffed into these areas, we also had several shoe boxes filled with medicine, nail polish and polish removers that we had corralled and moved onto the top shelves of a closet so our curious younger children would not be able to access them. ‘Cuz there's nothing worse than finding a 5 year old kiddo all hopped up on cough drops painting her fingernails and use the nebulizer as a personal hand dryer. Am I right?
Oh- and how did we decide that the best place to store all of the dog's ear cleaning supplies would be on our windowsill? What- for quick emergency access?
Ahem, As I said, it was time for some decluttering. So here are the steps that I took…. and I conquered this mess in just 2 hours!
Step 1: Decide on “categories of products” to store in the bathroom
I looked at what we owned and decided that these would be my categories:
- adult medicine
- kids medicine
- my toiletries
- Steve's toiletries
- feminine products
- hair styling supplies
- toothbrushes, nail files, Q-tips
- travel-sized products
Step 2: Remove, sort by categories or toss
Start on the let side of the top shelf, removing items and placing them into groups on the floor based on the above categories. Toss out items that are used up, you absolutely never use, are expired, or that you just don't want to keep. There probably aren't too many items that you'll find in a bathroom decluttering project that are right for donation. But you should separate paper and cardboard items as well as empty plastic and glass containers for recycling wherever possible. Continue emptying the shelves, cabinets, and drawers, sorting items by categories as you go.
Step 3: Vacuum and then wipe down those shelves and drawers with cleaner
Step 4: Figure out how you want to store each of your categories in your newly cleaned cabinets and drawers
But be sure to follow these two principals:
- Every category should be stored in just one spot. Don't put hand cream in both a drawer and under the sink, because you will likely not remember to look in the second storage location when you run out in the main location, and you can end up buying items that you don't need not realizing that you already own them!
- Plan to store everything in a cabinet or a drawer… trying to leave almost nothing on your bathroom counter. Hand soap and lotion are really the only things that should be out and available. Everything else should have a neat and accessible home, behind a cabinet door or in a drawer.
Ahhh…. now this is more like it!
What you don't see are the two large trash bags full of garbage and a large recycling container filled too!
I can actually see what I have, find what I need, and know exactly what needs to be replaced.
So what do you think? Could you tackle your bathroom in just 2 hours? One hour to remove and sort and one hour to clean and organize? Let us all know what you think!