Decluttering your bathroom is not the first thing on most people’s weekend to-do list. It’s one of those tasks that’s easy to put off for another day. But it’s also one of the most important things you can do around your home.
Why should I maintain a clutter free bathroom?
Cleaning and organizing a messy bathroom is not just about aesthetics. Did you know bathroom particles can fly up to 6 feet with every flush? That’s well within the range of common bathroom items like makeup, lip balm, and your toothbrush.
When you declutter your bathroom, you’ll find yourself cleaning surfaces:
✓ More efficiently
✓ More frequently
✓ More thoroughly
Plus, an organized bathroom allows you to quickly locate essential items and get yourself out the door faster in the morning. A less stressful morning means better mental health.
Let us help you get going on your bathroom clutter solutions. We’ll show you how to declutter your bathroom, step by step,
Step 1: Sort your bathroom items into piles.
Pulling all your bathroom items out may feel daunting if it’s been a while. But go ahead and sweep that shower curtain aside, fling open the linen closet door, and see what you’re working with. This means removing everything under the sink, as well as out of drawers and cabinets. This process will help you identify what you need and don’t need.
“Simplicity boils down to two things: identify the essential & eliminate the rest.”
– Leo Babauta
We recommend you split things up into the following sections:
- Throw – This is the stuff you know you don’t need. A lot of it will be obvious. Are you hanging on to cough syrup that expired 6 years ago? Were you trying to get one more little glob out of that crusty toothpaste tube? Now’s the time to let go. Get rid of old products at this stage, especially items that go on or around your skin, eyes, and lips.
- Move – These are assorted household items that have no business in the bathroom but have nonetheless made their way in. We’re talking about coffee mugs, earbuds, forks, and dirty socks.
- Donate – This pile is for those items you thought you were going to use but decided not to. You’ve hoarded more hotel shampoos than Bon Jovi at this point, and some of them might be from the same era. Those are unopened and will do someone good.
- Keep – These are the items you want to remain in your bathroom. They’re generally the products you use daily. You’ll come back to them later.
TIP: Not sure what’s essential? Take two boxes and label them A and B. Put all your items into box A. Over the course of one week, move anything you use from box A into box B. At the end of the week, box B is holding your essentials. You can take box A and donate or toss the items inside.
Step 2: Follow through.
After sorting everything into piles, follow through with each.
- First, throw away everything you designated as trash. No, don’t start second-guessing yourself. You decided you don’t need it. Now let’s make it disappear.
- Next, move everything that belongs in a different part of the house to its proper place.
- Then, put all your donation items into boxes or bins and set them aside for drop off or pick up.
- Finally, having thrown away your trash, moved household items back to their places, and set aside a nice little donation box, you can focus on your keep pile.
TIP: Some things in your keep pile at this point should have been in your move pile. They’re probably decorative in nature. Some decorations in the bathroom can be nice, but not to where it hinders your cleaning efforts.
Step 3: Identify an area for each category of items.
Let’s talk about bathroom clutter storage. Some of your keep items will go in the linen closet, some in the bath/shower, some in drawers and cabinets, and very few will be out on the countertop. The idea here is “a place for everything and everything in its place.”
TIP: Something that will help you here is to use organizers. You can find them cheap at a dollar store or big box store.
You’ll want some sort of organizer in each of these areas:
- Linen closet – Plastic or collapsible fabric storage bins, jars, and small tubs are great options to set on any shelving in this area.
- Drawers – It can be maddening to have small items rolling around every time you slide a drawer open. A tray organizer can make an enormous difference if your things are strewn about inside.
- Cabinets – You will need mini storage pieces here to hold small tubes or bottles. If you have medicine stored in the cabinet, consider whether the bathroom is the best place for it. It’s one of those things that we just do because we’ve always done it.
- Bath/shower – A storage shelf or two in the bath/shower can be very handy. You may also want to use a storage rack that hangs from the neck of the shower head.
- Counter – There shouldn’t be much stored on top of the counter. Leaving this area sparse makes it much easier to spray and wipe down regularly with a household cleaner. You’re far less likely to wipe down a messy bathroom counter filled with bottles, tubes, and brushes.
TIP: Hanging certain items on a wall or mirror makes a lot of sense. You could mount brackets for items like a hair dryer or curling iron. Smaller items, like your toothbrush, can even be hung on the wall or mirror by a magnet.
Step 4: Dispose of your duplicates.
Here is where you want to identify redundancies. Look at your shampoos, conditioners, body washes, cotton swabs, and anything else that may have two or more open packages.
If you haven’t gone through your bathroom in a while, there’s a good chance you forgot you already had a package going and tore open a new one. Now’s the time to consolidate those items into one container and make some space.
TIP: Use a 2” funnel when pouring your liquids from bottle to bottle. You may find these on their own or part of an assortment pack, and probably at a dollar store.
Step 5. Sanitize your tidy new area.
Now that you’ve cleared out all that space, it’s the perfect time to kill all those germs. Some of the grimiest areas are your toilet, sink, tub, and countertop. Use a generous amount of your favorite household cleaner and disinfect your whole area. Take special consideration of any items that may come into contact with your eyes and mouth. Keep these items covered when possible.
Once you’ve pared down to just the items you need and everything is in its place, you’ll want to keep it that way. If you get into the habit of returning your cotton swabs to their jar, your hair spray to its basket, and your toothbrush to its case, you won’t find the cleaning process so daunting.
TIP: Keep your cleaning products nearby, under the sink. The closer they are, the more likely you are to use them. We recommend a clean sponge, a good spray cleaner, and paper towels. If you have multiple spray bottles, such as a surface cleaner and glass cleaner, you could try hanging them from a tension rod in this area.
There’s your five-step process for how to minimize bathroom clutter. First, pull your items out and sort them into piles. Second, follow through on what to do with each pile (trash, donation, move, or keep). Third, move each keep item to a neat storage area. Fourth, consolidate what you can. Fifth, sanitize your area. After you declutter the bathroom, you’ll want to keep it that way. One way to ensure it stays tidy and clean is to keep your daily items in sanitary storage cases.