It’s bathroom week here in the Less Mess Challenge! Are you ready to declutter and organize your bathroom(s)? I’m so ready!
Bathrooms are one of those places I hate cleaning, but love organizing. Since they have a purpose and a function, it’s easy to tell when items belong and when they don’t, which makes organizing them a bit simpler.
One issue MANY bathrooms have is an excessive number of items. Toiletries and self-care products can be hard to resist when you’re strolling through the aisles of Target. And I know I’m not the only one who picks up an extra bottle or two of shampoo because I can’t remember how much we have at home.
Picking up a few extras here and there is okay, but it can get of control if it becomes a habit.
While you’re going through your bathroom this week, look for the dust (this is a tip from Allie Casazza’s book Declutter Like a Mother. If the bottle is dusty or if you pick something up and there’s a clean circle surrounded by dust, that item isn’t loved and hasn’t been used in a while. Either put it right in the shower or next to the sink and attempt to use it, or let it go.
Bathrooms need to be efficient and simple in order to function properly. They’re too small for clutter and toiletries you’ll never use.
As you go through your spaces, focus on what you do most in the bathroom. If you rarely do your hair, move your blow dryer and hair products to a spot that’s harder to get to. If you love to paint your nails, make sure your nail polish is easy to access.
Keep as little on the bathroom counter as possible—the less that’s on the counter, the easier it will be to clean!
You may have multiple bathrooms in your home. Keep each bathroom simple and functional. Be realistic about what you and your family will use and what you won’t.
How many towels does each family member need? What’s a reasonable number of tubes of toothpaste to have open at once? How can you organize your space so your kids can be independent? Get rid of that mouthwash that burns if you won’t use it.
Toiletries You Don’t Want
Whether you purchased them with good intentions or got them from someone else, I’m betting you’ve got some toiletries you just know you’ll never use cluttering up your bathroom.
Depending on what the item is and the condition it’s in, you can do a few different things.
- Put small items in your purse, car, or travel bag and use them when you’re on the road.
- Ask friends and family if it’s something they’re interested in using.
- Donate first aid supplies to schools or churches.
- Donate new toiletries to shelters or foster services (foster services often lack toiletries and feminine care items for older kids in the system). Churches may also take these items if they work with a local shelter.
- Make a care package to keep in your car for if you see a homeless person who may need it.
Please dispose of toiletries responsibly, even if that means waiting until hazardous waste day at your local dump (I’m looking at your nail polish remover).
Decluttering & Organizing the Bathroom
Let’s get down to business! If you’ve only got one bathroom, focus all your attention there. If you’ve got multiples, either quickly hit each bathroom or pick the worst one and start there.
Don’t be afraid to delegate to get more done!
If You Only Have 30 Minutes: Quick Declutter
- Clear the bathroom counters
- Do a quick tidy in your messiest cabinet or drawer. Can anything go?
- Clean out empty shampoo bottles and other shower products you don’t need
- Go through your medicines to check expiration dates.
- Fold and stack towels nicely.
- Wipe surfaces and clean the mirror
- Grab a fresh toothbrush if you’re due.
If You Have an Hour: Declutter & Surface Clean
- All items above, plus…
- Empty drawers, wipe them out, and only put back what you use (in dividers, if possible).
- Empty your medicine cabinet(s), wipe the shelves, and put back just the essentials.
- Empty any cabinets and assess whether you could use the space better (we often waste vertical space in large bathroom cabinets).
- If you already have bins, glance through them to check their contents.
- Wash the toilets, sinks, faucets, and mirrors.
- Sweep or vacuum the floor.
If You Have a Few Hours: Declutter, Deep Clean & Organize
- Look through all toiletries and self-care items. Sort into categories and contain like items in a bin, if possible. Be realistic about what you’ll actually use and what you never will. Make it a priority to use those items.
- If you already have bins, remove the items, check expiration dates, and replace only what you need and will use.
- Go through your makeup and only keep your favorites. Let go of those items you bought on a whim and they just didn’t work out.
- Check your towels. Make sure they’re in good shape and you have a reasonable number for each person (we have 2 per person).
- Clean the shower and/or tub.
- Wash any rugs or curtains.
- Mop the floor. Wipe down cabinet fronts.
- Wash any windows, dust baseboards, and wipe down walls, doors, and light switches.
LINK Related Post: An Organized Bathroom Closet LINK
Bathroom Organization for Kids
As always, there are ways you can organize your spaces to help kids be more independent — or to keep them safe. Here are a few bathroom organization pointers if you’ve got little ones around:
- Ditch the towel rods in favor of hooks.
- Use light switch extenders so your munchkins can turn lights on and off on their own.
- Keep items you want them to use independently within their reach
- Keep items you definitely don’t want them to get out of reach, potentially in a lock box (prescription medicines)
- Use a bin or a suction cup bag for bath toys
- Let them help you clean — put a caddy together with some water and microfiber cloths
What you keep in reach and out of reach will vary by age and by child. If your kiddo can’t resist snacking on toothpaste, that needs to be high. If you want your child to grab themselves a bandaid and ointment, keep those items low.
Decluttering & Organizing the Bathrooms
This week, work on getting your bathroom(s) decluttered and organized. Give them a good scrub while you’re at it. The clean part won’t last long, but the organizing should as long as you maintain your space by putting items back where they belong and not purchasing items you have no space for.