Flush Away Bathroom Clutter!

Chances are, when you think about getting organized, pictures of color coordinated closets, neat alphabetized filing cabinets and masterfully labeled kitchen pantries readily come to mind.

But there’s one room in most houses that usually gets short shrift: the bathroom. It is one of the most used and cluttered rooms in the house and yet it’s probably the last one you think to organize. Since it is typically the first room you enter in the morning, the clutter you’re putting up with day after day may impact you more negatively than you might realize.

Alicia on ‘Clearing the Mess’

‘The bathroom is a magnet for junk and useless stuff. The first step to getting this room in order is to throw things out. Do you really need that sample of perfume you got as a freebie 2 years ago? Probably not. I like to start by taking everything (and I mean everything) out of all of the drawers and cabinets and deciding what to toss. This is the time to trash any medications that are past their expiration dates, makeup mishaps, and anything you have not made use of in the past 12 months. If you have not used it in a year, you almost certainly never will. Also, remember to carefully and properly dispose of any medicines or hazardous items (e.g. nail polish remover).’

Sarah on ‘A Fresh Perspective’

‘Once I clear the junk from the bathroom, the next step I take is to rethink how I might put things back. Most people immediately jump to returning everything back to where it was before. Resist that urge. Instead ask yourself what you use everyday and make sure you have easy access to those things. Think about how you want to arrange your medicine cabinet. I like to do mine by ailment (e.g. stomach stuff all goes together, headache stuff all together) but Alicia does hers by family member. There is no right answer. Arrange things in a way that makes it easy for you.’

Here are three things to consider in getting your bathroom buttoned up:

#1: Create a ‘Top 10’ Drawer for Each Person in the Family
Assign each person in the family a separate place or drawer for his or her own stuff in the bathroom. Label each drawer with the person’s name using masking tape and a Sharpee marker. Then explain to everyone that they can keep up to a maximum of ten items in this space. Items 11 and up have to go someplace else. This is the key to keeping the bathroom neat once you spend the time to organize it. If this sounds tough to do, test it on yourself. Even after you cover the basics: toothbrush, toothpaste and floss, face wash, moisturizer, hair brush and mousse, and deodorant, you should still have one or two other items you can toss in.

#2: Clear Up Bathroom Storage
The key to knowing what you have in your bathroom is being able to see it. Go to your local super center or organizing store and purchase a supply of clear containers for bathroom storage. Caddies or baskets with handles are particularly helpful to give each person in the family to keep their shower and tub items in like shampoo, soap and conditioner.

#3: Countertops are Shared Space
Empty countertops are one of the keys to having a tidy bathroom. Keep a maximum of three items on your bathroom counter. If something is going to remain out, it should be something that more than one family member uses on a regular basis. Consider items like hand soap, q-tips or cotton balls, or toothpaste. The more you can store away, the better your bathroom will look.