Decluttering the Bathroom Cabinet

A couple of weekends ago I was going about my usual business, tossing clean towels haphazardly into the terrible cavern that is my bathroom cabinet. They didn’t even fit into the drawer I was trying to put them into, since there were so many old rags and random bathroom products in the way.

It had to stop.

So, I ripped every bit of “stuff” out of that cabinet. I made a trash stack, a keep stack, and a donate stack (it was quite small, being from the bathroom and all). My fiance came home to find our hallway littered with, well, litter, and me curled up in a corner of our tiny bathroom untangling decades-old necklaces. I was in my element.

The before and after may not be super impressive in the photos below, but I was able to get rid of a lot of old, expired, or otherwise non-essential items.

Before - Cluttered Bathroom


After - Clean Bathroom

After – Niels even had room to play! I’m surprised at how much space I have now.

I uncovered a lot of space for full towels and toilet paper that I didn’t have before. In all, I hauled away one trash bag full of junk (most of which I’ve been carrying around for years) and a small bag of still-usable towels and hand towels to donate. Here’s my “toss it” criteria:

  • Expired or just old. Seriously, I had some facial lotion that was half a year expired. I had body spray that was a decade old. Some lotions were almost used up, but I hadn’t gotten around to using them…for 5+ years. Tossed.
  • Not my style. You know those scents and strange products you sometimes get from people you sort of know, or from random events like showers and stuff? If it was unopened, I donated it, but if it was opened, I referred to the previous point. Most of them were very old anyway. If not, I shared it with my mom or a friend who might find it more useful.
  • Never been used. Sometimes, I’ll get on kicks of purchasing new, fun products. Then a few months (or years – again, I tend to hold onto things) later I realize that I don’t want to put whatever it is on my skin. If it freaks me out, I toss it into the appropriate pile and make a note to never purchase it again.

My new bathroom essentials

With all of this came the intention of paring down and only using a few products for everything. Washing, cleaning, brushing, you name it – I want to do it all on my own terms with my own favorite items.

  • Castile soap. If you’re into minimalism, but not yet into castile soap you should rethink everything. Maybe not, but seriously this stuff has so many uses and I absolutely love it.
  • Baking soda and vinegar. Again, love these two things for almost everything. I use them to wash my hair, but I also use them to disinfect my bathroom (with castile soap, too). I use them to unclog drains, vinegar to keep dishes sparkling and clear, and sometimes baking soda to brush my teeth (I’m not the best at keeping up with homemade toothpaste).
  • More soap, less everything else. For Christmas, I asked for soaps. I ended up getting something like 5 different bars of soap. I suppose you could say I really cleaned up this year? It’s a consumable gift that I enjoy quite often and now I have room for my soap collection in my cabinet. I think I need to take more showers so I can start using it up a little more quickly.

My bathroom cabinet is still not quite where I’d like to see it, but it’s definitely an improvement. I don’t get stressed everytime I open it up…it’s funny, we don’t think about what small spaces of clutter like this can do to our minds. It’s something I never outwardly stressed about, but if I was already having a bad day it could often make it worse.

I dare you to go to your bathroom and open up all the cabinets. What percentage of the stuff do you actually use on a regular basis? Mine was somewhere at about 20%. Now it’s closer to 75-80% (like I said, still getting there!) Take an afternoon and trash/donate/rehome the stuff and let me know how it feels.