Things you never use
“Have an honest conversation with yourself. If you haven’t used it in a year, just get rid of the product, or pass it along to a friend,” said Annie Draddy, Organizer and Co-Founder of Henry and Higby. To clear space and stay organized, throw away all of the sample products that you never use or hair products and lotions that you tried by didn’t like. Here's how to get rid of junk without feeling guilty about it.
Your dirty laundry
The bathroom may seem like a convenient place to store your dirty laundry—before you get in the shower you can just toss your dirty clothes right into the hamper—but it should really be kept in your bedroom or closet. If you’re tight on space, try switching up the shape of your laundry basket. Try low-to-the-ground ones on the floor of your closet or tall skinny ones to tuck in next to your dresser.
Look through your cabinets and drawers for products that have a short shelf life. Common items include sunscreen, medicine, nail polish, lipstick, and makeup (especially eye makeup). Also, make sure to replace items that collect germs and get worn out easily such as loofahs and your toothbrush. Know these other products that you should be replacing more often than you probably are.
Michelle Hale, organizer and co-founder of Henry and Higby suggests taking items out of their original packaging, which tends to be bulky and consolidating your products. One example Hale gave was Q-Tips. It’s best to take them out of the big box they come in and store in a small container or decorative jar.
Makeup, hair accessories, and jewelry
These things aren’t necessary to store in your bathroom because you only need a mirror to put them on. If you have space, Hale suggests setting up a makeup station in your bedroom. If you are a city dweller, and tight on space, store these items in a bag and only bring them into the bathroom when you need to use them. Try to get rid of the 43 things in the next 43 days.
Draddy and Hale suggest storing your cleaning products all in the same place, and typically, that doesn’t work in the bathroom. By storing them in the same place, you know when you have to buy more of a certain product at the store. However, they also pointed out that the type of cleaning products you have to have in the bathroom depends on your lifestyle. If you’re a busy mom that constantly needs to be wiping down the counter with disinfecting wipes, then keep them under the sink. Or if you have a glass-enclosed shower and need to keep glass cleaner close by, that’s okay.
Travel-sized toiletries from hotels
People are always tempted to stock up on the cute bottles of shampoo and conditioner when they stay at a hotel, but they aren’t necessary to keep and have take up space in your bathroom. It’s better to buy reusable bottles and fill them with your own body wash and lotions. Hale and Draddy suggest donating travel-sized toiletries from hotels to homeless shelters. Also, check with your local church or school because many times they collect them. “To help people let go of stuff it helps to know that it’s going to someone else. It’s a really good motivator,” said Draddy. This is how you can recycle just about anything.
Products easily affected by humidity
Many people don’t think about how much humidity and the constant change of temperature in your bathroom can affect things you store in there. Medicine, makeup, and perfume or cologne can all be altered when exposed to humidity. “The humidity of the space isn’t ideal to keep them in their best conditions,” says Draddy. Another thing that should be kept in cool, dry areas are towels. The humidity can break down the linen and they also store moisture, which can lead to mold.
Another great tip to keeping your bathroom organized is to throw out old items such as stretched out hair ties or headbands that you use when washing your face. “You need to get rid of old things to know that you need new ones,” Draddy said. “If you don’t, you’re just going to keep using old products.” Every month, go through your towels, wash clothes, and hair products, throw away any that are old or falling apart.
Similar to towels, medication, and perfume, reading materials also don’t do well in an environment with high humidity. Also, it’s not good to be spending enough time in the bathroom to be able to read. “Studies have changed and it’s not healthy to sit there that long with reading materials,” says Hale. So if you want to enjoy a book while soaking in the tub, bring it in for the time being, but store it elsewhere. Make sure you always throw away these items when you move.