Decluttering 101: Battling Beauty Build-up. See which products are worth saving, and which should get tossed.

Sick of your bathroom looking like it was hit by a hurricane? Can’t find your blow-dryer when you’re already running late for work? Feeling guilty because you spend hundreds on things you don’t use? Take some time to de-clutter your bathroom, vanity and store cupboards. Here are six smart ways to a simpler life.

Decluttering 101
Decluttering: How To Keep Styling Simple: Jupiterimages/ Stockbyte/ Getty Images

Out With The Old, Hold Off On The New

Begin by reading the labels on all the perishable products you’ve got lining your bathroom cabinets, shelves and other cupboards.

Even the most seemingly-eternal goods have expiration dates and you might not have realized that three years have passed since you bought that hair cream promising yourself you’d use it everyday—only to forget it after one failed attempt at a faux-hawk. Get rid of everything that’s beyond its expiration date and test your tools to make sure they are working as they are supposed to.

Just as you’d never eat something that’s gone bad, you shouldn’t put an expired product on your face or in your hair either.

Store By Frequency Of Use

Organize everything into categories, typed by how frequently you reach for it: daily, weekly, monthly and so on. Keep urgent-use items like medicines and first-aid supplies separate from beauty and hairstyling goods. Use transparent stacked organizers or label your cabinets to divide your styling products and tools. Follow your organization scheme and put everything back once you use it. Keep all visible surfaces empty and clutter-free. It promotes a calm feeling and ensures you don’t add anything you don’t need. Elementary, but effective.

Choose/ Keep Products You Actually Need

Only keep/buy things that you know you use for specific results/concerns.

For example, if you don’t have dandruff, you don’t need anti-dandruff shampoo. Get rid of it or give it away to someone who can use it. If you don’t curl your hair regularly, it makes no sense to invest in a curling iron and use up space on something that is never going to see the light of day. Learn to repurpose items or invest in multipurpose tools; for example, a straightening iron can double up as a curling iron too.

Don’t Hoard For Guests

It’s a common enough practice to pick up extras of everything in anticipation of houseguests and others’ needs, but let’s face facts: do you really need to spend on three different kinds of hair masques just to impress a visitor? No. I always advise my clients to invest—and invest well—in supplies they love and use but do so with a touch of minimalism: only spend on and store things you (and your household) will be using.

Ditch Gifts, Samples And Freebies

It can be really difficult to get rid of something you bagged for free, but you’d be surprised how much junk piles up because we feel guilty wasting it or not making the most of a product. Now, giving away a gift might seem harsh but let’s face it: most beauty and styling products are extremely personal choices and few other people will get it right. It’s one thing to be gifted your favorite perfume by someone who knows you well, it’s another to get stuck with a bunch of toiletries that you would never pick for yourself but are now obligated to use up. Unless someone else in the household is willing to take them off your hands, donate or give away all samples, tools and products that you don’t use.

Smart Stocking Secrets

There’s a lot that goes into making and maintaining a minimalist bathroom, but it’s worth the effort. It can be extremely tempting to stock up on a lot of supplies—especially when your favorites go on sale—but be realistic: how quickly can you move through products before they expire? And unless you’re planning to take over the world with a slew of straightening irons, most people don’t need more than one of each item—if even that much. If you want to be prepared for surprising situations or just can’t bear to pass up on a deal, be very selective when you buy more than one of the same product. And only ever buy multiples of something you go through fast. If you’re not big on fancy hairstyles, you are going to have a hard time finishing off one bottle of hairspray, let alone three.

How to Organize Your Bathroom – Getting Started with Bathroom Organization

How to organize your bathroom isn’t just an interior design pursuit. It’s imperative to keep the bathroom well-organized for health reasons, and to help you get out the door more quickly on hectic mornings.

Bathrooms need to strike a balance between relaxing and efficient, and that means decluttering regularly and installing the right organizers and storage solutions to keep things, neat, tidy and peaceful.

Bathroom Storage Solutions
Baskets in Bathrooms – Photo / Pinterest Decluttering.

Declutter Your Bathroom

The first step in achieving a clean, clutter-free and organized bathroom is to go through the decluttering process. Toss any old make up, medicines, storage accessories that are not working for you, and anything that you haven’t touched in a year. Here’s a list of what to store in your bathroom and what not to.

Wondering exactly how long you can keep something? Check the guide How Long to Keep Everything.

Having trouble parting with an item you once loved? I know that’s a tough one for me, too. These 5 tips to control clutter & stop hoarding, and follow the tips to toss once-cherished items More »

Bathroom Storage Solutions

The right bathroom storage solutions are key to organizing a clutter-free bathroom. The goal is to maximize space in your bathroom and make everything easier to reach (and keep tidy). Sometimes it’s hard to find storage solutions that fit just right or make the best use of space.

No matter how large or small (mine is teeny-tiny) your bathroom may be, there’s always a new way to create more space or make things a little bit easier to reach. Here are a few tips:

  • Go vertical. Think about the space above the toilet or above the towel bar.
  • Definitely maximize the space under the sink.
  • Measure everything 3x to ensure you order or bring home the right-sized products.

Organize It!

So you’ve decluttered and you’ve tricked your space out with a few, carefully-considered storage solutions. Now it’s time to organize! Bathroom can be organized fairly quickly since they are typically small spaces. If you have 10 minutes you can accomplish quite a bit in a bathroom or linen closet. Once the purging and decluttering is complete, it shouldn’t take you more than 30 minutes to organize everything in your bathroom including:

  • Under the sink
  • Drawers
  • Shelves
  • Inside the tub/shower

Tackle the Linen Closet

Since you’re already in the bathroom, you might as well tackle and organize your linen closet as well. The linen closet is one of my least-favorite areas to organize because it involves so much folding. However, it’s so satisfying once it’s done. Organizing the linen closet is a great project to get out of the way in early fall and last spring before holiday and summer guests descend on your home

Maintain Your Organization

There’s no better way to get inspired than to look at some super-organized bathrooms and linen closets.

How to Cut Bathroom Clutter – Quick Ways to Effectively Cut Bathroom Clutter

Bathroom clutter happens when:

  • You don’t have the right storage solutions in place; and/or,
  • You need to sort and organize the items in your bathroom.

Below is a collection of tips to curb the clutter in your bathroom through decluterring, organizing and properly store your items.

1. Learn How to Declutter the Bathroom

This can be done fairly quickly (less than 30 minutes) if you do this every single week. The trick is to clear the counter tops and tackle the drawers and under the sink so you can quickly retrieve the items you need in the morning or when you’re exhausted and need to quickly brunch your teeth, wash your face, and smear on your moisturizer at night.

2. Utilize Bathroom Storage Ideas

If you repeatedly can’t find something or you don’t have space to store it, consider changing up your bathroom storage solutions. I like to use jars for make up brushes, tooth brushes and toothpaste and I store everything else in small bins under the sink. Peruse the guide to storage and mix and match what works in your bathroom.

3. Cut Bathroom Clutter with an Organized Linen Closet

Linen closets can become very unruly. Stacks of bulky towels, comforters, sheets, pillows and table cloths can become messy. A linen closet can also become a place for I-Don’t-Need-This-Now-But-I-May-Some-Day items like extra sheets and towels you no longer use. Tackle these now with the following resources.

  • Tidy the linen closet with shelf dividers Shelf Divider Guide
  • Take 30 minutes to Organize Your Linen Closet
  • Peruse the Linen Closet Peep Show for ideas to organize your linen closet.

4. Organize the Bathroom Vanity & Medicine Cabinet

Before you begin organizing the medicine cabinet and/or vanity, make sure you read the guide to How Long to Keep for instructions on what and when you should throw something out. Organizing this space is all about decluttering. The medicine cabinet is such a tiny area you really cannot afford to keep anything in there you’re not using on a daily, weekly or at least monthly basis.

Bathroom Vanity & Medicine Cabinet
Decluttering. Rick Lew / Getty Images

5. Store Items in Bins & Jars

Using small bins (consider shoe storage bins) to corral items like:

  • Q-Tips
  • Hair gel, mouse and spray
  • Moisturizers
  • Hand and face towels
  • Extra tubes of toothpaste, shaving cream
  • Boxes of tissues

Think of anything that doesn’t stack well together (example: toothpaste and facial moisturizer) and corral them into a clear, plastic bin.

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