View Full Version : My radical idea for de-cluttering my bathroom?

4-10-12, 11:14am
I travel at least every other month for work and have gotten fairly comfortable “living” out of my toiletries bag on the road. So my thought is, to throw out almost everything in my bath room except what I have in my travel bag. I would feel very wasteful in doing this. I almost never throw away anything (recovering clutter-bug here), but I think I need to just be a little bit wasteful here in exchange for a since of simplicity. Thoughts?

Float On
4-10-12, 12:08pm
Well...there are two thoughts on that.
I use to travel 3 weekends out of 4 every month for art shows and I kept my toiletries bag packed and seperate from the house bathroom. I even had seperate make-up and hair care tools and 'stuff'. That way I didn't have to go through the bathroom remembering to add a razor or floss or shampoo, etc. It was simple and stream-lined.

But I would go through your bathroom. You could box up everything in the bathroom and put it somewhere else. What you need you take and put in the bathroom you could shop from the box. Everything else in the box not used after a certain time-frame can go.

If you don't like something, you don't have to keep it. Keeping 6 bottles of lotion under the bathroom sink when you only like one lotion doesn't make sense....get rid of the ones you don't like now. Do you really need 50 hair pins? Donate 30 if you don't. Etc..

4-10-12, 12:32pm
Oh I love that idea- a 6 month trial! And yes, I have duplicates of everything so I don’t have to re-pack every time I travel.
I would donate, but do people really buy partially used bottles of lotion? Shampoo? I think in the past I have seen them at the second hand stores, but my reaction is usually “EWWWW”

4-10-12, 1:03pm
In the past I've used shampoo I didn't like to clean the tub, toilet, etc.

Float On
4-10-12, 1:08pm
do people really buy partially used bottles of lotion? Shampoo? I think in the past I have seen them at the second hand stores, but my reaction is usually “EWWWW”

That is always my first thought too. We have a local women's shelter and a homeless ministry that are always glad to get donations that they can pass along in 'care kits'. Otherwise.....if I can't use it for something else (like Tradd I've used shampoo for cleaning the shower - it works better than some cleaners) then I just toss it.

4-10-12, 1:08pm
I've thought the exact same thing for the exact same reason--I also travel a lot and depend upon one regular make-up bag and one clear one for TSA. I say go for it. If you do it, I'll do it! It's only wasteful if you wind up going out and cluttering up your bathroom again, but I say, it's just little collateral waste in the name of simplicity.

Thinking about what's in my bathroom, I MIGHT not throw out GOOD (not crummy) make-up brushes, but everything else... it's probably old anyway.

4-10-12, 5:14pm
In the past I've used shampoo I didn't like to clean the tub, toilet, etc.


4-10-12, 6:21pm
First off, welcome to the boards, tamrajo, and glad you are diving right in.

Here's something I shared on a recent thread that helped me get over the idea of being wasteful. I hated throwing out things, too, and still kind of do, but have made a lot of efforts to curb what comes in. (Like you, tamrajo, my mom is a borderline hoarder, and it's still sometimes hard to have a rational relationship to stuff).

At one point, I realized that all of it is already garbage. To explain, let's say it's a lotion. The bottle will go to the landfill whether or not it is full of lotion. So what does it matter if it goes now or later? Lotion might be a hard one because - I can hear it already - "but you can recycle the plastic bottle!!" (Not you specifically, but some might make that argument). Same deal - dump out the lotion and recycle the bottle. All done!

We have started limiting what is actually sitting out in our bathroom, but keeping what's stored very well organized so we an refill and replace as needed. Periodically we have to work through our stores. But I can see the appeal in your plan.

And think! You'd be helping out Catherine, too! :)

GO FOR IT!!!!! :)

4-11-12, 10:54am
It might be a bit radical by most people's standards, but if it simplifies things for you and helps you to make keeping up the bathroom more enjoyable, then do it! Sure, it might initially seem wasteful to toss the extra items, but if you're wasting your time and energy by keeping them around, you're still being wasteful. Once you are clear of the extra stuff, you will have everything you need in your travel bag and it will be so much easier to keep any more wasteful junk from coming in. In fact, I'm inspired to do something like this myself!

Float On
4-11-12, 11:01am
I was thinking about this this morning.
There is nothing that puts me in a foul mood faster than having things fall out of the bathroom wall cabinet (over the toilet) or fall out of the under the sink cabinet first thing in the morning.
So I will spend 15 minutes today on the bathroom. I know there is a lot of jewelry sitting on the wall cabinet shelf that needs to be returned to my bedroom. There may be an item or two on the shelfs that can go somewhere else and I can re-organize under the sink. Any unopened clean products can go to the laundry room closet in a basket, and unopened health/beauty things can also go in a basket in the laundry room closet (my store).
Purge those bathroom cabinets ladies and put on a happy face.:D

4-11-12, 11:07am
Actually, now I'm reminded that I did declutter a few things under my own bathroom sink this morning. For those of you who use hair dye, you know all of those tubes of conditioner that come in the boxes that we are supposed to regularly use? Well, I use so little of it that I had a bunch of them piling up. I went ahead and tossed all but one of them and then also tossed some unused lotions, a bottle of perfume, and some sort of plastic thingee that came in a gift basket I'd received years ago. They all have chemical lists 29384938 miles long, so I figured they weren't really good for anyone else either.

4-11-12, 4:51pm
I think it's work-able.

The lady from zero waste home -- which is a process that i'm taking my own family through -- buys in bulk and refills. This is something that you could do pretty easily, in which case you would be going through less packaging.

For my own part, I've gotten our bathroom down to a bar of locally made soap in a shell, vinegar (we bathe/wash hair with this), coconut oil (oil pulling and lotion), tooth powder (baking soda, stevia, and a bit of peppermint), tooth brushes, and floss (still trying to find a floss replacement that is functional. looking at a gum stimulator, but that still has waste). Brush, comb, and razor. DH uses the bar soap to shave.

So, that works well for us.

4-12-12, 7:43am
About a month ago I got so sick of the clutter in the bathroom I finally decided to do something about it. Went to the dollar store and got square plastic baskets with handles - one for each member of the family. I cleared off all the shelves and told everyone to put their personal stuff into their basket. One small corner of one shelf is for items used by all (blow dryer, etc) and I even how room for clean towels! Everyone is responsible for their own baskets and everything is so much neater and more organized. Amazing how doing something so simple can make such a big difference.

4-12-12, 2:56pm
In the past I've used shampoo I didn't like to clean the tub, toilet, etc.
Ditto. I sometimes refill handsoap dispensers with conditioner I don't like and some castile soap or dish soap.

I would feel bad throwing away all those 'excess' products too. Maybe you could use them all up and just never replace them.

4-12-12, 7:30pm
Extra conditioner can be used as shaving cream.

4-13-12, 10:45am
Last night I went home and tried to actually implement my radical idea. I did not succeed. I was able to get rid of a ton of stuff, but then realized other things I still want to keep, and then my past “I might need it” and hoarding tendencies got the best of me.

I was easily able to throw out:
• Old makeup. I don’t wear but eyeliner, eye shadow and blush, but 5 years ago I sold Mary Kay so I had a TON of that crap laying around. It all went in the garbage.
• Partially used hotel and travel sized items. I have a fair amount of full ones, so that was easy.
• I put in a donate box: 3 pretty nice smelly candles, several cosmetic bags and a couple of unopened items.

What I had a harder time with was:
• Leave in conditioner. I found 4 bottles!!! 3 of them were mostly gone, so you would think that those were the ones that could go in the trash, however the one that was mostly full is the one I don’t really like. What I think I may do here is number the bottles 1, 2, 3, and 4. I will force myself to use them in order. My daughter uses it too so it should go fairly quickly. Then, when I get to bottle #4, that I don’t really like, I guess I’ll have to decide if I want to actually use it, or go buy a different kind. I suspect that I will suck it up and use it because I’m kind of cheep like that.
• OH- the lotion!!! And expensive dermatologist prescribed body wash!!! 2 years ago when my son was a baby he had sever eczema so I bought almost every lotion on the market. When that didn’t work we went to a dermatologist who also, “conveniently” had his own product line. The dermatologist stuff actually worked, but we didn’t use very much of it before my son grew out of it. So now sits a $50 bottle of body wash, ˝ used on our counter.

My other dilemma was that I realized how much space my blow dryer, straightener and 2 curling irons take up! I’m not ready to give them up yet, however I do now have room in my bathroom drawer for them, and my bathroom counter is now clean!
Purging for me seems to happen in stages, so now that sage 1 is complete, hopefully I can have a stage 2 in a week or so where I purge even more!

4-15-12, 4:28pm
You might want to check and see if these various things have expiration dates or potential contamination. It makes it easier to get rid of stuff.

Most lotions/etc aren't really meant to last (once opened) more than a year. So if things are opened and more than a year old, then it's probably not any good. Likely, it's had bacterial contamination from being opened.

Most stuff doesn't last long at our place.

I just rinsed my hair with vinegar. Nice and clean. :D

4-15-12, 5:14pm
Well I congratulate you on what you DID do. That's a lot! Well done!!

I know we said earlier in the thread about people not wanting used toiletries but I think there is a difference between a bunch of half-used, really old lotions or something . . . and an almost-full leave-in conditioner. I have gifted items I didn't like on Craigslist and people snapped them up, especially if they are a nice brand. Something to think about !! :)

Pat yourself on the back! This cleaning-out stuff doesn't happen overnight :)