Decluttering

How to Declutter Your Bathroom for Good (+Save Money and Reduce Waste!)

Decluttering. Kind of a hot term these days, huh? I think many of us (myself included) started realizing we have waaaaaaaaaaay too much stuff. And that all that stuff was starting to own us. Own our time, our energy, our mental health.

But how do you go about getting rid of it?

That was exactly the question I was asking myself almost three years ago when my son was born. I won’t go into the full story here, but long story short, I realized I didn’t want my stuff to own me anymore, and I wanted my time back to spend on things that brought meaning into my life. I wanted to reduce the mental clutter constantly floating around in my head as much as I did my physical clutter. Fast forward three years later, and my family and I have decluttered and gotten rid of over 140 boxes full of stuff, not including the countless items we have sold or given away.

how to declutter

While I still consider myself an active declutterist (I kind of just made that up), I am so happy with how far we’ve come, and have been so impressed with the difference it has made in our lives.

But don’t be fooled. I’m not going to tell you that it was the easiest thing we’ve ever done or that we didn’t experience any hiccups along the way, because we certainly did. It also became incredibly overwhelming, and we experienced some setbacks.

But you know what? That’s all OK. And if you’ve also experienced similar things, or you want to start decluttering but don’t know where to start, that’s OK too. Because these habits we developed that got us to where we are today (you know, where your stuff is owning you) didn’t happen overnight. So reversing those habits won’t happen overnight either.

tips to declutter

I’m not saying it is going to take you three years. That is just how long it has taken my family (we also had a newborn that first year so honestly not much got done then). It may look entirely different for yours, and that is OK too!

Phew. Now that we got all that out of the way, let’s get started on how to declutter your bathroom FOR GOOD.

First, whenever I start a decluttering project, I always set up the following:

  • 6 boxes/bags/piles:
    • keep
    • give away to friends/family
    • donate
    • trash
    • move
    • sell
ways to declutter

Still with me? Maybe that seems like a lot, but I found that if I didn’t have some sort of receptacle for the above categories, things started getting messy. REEAAALLLL quick. And my goal in decluttering was to get rid of clutter. NOT MAKE MORE OF IT (just in a different area).

So just trust me on this one.

Second, have a plan for the items you are going to do the following with:

  • give away (to whom)
  • donate (where to)
  • sell (where?)

Knowing this ahead of time gives you fewer excuses to keep the items (trust me, I told myself all the excuses in the past), and allows you to DO SOMETHING WITH THE ITEMS as soon as you declutter, so they don’t just become clutter in another area of your house. Are you sensing a theme here?

Ready? Let’s jump in on the good stuff.

Want to get some help decluttering? I am hosting an 8-week decluttering challenge in my Facebook group starting January 1st! Join us here. 



Toiletry items

Pull out any and all toiletry items that you keep in your bathroom. Look for the following things, and make the appropriate decisions based on the six piles you already have prepared:

  • Old and expired items. Toss!
  • Duplicate items – store them somewhere that you can easily take inventory of them before buying more.
  • Waaaay too many items (hello, travel sized items) – fellow blogger Amy gives extras out to homeless people!
  • Any items that don’t belong in the bathroom? Do something with them RIGHT. NOW. Seriously. Right now.

Tips to further reduce clutter, save money, and/or reduce waste:

  • Now that you have all the items organized and the expired ones are taken care of, take a mental or written inventory of what you have and use up the items before buying new ones
  • Stop taking travel items if you do not need any. While they may be ‘free’, they also contribute to major clutter
  • Consider items like a shampoo bar which not only reduces plastic waste, but saves money because it lasts the equivalent of 2-3 bottles of shampoo! Less errands, less clutter, less waste, saving money – wins all around!
  • Razors – if you use disposable ones, consider upgrading to one that just replaces the blades to help save money and reduce waste. Or, to take it one step further, consider a metal safety razor. I just got one like this one and I while I am still working out the learning curve, I’m really enjoying it. If you’re new to safety razors or felt intimidated by them like I did, check out this really helpful guide.
tips to declutter your bathroom

 Towels and Washcloths

Whether you store towels/washcloths in your bathroom or a separate closet, now is the time to go through them.

  • Get rid of any that are old, dirty, or really worn. Consider donating them to your local animal shelter or hospital, or using them for cleaning cloths in place of paper towels. If they must be thrown out, research textile recycling in your area and donate them.
  • Can some of them be recharged? Check out these tips here.
  • Do you simply have too many? Donate, give away, or use them for cleaning in place of paper towels. My family and I each only have:
    • one large towel each for showers/baths
    • one towel each for lake/pools
    • one washcloth for Little E
    • two hand towels per bathroom

Personally, we honestly find we don’t need more! That being said, I’m a huge advocate for ‘you doing you’, so I would encourage you to try and find a reasonable number for your family and go from there. If you’re unsure what that would be, try packing some extra towels away in a box for 3-4 months, put somewhere, and see if you find you need more. If not, donate the box at the end of the 3-4 months.

Tips to further reduce clutter, save money, and/or reduce waste:

  • As I mentioned above, cut up old towels to make into cleaning clothes in place of cloth paper towels. This not only helps save money and reduce waste, but it is also one less thing to have to worry about keeping in ‘stock’ by ordering online, and/or running errands. My family and I have been doing this for over a year, and I can honestly tell you we haven’t looked back, NOR do I find us doing more laundry (I know you were wondering about that).
how to declutter your bathroom

Teeth Products

  • I realize you may include teeth products with toiletries, but, I wanted to highlight these products because when we were going through our bathroom products, I was shocked at how many extras we had.
  • Toothbrushes: yikes, we had a LOT of toothbrushes we were hanging on to. I checked to see if we needed to replace any, and if so, did that (I kept one of our old ones to use for applying my DIY dry shampoo).
    • We donated a couple and kept the rest. Yes, they add to some clutter, but I knew we would use them.
  • Toothpaste: Use up what you have or donate any (give them out to the homeless or post them on a buy nothing/local garage sale page).
  • Floss: Same things apply as above – use up or donate
  • Electronic toothbrush/flossing device accessories: same as above
  • Any old items? Get rid of them.

Any items that don’t belong with your tooth stuff? Do something with them. RIGHT. NOW.

Tips to further reduce clutter, save money, and/or reduce waste:

  • stop buying/accepting them from the dentist until you have used your stash up
  • purchase a compostable bamboo toothbrush to limit plastic waste and old toothbrush clutter
  • consider purchasing a refillable floss container. I have this one and LOVE it. Not only does it reduce plastic waste, but I also am not overrun with the small, plastic floss containers from the dentist/that I purchased contributing to clutter
  • See if you can reuse old toothbrushes for anything: kids craft project? applying dry shampoo?
ideas to declutter your bathroom




Decorations/knick-knacks

Have any items you use for decoration in your bathroom? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you actually love the items? Or are they just there because there was a spot (be honest here!)? If you love them, keep them! If you don’t, donate or give away.
  • Are the items sentimental? If you love the item, see above. If you don’t, but are keeping it for sentimental reasons, ask yourself a couple of questions.
    • Would it make you happy if someone was using it who did LOVE it?
    • If you donated the item or gave it away, would the memory of that person go away?
    • If you took a photo of the item, would that suffice versus having the item be clutter?
    • If you still aren’t sure, put the item in a box for 3-4 months. If after the 3-4 months you haven’t missed the item, then it is time to let go.

If there are any decorative items that you like but feel it doesn’t belong in the bathroom, put it somewhere else.

If you find anything in the bathroom that doesn’t belong, do something with it RIGHT. NOW.

Tips to further reduce clutter, save money, and/or reduce waste:

  • When it comes to regular items, my family and I adopted the rule of ‘one item in, one item out’. Whenever we purchase something, we have to find a similar item to donate/giveaway/sell in its place. This has helped not only save money but also ensured that we are purchasing items that we REALLY LOVE.
  • *If you’re looking for a particular item to decorate your bathroom, consider purchasing second-hand. Not only is it more budget-friendly, it also is much more waste friendly versus buying new!
organize and declutter your bathroom

Cosmetics and/or men’s products

Is it just me or do these items seem to pile up?

  • Old/expired makeup (see this chart for specific dates), get rid of.
  • Duplicates? If you’re not going to use them up, consider donating or giving away to friends, family, buy nothing group.
  • Items you don’t like? Give away (friends, family, buy nothing groups, community garage sale groups).
  • Items you haven’t used in forever (you know the ones I’m talking about). If you haven’t used them in 6 months, find something else to do with them. I had a HUGE box of nail polish. I hadn’t painted my nails in over two years. WHY WAS I KEEPING IT? I donated it to a friend’s daughter. Be honest about the products you are keeping.

Tips to further reduce clutter, save money, and/or reduce waste:

  • Before purchasing new items, be honest about what you actually use to avoid ‘clutter creep’
  • Use up all items before purchasing new ones
  • Consider making your own toiletries if you enjoy doing so. There are TONS of recipes on Pinterest. Right now, I only make my own dry shampoo, but potentially interested in making more down the line.
how to declutter your bathroom counter

Menstrual products

To me, menstrual products always seemed to end up as clutter. Not that I didn’t use them, but storing them neatly wasn’t the easiest, and I would find myself just shoving new boxes in without combining the old ones….yeah, things just got messy.

  • Combine all tampons (if used) in one container
  • Combine all pads and panty liners (if used) in one container

Tips to further reduce clutter, save money, and/or reduce waste:

  • Take a mental inventory of the items that you have, and don’t purchase any more until you have used up what you have
  • Consider cutting down on the tampon/pad/pantyliner clutter all together and purchase a menstrual cup  (this is the one that I have). Instead of boxes and bags of tampons, I literally have one cup which means less clutter, less waste, AND, saving a TON of money! If you’re new to menstrual cups, I would recommend checking out the Put a Cup In It quiz to get started.
  • Another option in addition to or instead of a menstrual cup is cloth pads/pantyliners. Save money, reduce waste, less clutter. Woo!
tips to declutter your bathroom

Medicine/First Aid

Medicine is another item that just seemed to pile up and contribute to a lot of our clutter. We had 2-3 different boxes of cold medicine. Two bottles of pain reliever. Three bottles of children’s medicine. I am honestly not sure how those items piled up so much, but there we were.

  • Pull all the items out and categorize them by ‘relief’ type (ex. cold medicines, stomach aids, pain relievers, bandaids, and corresponding items, etc).
  • Combine any and all that you can
  • Look at the expiration dates and get rid of any that have expired (check your local city/police department about proper medicine disposal, or head to your nearest CVS or Walgreens)
  • Donate/give away any duplicate items (we had about four ace bandages that we didn’t use)

Tips to further reduce clutter, save money, and/or reduce waste:

  • Take a mental inventory of what you have so you don’t accidentally buy duplicates
  • Use up all items you do have before buying new ones
decluttering your bathroom

Want even more help with decluttering? 

  • Check out my post on how to declutter your bathroom for good ( + save money and reduce waste)
  • Check out the Mindful Mom Blographer Facebook group where I am hosting an 8-week decluttering challenge where we go through one section of the house each week!
  • Check out my ebook ‘How to Tackle Clutter when you’re Facing Internal and External Resistance‘ which includes a 6-page workbook to help you on your decluttering journey.
  • Check out my other decluttering posts here 
How to declutter

Sign up for the FREE 7-Day ‘Decluttering when You’re Facing Internal and External Resistance’ E-Course!

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Join a community of like-minded people also on their journey to reducing mental clutter through mindful and intentional living, minimalism, and zero waste living!

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How to declutter your bathroom for good
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Andrea
1 year ago

Absolutely perfect timing! I need to get rid of so much!! Thanks for sharing!

Melissa Dixon
1 year ago

For some reason every time I declutter this area it always ends up back to how I started! I think these tips should help put that madness to an end. Thanks for sharing!

Alex
1 year ago

i needed this! I just purged all my make up. now i have ideas of what to clear next. <3

val@thoughtfulneighbor.com

Love your idea about cutting up old towels to use in place of paper towels. With 3 kids, I go through SO many paper towels. I also need to go through my travel-sized shower items… so hard not to grab them when you’re at a hotel šŸ™‚

DIMITRA
1 year ago

These are all very good tips. I now know what my problem is with decluttering. I need more bins. I was doing it all wrong and just moving the mess in another area as you said. I will give it another try and hopefully I don’t get too overwhelmed and finally clear out most of our stuff.

D, xo || from https://livedreamcreate-d.com

Minda
1 year ago

Wow! I never considered to go through my bathroom to declutter! I am inspired šŸ™‚

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[…] How to declutter your bathroom for good […]

Erin @ Her Heartland Soul

These are great tip

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[…] saved within the group, so you can access the tips any time. Want even more? Check out my post on decluttering your bathroom for good, and all of my other decluttering posts here. Finally, you can check out my free 7-day […]