My 8-week series continues with … Bathrooms! The bathroom is usually the smallest room in a house yet it stores an overwhelming number of items: toiletries, first aid supplies, prescription medicines, beauty products … and nearly every woman has at minimum a small collection of makeup and perfume. Because the bathroom contains so many different items, all with different shapes and sizes, function and consistency of use, it is really easy to see why it is one of my clients least favorite rooms to tackle. So why bother with the bathroom? Like the kitchen pantry the bathroom is a place where a lot of money and time is lost because of duplication, expiration dates and a shortage of adequate storage solutions.
With this week’s tips, tricks and before & after pictures I hope it will be enough to get you started on organizing your bathroom. If not, I encourage you to comment below with some questions or frustrations. If you have success I want to hear about that too! Check out the previous posts for 8 Weeks to Home Organization Bliss! including: Week 1 – Kitchen & Pantry, Week 2 – Kid’s Rooms & Playrooms and Week 3 – Closets.
TIP #1: CREATE ZONES FOR YOUR DIFFERENT BATHROOM ITEMS
You will save time, money and frustration if you establish zones for all of your beauty products, makeup, toiletries, prescription items and even back-up supplies like soap and toilet paper. A lot of my clients discover that they have extra bottles of sunscreen or beauty products because they bought them on a whim, not knowing if there was a bottle at home. The only thing worse than discovering you have wasted money buying duplicate items is realizing the items have expired!
I like to pull everything out of the closet, vanity and/or medicine cabinet and put everything on the floor or a small table. As I pull them out I cluster the “like” items together. Once they are out and combined it is easier for me to create a plan for the zones in the closet, vanity and/or medicine cabinet. For instance, if there is a significant number of face products being used I know they will need a larger storage area and more prominent access.
TIP #2: CHECK EXPIRATION DATES & THROW AWAY OLD MAKEUP
It is important to sort through your makeup every month to get rid of the products you are no longer using – and you should be regularly check the expiration date on items like sunscreen, vitamin supplements and prescription medicine. For makeup, be sure to toss liners, mascaras and shadows because they can collect a lot of bacteria. Below is a guide outlining when you should throw away your old makeup.
- Mascara – Every 3 months.
- Eyeliner – 1 year unless you use it with water, then it should be tossed after 6 months. Be sure to sharpen your pencils after each use to keep them clean.
- Foundation – If you use your fingers to apply it every 6 months, if you use a sponge every 12 months. Remember to wash your sponge out each week and replace it every three weeks.
- Cleansers & Moisturizers – Most of these products contain fatty acids which means they should be thrown out after 6 months.
- Nail Polish – Every 12 months, remember to store it in a cool dry spot. The best place is actually the fridge.
- Blush – Every 6 months.
- Makeup Brushes – Wash every 2-3 months.
- Concealer – Up to a year.
- Eyeshadow and Pressed Powder – 2 years.
- Lipstick – 2 years if stored in a cool place.
- When in doubt sniff it out! If you don’t remember how old something is try smelling it, if it smells funky you know it is time to replace it.
- The clock on your makeup begins when you open it. A fun tip I suggest is to keep a sharpie in your makeup drawer so you can write the date you started using on the bottom.
TIP #3: DE-CLUTTER YOUR DRAWERS
Why are drawers a magnet for clutter? There is no room for a junk drawer in your bathroom and those little pieces of wrapper, old toothbrushes, unused samples from stores, etc. are taking up valuable space. Like every other area of your house if you are not using an item you should donate it or throw it away. Bathroom drawers are typically a catch-all for loose items and are many times under-utilized. Stick a few plastic separators or baskets in your drawer and designate it a make up zone. Makeup stores best in drawers since most items are compact and will fit easily into compartments.
TIP #4: MAXIMIZE YOUR LIMITED SPACE
When my clients are limited on bathroom storage space I love to use plastic bins with drawers. While they are not the most attractive item they are pretty inexpensive, look super organized from the outside (even if there is a mess inside), are easy to clean and the best item you could have in the event of a spill. The most important information you need – make sure you correctly measure your workable storage area before you shop for storage containers. Keep in mind any deviation in space because of pipes.
TIP #5: IF YOU DON’T LOVE IT, ARE NOT USING IT, LOSE IT
So many bathrooms cabinets are filled with partial containers of hair gel, funky nail polish bought for a special occasion, samples from the dentist office and a never-ending supply of little hotel containers of shampoo. If you have stopped using a beauty product because it wasn’t working for you or if you upgraded your blow dryer and have no intention of sharing it with someone else, it is time to clear it off the shelf. As for those little containers of soap and shampoo, if you have amassed a collection of hotel freebies and extra supplies from the dentist consider bagging them up and donating them to your local homeless shelter. Trust me, they will probably use them way before you do!