Clutter in our home is not conducive to the relaxing safe space we so desperately need in our modern, hectic lives. When we clear the clutter in our homes, it allows us to carve out more space for the good. We breathe easier, feel lighter, and experience a gratifying sense of completion.
Although decluttering takes almost zero skill, it can still feel overwhelming: “Where do I start? And how?” First, don’t be afraid to start small and tackle one space at a time.
A bathroom is an excellent place to begin. It’s a space that won’t require a huge investment of time but creates huge results. It’s one intimate space where you can demonstrate just how much you care about yourself—by making your bathroom space more beautiful, you can begin to make yourself start to feel the same.
Here are 7 favorite tips and strategies to help you clear away the clutter once and for all:
Declutter by Category
For decluttering bathroom drawers and cabinets, Marie Kondo has great advice in her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. She recommends tidying up by category. For example, if you have a couple of makeup drawers, clear out everything from those first. Then put back only the items that you want and need right now; the rest gets thrown out or recycled. If you organize and declutter by category in one go, it’s not only more efficient, but also gets rid of unused items. You can use this strategy for your medicine, hair products, skin-care products, and first-aid supplies. Additionally, you may want to invest in drawer organizers with compartments to keep things tidy and easily accessible.
Remove Visible Objects
Another strategy for decluttering your bathroom is to remove all visible objects and accessories out of the space. Afterwards, walk back into the bathroom and assess it with fresh eyes. Emptying the space creates breathing room, and gives you a way to look at the space as if you’re seeing it for the first time. Then go through each object with your fresh eyes, and decide whether or not the item is still important to you.
Set Expiration Dates
If you’re having a hard time letting something go, you can try a couple of things. You can give the item a 6-month (no more than one year) “expiration date.” If you haven’t touched the item for at least 6 months, it’s unlikely that you ever will. Next, keep only those things that make you smile. Ask yourself, “Does this item give me joy? Does this help to make my life easier or better? Would I purchase this item again if I saw it today?” Listen to your gut instinct, try not to overthink it, and trust yourself.
As a preventive and as a way to sustain a clutter-free zone, make a commitment to put things back in their designated spots immediately. Don’t let yourself misplace items or randomly leave things scattered about. Instead, catch yourself and mindfully put the item back in its proper place—this will save you time and energy you might otherwise waste looking for the “lost” item in the future. It’s simple to do, but it does require a shift in awareness and habit. Try it for a week; you’ll be surprised at the difference it will make in your space and in your life.
Keep Counters Clear
A bathroom counter can often be a catch-all clutter space. But this is really prime real estate that should be kept clean and minimal, so you’ll have space to use when you need it the most. Try to store away as many items as possible, keeping out only those daily essentials like hand soap and lotion. And depending on how much counter space you have, keep your decorative items sparse and limited to just the ones you truly love.
If you have a small bathroom, it’s especially important to keep your bathroom clutter-free in order to maximize your space. Find clever and creative ways to store and organize your items by storing things vertically. For example, you can add a bin under your sink, or attach a shelf above your bathroom door. You can also attach a file organizer or magazine rack to the side of your bathroom sink, inside a cabinet door, or on the wall to help keep dryers, curlers, and other items neatly arranged.
Finally, try to get every family member involved. Having each member contribute to a clutter-free home not only makes the process easier, but it can even be fun! In children’s bathrooms, give each child their own cabinet with an organizer. For girls, this a great way to keep track of all hair bands, clips and accessories. Help kids to get in the habit of putting their own items away in their designated spots each day instead of leaving brushes, mirrors, and other articles on the counters.