The bathroom is where we rush to get ready in the mornings and the room we probably spend the least amount of time, yet it accumulates an awful lot of stuff: shampoo bottles, medicines, grooming products, cleaning supplies, towels, and appliances like hair dryers and electric razors. Most bathrooms even contain a mini library!
That’s a lot of stuff for one small room.
If you are starting to feel a little crowded in your bathroom, it is time to declutter.
Have you checked your expiration labels lately? Even products that do not come with a label have an expiration date. Consult the following list for items without an expiration date and then write it on the item yourself to prevent using stale products on your body.
- Mascara: 4 months
- Sponges: Wash weekly and dispose of monthly
- Nail Polish: 12 months
- Lipstick: 1-4 years, throw out if it smells rancid
- Lip liner and eye liner: 3 years
- Cleansers: 1 year
- Eye shadow: 3 years
- Foundation: 12-18 months (oil-based lasts longer than water-based)
- Blush: 2 years
- Moisturizers: 1 year
- Lotions: 1 year
Do you use disposable razors? A woman on Oprah recently stated that she used hers for YEARS at a time because she was so cheap. The maximum number of times these are meant to be used is 6.
Shelf Life of Medicines: This is where it gets scary. Keeping medicines past their expiration date means the chemicals start breaking down. The least that may happen to you is that the medicine won’t work, but do you really want to take that chance? All over-the-counter medicines have an expiration date, and if you have old prescription drugs they should be thrown out, too.
Note: Do not flush medicines unless the label states it is safe to do so because this contaminates the water. Follow the White House guidelines on prescription drug disposal by finding a drug take-back center or mixing the drugs with an undesireable substance, like coffee grounds or cat litter, and then throwing them away.
How Much Stuff Do You Need?
Now that you have all the expired products out of your bathroom, what is left?
Let’s start with the products you use every single day. Put them in a box and take them out of the room. Looking at the rest, which ones do you actually use on a regular basis?
- Did you buy some blue eyeshadow on a whim and know you’ll never use it?
- How about that soap you were given as a gift that smells too flowery to actually use?
- Have a ton of hotel bottles of shampoo and lotion? These are welcomed at battered women shelters.
You can easily gather your loose items into groupings: a basket for spa products when you feel the need to be pampered, a basket for nail polish and manicure supplies, or a basket for special makeup for nights out – glittery products, wilder colors, etc.
When you sort your items this way, it makes the everyday use of your bathroom much easier.
What other tips do you have for decluttering your bathroom? Please leave them in the comments so we can all benefit.