Decluttering Your Bathroom, Continued

candytuft

“That’s all your house is. It’s a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff.”

– George Carlin

We hope our homes are places of belonging and comfort, not just storage buildings, but it does sometimes feel like George Carlin is right.

One of the biggest benefits of reducing what we own is that we’ll have more time to focus our home lives on the things that really matter to us, instead of spending a lot of time taking care of our stuff.

This post will help you continue decluttering your bathroom. You’ll be going through your cleaning and paper products as well as your linens.

Getting Control of Your Cleaning Products

Are any of your cleaning products dried out or otherwise no longer useable? If so, get rid of them safely. Be sure to follow any disposal instructions on the product packaging.

If you have cleaning products that are still good but you know you won’t use them (maybe they give you a headache or you think they smell awful), give them to someone who will use them.

Take note of any cleaning products you already have multiples of so you don’t buy more. Be sure you keep this information somewhere you’ll see it when you’re preparing your shopping lists.

Before you buy any new cleaning products, think about how you can reduce the number of items you need as well as their impact on the environment. It’s easy, cheap and fast to make your own cleaners out of things you probably already have in your kitchen like vinegar and baking soda.

Even if you don’t want to make your own cleaning products, you can probably cut back on the number of commercial products you have. Just because the store sells different products for the sink, toilet, mirror, shower, tub, floor and counter doesn’t mean you need them all.

You should be able to keep your bathroom clean with just an all-purpose cleaner, a mild scrubbing cleaner and a glass cleaner.  Of course, if you have special surfaces, be sure to protect them by following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Decluttering Your Bathroom Towels

Are any of your towels in such bad shape it’s time for them to become pet blankets or cleaning rags?

Now, how many towels are left per person that uses that bathroom? In our house, we have two sets per person so we have a set to use while the other is in the laundry.

If you have more, put the extras on a high shelf and stop using them for now. You can use those to “shop” from later as the towels you’re currently using wear out.

If you have way too many towels (you know who you are), keep only a few extra sets per person. Give the rest to friends or family or donate them to charity.

Dealing with Your Paper Products

If you keep paper towels in the bathroom for cleaning, consider switching to reusable cleaning cloths. Old towels and washcloths are good for this.

Most of you will want to keep using toilet paper and facial tissues, but if you’re open to other options, you may want to explore making your own reusable handkerchiefs and “family cloth.”

If you’re sticking with disposable products, make a note of any items you have an excess of, so you’ll stop buying them for until you need more.

When you do purchase more, consider buying the double rolls of toilet paper and larger boxes of tissues. Not only will these take up less space in your bathroom for the same amount of usable product, but they’re better for the environment because they use less packaging.

Too Many Sheets and Blankets

In our house, sheets and blankets are kept in the bathrooms because that’s where our linen closets are. If yours are kept elsewhere, go ahead and follow these instructions regardless of which room they’re in.

Some of your linens may be so worn that they’re ready to be repurposed as tarps for painting or as pet blankets, or maybe you want to keep one in the car for when you buy something messy like plants from the nursery.

Take these out and store them somewhere else like the garage if you can. If you don’t need the blankets, see if a local animal shelter would like to have them for dog and cat bedding.

How many sheet sets do you need per bed?  For adults and older children, two sets are probably enough, since it allows you to have clean sheets on the bed while the other set is in the laundry.  For the beds of younger children, you may want to have three sets, in case of an accident before you get around to finishing the laundry.

If you have a few too many sets per bed, just set some aside on a higher shelf. You won’t use these now, but you’ll have them available when a set wears out instead of having to go shopping.

Again, if you have more extras than you have room to comfortably store or if there are some you’ll never use (maybe you get hot when you sleep on flannel sheets), you’ll need to give some away.

Over the next few days, repeat these steps for any other bathrooms and linen storage areas in your home. Also, if you haven’t already, finish going through your medications, vitamins, personal hygiene products and cosmetics.

Your Ideas?

What are your ideas for decluttering your bathroom?  How about for decluttering your garage?

My husband and I worked on cleaning our garage this morning.  For most of the house, it seems like we declutter and it stays that way for a long time without much effort. The garage doesn’t work that way though. I think stuff breeds in there. Or maybe the problem is elves.  Any ideas?

I'd love for you to share your ideas and experiences.