Happy Herbivore Blog

August 20, 2012

Minimalist Monday: Declutter Your Bathroom

Apologies to my guy readers in advanced for the tampon TMI. I couldn't find another way to tell the story. (We're all adults right? )

I was visiting a friend recently when I realized I needed a tampon. Normally I carry a spare in my purse but my purse wasn't with me so I opened the bathroom door slightly and called out to my friend, asking if I could have one of hers. She yelled back to help myself and that they were probably under the sink or in a nearby drawer.

I looked under the sink first. She had spare toilet papers and tissue boxes, bottles of bath products (i.e. shampoo) and cleaning products but not what I was looking for so I moved on to her drawers. Those were filled with makeup, hair dryers and curling irons, nail polish, first aid stuff (like boxes of bandaids) and other hair or personal care products.

Compared to some bathrooms I've been in, she didn't have a lot, certainly no more than most people, and to her credit she did have it fairly organized, but it was just everywhere. In the drawers I had to root around and move things just to see all what was all there.

"Did you find them yet?" she yelled through the door. "Nope. Not yet" I replied. Then my friend asked if she could come in and help me look. She started pulling all sorts of products out in a frenzy but alas, we finally found a lone tampon and then eventually, the whole box.

"I know it's a mess" she said to me, "I really don't know how I ended up with all this crap. I really need to declutter."

I told her that organization and decluttering helps, but only after you've first done a really big purge.

"I don't know -- I need a lot of this stuff" she explained. "I can't just throw out all this makeup. I use it all, not every day, but I use it. And why would I get rid of all these medicines that are perfectly good? I don't want to buy a $9 bottle of advil every time I have a headache."

I told her she could get rid of some of it, but still keep a lot of it -- and without her bathroom looking and feeling this way. She didn't have to have stuff spilling out everywhere. She could be more minimalist. But she didn't believe me.

So as soon as I got home, I took a picture of my bathroom for her. Straight from my iphone:

I have a trash can, spare shampoos for guests, dog shampoo, tampons and toilet paper under the sink.

We keep all our items we don't use everyday in a container -- this one holds all of our first aid stuff plus some spare items like an extra chapstick since I bought a pack of 3. The other one contains dog stuff (like their brush, nail clippers, toothbrush, etc).

Having all these little things in a container makes such a difference. Just a few days ago Andrea was over and needed a bandaid. I pulled out my little "first aid kit" and she commented on how much she liked that I kept all my things in two small containers.

I've talked about how clean counter tops are key to a minimalist and clean space before but that couldn't be more true in the bathroom. It really makes you feel zen.

Here's what you'll find in drawers:

My workout watch, razor, hair brush plus my everyday makeup bag and Scott's shaving bag.

empty!

My big makeup bag (all the stuff I don't use daily but have for special occasions, etc) and hairdryer.

and lastly, the other sink: nothing but baking soda for cleaning plus a humidifier and hair clippers.

Even our bathroom cabinet is pretty bare bones:

Here's how to get a minimalist bathroom:

1. PURGE

2. Place small items into a pouch or box. Keep them contained. CONTAIN YOURSELF

3. Keep the surface clear

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