Joyful Downsizing Tackles the Bathroom

Kim Kubsch

“Organizing the Bathroom” is sixth in a series of articles featuring techniques for decluttering your home—one room at a time. This month, we will tackle the bathroom.

“The average American spends one year of their life looking for lost or misplaced items,” reports U.S. News & World Report. Newsweek reports, “The average American wastes 55 minutes a day (roughly 12 days a year) looking for things they own but can’t find.”

The key to an organized bathroom is to get the proper storage containers and to label everything. If possible, begin by removing everything to a table, counter, or on top of the bed. It’s easier to see what you no longer need if it’s all in one place. Set up boxes or designate a space for donating, discarding, or moving to another location.

Try using these groupings to separate your items before returning them to the cupboards or drawers: face, hair, hair tools, dental, bath and body products, makeup, cotton swabs and rounds, back-stock supplies, medical supplies, and travel.

Clutter Clearing Checklist as you move through this process:

* Assess everything: What can you toss, donate, or relocate? Get rid of any item you haven’t used in a year. Check expiration dates on products and toss old make-up.

* Countertops: Every item should be something you need to use daily. If you like to have your daily items such as skin creams, hair products, toothbrush and paste on the counter, use a decorative tray or cup to attractively display these. The tray is easy to move for cleaning.

* Under the Sink: Store like items, cleaning supplies, hair dryers in plastic containers. Measure your space before buying products like modular acrylic drawers which can be easily viewed and stored on top of or inside shelves or under the sink to hold smaller items such as cotton swabs, band aids, nail polish, beauty or medical ointments.

*Medicine Cabinets: Remove everything, group into like categories. Clean the cabinet and put back only what you need. Discard or donate everything else. Examine dates on bottles. Never store prescriptions in the bathroom. Create a small bin titled, “Take Back Prescriptions.” When you learn about a Take Back event in the area, you can drop off your bin of either drugs or over-the-counter meds.

*Toilet Area: Be mindful to keep the toilet lid closed to prevent germs from spreading. Consider hanging a cupboard or shelf above the toilet for extra towel storage and/or a small table to hold toilet paper, wipes, etc.

Once you sort all bathroom items into categories, then put them into containers. One of my favorite ways is to use shoe boxes and boxes of various sizes. Often, I will cover the boxes with contact paper and label the boxes with colored masking tape which can easily be removed. If you prefer transparency, use clear bins from Dollar Tree or 99 Cent Store.

Enjoy your clutter-free bathroom now that you’ll be able to find everything more easily and you won’t be spending unnecessary money on toiletries!

As a Sun Lakes resident and owner of Joyful DOWNSIZING, I am passionate about helping boomers and seniors declutter to simplify their lives, organize the remaining items, and downsize unwanted stuff.

Future articles will feature organizing of the freezer/refrigerator, garage, entrances, digital, and medication decluttering. Stay tuned.

Call me to learn about my free 30-minute consultation at 480-720-8566 or contact me at [email protected]. Visit my website at