Cut Clutter in the Bathroom: Easy as A-B-C!

cut bathroom clutter

The huddled survivors raise their heads. Less-expensive skin care products that are used each day are keepers. Hey! Why are there two bottles of the same moisturizer on this counter? One goes to Put Away for future "B" storage.

Once again, the declutterer shakes her head at her giant Aveda hair spray can. Yes, it's earned it's place on the countertop. Yes, it's a great product. Yes, it's lasted over 18 months. But why did the can have to be nearly 15 inches long and shiny silver? Put it in a drawer and the sprayer won't work--but leaving it on the countertop does not enhance the decor!

Our declutterer shakes her head and reminds herself to complain about it at her next hair appointment. That'll be a welcome change from buying new skin care "systems."

Diving into drawers

Deep breath. Time to venture into more complex territory: the vanity drawers. Way, way back in the distant past, these drawers were divided between bathroom cohabitants. Bottom drawer for his "B" stuff, middle drawer for hers, with both sharing the "A" territory of the top drawer, split right down the middle.

Hmmm. Opening the top drawer, the plan has worked surprisingly well. Deodorant and cotton swabs, bottles of aspirin and decongestant are all more-or-less in their places. A quick setting to rights, and even the tooth care items have a new, less visible home.

Liberated from the top drawer? Hair doodles, straight to Put Away Box for "B" storage. The first of many small travel bottles of shampoo, mouthwash and shower gel. Our declutterer sighs. Her dear partner, while quite well-traveled, has not yet learned that it's gauche and tacky to strip each hotel room like a piranha before he checks out.

Fingers clasped around the bottle, she formulates a rule: unopened items will be kept in a drawer in the guest bathroom.Opened items meet the Hotel Bottle Grim Reaper. Using this standard, a nice little mound of guest room supplies begins to grow in a corner of the Storage box, while a smaller number fall silently into the black embrace of the garbage bag.

She sorts, she sorts

The declutterer's smugness over the travel bottle matter is short-lived. She opens her "B" drawer. Not easily. On casual inspection, it appears there's never been an electrical hair gadget that she didn't like. Colored elastic ponytail holders tangle in the stiff fingers of several curling irons. All the plastic detritus of earlier hair-growing-out periods look up in lurid disarray.

Wedged in, over, around and on the hair care contingent is our declutterer's makeup and nail care equipment. She puzzles, wondering how someone who wears makeup only for social occasions should have acquired this many dusty little compacts of this and that.

Our declutterer stiffens her backbone. Now possessed of a nice, chin-length bob, all bangs-growing-out props must go. Curling irons and intact hair doodles will brighten up the local Goodwill, so into Garage Sale/Donate they go.

Makeup that was purchased before last summer is thrown away. Eye makeup, in particular, can breed dangerous bacteria, and is not suitable for donation. Many cracked plastic cases of eyeshadow make friends with the hotel bottles in the bottom of the garbage bag. Be particularly careful with mascara, our declutterer reminds herself, as contaminated mascara can cause serious eye infections. She turns to her planner and schedules "buy mascara and dump the old wand" every two months.

That reminds her about tossing toothbrushes, so another note is in order. "Buy toothbrushes and toss old ones" is entered into the planner.

Brushes, brushes, brushes! Oh my, someone likes good natural bristle brushes, don't they? Round, half-round, ball-shaped, paddle-shaped, large and small. Make a mental note, please; somebody is much too soft a sell at the hairdressers.

The old, the bizarre, and the awful brushes (that terrible thing that always gets tangled in the hair) go to Hairbrush Heaven, aka garbage bag. The everyday brushes are retained along with a couple of special effects brushes and the blow-dryer. They rattle about next to the now stripped-down makeup organizer. New note: buy basket to corral brushes. The nail care basket fits into the remaining space in the drawer.

Whew! Enough wallowing in one's own appearance fetishes, on to his "B" drawer. Surprisingly, it's nearly empty, save for a few dozen more hotel bottles. They come out, his surplus and storage items are transferred from the Put Away box. Now our declutterer is cooking with gas!