I have grand visions of waking up in the morning and wandering into my spa-like oasis of a bathroom. I picture a fluffy rug beneath my feet, clear, clean counters and high quality hand towels that actually match.
Enter my reality.
I’ve been rather unmotivated to write about my bathroom purge because at first glance, it really doesn’t look much different since my initial purge. I felt like I tossed out a ton of stuff, but when you are getting rid of smaller items like lip gloss, nail polish and old medications, it takes a lot to make a dent.
I had many similar beauty products scattered throughout my bathroom. It was difficult to keep track of it all.
I did not declutter this area drawer by drawer, but rather in phases. I started by emptying out every drawer and cupboard before I proceeded to purge. This way I could see exactly what I had accumulated. It was a critical part of feeling comfortable purging, and being able to put it away in a more orderly fashion.
Here are the phases I went through. I hope it helps as you minimalize your home.
Phase 1: Junk
The first thing I did was trash everything that was dried out, old and expired. Easy right? There was surprisingly more of that then I thought I had. I didn’t really think I held on to the that kind of stuff but apparently I was wrong.
Phase 2: “Just-in-Case” Products
I then purged stuff I didn’t really want to use, but felt obligated to keep. These were the items I had been keeping just in case I ever needed them. Things like:
- Overpowering lotions
- Face masks
- Torn, stained or faded towels
- Excess nail polish
- Hair gels/sprays
- Bad Razors
- Old make-up bags
- Old jewelry
I mean, seriously, we have such easy access to whatever products we need. I’m, at worst, 48 hours away from having almost any product shipped to my door-step thanks to my pre-minimalist boyfriend, Amazon Prime. There is no reason to keep a sneeze-inducing, floral hand lotion for an “emergency.”
I had a giant pile of 13 year old candles under my sink. I’m really not a candle person and I’m confident that won’t change anytime soon. Especially with our mischievous little Amelia roaming the house. Regardless, there is no scenario where I need 100 tea light candles. I finally acknowledged that and donated them.
I purged my bathroom closet of 75% of our towels. I don’t even know where they all came from? It took some negotiation between Paul and I, but we landed on keeping 6. Honestly, I’m kind of glad he pushed for a few extra because they are of the utmost importance when you have a puking kid. Let’s be honest, they never actually puke on the towel. I sleep better knowing I at least tried to protect my carpet.
And then there was my Birchbox supply…sigh. Birchbox is a monthly subscription I started well over a year ago. Every month I would receive 5 new beauty product samples to try based on the profile I filled out. Super fun right? I just loved getting a little something new every month, and it always seemed to come on those “#momlife” kind of days. The days I could really use a pick me up. It was fun for a season, but I kept it way too long. I had hoarded 1 1/2 shoe boxes full of random products.
I ruthlessly went through it all, and kept only the things I knew I would really use. I let my sisters and friends go through the rest. Two months into minimalism I canceled my subscription. That’s when Paul knew I was really serious about this minimalism thing.
Phase 3: What Remained
After going through and pitching everything that was expired, and then being honest and removing the products I didn’t care to use, I was still left with A LOT of stuff. It was then that I realized that my bathroom would take a a few months. I didn’t get to see the immediate results I did with other areas like my clothing, toys, and my kitchen.
The encouraging part is, although I was left looking at a lot of wasted money, I knew I had the opportunity to save going forward. I now knew what I had. I organized the products in my cupboards by type and I’m now slowing using them up. Rather than running out and replacing my favorite volumizing shampoo and conditioner, I’m using up all of the half used bottles and hotel shampoos I found.
I haven’t needed to buy most of my beauty products in months. I had the opportunity to finally be a good steward of what I already owned. Even if they are not my favorite products, I’m learning to be content with them and not wasteful. I know where everything is and where to go for it.
My before and after photos aren’t jaw dropping. My drawers aren’t perfectly organized. But slowly I’m seeing progress. And the best part is I’ve Stopped the Madness.
I don’t know if I will every obtain that spa-like bathroom only reserved for an episode of Fixer Upper or my dear friend Stacey’s home in Nashville. But week by week I feel the chaos leaving even the smallest, insignificant areas of my home, making even the simplest activities, like brushing my teeth, more peaceful.