De-Cluttering and Organizing Your Bathroom

When you look at your bathroom, is it clean and organized?  Are you hiding all the clutter in the medicine cabinet or under-the-sink storage?  Bathrooms seem to attract lots of small items like makeup, medicine bottles, hair accessories, razors, hairbrushes, lotion, shampoo, product samples, and the list goes on.

Finding what you need as well as removing old products can be challenging.  Here are a few simple ideas to help you create more space and be more organized.


Helpful hint:   Decluttering doesn’t have to take forever. Set the timer for 20-30 minutes and work in that time frame. Some people like to do it all at once, so it may take longer; others tackle it a little at a time with a deadline when you want it completed. You decide what works best for you.

While you are decluttering, create buckets to organize your bathroom:

  1. You use it, and it stays in the bathroom area,
  2. outdated or expired and needs to be trashed, or
  3. belongs elsewhere.


Though they call it a medicine cabinet, it is probably not a great place to store your medicines.  Bathrooms can become hot and humid, affecting the quality of your medications.  Toss out medications that are past their expiration date.

Also, young hands and minds might go foraging in your cabinet and play with or ingest medicines that could be dangerous for them. Store medications out of reach in a dry, dark area, like a linen closet (as long as it isn’t in your bathroom!).


  • Most people store makeup, nail polish, shampoo, moisturizers, and other cleansing products in their bathrooms.  Remember that these products all have a shelf life — even if you don’t use them often.
  • Makeup will last about 18-24 months, except for mascara which requires replacement every four months.  Mascara accumulates bacteria quickly, so toss it out even if a product is still left.  Liquid eyeliner lasts about three to six months, and nail polish lasts approximately one year, depending upon how often you use it.  If your foundation or lipstick starts to smell, it has probably turned sour, so toss it. Foundation, they say around 12-18 months. Lipstick can last up to two to three years. The shelf life of hair products is usually 18 months.
  • If you are not using a product, get rid of it.
  • If the product doesn’t have an expiration date, it’s a good idea to take a permanent marker and add your calculated expiration date on the product as soon as you start to use it.  This way, you don’t have to remember when you purchased the product.  Then toss out all the items that have been hanging around forever. I do this with my mascara.

Cleaning Supplies

If you have the room and want them available in the bathroom, you can store cleaning supplies under the sink or the Linen Closet.   Have a storage bucket to keep it all together, so it’s easy to work with, and you see when your products are getting low.

Linen Closet

Many people have linen closets in the bathroom area, and you need to figure out what belongs there. Here are some ideas to declutter and organize:

  • Take out all of the towels and sheets. You may have collected mismatched items and need to decide if they are worth keeping. Decide how many towels and washcloths you need for each person in the household for a week. Add a couple more just in case you have visitors. The number will also depend on how often you do laundry.
  • If the items are in good shape, but you probably won’t use them again, donate them.
  • As some of my towels are old, they are suitable for dusting and cleaning, so I cut them up and store them in a basket for this purpose.
  • I read if you don’t need rags, don’t cut up the old towels; instead, donate to the animal shelter for them to use.
  • If you have multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, organize your towels & sheets for each room.
  • Go on the internet and learn how to fold fitted sheets, and your closet will look more organized.
  • Store fitted sheets, top sheets, and pillowcases in one pillowcase, so everything is organized and ready to go.
  • I store light bulbs, tools, and other household items in my linen closet, and it works for me.

Storage Ideas

You have now gone through your makeup and cleansing products, tossed out what you didn’t need or what has expired, and now you are ready to organize what’s left. Here are some organizing tools for a small bathroom area:

  • Over the Toilet – this is a great space to add an enclosed storage cabinet with several shelves.  Don’t forget to organize this space with appropriate-sized bins to contain and organize all those little things.
  • Tub and Shower Areas – Caddies and corner shelving hold shampoo and cleansing products.  A rack that fits the tub can work for the children’s toys.  Find a fishnet bag to house the toys and hang them from the showerhead to dry.
  • Under the Sink Area – Here is a great space to include inexpensive storage containers. Go to your local dollar store and stock up on the right storage products for your bathroom.  Have separate storage areas for each person or different categories of products.
  • Don’t forget the walls. The internet has so many different shelving ideas that can dress up a bathroom and organize it simultaneously.
  • If space is limited and several people share one bathroom, have separate colored caddies for their products. You can store them under the sink or linen closet. Or these caddies can be stored in their bedrooms or closets and brought out only when needed, thus not using up all the available storage space in a small bathroom.  A makeup or nail caddy can be easily transferred to the bathroom or another room when you want to use it and stowed away when not in use.
  • Use Empty Door Space and hang an over-the-door towel hanger on the closet. Also, find a clear plastic shoe bag to store the product over the door.
  • Get a toilet paper caddy beside the Toilet to have paper readily available whenever needed.

Once you’ve put the time in to declutter, clean, and organize your bathroom, it is easier to keep it up.  And now that you worked hard to declutter and organize your bathroom, it’s time to celebrate by creating a relaxing mood —  light a great smelling candle, run a warm bath and either read or daydream.  It’s your time to relax.

Your Thoughts

Any helpful ideas you can share with the community? How do you organize your bathroom?   Do you have specific challenges that you would love to get some ideas about?

Women’s Group Topic

I know organizing the bathroom isn’t a topic you would typically think of for a women’s group evening.   Yet, discussing the issues, you deal with every time you go into the bathroom – cleaning and organizing ideas to share can be fun to support each other.

Be well,

“To fully enjoy the ‘richness’ of our lives, we need to stop long enough to visit with ourselves.”
(Pat Brill)


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