How to Declutter Your Bathroom

Bathroom clutter is some of the easiest in the house to get rid of.  I mean, it’s not like we’re emotionally attached to those almost-empty shampoo bottles, right?! But like any other room, it is easier to declutter with a plan and great tips to keep you on track. 

If you’re wondering “how do you declutter a bathroom”, then you’re probably tired of the mess and ready to take action.  Start here with the easy steps below.  Included are questions to ask when you’re deciding what should stay and what should go.

You’ll follow the same basic steps to declutter your bathroom as any other room.   

1. Take 5 minutes.

Before you begin to declutter your bathroom, give a little thought to your goals for the room.  This will definitely affect the decisions you make as you go about clearing the clutter.

  • In what ways is the room currently functioning well?
  • What is not working well?  Think of things that are awkward, frustrating or inconvenient to do.
  • How do you currently feel in this room?   How would you like to feel when you’re in this room?

2. Pick a target.

Whether you’re going to clear the clutter little by little, or all in one shot, it’s important to have a simple plan.  Pick a starting point and then tackle each part of the room methodically.  You’ll be less likely to miss something, will see results more quickly, and generally create less mess. 

Declutter in small enough increments to finish in the time you have.

Work through the bathroom spaces listed below.

3. Gather supplies.

Bathrooms require very simple decluttering supplies.

  • Garbage bags are a must because many items will simple be thrown away.
  • Simple cleaning supplies to wipe down areas like countertops, the inside of cabinets, and drawers as you go.
  • A cardboard box or laundry basket to hold anything you decide to donate, give away, or relocate to somewhere else in your house.

4. Empty and sort.

Empty all the items from your target area.  

There are so many different products that end up in this room.  Check our list of bathroom items to declutter.

Going one by one, place each item in one of the following groups:

  • Toss (trash, garbage or recycling)
  • Donate/Give
  • Relocate (to another place in your home)
  • Keep

When you’ve finished sorting through every item in your target area, it’s time for the next step.

5. Replace, remove and relocate.

Before your session is done, you need to process the items that you’ve decluttered.  Don’t skip it, no matter how tempting it may be!  

  • Neatly replace all the items you’re keeping in the bathroom.
  • Remove all the decluttered items from the room.  Dispose of trash/garbage/recycling properly, and get items ready to be donated or given away.
  • Relocate any items that belong somewhere else in your house.

Spaces to Declutter

Bathrooms are naturally divided into smaller sections that you can target to declutter.  Only have 15 minutes to spare?  Pick one of these to work on.

  • SHOWER & TUB
    It can get really crowded in there between hair care products, body products, bathing accessories and even kids bath toys.  You may have gotten used to bumping into things left and right, but it’s time to change that.  This is a good area to target and do all at one time.
  • COUNTERS
    This is prime bathroom real estate and is usually pretty limited.  It’s easy for lots of things to end up here as we use them and don’t put them back where they belong.  The more minimal you can get your counters the more tidy and spacious the room will look and feel.  
  • CLOSETS & CABINETS
    Modern bathrooms usually have a medicine cabinet on the wall, a vanity cabinet under the sink, and sometimes a linen closet as well.  Closed spaces are great to reduce visual clutter, but all kinds of everything tends to collect in them.  Each of these areas is a good target for a decluttering session, but you can break them down even further if needed.
  • DRAWERS
    More wonderful closed storage, which we love, but that can get filled to the brim in no time and be frustrating to use every day.
  • TOP OF TOILET
    An empty space here is great.  It’s also a nice place for something simple like a box of Kleenex or a candle.  Just avoid using it for lots of random items or as a catch-all area. 
  • WALLS & BACK OF DOOR
    How many robes and/or towels are hanging on the back of the door?  And what about hooks, shelves, and home decor hanging on the walls?  Less is more when you’re trying to keep a small room look less cluttered.
  • FLOOR
    It’s hard to make any room look decluttered if there’s clutter on the floor, no matter how minimal or tidy the rest of it is.  Definitely remove anything that doesn’t belong there, needs to be replaced, or can be stored out of sight.  Minimize as much as possible the things that need to stay in a visible area.  

Items to Declutter

Here is a list of items commonly found in a bathroom, which means they’re almost certainly collecting clutter. The good news is that it will often be pretty obvious what needs to go.

  • TOWELS – Now’s the time to let go of old, stained, scratchy, or threadbare towels.  Maybe they need to be replaced or maybe you just need to weed out some and keep the rest. 
  • MEDICATIONS – Keeping medications in a bathroom that gets warm and humid isn’t a good idea.  But before you go about finding another home for them, dispose properly of any that are expired or won’t be used.
  • SKIN CARE PRODUCTS from cleansers to moisturizers to topical treatments for skin problems to sunscreen.
  • BODY CARE PRODUCTS from soaps to lotions to deodorant.
  • HAIR CARE PRODUCTS such as shampoos, conditioners, hair spray, mousse, hair color, etc.
  • DENTAL CARE PRODUCTS such as toothbrushes, dental floss, toothpaste, mouthwash, etc.
  • SMALL APPLIANCES – We have so many personal care appliances available today, the selection is almost endless: hair dryers, curling irons, electric toothbrushes, beard trimmers, electric razors, water flossers, and more. 
  • MAKEUP – Cosmetics can make up a major portion of the items you’re storing in the bathroom.  Most likely there are plenty that you haven’t used in ages, know you don’t like, or never even opened.
  • HAIR BRUSHES & ACCESSORIES – 
  • TRAVEL & SAMPLE SIZES – These little guys are cute, and we hate to waste perfectly usable products.  But for the sake of a more spacious bathroom, throw away the ones you’ve opened and consider donating the unopened ones to a good cause like a shelter.
  • BATH ACCESSORIES – Have your loofahs, or back brush, or shower cap seen better days? Maybe you even have too many hooks or holders on the shower walls. Let them go, and only replace what you need.
  • BATH TOYS – Sort out what is worn, broken, or old news.  Kids don’t need a mountain of items to keep them entertained in the bath.  Keep a favorite few.
  • FIRST AID – An excess of any one item may need to be reduced.  Also take the opportunity to make sure your first aid supplies are comprehensive and in good condition.
  • CLEANING PRODUCTS – If you keep cleaning and maintenance products in the bathroom, make it just the basics that you need, that they’re in good condition, and get rid of duplicates.  

Questions to Ask

The bathroom is one of the easier rooms to declutter because there aren’t usually many items that require emotional decisions.  It’s still a good idea to work from a list of questions, though, as you go through item by item.  

  • Do I regularly use it?
  • Do I like or enjoy it?
  • Is it in good condition?
  • Is it safe?
  • Is it expired?
  • Is it almost empty?
  • How many do I have?
  • Does it make my life easier or more convenient?
  • Does it belong in this room?

Tips for Success

Mindset is important no matter what you’re decluttering.  Try these ideas to help youself overcome some common roadblocks.

  • Don’t feel guilty about getting rid of unopened products.  Put them to good use. They’re in high demand at shelters and other organizations that provide for people in crisis.
  • Be honest with yourself.  If you haven’t tried those makeup or perfume samples yet, you probably won’t.  
  • Don’t keep things just because you have space for them.  This is just a form of procrastination.  Make those decisions now.  Clutter is still clutter even if it’s neat and tidy.  

Wrap Up

A clutter free bathroom feels and functions so much better than one filled with all kinds of unnecessary items. It’s well worth any time you spend decluttering because you’ll enjoy the results every single day.  Following the basic steps to declutter and asking the right questions will get you there.

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