Bathrooms are notorious for becoming a repository for stuff. And if your bathroom doubles as your laundry, you have double trouble! Just why bathrooms become a safe haven for what is, essentially clutter, is worth pondering. For many, it’s because they haven’t figured out where else in the house to store excess or unwanted cosmetics, lotions, potions, and cleaning products. For others, it’s because bathrooms are associated with relaxation (think hot baths and warm steam), so they become a magnet for scented candles, bath bombs, luxury soaps, and cleansing face masks. Bathrooms also take on the role of first aid station, which is why at least one draw in your vanity will be stuffed with band aids, salves, eye drops, and burn gel. Then there’s the unopened airline toothbrush and toothpaste sets, the mini shampoos and conditioners you just couldn’t leave behind when you vacated your hotel room, and the half-used containers of sunscreen left behind each time the grandies come to stay. And we haven’t even touched on the cupboards full of thread-bare towels and stained wash cloths. All in all, we simply ask too much of one of the smallest rooms in the house. Which is why we have the following exit plan from the chaos!
Help with hygiene
A big part of holding onto excess pamper and everyday hygiene products is we can’t bear to waste them. But what if you knew there was an organisation crying out for unused items of this sort, so they can be handed on to those who can’t afford to buy them for themselves? The organisation is Soap for Society, and it welcomes donations of everything from hand sanitiser to mini shampoos and continence products. If you don’t find a depository close to you, pop your goods in a post bag or box and send them off to this very good cause. Your bathroom shelves and window ledges will thank you for doing so!
Creative with cosmetics
Colours come and colours go, and the blusher that suited you last year, may not cut the mustard this season. No one likes to discard cosmetics, which is why your bathroom cabinet is full of them. Do yourself a favour by scooping the whole lot into a fresh plastic container, and taking it, or posting it, to Rainbow Youth. You can also add in skin care products. And suddenly, you have a whole spare drawer in your vanity unit!
Quit the candles
Candles feel inviting, but there’s a limit to how many you actually need on the edge of your bath, and while they remain unused, they gather dust, and sometimes the remains of embedded, blackened matches! Instead of wishing the mess would all just magically go away, be proactive. Scoop up all but one or two of your favourites, place them in individual jam jars, and use them in one glorious go, to light your next patio drinks evening.
It’s not so much your bathroom cabinet (if it’s out of reach of children or has a kiddie lock on it) isn’t suitable for storing medicines. It’s whether you should be keeping old medicines in the first place! Prescription medicines age over time. Some can lose their potency and actually be detrimental if taken. So do both your bathroom, and your health, a favour by gathering up unused medicines and taking them to your local chemist for disposal. Always try to take medicines in their original containers, and never flush them down the toilet – something which can harm the environment.
There are two good reasons why you shouldn’t have excess sun screen stored in your bathroom. The first is, if you’re following skin protection guidelines, it’s likely you will have used it all up before it expires. The second is, any expired sunscreen product isn’t reliable, and shouldn’t be used – so ditch it! This will leave you with fewer containers than before, and if that’s the case, keep storing them in the bathroom providing it’s your coolest spot in the house. Sun screen stores best in a cool, dry environment, away from direct sunlight.
Clear out the cleaners
Your bathroom is not your cleaning cupboard! Save the little bathroom space you have for personal pampering and hygiene items, and store cleaners in two caddies (one caddy for products you use on a daily basis, and another for those you use for spring cleaning). Keep the caddies in a central location, well out of reach of children, and tote them from room to room as you clean. If you buy cleaning products in bulk, they can be stored in a child-proof location in the garage, from where you can decant them into labelled containers for your caddy.
Ta-ra to the towels
Thread bear and tatty towels are ugly to look at, and they very often don’t do the job they were intended to do! What’s more, when you donate them to your local SPCA for use as animal bedding and cleaning rags, you can be assured they are going to a good home. You’re a grown up, now, not a student flatter. Shout yourself some gorgeous fluffy towels and wash cloths in matching colours, and feel the difference on your body and in your mood!
Follow these simple steps to a better bathroom, and enjoy relaxing next time you hop in the shower or bath.