On the surface it looks clean. Sparse. Neat. But beneath the surface, my bathroom is actually a cluttery-mess, or at least it is to me. My bathroom vanity is the testament to my disorganization and propensity to hold onto too much stuff. As I’ve slowly been trying to eradicate clutter from my life, I decided that if I was truly going to be efficient, I had to dig below the surface and attack all the “stuff” that is tucked away. This week my hall bath got a cleansing.
My small bathroom vanity holds three plastic bins full of makeup and hair items. The plastic bins were actually my attempt at organizing the clutter. And it did allow me to tuck many items neatly away. The only problem is that I have no idea what is really in those bins, and they are a hassle to take in and out.
To the left of those bins is just…well. Stuff. Lots and lots of stuff. As I discovered, it was not only some cleaning supplies but…
6 Irons – Flat and Curling,
Over a dozen toothbrushes,
4 bags of hair,
Lots of hairbrushes and combs,
6 bottles of shampoo and conditioner,
3 Cans of Insect Repellant,
And the list goes on. My cabinet was the perfect example of our consumerist culture — buy just too buy. I bought toothbrushes to have extra, not realizing that I already had extra. I bought insect repellant to protect our skin against mosquitos, not remembering that I had also done that every summer before. I bought new flat irons when I was ready for a makeover, not caring that my old flat irons were just fine. it’s my lack of styling skills that need to be replaced. I bought shampoo because I forgot that I had unopened bottles of shampoo hidden underneath the cleansers, hair tools, and insect repellants.
I have to do better, and I did. I got rid of some stuff, but didn’t want to contribute to already filled landfills, so I thought it better to organize the stuff so I knew it was there and could actually use it. I tossed the plastic bins, and opted for an open, bathroom tote (for college kids), that allows for easy access and viewing.
If you are due for a vanity check, here is one question that will help you sort through the clutter:
- Have you used it in the last month?
If not, then it can probably be eradicated from your vanity. In an effort to not contribute to waste, depending upon where you live, you can donate unopened bottles of cleansers or hair products to thrift stores. (In California probably not, but in Oklahoma City, it’s just fine.) You can also donate unused products and hair tools in good condition to women’s shelters. African American families in shelters have special needs for specific types of hair products, so this donation could really help someone. You can also share unwanted products with families and friends.
Once you’ve gotten rid of some items, it’s time to organize the rest. Put rarely used items in the back of the cabinet. Place small items like toothbrushes or makeup items in bins that are easy to access.
Organizing your bathroom cabinet may seem like a menial task– who cares what goes on in there? But it’s like taking care of your body. Just because you can’t see the effects of that donut on your heart, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to clean up your diet. Your cabinets are the inside of your home.