I was at a dinner party over the weekend and mentioned that I just began writing an “organization column/blog.” Before I could start my next sentence, a guest (a female, 20-something, fashion design major) screams out, “I am the biggest product hoarder ever!” After a few confused faces and giant sips of wine, another guest (a male, 20-something, investment banker) mentioned to her that hoarders are, of course, very similar to “junk keepers,” but they do have a purpose behind their actions and that purpose is to save for future use. If that is the case, this girl must be set for life. Lucky her! Chances are, though, that products go bad, or you find better ones, or simply get sick of them, but the old ones still stick around and take up precious space.
In my past experience working with a professional organizer, I’ve noticed that many people accumulate the majority of their “junk/treasures” in their bathroom. If you have more than three types of body wash opened in your shower, then you, my friend, fall into this category, too.
So, how do you eliminate the clutter? Here are some ways to get started:
1. Take everything (products, hair brushes, cosmetics, etc.) out of your bathroom and place them on a table or space on the floor that will be large enough to sort on.
2. The worst part: clean your bathroom! (Or invite your mom over.) Have you ever had to use the bathroom at a friend’s and decided to hold it until you return home or pass by a Starbuck’s because it is so disgusting? Enough said, just clean your bathroom!
3. A good idea, while in the mode, would be to pick up a new shower curtain liner. They accumulate mold at the bottom at a rapid speed. You’ll be surprised at how much of a difference this will make. FYI… You can purchase one at Target, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Home Depot, Etc. It should not cost you more than $10.
4. Return to your lonely products and sort them accordingly… i.e. hair products, hair accessories, skin care products, cosmetics, etc. This is the stage where you should think about my crazy dinner dinner party friend and tell yourself that you never want to be a hoarder, therefore, you’re going to reduce.
Also, keep in mind, that like food, products and cosmetics go bad. For example, when a top to a hair product or nail polish bottle cannot be removed, it is usually time to toss it. Skin care products will last anywhere from six months to two years, although products with alcohol in them will last a longer. Any products that separate or begin to form moisture (usually in little droplets that look like beads) are telling you that it is time to be toss them. Cosmetics have a much younger shelf life. For example, mascara should be replaced every three to four months or so, while foundation and lipsticks and most other cosmetics are safe to use for no more than two years. I would recommend washing your cosmetic brushes every other month because they accumulate a lot of bacteria. You can do this by simply using shampoo as good brushes are generally made of real hair (not human hair.) Also, a common sense side note: Most products do sport an expiration date. Lastly, a smell test works, too.
As far as storage goes, here are my ideas and recommendations by category:
-Towels, Tissue, Toilet Paper, Etc. – Ideally, a linen closet is the perfect home for these items, but if space is an issue, storage boxes can easily hide these items.
-Hair Products – The medicine cabinet or a shelf is your best bet for easy access.
-Hair Accessories – Under the sink is a great place. Not an option? Try a shelf with a small bucket to house your brushes and a small hook (compliments of Home Depot) to hang your hair dryer, flat iron, curling iron, etc. For smaller hair accessories (ponytail holders, barrettes, etc. use a small cosmetic bag or tiny, cute dish on a shelf.)
-Face and Body Products – Again, the medicine cabinet or a shelf is your best bet for easy access.
-Cosmetics – A cosmetic bag is wonderful, especially if you like to take your cosmetics with you on-the-go.
Just keep in mind… Do you really want to be the person with the repulsive bathroom?