How to organize your bathroom in 7 simple steps

Bathroom cabinets and drawers usually become dumping grounds for junk and clutter, housing everything from half-used lotion bottles to broken hairbrushes and hordes of mini shampoos and conditioners.

But with a little decluttering action and organization savvy, you can transform your space in no time. Follow these easy steps to organize your bathroom once and for all.

Spa Kit. Top View. Shampoo, Soap Bar And Liquid. Shower

Step 1: Discard expired items

“One of the easiest and quickest ways to reduce clutter in the bathroom is to get rid of expired items,” says Professional Organizer and Productivity Consultant Jennifer Lava.

This means medicine, makeup, sunscreen, or anything else that has a limited shelf life. Not only do expired items take up valuable storage space, they’re also ineffective and dangerous.

Make sure you properly dispose of your expired medications, Lava cautions. Don’t flush them down the toilet or throw them away in place children or pets might have access to. Instead, check with your local pharmacy about collection days.

Step 2: Get rid of anything you don’t like or use

Lauren Williams, professional organizer and owner of Casual Uncluttering, advocates letting go of any and all products you don’t thoroughly enjoy, regardless of their condition and whether or not they were expensive or given as a gift.

“[This stuff] is also costing space and time whenever you have to reach past it to find something you actually use,” Williams says.

That bottle of fancy vanilla lotion gathering dust under your sink? Donate it to someone who’ll actually use it. The striped makeup pouch with a broken zipper? Lose it.

The still-packaged lavender foot scrub and bath bubbles your sister gave you for Christmas two years ago? Toss ‘em.

Lava recommends donating unopened or gently used items — like wrapped bars of soap, untouched makeup, nail kits, and mini shampoo and conditioner sets — to your local shelters.

Woman opening makeup bag, light coming out

Step 3: Clean your space

Take advantage of your empty bathroom to give it a through cleaning. Besides scrubbing and polishing the obvious areas, clean the inside of your drawers and cabinets, too.

Wipe down the mini plastic shelves in your medicine cabinet, empty your drawers of stray hairs and safety pins, and tackle the dust and grime that has accumulated in the cabinet below the sink.

Step 4: Sort everything into categories

Once you’ve discarded your old razors and stretched-out hair ties, sort everything that remains into categories: hair products, face products, makeup, shower products, luxury items, and so on.

Dividing all your toiletries and beauty products by type makes them much easier to organize and access.


Step 5: Figure out your storage plan

Before you start lining up your bottles of cologne in neat rows inside your medicine cabinet, give your bathroom space a once-over. Visualize your morning and nightly routines and ask yourself which products you use most frequently.

“Do your best to keep items closest to where you use them,” says Lava. Put your daily necessities like deodorant, face wash, and sunscreen inside your medicine cabinet or on an easily accessible shelf.

If you wear a spritz of perfume every day, display your favorite bottle on your countertop, and keep the rest of your collection organized below your sink. Relegate lesser-used items like extra floss or facemasks to the back of your cabinets.

Step 6: Use helpful containers

The secret to maintaining a neat, organized bathroom is to use the right containers to hold your stuff.

Lava suggests re-using shoe boxes to hold everything from nail polish to rolled wash cloths. Use drawer dividers to separate your toothpaste, toothbrushes, and makeup, and corral hair tools in cloth bins or baskets.

To give your bathroom a simple, elegant upgrade, decant things like shampoo, mouthwash, and soap into matching glass bottles. Pretty glass jars are also perfect for holding cotton balls, Q-tips, or bobby pins on your bathroom counter.

White Bathroom

Step 7: Maintain it

To avoid the dreaded junk-drawer effect in your bathroom, Williams says it’s important to put things back in their designated spot right after you use them.

“Give your bathroom a quick going-through at least once a week to put things back in place, and wipe down your sink once a day,” Williams says.

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