Organized Simplicity Chapter 12: Day Six (The Bathrooms and Linens)

Today we clean the bathrooms and linen closet!  You’ll need cleaners and tools.

Quick question: What is the purpose of the bathroom?  Besides the obvious, of course.  What ambience do you want in there- playful, for kids?  Perhaps spa-like?  That’s part of its purpose.

Step one: declutter.  Remove EVERYTHING.  You’re getting to be a pro at this.

Step two:  sort.  We’re going to go through the cosmetics and toiletries, and then your linens.

Look at the cosmetics and toiletries- throw out anything past pull date, consolidate the useful (shampoo can totally be mixed together!), throw out what’s open but not being used, give away what’s un opened and not being used.

A little discussion about cosmetics.  First off, Tsh gives us a handy reference for how long you should keep makeup after opening it.

  • Mascara: 3-4 months
  • Liquid foundation: 1 year
  • Powder foundation: 2 years
  • Cream eye shadow: 1 year
  • Liquid eyeliner: 6 months
  • Pencil eyeliner: 2 years
  • Liquid blush: 1 year
  • Powder blush: 2 years
  • Lipstick: 2 years
  • Nail polish: 2 years

Now, the second thing to think about with cosmetics: do you really want them on your face?  All those chemicals?  Heavy metals?  Is it time for a “green revolution”?

Moving on.

Linen Closet!  Take everything out, take a look.  Check out your towels- are they too old?  Are there too many?  How about sheets- do they fit any beds currently in your house?  Are they dingy?  Make an inventory of what you have.

Step three: Clean.  Clean everything, top to bottom, inside and out.

Step Four: Organize.  Use containers for small items under the sink, and label them.  Keep only the toiletries you use daily.  Add hooks on the wall for towels, one for each person.  Re-fold linens and shelve logically.  (You all know to put each sheet set inside its own pillowcase, so it stays clean and together?  Because I’m pretty sure Martha started telling us to do that in the 90’s, but I keep seeing people freak out about this incredible tip.  Yeah, I was reading her magazine in high school…)

Alright!  Reflection time!

Take a look at your bathrooms.  Do they live up to the ambiance you want for them?  What needs to change?

This was a blessedly easy day for me.  Nothing very difficult about emptying a linen closet, deciding that one bed doesn’t need four pairs of cotton sheets, and putting my favorites back in the closet.  I was amazed at how much space there was after I reorganized, though!  No more danger of quilts falling on my head every time I open the door.

There wasn’t much in the bathrooms- a few old bottles of lotion and sunscreen hit the trash can, and some old toilet brushes.  I tip toed past the master closet to clean the master bathroom (it’s connected) and told myself that obviously the closet would get taken care of when I took care of the master bedroom.  That closet is SCARY.  It’s where toys get indefinite timeouts, emergency lanterns and packs are stored, and a hundred other random things that belong to my husband and I and have no other home.  (Things like wrapping paper, spare curtains and rods, the fancy dishes, presents for other people, bike panniers and gear, jewelry, a tent that fits over a twin bed…oh, LOTS of things!)  This was definitely a nice change of pace from the mayhem of taking my kitchen apart.  My kitchen is lovely now, but it was a bit hairy during the cleaning process!

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