5 Minutes to Less: Bathroom Clutter

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I have two truths for you: 1) You are already beautiful, and 2) You are clean, most of the time. If you don’t believe the first, you are doing yourself, your loved ones, and the world at large a great disservice. Please acknowledge and add a little more happy to the planet. The second is definitely true, unless you are living in fifteenth century England (in which case, how are you reading this? And please tell everyone about the awesomeness of hand-washing and vaccines! Just try not to get burned at the stake for it…)

Now that you understand that you are beautiful and clean, this third truth will make a lot of sense: You have way too many beauty products cluttering up your bathroom. 

That’s right, folks. Today’s 5 Minutes or Less decluttering strategy brings us into the bathroom, dumping ground of unloved beauty products. Ready? Let’s begin!

First, spend a quiet moment miming your normal cleansing and beauty routine. It might seem silly, but this is what I do every time I pack for a trip to make sure I take the right products. I mime showering, putting on lotion, doing my hair, having my personal assistant and vocal coach Jorge rub organic coconut oil onto my feet, etc. It helps me remember which products I use every day so that I pack correctly. (And hey, if it helps to don some black pants, a stripey shirt, and white face paint to do this, go right ahead. You could even set out a hat in which passersby could drop spare change. This activity could be a total career game-changer, just ask Jorge.)

Once you’re done miming and have collected 35 cents from confused and frightened-looking neighbors, take a glance at the products in your bathroom. Do they reflect the actions you just mimed? Or are there superfluous amounts of bottles and potions littering your shelves, making your bathroom resemble a Clinique counter clearance sale that has lasted since 1995?

If you’re like most of us, I suspect the latter. I, too, used to harbor unloved and unused beauty products, hoping against hope that I would someday discover their magic and be transformed into the flawless-faced damsel displayed on the packaging. (Please refer to Truth #1: YOU ARE ALREADY BEAUTIFUL. So girlfriend, you don’t need what’s in that bottle…)

The truth is, some beauty products work. Some don’t. Save yourself some grief and cash and just stick with what works for you. That means ditching a heck of a lot of stuff in your bathroom. (And don’t give in to that “But I don’t want to waste it!” excuse. If it is sitting unused in your cupboard, it is currently being wasted. Let it go and be grateful for the new space in which to house products you actually use and love.)

To give you some inspiration, I took pics of every single beauty product I use. So if you are curious about what makes the magic happen, read on…

Teeth: First and foremost, I gotta take care of those pearly whites my parents paid so much to straighten. Toothpaste and floss? Check!

Shower: shampoo, conditioner, and soap. That’s it. If you have more than this in your shower, I’m not really sure what you’re washing. (But hey, let me know, because maybe I should be washing that, too!) I use conditioner to shave. It leaves my skin soft and means I don’t have to buy shaving cream. Double check!

Body care: Vaseline, nicely-scented lotion, and deodorant. I use scented lotion because I don’t like perfume, and Vaseline is my own personal tiger balm. The deodorant is self-explanatory. (Unless you live in aforementioned fifteenth century, in which case, add this to the list of things you need to tell folks about. And again, try your best to avoid that stake-burning thing… I hear that was very popular for minor offenses like telling people they stink and believing that everyone should have, like, rights and stuff.)

For the money-maker: My face care products are a bit more numerous, due to my wonderfully oily (aka acne-prone) Italian skin. But like I said, you gotta do what works for you…

Hair: My curly hair needs moisture, hence the oil and leave-in spray. When I straighten my hair, the dry shampoo and powder work like little cans of follicle magic. I also keep some good old-fashioned hairspray on hand, because my sister, who knows about these things, says hairspray is the #1 most underused beauty product in America. Dolly Parton would agree. And who argues with Dolly Parton? Nobody, that’s who.

Make-up: A few years ago, I seriously decreased my make-up supply. You can read about that here. I think most ladies look better with minimal make-up (and I’m guessing their significant others would agree). I stick with basic products that work for me: concealer, mineral foundation, blush, eyeshadow, mascara, lip balm. Occasionally some eyeliner and lip stain for a hot night out on the town, such as going to Kroger after 9:00pm.

That’s it. All the beauty magic in my arsenal. With these products, I feel clean, beautiful, and ready to hit the town. Look out, Kroger. I’ve got coupons.

So my challenge for you is this: Do some miming. Then set a timer for 5 minutes. Look at the products in your bathroom. Could you stand to ditch a few? Do your products really reflect what you use on a regular basis? Do you own anything even remotely resembling body glitter? If so, you’ve got some purging to do. Get to it!

Rose Lounsbury is the Dayton, Ohio area’s up-and-coming professional organizer. After blogging about her own journey toward a minimalist lifestyle, Rose was inspired to start Less, a minimalist-minded professional organizing company. If you’d like Rose’s help with an organizing project at your home or office, please call her at 937-626-9030.






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