Today, we’re talking all about how to declutter a small bathroom. Our family shares one bathroom (my husband and I plus two kids), so that means we’re a little short on space when it comes to bathroom storage. Our bathroom vanity is our main storage area in the bathroom, and the drawers and cupboard were definitely in need of a declutter.
It wasn’t like the drawers were overflowing, but stuff was kind of stashed everywhere, things were randomly organized (or not organized), I knew we had a lot of duplicate things, and the setup was not the most efficient use of space. So, time for a declutter! If you want to know how to declutter a small bathroom, below are the steps I follow.
By the way, these steps are applicable in pretty much any space, so I created an ebook you can grab for FREE on how to declutter any space in your home using these principles. If you’re ready to declutter, this ebook guide will help.
Step #1 Pull Out Everything
If you’re going to declutter a space, you need to see everything you’re dealing with. I pulled everything out of the drawers and cupboard and put it on the bathroom floor. Yes, it’s a big mess, but it allows me to quickly identify things, group things, and generally move much faster than if I just took out and dealt with one thing at a time.
Step #2 Throw Away All Trash
When you’re at the beginning of a decluttering project, you need quick wins to get the momentum going. Throwing away trash is the quickest win of all. Start clearing the space immediately by throwing away anything you know needs to be in the garbage can.
A Note About Partially-Used Products
Ah, yes. If you’re like me, you probably found several partially used hair products, skin products, etc. in the vanity. I ask myself two questions when I run across these:
- Have I used this recently?
- Am I going to use it in the near future?
Be really honest here. If the answer is no on both questions, it goes in the trash. Yes, it feels wasteful. Yes, you cringe when you remember how much you paid for it, but you’re not getting your money’s worth by it sitting in your bathroom vanity. In fact, it may actually be costing you even more money by taking up space, because when your storage space is crammed full and you can’t see what you have, you may end up wasting money buying stuff you don’t need. Uh, not speaking from experience or anything…
Step #3 Set Aside Anything to Give Away
You may have unopened things you don’t want but would like to give away. That’s great! I ran across a few of these as I decluttered. Make a small pile of things you want to donate (emergency shelters will often take brand new toiletries donations).
I’d encourage you that as soon as you’ve finished decluttering, take the pile of things to give away out to the car. Don’t leave it hanging around the house, and definitely don’t leave it hanging around your bathroom. Pack it up, load it up, and give it away.
Step #4 Group Like Items Together
You will find more to declutter as you do this step, guaranteed. This is the part of the process where you find out just how many extra containers of dental floss you have, or you realize you have 15 extra bars of the soap you thought you were running low on stashed away in the back of the cupboard. Or you actually don’t need to buy razors for a REALLY long time!
I realized we had an abundance of travel toothpaste tubes. Like, way more than we’d ever need. When you start grouping like items together, you quickly see what you have too much of and thus, what else needs to be decluttered.
Step #5 Arrange Everything to be Accessible and Visible
Once you’ve got your items grouped together and you’ve done a last decluttering pass through it all, it’s time to organize it. If you have a vanity setup similar to ours, make sure you’re putting the things you access most often in top drawers and the most easy-to-reach areas. It feels dumb to write that out, but I’ve caught myself stashing stuff away in awkward locations before, just because the container it’s sitting in fits there. Don’t trade a tidy look for actual accessibility. Make sure everything you need is quick and easy to grab.
In a similar vein, make sure as best you can that everything is visible. And I mean everything. You should be able to glance in a drawer or cupboard quickly and know what’s stored in there. This helps you keep easy track of what needs to be replenished.
It also helps you remember things you have that you want to use. For example, I found a couple of hydrating face masks and some bath bombs I forgot I had. I love using these kinds of things on occasion, but when they’re buried, I don’t ever remember to pull them out.
A Note About Containers
When looking at how to declutter a small bathroom, it’s popular to do bathroom organization posts with pretty baskets and cutesy labels. However, if you’re on a small budget, you don’t need those things to have a decluttered and organized bathroom. Just to demonstrate, I decluttered and reorganized our bathroom vanity using containers we already had around the house.
I grabbed a rubber grippy organizer from another part of the house (these are from Dollar Tree and they’re great!). The grey box in the cupboard is the bottom of a shoebox. We had this extra little trash can out in the garage, and I traded it for the one we had in the bathroom because it has a smaller footprint.
I have nothing against matching organizing containers. I actually love them! I just think it’s important to remember that what actually feels the best isn’t having matching containers: it’s having a decluttered and organized space where everything is visible and accessible and functions well for your family. Matching containers are the icing on the cake. 🙂
So, how to declutter a small bathroom? Just follow the steps above. And as a final note, I would really encourage you to be ruthless in your decluttering. When you’re working in such a small space, the more you can clear out, the better!