Creating and maintaining an organized, sustainable bathroom

September 25, 2020

When I asked in my Instagram stories what you wanted me to share more of, and bathroom organization was a top contender. No surprise there – between busy mornings and tired evenings, toiletries and beauty products can accumulate on counters and get stuffed in drawers. That’s why having a simplified system is so important: giving everything a specific home and creating a defined routine.

Share a bathroom with someone else in your household? Even more of a reason to get it into shape!

Read on for three steps to create and maintain an organized and sustainable bathroom

Organized Sanctuaries Bathroom Sink

1. Sort and purge

The first step in organizing any space in your home, and bathrooms are no exception. Keep an eye out for these categories:

  • Expirations are not just for medications. Ingredients in beauty products break down and lose their effectiveness, especially in high-humidity environments. Check out Real Simple’s guide on makeup expiration dates.
  • Meh products. You know what I’m talking about. That hair cream that’s just a little too sticky. The lipstick that smudges too much. The lotion that smells funny. Samples/travel size products that you have “just in case.”

No. Just no. Pack up what you honestly won’t use and offer it to a friend, or if it’s not opened, to your buy-nothing group, or a women’s shelter. Allow every item in your home to get its max use, and that might mean passing it on to someone who will use it better than you will.

Sustainability challenge: now that you’ve identified what you don’t want, take a look at the “toss” pile. Internalize the environmental impact of your excess purchases, and consider what you can limit in your spending habits to reduce the amount of excess you have in your home – and what ends up in landfills. And be sure to message me or DM me on Instagram with your updates – I get so excited when I learn about impactful changes you’re all making in your homes, and I’d love to show you all the love for it!

Organized bathroom - makeup

2. Limit backstock items

I know, many of you aren’t going to want to hear what I’m going to say. But if your cabinets are overwhelmingly stuffed with multiples of the same products, pause the next time you are making an Amazon order or rolling through the Costco aisles. Regularly buying in excess overwhelms our spaces, and tricks us into thinking we need to have a massive supply on hand.

But what if I run out, you ask? That is a worry that I hear from a lot of clients. My response? Know what you have by being able to see what you have. Keep tabs on that supply and purchase only what your space can accommodate. End result? You AND your space will feel more relaxed.

Sustainability challenge: For those of you who tend to buy way more than you need at once, choose one product – shampoo, toothpaste, whatever – and stop buying an oversupply of that item. See how that makes your space feel and if you are ready to move onto another category.

Bonus sustainability challenge: While you’re at it, consider an eco-friendly version of that product. That might mean a reusable option (sustainable menstrual products are actually amazing, ladies) or one that has limited plastic packaging (try a shampoo bar!), but you’ll be making an impact on our planet and saving space in your bathroom.

3. Contain

Now that you’ve identified what you’re keeping in your bathroom, it’s time to sort it.

Organized bathroom shelf

  • Prioritize just the daily items in the most easily accessible drawers, storing the non-essentials in a higher cabinet or at the back of a shelf. To streamline your makeup, keep your regular look front and center, and store your glam collection further back. Yes, lipstick, I’m looking at you during these mask-wearing days.
  • Organize by use: morning routine in one section, evening in another. Use drawer dividers to keep them separate.
  • Maximize under the sink with modular, stackable units that work around the plumbing.

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