The changing of the seasons is always a good time to reorganize certain parts of the home, such as bathrooms, closets, kitchens. In the bathroom, the products and over the counter medicines we use can change dramatically season to season. As you reassess the contents of the drawers and cupboards it’s also a great time to do a deep clean.
It’s common to do a weekly cleaning of bathroom surfaces, but because most of us have so many jars, tubes and bottles stashed in the drawers and cabinets, we usually don’t take the time out to remove them all and wipe down the shelves and vacuum out the drawers. As a chore this is a bit daunting due to the volume of stuff, but it really shouldn’t take you more than an hour—two at the most—to go through your bathroom vanity and medicine cabinet.
Have a couple medium sized plastic containers ready and empty everything from the cupboards and drawers in to the containers. With damp rags, maybe a little spray cleaner like Windex, wipe down the interior of the cupboards, the shelves of the medicine cabinet and inside the drawers. If you have drawer and cupboard organizers, wash those too. If you don’t have any organizers, get a pad and pen to make a list of what you might need.
To organize makeup, I like bamboo kitchen utensil trays best. Acrylic containers also work well but make sure they aren’t so tall that the drawers won’t close. I don’t like to keep any toiletries on my bathroom counter, so anything used on a daily basis goes into the top vanity drawer or in the medicine cabinet, but some people want to see all of their products so that they will actually use them. Occasionally the counter of a beauty product lover can look like the Manhattan skyline, making the counter really difficult to clean regularly, so at least keep things on trays so that they can be moved efficiently for cleaning.
Plastic shoe box size containers and Like-It bricks (plastic boxes with a grid design), are the ideal for organizing lotions and other things under the bathroom sink or another cupboard. As always, keep “like with like”—all hair stuff together, all sunscreens and body lotions, all teeth supplies, all bandages and first aid, etc.
If you have a lot of cold and flu medicines leftover from over the long winter, containerize these in the back of the cabinet since they probably won’t be as needed, and bring the allergy medicines and sunscreens to the front. Check all expiration dates on everything as you go. Anything that looks gloppy, like nail polish that has separated or lotion that has turned a strange color, should get tossed. If you see something like a shade of lipstick or an eyeshadow that doesn’t suit you anymore, give it the heave ho.
Those plastic cases Mack’s wax ear plugs come in are great for containerizing bobby pins. Small mesh zippered bags work well for hair elastics. Blow dryers with retractable cords are fantastic—the less cords tangling things up in drawers the better.
Lining bathroom drawers isn’t really necessary if everything in them is in containers and organizers. One place I do advocate a liner with some kind of raised lip around the edge is under the sink. It’s inevitable that the bathroom sink will leak at some point and it is so much nicer to clean up a plastic liner than to have to look at a ruined cabinet.
Containerizing everything under the sink also makes it a breeze to move things out when you are preparing for any plumbing repairs.
Cleaning and organizing a bathroom is probably not anybody’s favorite household task, but the fresh feeling when finished is worth it. Now slather on the unexpired sunscreen and get outside!