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You deserve a relaxing routine to get ready each day, but if your bathroom is awash in excess products, jumbled towels and unidentified clutter lurking in the deep recesses under your sink its time to tune up your bathroom and shave precious minutes off your daily routine.
Start with a deep clean: Take everything out of your cabinets and take stock of what you have. Let go of expired products, unused bath salts, potpourri and anything else you haven’t looked at in months or years. Here are the lifespans for common bath products:
Anti-aging and acne treatments: Three months to a year. Be on the lookout for any changes in color.
Body lotion: Two to three years, particularly if it’s in a pump container.
Shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel: About three years.
Bath oil: One year.
Sunscreen: Check the package for an expiration date.
Mascara and liquid eyeliner: Three to four months.
Eye and lip pencils: Three to five years.
Lipstick and lip gloss: Two to three years.
Foundation: About two years.
Perfume: About two years.
Nail polish: One year.
Hairstyling products: Three to five years.
Bar soap: Up to three years.
Shaving cream: About two years.
Deodorant: Up to two years.
Dispose of expired medications properly: expired meds and vitamins should not be flushed as they can contaminate the groundwater. Instead, empty them into a ziplock bag filled with coffee grounds, cat litter or sawdust and then throw them away. Controlled substances should be flushed to avoid accidental ingestion. Visit www.fda.gov or www.smartdisposal.net for more disposal details.
Create a warehouse for bulk purchases: a shelf on a nearby linen closet works great for this. (yes, it might be time to let go of excess linens too). If you don’t have a linen closet available consider a shelf in a spare bedroom. If this isn’t available then bulk purchases might not be a good fit for you. Unclutter your cabinets by only keeping one of each product you use in the bathroom. When you need to replenish, visit your warehouse. When the warehouse is getting low, it’s time to shop.
Discard bulky packaging: store like things together in labeled bins
Create more horizontal surface space: Use containers that fit around the pipes under your sink to coral things like towels, bath tissue and an products that you have to store under the sink. If you can pull one container out instead of several different items it will make cleaning and storage so much easier.
Keep everyday essentials handy: when you’re standing at the sink the things you use daily should be at arms length. Move your medicines and vitamins from the medicine cabinet to the kitchen or a nightstand, (the bathrooms high humidity and heat can affect potency, especially that of antibiotics). Use the medicine cabinet for your daily products like deodorant, skincare and toothpaste.
Use drawer dividers to keep drawers neat. You can separate a lot of bathroom necessities by dividing and conquering. i like individual drawer organizers that customize the drawer to your needs. To keep them from shifting use museum gel, (found at The Container Store)
Create caddies for things that may be used elsewhere: This works well for manicure tools and nail care.
Keep daily makeup convenient: separate the makeup you use everyday from the make up you use occasionally. If you travel it’s easy just to grab the bag and go. Check out the uniipalette at www.uniipalette.com. Easy and Fun!
Use magnets: Attach magnets to the inside of your medicine cabinet to hold nail clippers and tweezers to the inside of the door.
Use over the door shoe bags: these are great for hair accessories like headbands, flowers, large clips. Great if you have young girls in your home.
Once you’ve defined your bathroom the key is to maintain it. The first rule, don’t overbuy!! If you do switch brands, get rid of the old brands rather than let them expire unused. Throw away expired products and medicines at least once a year.