Day 2: Toiletries {31 Days of Easy Decluttering} | From Overwhelmed to Organized: Day 2: Toiletries {31 Days of Easy Decluttering}

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Day 2: Toiletries {31 Days of Easy Decluttering}

Day 2:  Toiletries {31 Days of Easy Decluttering} |

Welcome back to 31 Days of Easy Decluttering! Throughout this series I'm sharing easy decluttering projects that you can complete in 10-15 minutes.  If you do them, then by the end of the month you'll be enjoying a less cluttered home!

If you've missed any of the previous posts, there are links at the end of this post.

Today's Easy Decluttering Project

Today we're decluttering toiletries.  You know, the little bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, and mouthwash from your last few vacations and business trips?  Or partially used bottles of hairspray or mousse that you bought and used a few times but didn't like for whatever reason?

And don't for get all the toiletries actually in your bathtub or shower!  If you're not careful, those can multiply while you sleep :)  Plus it's much easier to clean your bathroom if you have less bottles everywhere.

Whether you store your toiletries in your bathroom drawers or under your bathroom sink or in a linen closet, when you have too many of them they become clutter.

Bottles fall over when you're reaching for something. You can't find what you need when you're in a hurry because toiletries are stored in several places.  You forget what you have and then spend money on products you don't need.

Having too many toiletry items costs you time and money.  And toiletry clutter can lead to frustration in the morning, and who wants to start your day off annoyed?

Plus, how can you relax in a bubble bath after a long day, if you've got toiletries cluttering up your bathroom?

This is one area of your home that will need regular maintenance.  Even the most organized people will find their toiletries become clutter if they don't stay on top of them with regular decluttering.

So are you ready?  Let's declutter those toiletries!

Easy Decluttering Steps

Throughout the series, you'll follow these steps to complete each daily task.  {Don't forget to take before and after pictures to share too!}

Note: The main purpose of this series is to declutter so don't get overwhelmed doing too much cleaning.  Once your house is less cluttered it will be easier to clean so you can always come back and do it later!

Also, if you have the time, you can organize the space while you're doing this step, but don't get overwhelmed with too much organizing this month.  We're focused on decluttering!

Purging Tips for Your Toiletries

“What I know for sure is that when you declutter—whether it's in your home, your head, or your heart—it is astounding what will flow into that space that will enrich you, your life, and your family.”
Peter Walsh

OK, I know we're just talking about toiletries here, but for some people the bathroom is where they do their deepest thinking, so it can't hurt to curb the clutter there right?!

Follow the steps listed above, and use these tips as you purge (step #5) your toiletries:

  • Gather all your toiletries in one place (this includes those from all bathtubs/showers as well as any cupboards, drawers, and closets they may be in throughout your house)
  • Throw away any products that are expired or old
  • Throw away (or re-package) any items that are leaking
  • Relocate everything that doesn't belong with your toiletries
  • Combine partially used bottles of products that you want to keep using
  • Give away items that you have not used in over 6 months (or whatever time period is reasonable to you)
  • Donate items that you know you don't like (e.g. lotions that were gifts but you prefer a different brand).  By the way, shelters are great places to donate toiletries!
  • Give away products that you no longer need (e.g. leftover baby shampoo that your kids are too big for now)
  • After all that, consider how much space you have in your home to keep your toiletries in.  Based on the available space, decide if you still need to purge further.
Here are a few additional notes:
  1. Everything has a cost associated with it, even free things!  So decide whether the cost of storing free products is worth it if you're not using them up regularly (e.g. free samples of face creams or shampoo or body wash that you get in the mail, free dental floss or toothpaste samples you get from your dentist, and all those free bottles from hotels).  If you want to use these items, then store them somewhere that you'll actually use them and don't buy new products until you've used them up.  Otherwise you never will.
  2. If you're not sure if you've used some items recently or not, put them in a basket and mark today's date on it (just write on a piece of tape or a sticker or even on the label of one of the products).  If you use an item, take it out of the basket and put it back with the rest of your toiletries.  If you haven't used the items in the basket by a certain date (a month, 3 months, etc.), then give them away.  
  3. If you think you still want to keep something but you know you haven't used it in quite awhile, ask yourself why you haven't used it.  Did you not like the scent?  Did it not work as well as another product?  Let the answers to these questions guide your decision to keep it or give it away.

My Toiletries

We have limited storage space in the bathroom that all 4 of us share, so I primarily store extra toiletries in our linen closet.  I've been pretty intentional the last few years about using up hotel bottles and free samples, both as a way of saving money and reducing clutter.  We do stock up on some toiletries when there's a good sale, and the kids are often given toiletries as gifts (Disney Princess body wash, Sponge Bob toothpaste, etc.), so I need to constantly make sure I know what we have.  That way we're not buying things we don't need and our linen closet isn't overrun with bottles.  

Here's what I did this year for our toiletry storage:

This back of the door organizer is perfect for being able to see what we have!  So I don't forget I have products and buy new ones that I don't actually need!  And it puts limits on what I can buy until I use up what's already there.

Taking a closer look, you can see I only have a few of each type of toiletry.

 At the time these photos were taken, we had a few extra little bottles of conditioner, but only 2 of us use it so it takes longer to use it up.  I didn't start that big bottle until the little ones were gone.  We also had a bit of an excess of kids' toothpaste, but those little tubes don't last long so I don't mind having a few extras.

I LOVE this system for keeping my toiletries de-cluttered!

Pictures and Links to Inspire You

If you aren't able to use a back-of-the door organizer for your toiletries, you can use baskets or shoe boxes as well.  Here's a great example using plastic shoe boxes under the sink.

Mary Organizes
I love how this solution maximizes the vertical space in a space that's often very difficult to use effectively!  And with each container labeled, not only can you find what you're looking for, but you limit how many products you have in each category.  With the clear boxes you can see when you're running low on something so you can stock up again.

*Please pin from the original source if you choose to pin this picture.  If you want to pin this post please use the button at the top.  

If You're On A Roll...

For ideas on how to organize your toiletries, you'll find a bunch on my Bathroom Organizing board.  

Follow From Overwhelmed To Organized's board Bathroom Organizing on Pinterest.

You can find more decluttering tips on my Decluttering/Purging Tips & Ideas board.  
And for DIY organizer ideas, take a peek at my DIY Organizers board.  

Good luck with today's decluttering project!  I'd love to hear how you did, so please leave a comment below, or on FacebookGoogle+, or Pinterest!

You can share your pictures in the Facebook post for today or use the hashtag #31DaysEasyDecluttering when you pin your pictures. I'll repin some of my favourites.  Plus don't forget I'll have a link party at the end of the series where you can share your photos too!

How many toiletry items did you purge?  Any purging tips I missed for toiletries?

Happy organizing decluttering!

Here are all the posts in the series.

I link up at these great parties - Check them out!


  1. Love today's decluttering challenge. I did under my bathroom sink this time last year and I think I still have the same things I held onto and not used in 12 months. I'm onto it Hilda. Thanks! xx

    1. You're welcome Anne! Be ruthless this time with that stuff you haven't used... and dream about what you'll use that extra space for :)

  2. Woo Hoo! This one was a piece of cake. Our old home was tiny and I got into the habit of only buying replacements when we were getting low. We have more room now but I still keep that same habit. I did do quick sweep through the bathrooms though and found a couple items that didn't get used so out they went.

    1. Way to be on top of things Alli! That sounds like a great system.

  3. This is great! Our bathroom is small enough that it forces us to keep things pared down, and I keep our spares in plastic shoeboxes in the other bathroom. I love what you've done and can't wait to see the rest of your 31 days!

    1. Thanks Helen! Space definitely has an impact on our clutter habits. Sounds like a good system you've got. Glad you're enjoying the series!

  4. Hi Hilda

    Nearly finished on all of the toiletries. I collected everything together which was being stored in unbelievable places throughout my home - Cleaned down an old 5 tier white plastic storage unit which my Mum gave me and organised although not completely purged into different compartments. Its looking a lot better even though it has taken me 2 days not 1. Hopefully onto Junk drawer or in my case Junk Kitchen Cupboard and WorkTop tomorrow. Thanks so much for the inspiration again Sarah x

    1. Isn't it strange how items end up all over our home Sarah? Gathering them in one place really helps you declutter and keep them organized in the future so you're on the right track now! Keep up the great work!

    2. Thanks so much for your support Hilda. Sarah x

  5. Ok so my socks are organized. No extras, no loose ends.😊 Now I'm using the under the as a sort guide for my toiletries. Definitely feeling motivated. Thank you Hilda.😍


I love hearing from my readers! This is a great place to ask questions, answer questions, and share your organizing tips. Thank you so much for commenting! I look forward to getting to know you better :)

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