I would like to start by saying that if I had a three-day weekend every weekend, my life would be awesome. No, really. My house would always be clean and the dishes would always be done and my refrigerator would always be fully stocked. Or, I would spend three full days lounging around the house reading books and watching movies and feeling so incredibly relaxed it would almost be a vacation in itself.
See what I mean? Either way, three-day weekends every weekend would be awesome. This weekend was a mix of both; a lovely balance of productivity (see: purge fest 2011) + relaxing (see: watching 17 episodes of Modern Family).
I decided to start Operation Declutter My Life with the simplest, yet MOST NEEDED purge: the bathroom.
So here’s the deal….I’m a bit of a neat freak. If you asked my friends, they would tell you that my house always looks super clean and organized. As in, there isn’t a bunch of clutter everywhere, and the furniture is dusted and the floors have been vacuumed. But what you don’t see is the HIDDEN CLUTTER. In “The Joy of Less” Francine talks about more storage space being a hindrance, because the more storage space you have, the more things you feel you need to put in those spaces. And, how true that is! We don’t have a big house by any means, but we definitely have plenty of cabinets and closets to store things we don’t need. Case in point: in the midst of cleaning out my bathroom cabinets, I discovered three blow dryers, three flat irons, three curling irons, and three sets of hot rollers (!!!). How ridiculous!
For those of you itching to declutter, I highly recommend starting with the bathroom. It’s likely to be the easiest for a number of reasons:
1) It’s the smallest room in the house.
2) It’s the easiest space to let trash collect (old bottles, expired products), which makes it easier to sort through as you Trash, Treasure, or Transfer things.
3) It’s the least likely place to hold things of emotional value (unless you have some weird addiction to bath products, which I don’t).
The first step to decluttering any room is to TAKE EVERYTHING OUT OF THE ROOM. Yep, everything. Every cotton ball, every bobby pin, and every q-tip. Daunting? Yes. Eye-opening? You betcha. Who would have thought I had THIS MUCH CRAP in my bathroom cabinets and drawers??
How. Embarrassing. Okay, are you ready to see the transformation?! For reference sake, here are the cabinets, before:
Each shelf now has a purpose and holds a collection of specific items, like my shelf, which holds sunscreen in the back, and my personal daily essentials in the front;
Here are the drawers before: clockwise from top left; the essentials drawer, the hair drawer, the makeup drawer, and the infrequently used items/junk drawer.
And the after:
I threw away two garbage bags full of items, and have a trunk full of things to bring to Goodwill. And that’s just from the bathroom!! And now, what are we left with? Organized cabinets, clean drawers, and…..SPACE.
Space to get ready, space to do my makeup, and space for spontaneous dance parties, a Gadd morning bathroom tradition.
Kitchen, watch out. I’m coming for you next…