Our Master Bathroom Purge

posted by Andrea | 02/2/2018

As I’ve mentioned before, I often do the majority of my deep cleaning and purging in the winter months — usually from January – March.

I figured we’re cooped up inside anyway, so this is a good way to use my free time — keep in mind I actually REALLY enjoy small organizing projects and find deep cleaning oddly therapeutic. 🙂

Ever since Christmas break, I’ve been slowly working my way through various rooms of our home and essentially purging and/or cleaning every single drawer, shelf, closet, cabinet, etc.

I shared my kitchen purge last week, and today, I’m purging our master bathroom.

Now, when I say “Master Bathroom”, I just mean the bathroom that Dave and I use. It’s right next to our bedroom, but not connected to our bedroom (we chose to keep it separate for several specific reasons).

Even though we have 3 full bathrooms in our home, this bathroom contains nearly all of our bathroom “things” for everyone in our house. The other full bath on the main floor only has a few extra towels and extra toilet paper, and the kid’s bathroom upstairs just has their towels, toothbrushes, and PJ’s.

Everything else is in our bathroom, so we definitely need to use the small space wisely — there’s no room for extra stuff we don’t need, use, want, or love.

Let’s start by looking inside our vanity (my uncle made this for us when we first moved in!)

The bank of drawers on the left and the right are actually DOORS, not drawers.

My sink cabinet is on the left — I keep a can of disinfectant wipes for quick cleans throughout the week. I also have a pump lotion, vitamins (they don’t fit in my drawer), a spray bottle to help me style my hair every morning, and a set of tiny organizing drawers to corral nursing pads, and other feminine hygiene items.

Dave’s sink cabinet is on the right. He has a ginormous supply of mouthwash, thanks to a recent sale 🙂 along with his vitamins and his lotion.

We try not to keep much under the sink, mainly because it’s just one big open area and it’s really easy for things to get “lost” or shoved to the back and forgotten about.

As you’ll see below, we store the majority of our daily bathroom items in the middle bank of drawers since they are much easier to access.

TOP DRAWER :: Before + After

I swapped out the 2 baskets that didn’t fit super well for small shoe boxes. We also purged many items we didn’t need and swapped out a few large products for travel size versions as we’re trying to use up most of our travel size items (more on that below).

MIDDLE DRAWER :: Before + After

Nora got several hair accessories for her birthday and Christmas, so we emptied out her “hair drawer” (the middle drawer of our bathroom vanity) and did a major revamp.

She loves her organized drawer and actually looks forward to getting her hair done every morning!

BOTTOM DRAWER :: Before + After

Remember our bottom drawer stuffed FULL of travel size goodies???

Well… it’s empty now!

As I mentioned above, I’m on a mission to greatly reduce the insane number of travel size products we have amassed over the years.

Here are a few ways we’ve been using them up: 

  • used them in place of regular size products
  • trashed any containers that were mostly empty
  • consolidated half-full containers
  • gave some of the items I know we won’t use to a friend who wanted them
  • donated several unopened items to a basket ministry that makes baskets for foster care children and often requests travel-size items

We saved a couple travel size products for upcoming trips, but I’m SO happy to be done with all those tiny containers — and to have a nice big empty drawer!

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We also have a large bank of open shelves on the other side of our bathroom. We literally built these shelves to fit baskets I found several years ago, and I LOVE the open storage!

After our purge, we now have 1 completely EMPTY basket, and the others are only about half full!

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Although it’s technically not part of our bathroom, we do have a large medicine cabinet in the hallway right outside our bathroom (more about that in this post) for First Aid supplies, vitamins, prescriptions, etc.

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It feels so great to have another room cleaned and decluttered — especially since it’s a room Dave and I both use many times a day.

I guess that’s how I determine where I want to spend my time and energy organizing. I choose the spaces we use most often, so we will then benefit more from the organized space.

What room would you most like to purge?

Now that the mudroom, our closet, the kitchen, and our bathroom are all “lighter” and cleaner, I’ll probably start working my way through the kids’ bedrooms and toy areas (wish me luck!)

When the weather gets warmer, I’m tackling the garage!

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Filed under: OrganizingHomeStoragePurging

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26 comments

  1. Debbie

    02/08/2018

    Andrea, I notice you don’t have any bathroom cleaning supplies in the cabinet except the wipes. Where do you store them? Do you carry them with you to each bathroom and store it somewhere else?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    they are all in my bathroom cleaning bucket. I shared that post several years ago — you probably even read it! 🙂

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  2. Laura

    02/03/2018

    Andrea, I love your bathroom vanity! Those cabinet doors to pass as drawers!!
    What floor type do you have in the garage?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks! Here’s the post I wrote about our garage flooring 🙂

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  3. Becky

    02/02/2018

    Where do you store your bathroom cleaners?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    we have the sanitizing wipes under my sink and that’s what I use regularly to quick-clean. We also have our bathroom cleaning bucket that I store with all our other cleaning supplies in the laundry room .

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  4. Mandy

    02/02/2018

    Oddly therapeutic….not at all! Very theraputic! I genuinely enjoy decluttering, cleaning and organizing. I used to be somewhat embarrassed to admit it – like it is weird to enjoy tasks that are considered chores. It would be an unnjoyable “chore” for me to watch a sports game on tv – a pleasure for most people! I usually listen to a podcast or book on tape while cleaning/organizing. A great way to relax!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — OK, someone else can relate to my love for organizing projects. And you know what, even as a 2-sport college athlete, it would still be a “chore” for me to sit and watch sports on TV 🙂

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  5. Heather Ratliff

    02/02/2018

    I had to laugh when I saw the “Velveeta” box in the before picture of Nora’s drawer. My mom has saved and used Velveeta boxes for years! I cringe every time I decide to recycle one because they are so handy! But, when I had way more than I was using, I knew it was time to purge them!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes, I honestly don’t even remember the last time I ever purchased Velveeta cheese — so that box is REALLy old! I have 2 or 3 of them floating around, used as organizers for various drawers throughout our house. They are so sturdy!

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  6. KR

    02/02/2018

    Ah so jelly of your Drawers!! We have a smallish open area under the sink that only fits two plastic drawers I put under there. It’s so frustrating trying to organize because stuff inevitably gets shoved to the back.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes, we love our drawers (in general, I’d much rather store things in drawers versus cabinets).

    [Reply]

  7. Lynn

    02/02/2018

    Thanks for sharing this! I agree with purging and cleaning in the winter as well. I have some projects that I have mentioned previously in your comments. But, I wanted to thank you most of all for showing a picture of your bathroom. I’ve been trying to figure out if I am going to paint my builder grade bathroom cabinet or gel stain. I want white trim and didn’t know if it would work, but your bathroom looks great with it! Now I know that I can! Thanks again!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh good — glad to help!! Good luck with your painting project!

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  8. ShellyL

    02/02/2018

    Andrea, I’ve commented on that vanity before. I absolutely love it. Thanks for the bathroom organization tips. I need to organize mine, too. Did you share your mudroom cleanout?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    thanks Shelly — I LOVE the vanity too. My uncle custom built it per my exact specifications 🙂

    [Reply]

  9. KJ

    02/02/2018

    Hi Andrea!
    Another great post! I want to thank you again for giving us content that is real life and practical. I love and admire how you always reuse and recycle random boxes and bins to keep your home functional. So easy and environmental responsible. Neat, clean and organized always look pretty, no matter what the container. Your blog is a great reminder that we don’t need to continuously buy matchy, matchy stuff to make a project “Pinterest ready”. Our grandmas would be proud of us. 🙂
    Have a great Friday!
    Blessings to you and your family from California!
    KJ

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    You’re welcome KJ 🙂
    Pretty projects are always fun, but practical projects are often easier and cheaper to pull off!

    [Reply]

  10. Janice

    02/02/2018

    Ok, i’m Inspired! Thanks!

    [Reply]

  11. Ann

    02/02/2018

    What do you do with old, expired, unwanted, sample sized meds? I can’t bring myself to let them ind up in a landfill nor to flush them and contaminate the water supply so here they sit.

    [Reply]

    Becky Reply:

    You could do an internet search to see if there is a service near you that disposes of them. We used to have a pharmacy near us that did it for free, but now the local police precinct has a collection bin. It’s outside the building, so we can drop off whenever it’s convenient.

    [Reply]

    Audrey Reply:

    See if your community does Prescription Take Back days. They do one in my area twice a year. And they will take any meds you don’t want, over the counter and prescription. https://takebackday.dea.gov/

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    ShellyL Reply:

    Yes!! I do that too. Not only with sample sizes, but supplements we stopped taking or prescriptions we didn’t finish. Then I don’t know how to dispose of them properly so they end up being clutter.

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    Liane Reply:

    It actually depends on the drug. If they are narcotics the police generally have a annual drop off event. That would be for unused prescription pain drugs. Now I know this sounds gross but most of the vitamins we ingest go down the toilet. And they are found in food so it’s probably safe to throw away vitamins which is akin to throwing away stale enriched bread. We don’t take vitamins any more and when we did we did not take synthetic chemical versions so I never felt bad tossing outdated ones. I think samples can be problematic because doctors tend to hand them out and they can be outdated when you get them. I tell my patients to say no thanks just like I say no thanks to the granola bars at the dentist. Seriously. That’s crazy. Some pharmacies will take back non narcotic rx drugs, so call around. When my mom died I had a horrid time getting rid of stuff. In the end we poured the liquid morphine down the toilet and crushed most of her other meds and mixed with kitty litter. Here’s a rather snarky take on this but it’s sorta one of those hello moments. We all put kitty litter in the garbage and bagged up little piles of dog “gifts”. Those are probably all more toxic than a few pills!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    we really don’t have many prescriptions — just over-the-counter stuff and I usually just trash it. I realize that might not be the best choice, but considering how little we actually throw away, I’m OK with that for now.

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    Nurse Jenny Reply:

    Re: meds disposal

    BEST: take to a pharmacy or police department that accepts discarded meds. They will take OTC, Rx, anything, to discard safely and legally. Around here, nearly every pharmacy does it, and all the PD. DO IT NOW. By having things sitting around, there’s a risk for kids or someone else getting into them. Don’t leave them in your car, either, where someone could see them or get them! Keep them in the bottle in case you get pulled over. CALL AND ASK in your area.
    NEXT BEST: put them (loose, not in the bottle) in the garbage, where yucky, wet stuff will break them down. Some people actually mix them in with their diapers or cat and dog poop! Makes them “unpalatable”.They are less harmful in the landfill than in your home sitting around and this is much better than flushing or putting down the sink.
    WORST: keeping them “just in case”: or giving to a friend.
    Many OTC and Rx meds, even vitamins (including gummies) are potentially toxic for kids and animals. Keep them UP HIGH and in chidlproof contianers!
    When someone dies at home, the coroner or hospice should be able to help.

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