My bathroom situation looked tidy and organized on the surface… but open a drawer or two and you saw the insides of Monica Geller’s secret closet. I love a good purge but I can also get sentimental so it’s been controlled chaos where I keep putting things in my under-the-sink cabinet and one of my bathroom drawers for probably a year. My honest before and after photos show it all (and I thought yesterday’s post was revealing!).
Wow, everything is so much easier to see. I was shocked how much crap I had laying around.
To remedy the situation I enlisted the help of expert organizer, Sidney Ayers Young of Need Organizing. I sent her a few images in advance and she arrived, lattes in hand (love her!), ready to organize. What I like is that she (as I’m sure professional organizers where you live) were very open to working one or two cabinets at a time. Tackling an entire kitchen or bathroom can feel very overwhelming so she suggested this approach. It’s something you can do on your own or with help.
It’s cathartic and once you start cleaning, you’ll want to continue. Sidney mentioned that bathroom cabinets tend to be the biggest challenge areas in many homes (or at least she said that to make me feel good!).
As you start the process, save this guide for expiration dates on makeup and beauty items.
Here’s how Sidney helped get from the BEFORE to the AFTER:
- Purchase a variety of organizers, so items can be grouped. Long runners and smaller organizers are great to separate makeup, and other little things. In this case, Sidney comes to her clients’ homes with everything, so she brought a ton of storage options from Target, then returns what she doesn’t use, and bills me the straight cost for what we do. Amazing.
- Take everything out and keep things together, sorting by type of item as you go (see below for a photo of our process). Create piles on the floor, or use bins to toss them. In this case we had: hair supplies, nail polishes/supplies, misc. and my morning routine go-to (seen top left). Also, get a huge garbage bag and toss the obvious immediately.
- Use a good all-purpose cleaner to wipe down the interior and shelves. Also, clean any organizing caddies, containers or bins.
- Now, PURGE. Have a trash bag available and remember: you don’t need to keep everything that you may need someday. Keep what you actively use and let the rest go! Dispose of everything that:
- You haven’t used in 12 months
- Is past the expiration date
- Is empty or nearly empty
- You don’t need any longer
- Make a list! Need to replenish or buy new? Keep a notebook or app open to make a list.
- Put the keepers away. Now that you’ve corralled items, be mindful to put them back this way. Keep items you use most often front and center and easily accessible. I wound up moving things around between my messy drawer and the stacked shelf in the middle under the sink as I started to use the space. Clean space = clean mind.
As I started the process I realized I had a few spaces in my bathroom all serving similar functions. We wound up pulling out quite a bit from my bathroom closet as well to streamline my storage process. I appreciated how Sidney worked through this with me.
I’m a big fan of buying on sale (BOGOs!) so I often have multiple of items of items I use most often. Since these are wire racks I’d hate how beauty products would constantly fall over. I forgot to photograph it however Sidney provided me a simple plastic tub that perfectly fits on a shelf to store my surplus supplies. So much better! We did put some lesser used items in this handy storage device:
Honestly, Sidney was amazing. I was a little anxious about the process because, would she judge my mess or would I catch crazy eyes as she navigated? Nope. I literally texted about seven friends and posted to a local women’s Facebook message board to rave about her service because it was the most worthwhile experience with the friendliest, talented woman. I made my husband come upstairs to show him (I don’t think he was as excited as I was!). A month later, and I still smile every time I open my cabinets.
In the drawer above, I keep all my moisturizer and eye cream, contact lenses case, hair ties and other essentials. I also keep perfume samples together in a small clear bag and have fun testing them out, or use them for travel. Removing them from the paper packaging saved a ton of space.
And, here’s a photo of the process. The bins were simply used to organize as I took things out of my cabinets and drawers, trash and expired items immediately went in the trash and we lined up my nail polishes to donate or discard what I didn’t need. The storage container bottom left — yeah, I haven’t opened it in a year. It even includes the pregnancy stick from when we found out I had my daughter. #hoardertendencies. I discarded it. Oh and that rogue bath ball toward the back finally made its way near my bathtub!
Disclosure: Sidney provided me the complimentary consultation (and a latte!), however I paid for the supplies. All opinions are mine, and I’m eager to have her help me with my kitchen.