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Marta Xochilt Perez; Styling: Page Mullins
I don’t know about you, but my bathroom is my happy place. It’s the spot where I lounge in my bathtub regularly, indulge in my nightly skincare routine, and practice a lot of self-care. While I love spending time in my bathroom, the amount of products I accumulate and store in there can be absolutely overwhelming.
To avoid feeling claustrophobic in your own bathroom, it’s vital to throw out or get rid of items you no longer need. “Why you need to throw away or give away miscellaneous items is simple—they serve no purpose,” explains Lisa Jacobs, professional home organizer and founder of Imagine It Done. “They might have at one point or might not have at all, regardless if they are no longer purposeful, toss them.”
Below, we cover the bathroom items you should really consider throwing out, as well as the best tips to organize your bathroom once you’ve thoroughly purged.
10 Bathroom Items You Should Throw Away
1. Expired medications
“Medications and products you ingest by mouth or through the skin all have an expiration date,” explains Jacobs. “It is important to your well-being to toss them upon expiration.” You can find expiration dates on the back or bottom of the bottle and sometimes on the caps.
2. Old and unused hair brushes
Got an old hair brush that’s either accumulating dust from not being used, or one that has been brushed through your hair about a million times? It’s probably best for your scalp, as well as your bathroom shelf, to get rid of this item. Additionally, consider tossing any hair products that you tried and didn’t like.
3. Old, dirty toothbrushes and toothpaste
According to Jacobs, toothbrushes should be switched out and thrown away every three to four months. Make it easier for yourself and try to store a few new toothbrushes (or brush heads) underneath your sink.
4. Worn washcloths or towels
Go through all your linens in the bathroom and discard any that are old, stained, tattered, or smell weird. You can either throw them out, reuse them as dish rags, or donate them to a local animal shelter that might need them.
5. Pumice stones
Did you know that pumice stones can expire, too? If your pumice stone has lost all its grit and is no longer exfoliating properly, you should throw it away.
6. Makeup or nail polish that is dried out or past expiration
“We use 20% of our makeup 80% of the time—makeup has a bad smell and cakes in the texture if it’s expired,” explains Jacobs. “Even if we like and use products, if they have been overused and are collecting dirt and grime, they aren’t healthy to use, and it’s time to repurchase.”
Some makeup products will have a small, open container on the back of the packaging with a number in it (for example, 12M), which will tell you how many months you have upon opening before the product is considered expired.
7. Travel accessories you never use
If you have a bunch of those clear, plastic travel bottles that have barely been used, it’s time to toss them. Also, consider tossing or donating all those mini hotel shampoo and conditioner bottles you’ve accumulated over the years and never ended up using.
8. Extra shampoos sitting in the shower, taking up space
Throw out that half-used bottle of shampoo that’s been sitting on your shower shelf, barely used, for the past six months. Better yet? Empty the content down the drain and recycle the empty bottle instead.
9. Dirty or rusted razors
If you have a razor that’s been sitting on your shower shelf, unused and rusting away, it’s time to get rid of it. It depends on how often you shave, but razors should be replaced every 1-2 weeks if you shave daily, every 2-3 weeks if you shave every other day, or every 4-6 weeks if you shave twice a week.
10. Used loofahs or sponges
Loofahs and sponges can be an easy breeding ground for bacteria to build up, especially in a steamy shower. These should be switched out every month, according to Jacobs.
Tips for organizing your bathroom, once you’ve purged
Once you’ve completed the Great Bathroom Purge, it’s time to further organize your bathroom for maximum efficiency and calm. “Always organize vertically to maximize space: place a towel ladder to hang the wet and dry towels, as they hold more than hooks on the door,” suggests Jacobs. “Add catchall containers on sink counters to contain rolled washcloths, jars for cotton and Q-tips, acrylic stackable drawers for makeup, and decorative soap and cream pumps.”
You can also use acrylic trays inside the medicine cabinet to contain categories such as ointments, dental items, medications, skincare, and daily personal care items. “Place a trolley or table in between the toilet and the sink to maximize surface space when the sink is not sufficient,” says Jacobs. “Add floating shelves if you have empty wall space for nice perfume bottles and decorative objects, and mount hooks on the back of doors for robes and towels, too.”