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A Bathroom Retreat: Clear the Clutter

The first step to organization is to throw out any items that you no longer use or are expired. That orange nail polish you bought three years ago? Sure, the shade is still in style, but if you haven’t used it in the past six months, give it a rest – in the trash can. If you’ve recently purchased products that just don’t do it for you, offer them to friends who may enjoy them.

Once you’ve pared down on products, categorize them and keep like items together – hair products, face products, makeup, etc. Keep the ones you use frequently within reach – either in the medicine cabinet or the cabinet under the sink. Put the rest in a nearby closet.

If your bathroom doesn’t have storage space, invest in a medicine cabinet. If you rent, a floor cabinet or space saver can be taken with you.

To keep these enclosed spaces tidy, get creative with baskets and plastic containers. Store smaller items in a shoe organizer hung on the inside of the closet door. Door spice racks ensure that you fully utilize cabinet space, and a flatware tray is perfect for keeping a drawer orderly.

I live and decorate by a quote from William Morris: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” I believe in the notion that anything can be beautiful if displayed that way. Invest in a few attractive, coordinating containers to store your frequently used items. A serving tray makes the perfect foundation for a large-counter centerpiece, displaying hand towels, soaps, tissues, and maybe even a flower arrangement. On a small wall shelf, I keep cotton balls in a clear apothecary jar, centered between two votive holders that contain cotton swabs and a candle, respectively. It’s a perfect example of form and function. Shadow boxes are also a great way to use products as decoration – a box with a reed diffuser, a roll of toilet paper, and hand lotion with a pretty label is insta-chic.

As with all clutter, focus on clearing out anything you don’t need and storing what you don’t frequently use. Get creative with jars, vases, candle holders, and canisters. Turn everyday items into decoration. By taking a little time to organize, your bathroom can become a calming retreat.

- Chelsea, hayneedle.com editor

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