*Note: The featured/cover image for this post is NOT my bathroom. If it was, you would have to sedate me heavily and/or burn it down. I simply used it for dramatic effect.
*Sub-note: If this DOES look like your bathroom, no judgement. To each her own.
Ah, the bathroom.
This one was both easy and hard for me. On one hand, I just LOVE getting little samples of products and trying new things when it comes to my face, skin, and hair. On the other hand, there’s just so damn much of it.
All my life, I have been in search of that perfect shampoo, conditioner, and styling product that will give me movie star hair, as well as any stuff I can slather on my face that will give me the tan, dewy look of J.Lo.
Well, guess what, such things don’t exist. I rotate shampoo and conditioner now because Shampoo Fatigue is a real thing, and I am of Scott-Irish/German descent – ain’t nothin’ going to make me look tan (or like J.Lo). I turn red. Best for me to focus on sunscreen.
I have been the grateful recipient of those little sample goody boxes many times in the past. Oh, how I love them. They’re wrapped so pretty and cute! And there’s just something so fun and gratifying about trying stuff for cheap or free in conjunction with the miniature size.
Give me allllllll the perfume samples ya got. Trial size = My size. Hand it over. Hotel toiletries = squeeeeeeeeeal with delight! Especially when I get my hands on some that you won’t find in your everyday Hampton Inn; those gems go into my permanent collection. #FRIENDSreference (only die hard fans will get that reference)
All of it. It has to go.
So, I put on my elbow-length gloves and oxygen mask and dove into the abyss that is the underbelly of my sink. (Ok I’m exaggerating. I went in with a couple old grocery sacks. Trying to paint a picture here.) With much strength and delight, I managed to fill three Target grocery bags. Two of them were complete and utter garbage; the other bag was filled with unused toiletries that I promptly dropped off at my local Ronald McDonald House. (Many places will happily take these unused mini-sized hygiene products off your hands! Check with schools and shelters around you, and always consider Ronald McDonald House as well.) Get real with yourself: So long as you are buying regular sized shampoo, conditioner, soap, etc., you are never going to use these bite-size versions.
I found nail polishes that had completely separated and solidified (out they went!). I found enough bobby pins and hair ties to last my daughter and I a lifetime. I got rid of attachments to styling tools that I don’t even own anymore and never worked right anyways, and threw out the duds and the crud.
Once finished, I managed to liberate SIX small storage bins and TWO cosmetic bags from their useless contents, and now my bathroom vanity looks uncluttered and refreshed, and opening the drawers and doors no longer feels like a fossil excavation.
No shame; no pride. It’s just all gone and I feel happy. I kept exactly what I need or use daily; nothing more, nothing less. I even tossed some nearly full bottles of some not-so-cheap products because, let’s be honest, IF WE HAVEN’T USED IT YET, WE AREN’T GOING TO USE IT.
It hurt to feel like I was being so wasteful, but instead of admonishing myself for waste, I embraced that icky feeling that came with throwing out money and realized that I didn’t want to feel it anymore. Lesson learned! I only have to touch the hot furnace once to know it’s hot. I’ll use what I use and use what I have, and if it runs out I will replace it.
In this journey to prioritize, minimize, and organize, I have found it both overwhelming and cleansing. I have done so much already… kitchen drink ware, junk drawer(s), linen closet, my bathroom, my dresser, and even my husband has done his part of the dresser AND closet (my closet = my Everest). We are making so much progress!
But to think that I still have to tackle my closet AND the kids’ playroom makes my stomach turn. Then there’s the garage and other random places we have shoved stuff over the years just knowing that we would use it (sarcasm).
So, if anyone is thinking of following me down this road to less stuff, I would recommend making a list of different segmented projects to tackle. To help boost your confidence and motivate you, pick a smaller and more manageable project first. Remember that a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step! And any other cliche’ sayings you can come up with about taking on a project.