Thursday, August 4, 2011

The dirty secrets of my bathroom cabinets

With the bathroom and kitchen renovation fast approaching, it occurred to me today that I'm going to have to pull everything out of the cupboards. Everything. While this may not be as bad as it could be, simply because we've been in the Fibro less than three years, it is still not a happy-making thought.

When I consider what I actually use on a daily basis from my bathroom cabinets, I realise that it is a small and practical group of items. It all fits neatly into my toiletries bag when we go away. When I consider what is actually in my bathroom cabinets, I realise that I have a problem.

Admittedly, the problem is not as bad as it was during the years I worked on-staff at various magazines. Then the poor old cabinets buckled under the wealth of items collected during regular 'beauty chucks' - when the Beauty department cleared its filing cabinets for the onslaught of new products. For a woman who wears little make-up, I was stocked up enough for about 17 of me.

Half the problem in the cabinets today is the half-used stuff. Shampoo that I tried and didn't like. Moisturisers that didn't really do the job. A shelf's worth of de-frizzing, de-humidifying products  - and one random 'volumiser' (clearly it moved in by itself).

Why do I keep all this stuff? Because it feels wasteful to throw it out? Because it cost good money and deserves its space on the shelf? Because it's easier to shove it back in there than to decide what to do with it?

Well, the time has come. They're all going - lotion, potion and barrel brush. And such clutter will have no place in my sleek new bathroom. To ensure it, we will have no cabinet. If it doesn't fit in the toiletries bag, we can't have it. That's it. So simple. Why didn't I think of this before??

Can't imagine.

Are your bathroom cabinets, like mine, testament to every product purchase you've ever made? Or do you have a clean shelf policy?

[image: decal from tweetheartwallart/etsy]


  1. I like your theory - no cabinet, no crap. Ingenious. I tried this principle in our kitchen with the third drawer down: if everything had a place, then there would be no need for the third drawer. Didn't work out though. Third drawer is back with a vengence!
    If you're ever stuck for a post, I dare you to use the volumiser and then blog about it. Shazam!!

  2. What a bizarre coincidence, I actually cleaned out my bathroom cabinet this afternoon! Mostly because the small boy is at the age where I've had to move everything potentially toxic somewhere he can't grab and in doing so had way less space than before so I got really vicious and chucked out two big plastic bags full of stuff. A surprisingly large amount was out-of-date medicine and supplements (stuff I didn't remember having; prescriptions for stuff I got - as recent as 2010 - but never used - and I don't even remember what illness I had that required them?). It was very cleansing.

  3. They are absolutely jam packed with stuff that I have absolutely no use for.

    Literally - no use

  4. My 1960's original retro bathroom has no cupboards. Just a three drawer vanity. Can you imagine? I literally have no space for anything that I don't use, and hardly any space for the stuff that I do use anyway! One day I will have a new bathroom with cupboards. I have no idea what I'll put in them though - what are these lotions and potions you speak of? :)

  5. Haha! Everything I need is in my toiletries bag and everything I don't need is in the bathroom cabinet AND cupboard AND drawers (3 of them). Clearly, I have way to much space!

  6. Scary thought. I occasionally take everything out, look at it for a while and put it all back in again.

    I might NEED that once used, horrible smelling, left my hair welded to my head, tea tree and olive oil hair conditioner one day (mighten I???).

  7. As a girl who currently has her whole kitchen in boxes in her daughter's bedroom (thank God Leah is at Mt Buller for the winter!), I can tell you, living without a kitchen is not pretty. While packing, I did the organised thing and created boxes called "Finish", "Forward", "File", and "Flick". There is a LOT of flicking going on around here.

    But then there's this part of me that is so, er, tight. My bathroom cabinet is tiny. And not full. Because I insist on using EVERYTHING. And don't buy a replacement until it's ALL gone. Even the stuff I don't like. And yes, even cutting open the end to get the last bit of moisturiser out. Geez, I'm such a scrooge, I surprise even myself. (Mind you, it cost someone good money - yes - even the freebies!), and I'm not going to waste it.

    But I love your philosophy. Sometimes it just takes something drastic to make a call like that.

    And so well put too!

    May you survive the onslaught.


  8. I have a giant bag of crap - 1/2 used whatevers and hair accessories from the last decade or two. This bag fills an entire shelf.
    It annoys me and yet I do nothing about it. sigh.

  9. When we moved I put a basket of bathroom stuff incl. talc from nanna and half used bottles of gel and mousse from the ..80's..90's 00's.
    I put them out for my garage sale and said - take these for free!

    And you know people did for various reasons.
    Some had sons with gel infatuations and one guy at the end took my basket as well!
    Who was I to argue with him.

    Another option is take them to the local refuge / hospice / hospital or somewhere people may need some toiletries.

  10. Oh my bathroom cupboard sounds like yours. I actually think there's some shampoo in mine - unopened - because my mum bought two shampoos rather than a shampoo and conditioner when Roo was born... 2.5yrs ago. I know what I'll be doing tomorrow!!

  11. This made me laugh Allison. I am like you, I buy things because they look so enticing, shiny and new, then they don't do the job or I just can't be bothered going to the trouble of using them anymore and they settle in the cabinet... for months or years!
    I think I might need a new bathroom too actually, at least then I would have a clear cabinet again ;o)
    How exciting that you get to plan a kitchen AND a bathroom reno, YAY! xo

  12. Every school holiday I try to blitz at least one room/cupboard/wardrobe. Today, as I'm typing this, Half the contents of the dining room are in the lounge. My house looks like a bombs hit it. :(

  13. Yes, it feels so wasteful to ditch expensive, obviously unnecessary products before they expire. That's what I wait for - the use by date to pass us by. Ditch without the guilt then!
    Oooh. I already envy your new bathroom.

  14. I have to do this every month! My bathroom's too small for a beauty blogger! #firstworldproblem

  15. I am terrible for hoarding!! Just awful! Good on you for chucking stuff, I will have to try this!


  16. mine is full like yours. I love the no cabinet policy! I might implement that when we buy a house.

  17. Our new house bathrooms are not cabinetless but they are v much under-cabinetted compared to our previous home. I now realise this may be a good thing. On the flip side, in this house we have a real pantry and I so know that this is probably a recipe for disaster (so to speak).

  18. I love the feeling of a good purge!!

  19. Disaster area. Every now and then I do a massive clean out and love the look of my new organised cabinet. It NEVER lasts. Unlike you, I don't tend to have an overflow of hair products but a ridiculous collection of facial cleansers. There are so many times you can wash your face, right?


  20. Oh yes. Not only is my bathroom cabinet full of crap, I also still have two boxes of cosmetic crap (a legacy of year living in unrenovated 50-60s houses with no bathroom cupboards)I can't bear to part with. It's hopeless. I'm moving in a couple of months, so going to use the opportunity to do a throwout. Maybe...

  21. Luckily I am not a hoarder given our only bathroom is 2m x 2m and houses the vanity, shower and toilet!
    The three drawers in the vanity are almost empty, just housing the toiletry bags.
    Mind you I keep moisturisers, makeup and face creams on my dressing table in my bedroom.
    Lucky you, I love a new bathroom.

  22. We were only here about 3 years when we gutted our bathroom too, and we had no vanity or cabinet as such to empty, just a giant linen/broom/laundry type cupboard (was an untouched 100yo house, of COURSE you kept your brooms in your bathroom back then, tsk)so we actually had been keeping our toiletries in bags all that time.
    New bathroom now has gorgeous vanity with drawers and cupboards which I have delighted in making absolutely chock-a-block full of what you have described.
    I always do things backwards.

  23. Worst bathroom cupboard I had to clean out was after my great aunt died. She had kept every set of false teeth she had ever had beginning with 2 teeth and progressively adding more as I assume the years went by... Or the teeth fell out. Gross, All in all 17 sets of dentures in gradual shades of yellowing. BUT... On the bright side ( not shiny teeth) she had also kept lots of old bandaid tins and lovely remnants of past times. She was 92. It was the dentures which I found disturbing,,,

  24. I've got half used this, that and the other too. I'm taking this house move as the opportunity to toss the lot.

  25. Oh yes. My bathroom cupboard is overloaded with 'product'. I am a product girl, be it make-up, hair product, skin care. I shudder to think how much money is actually sitting in my bathroom cupboard. **can't look**

  26. I am a minimalist kind of girl. We have a bathroom cabinet. It holds loo paper and a spare tube of toothpaste.

    Everything I own and use goes into a toiletries bag (which gets called my "sponge bag" even though I never use a sponge?!)

    My beauty routine hasn't changed my whole adult life. I realise how utterly dull that makes me sound...

    My under the kitchen sink cupboard however is a hoarders haven...

  27. Solution. Enter three sub-teen girls (mine if you like), and whammo! No products left at all. Not even the ones you really do like.

  28. When we renovated our bathroom, I didn't put in a cabinet for the same reason. But I have now, because the bench looks much better clear with stuff behind closed doors. It's a small wall one. And I am strict, strict, strict!! Mind you, with two growing girls, I read the above comment by Life Without Mathematics and quaked...

  29. I really need to declutter my bathroom shelves and cabinets. That is so true that there are half-used bottles of stuff or things I tried once and won't use again... so why do I save it? Did I think I would change my mind? Thanks for the reminder and Happy SITS Day again!


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