Project Simplify: The Bathroom Tour and Flat Iron Giveaway!
I just got done reading a great book by blogger Tsh Oxenreider entitled Simply Organized: The Clutter Free Approach to Intentional Living. This is a book that everyone needs to read, even the most organized of us. This book is less about organization, and more about simplifying all aspects of your life so that you can focus on whatever it is that truly matters to you and your family. Simplicity saves us money, time, and sanity.
The beginning of the book goes in to the “whys and wherefores” of simplistic living. The second half of the book takes you through a nuts and bolts “how-to” for decluttering and simplifying each room on your house. It also talks about how to simplify your home management systems.
If you know me, you know that I am very decluttered already. However, Tsh really challenged and inspired me. When I was finished reading this book, I felt liberated to let so many things go! Not just material things, but also other requirements I tend to put on myself, that I don’t like! (Such as, cooking a full dinner every night of the week.)
After I read this book, the first room that came to mind is the bathroom. Much of my bathroom decluttering has happened over time, as we have one small bathroom in our home. Yet, in the back of my mind I knew there were still lots of items that simply were not being used. The thing that was keeping me from going in there with a trash bag was just plain ol’ guilt over wasted money on items I never use. I kept them out of obligation, telling myself that it would all be purged after I had used it up.
Today, instead of shuffling once again through five-year-old tubes of Chapstick, scented lotions, and fancy eye creams, I took Tsh’s recommendations and decluttered that bathroom guilt-free.
First, here is some of what my bathroom looks like. The size and lack of light makes it a little hard to photograph, but here is an idea of what I am working with storage-wise.
Here is a tour of my bathroom after I purged the junk and the items I kept:
The Medicine Cabinet
- Toiletries: I have slowly been switching my toiletries over to natural and organic brands. Right now I am using Avalon Organics facial cleanser and moisturizer, Tom’s deodorant, and Tom’s toothpaste.
- Hair Care: I have slowly used up my plethora of hair products. I used to own a cocktail of hair care products to “deal with” my curls. Guess, what I use now? Two things. After styling, I put a little bit of oil on the ends. I might give it a good spray-down with some environmentally toxic Tresemme hair spray. (Damaging the ozone with super hold aerasol hair spray is my favorite. Apparently).
- Misc: The rest of the cabinet has some Ikea cups for organizing little things like nail clippers and dental floss. Of course, like normal people, we have necessities like Band-aids, lotion, sunscreen, and Davids manly colognes and what-not.
- Hair Drawer: I kept a paddle brush, a large round brush, a heat-resistant comb, a hair dryer (which is almost ready to be replaced) with a diffuser for my curly hair, and my faithful, five-year-old Chi flat iron. I love how the drawer closes without cords hanging out.
- Make Up Drawer: Let me now contradict all of my natural and organic toiletries efforts mentioned above. I have not switched my make-up ver to an organic or natural brand. I can’t, I tried. I love Mary Kay make-up. It is my favorite. That is all. When we were dating, David bought me an entire bells and whistles Mary Kay make-up system that I have absolutely loved. This was after leaving my old (apparently rat-chewed and filled with high school lip gloss leftovers) make-up bag in his car for a weekend. Being something that I never would have purchased for myself, I still maintain that my Mary Kay set is the most romantic gift I have ever received. To this day, I love my Mary Kay make-up. Now instead of having it all, I simply use a few select products that I really like. I have this big palette, which currently holds blushes and eyeshadows. I just downsized it by ordering a mini-palette which will hold a blush and four eye shadows. All of my make-up will soon fit into one small bag.
- Hair accessories: In the make-up drawer I also keep this zip-up bag full of hair bands, clips, and bobby pins. I love to do hair, and most of all I love to do my friend’s hair! I replenish my hair accessories every few months. If you leave my presence with a nest of bobby pins in your hair, you know we are true friends.
Under the Vanity
- Towels. We all need them. Perhaps just not at the quantity I had originally stuffed under there. Our first place as a married couple had THREE AND A HALF bathrooms! For some reason, I thought I needed them all to be stocked with towels, so I registered for a truckload of tan and brown towels. The neutral color was a good idea, but the quantity, not so much. Tsh points out in her book that if you do laundry once a week, you only need one towel per family member (plus a few for company) Oops. Some of my towels will join the extras I have stored in the garage.
- Cleaning solution and rags. I bought some small spray bottles from Wal-Mart and filled them with all-purpose and glass cleaner. I store them in this Ikea Lenda basket with some cleaning rags. Wiping down bathroom surfaces after getting ready in the morning is part of my Flylady routine. It also comes in really handy for cleaning up occasional baby messes (we cloth diaper).
This tends to be the most cluttered part of most people’s bathrooms. Instead of having separate shampoos and soaps, we share! Definitely simpler. We use Nature’s Gate shampoo and conditioner, Kiss My Face olive oil and aloe bar soap, and CJ’s Carcass Cleaner for Michaiah (doubles as a shampoo and body wash). All of these are natural and non-toxic products.
We installed this cool Ikea shelf above the toilet and use these three baskets to store miscellaneous bathroom items. One of them holds wash cloths and one holds my extra “back-up” toiletries and cosmetics.
I cleared out a big paper bag o’ junk. Here are some examples of things that were a little painful to part with:
- Nail polish. This stuff is over five years old. I used to have a huge tub full, but I have whittled it down to this. And I don’t even use these! I have a budget for pedicures (believe me, you would too if you had these feet). If the polish wears off in between, I remove it. Now I can just invest in a good quality clear-coat polish to wear between pedicures.
- Mary Kay and Bare Escentuals brushes. I LOVE make-up! Being the girly-girl that I am, make-up brushes are super fun accessories to me. However, truth be told, I use only one brush from that beautiful, glamourous Mary Kay set David bestowed upon me. It’s an eye shadow brush. I have had this set for six years now, looking gorgeous and taking up space. It was time to say good-bye. I kept my Mary Kay eyeshadow brush and a Bare Escentuals bronzer brush.
- Curling irons. My sister, who is a hair stylist will be “tsk tsk”-ing me right now for this, but I decided to part with my two Conair curling irons. I’m pretty sure these have both been traded and re-traded from my house to hers and back again. The same girl that is wagging her finger at me right now also taught me a number of techniques for texturizing and curling hair with a flat iron. That is what I use! It is hotter and makes smoother curls and better waves. Clearing these out also makes room for a better Hot Tools curling iron, if I decide to save up and get one.
- Tanning products. Seriously, how many years has it been since I “tanned?” I honestly cannot even image in how I could consciously slather myself with SPF 4 and lay out scantly clad in the summer sun for 1-2 hours. Twenty-one and dumb. Okay, twenty-five. And yes, you do see a “tan in a can” here. I thought I would use it, but seriously, I hate the smell and I’m very much okay with my porcelain skin!
- Electric Toothbrush: Oh yes, the famed electric toothbrush. I’m sorry I did not get a photo of this beaut. It belongs to my husband, our family’s gadget lover. He loves this thing, but it simply does not fit on the vanity. He has finally given me permission to let it go, although it pains him because it is still “perfectly usable.” (He hates to get rid of useful items, especially gadgets.) I promised him that in five to seven years when we move into a roomier house, he can buy himself a shiny, modern one. He didn’t see how a newer one would clean his teeth any better, but he gave me permission to let it go nonetheless.
And now, drumroll please…
I present you with my very first blog giveaway! (Studio audience cheers).
That’s right. My declutter is your gain. I purchased a flat iron as a gift recently at Sally Beauty and received this cute travel-sized one with purchase. This flat iron is Sally Beauty’s generic version of the Chi. The iron itself is the same size as a standard flat iron, but the handle is shorter. It goes up to 420 degrees, which is awesome!
I have seriously considered hoarding this away to myself, but I have reasoned with myself and I simply cannot do that with a clear conscience. Thanks Tsh.
If you would like to win this flat iron, all you need to do is leave a comment on this post! Be sure to leave your full name and a link to your website (or your email address) so I can contact you! Here is the giveaway question: What is one thing that you know of in your bathroom that you could get rid of right now? Go!