I used to be the girl that kept everything on top of her bathroom counter that I needed in order to get ready every day. Why did I have so much bathroom counter clutter? Well, because there was no room under the bathroom sink. It was stocked with all of the items that I felt were essential to keep, even though everything I used every day was on the bathroom counter. I was embarrassed when guests would come over and ask if they could use the master bath because the other one was full. I wanted to scream “No! You can’t go in there! I didn’t clean THAT bathroom. I put all my efforts into cleaning the rest of the house!”
The Flat Surface Rule for Bathroom Counter Clutter
If your bathroom counter clutter is driving you crazy, then here is the flat surface rule as it applies to your bathroom counter clutter:
For a single bathroom vanity: Have no more than two decorative or functional items on your bathroom counter.
For a double bathroom vanity: Have no more than four decorative or functional items on your bathroom counter.
Do you have to follow these rules hard and fast? No, it’s your bathroom. You can make your own rules. These were just rules that I adopted in order to make sure my bathroom counters never look cluttered again.
It’s easy to make a rule like this, but what do you do with all the stuff that’s on your bathroom counter right now? If you’re anything like my past self, there is no room under your bathroom sink! So, let’s start there!
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Clean out under the bathroom sink
First, let’s make room under your bathroom sink. Set aside approximately two hours to complete this task in full. You may not need the full two hours, but I would rather not sugarcoat anything. Depending on the state of your bathroom, this may not be fun. However, it will be worth the tradeoff of your time and effort when you are done. I promise!
Open the cabinets to your bathroom sink, and pull everything out. Yep. Everything.
Now, grab your cleaning supplies. You may have pulled a few cleaning supplies out from under your sink. Wipe down your cabinets now that it is empty. Do this with your drawers too, if applicable. Isn’t that nice?! OK, maybe the mess that you have sitting outside of your bathroom cabinets isn’t so great, but we are about to fix that.
Find a home for everything you are keeping
Decide what you want to actually go under your bathroom sink. Does everything that you have pulled out really need to be stored in your bathroom? Can it be stored somewhere else? For example, I have found that I really like storing all of my cleaning supplies in one place, not in my bathroom. I have stored them in our laundry utility room or in a linen closet on an empty shelf. I’m not saying you have to move your cleaning supplies, this is one easy suggestion to create a lot more space under your bathroom sink.
Do you have medication stored under the bathroom sink? Once we had kids I needed to get creative and move all of our medications into an area where my kids cannot reach them. I bought a small, clear shoe box container and put them all in there. I now store the clear shoe box container on the top shelf of our bedroom closet. Little hands can’t get into anything potentially dangerous and I have an entire area opened up under my bathroom counters or in my medicine cabinet.
Get rid of stuff you don’t use
I’ve been there, where I’ve tried out new hair products, and I hated them. I felt guilty about buying them and not using them, so I stored them under my bathroom sink instead of immediately finding them a new home.
If you’re never going to use something, be honest with yourself. It is time to let it go? If you have a friend that you think might use a certain product consider giving it to them. Otherwise, dispose of the product responsibly and recycle your containers, if at all possible.
I got rid of a lot of stuff when we first cleaned out our bathrooms. I got rid of perfumes I never planned on wearing. I also got rid of hair products that I hated after one or two uses. We had an extra hairdryer I got rid of too. I’m not sure why we needed three hairdryers! I did put the second hair dryer in the guest bathroom. Think of these kinds of things when you are going through the stuff under your bathroom sink.
Stop stocking up for the apocalypse under your bathroom sink
My husband travels and would bring home tons of travel-sized free toiletries. Don’t get me wrong, when times are tough financially, every penny saved counts! If you are collecting freebies or stockpiling from coupons, at least have a system for your extras.
I store all of our freebies in a clear shoebox-sized plastic container. I also store extra toothpaste or other small items I find on sale here. If you are stockpiling on bigger items, like shampoos, you may want to find a storage spot that is not under your bathroom sink if you are running out of room in there.
Storage solutions to conquer bathroom counter clutter
Find storage solutions for the stuff that you’re going to put under the bathroom sink. Now that you have all this new space under your bathroom sink, you don’t want to just haphazardly put your items under the sink without a solution. Check out these ideas for easy solutions.
If you wear make-up every day, create a solution that allows you to have all the items together that you use on a daily basis. I’m not talking about your special occasion makeup. Keep that separate.
Create a simple storage solution for the items you use each and every day so that you can access them easily, without having to dig around those items you only wear on special occasions. We use a plastic divider bin like this for a lot of the common items we use daily. It would work well for make-up too.
Storage for your daily items
Just as you did with your make up, create a storage solution for the items you use on a daily basis to get ready. For me, this includes any daily medication, my hairbrush, a couple of ponytail holders, hair product, a sleeve of my daily contacts, toothpaste, floss, deodorant and my three pieces of make-up. I don’t have a separate storage for my daily make-up because I don’t wear that much make-up. I use a simple basket for all these items, and it gets stored under the sink.
I store my flatiron in a flatiron case, and I love it! This is probably the last piece of clutter I got off of my bathroom counter, and it was simply because I had nowhere to put my flatiron while still warm. This case also works amazing when you are traveling.
I keep my toothbrush under the sink, next to my basket that stores all of my daily items. For some reason keeping your toothbrush on the bathroom counter grosses me out. All I can think about are the germs spraying up from the toilet or germs from someone’s nasty hands dripping over my toothbrush. Call me weird, but ever since I learned I could store my toothbrush underneath the bathroom sink, it has bothered me when it gets left out.
Every morning and night, I pull out my basket of daily items, and I use it to get ready for the day or to get ready for bed. If you have any larger bottles you use on a regular basis, they can be stored next to your daily use storage solution and still be easily assessable every morning and night.
Store the items you don’t use on a regular basis towards the back of your bathroom cabinet.
What stays on your bathroom counter
Be selective about what stays on your bathroom counter so you don’t continue to have to fight the bathroom counter clutter battle. You probably need some form of soap, possibly a towel holder if you don’t have one hanging on the wall, and maybe one or two decorative items that make you happy when you see them in the morning or at night.
Simple equals easy!
There you have it! It is a pretty simple solution. You only need the time and the effort to pull things out from under your bathroom sink so you can make space for the items that are contributing to your bathroom counter clutter. Then create a simple storage solution for the items you use every day, and you can enjoy clean bathroom counters! No more being embarrassed with an unexpected house guest walks into your master bath!
Want an entire weekend dedicated to cleaning out your home so you can get it done fast? Check out my post on how to Declutter Your Home Fast in One Weekend + Detailed Schedule to Help!