Sometimes one small tweak can make all the difference. When listening to one of my favorite organizing podcasts, “A Slob Comes Clean” by Dana White, a podcast guest said something that really stuck with me. This guest, a homeschool mother of 9 children, said, “Anything that causes me stress, I create a system.” Her examples included their household morning routine and table chores. I can’t even imagine all of the work that goes into running a household of that size! But I also know that this principle could be used in many different ways. Systems are a key to organization, especially to maintaining organization!
Several months ago, I realized that I needed a change to my morning and evening routines and the supplies needed for them. I was in the habit of keeping all of my small supplies needed in my bathroom in the morning (deodorant and makeup) and evening (medication, dental floss, moisturizing cream, and makeup remover) in the bathroom in one clear bin. I used most of the supplies in the morning and a few at night. The idea was that I would dump everything out of the bin in the morning, use all of the morning supplies, and then leave out the things I needed in the evening until I had used them. Then I would return these to the bin, put the lid back on, and repeat the process in the morning. The reason that I dumped everything out was that I learned the hard way that this would prevent me from skipping a step. Many times I had gotten distracted while putting on makeup, then later in the day discovered I put on everything except mascara. Dumping things out is a sort of visual checklist for me.
The problem with this system was that when I went into the bathroom later in the day, I could never remember whether I had already taken my medication and just forgotten to put it back into the bin. Yes, I could have resorted to those pill boxes with the days of the week, but for some reason I associate those with people much older than me, and I just wasn’t ready for that yet. Not knowing whether I had taken my medicine was stressful. Should I take it just in case? What if that meant a double dose? What if I don’t take it and miss today’s dose? I just didn’t need that kind of stress in my life. Something had to change.
The solution was very simple. I got a second matching clear bin just for evening supplies and labelled each clearly. Now I could use the same process of dumping everything out and returning it as I use it in the morning and in the evening. No more forgetting, no more stress.
I am guessing you might be having one of two thoughts:
- Do you really use only that many products in the morning and evening? Well, I have my hair supplies in a different drawer (hair dryer, brushes and straightener). My toothbrush and toothpaste are in a separate container by the sink. And I use the soap that’s already by the sink to wash my face. I know I probably use less products than the average female. But yes, my routine is pretty streamlined, and I don’t keep any products that I don’t use regularly on the vanity. I store infrequently used items under my sink (if I keep them at all).
- Isn’t this kind of overkill? I mean, aren’t you kind of overthinking this? Are you really that forgetful? Well, maybe. I am definitely over the top as far as organization goes. I can tell you that if there is any way to make a simple change that can decrease stress in my day, I think it’s worth it. There are so many parts of my day that require intense concentration, so it’s nice that in the morning and evening, I can kind of be more on auto-pilot.
My favorite organizing tips for your bathroom:
- Get rid of every product you don’t use! Donate, throw away, or whatever. There is no need to keep them! They are taking up space and making it harder to keep your bathroom clean. I can’t stress this one enough. Purging is ALWAYS the first step in organizing.
- Keep the products you use daily in a convenient, easy to access location. A drawer or a container on the vanity that you can pick up when it’s time to clean the bathroom both work well. The more things crowding your vanity makes it harder to keep it clean. Clear surfaces are not only easier to clean, but also instantly make a room look neater.
- Keep products you use occasionally in a different location, preferably grouped in an organized fashion. The cabinet under the sink is a good place for this. Bins and baskets can help corral these items and keep them neat.