One of my goals this year is to live more simply by reducing household items that take up space and don’t provide me much value. As I get older, I can’t stand having clutter around. It seems to add more and more stress to my life. I have this undeniable urge to purge.
So this year I have resolved to removing 10 items a month from my life. This includes trashing, donating, selling (like on craiglist/poshmark) or giving things away to friends.
My first victim this year was our medicine cabinet in our bathroom. There are three mirrors that hide three shelves of storage each. We have lived in this house for almost a year and still haven’t truly organized it from the original dumping of its contents into a spot just to feel moved in.
Here was the original state it was in:
The mirrors partially hide some of the chaos in the photo, but believe me, it wasn’t pretty. (And yes, having the light off centered from the cabinet does bother me.)
We have it set up where each of us have our own side–Daniel’s is the left, mine is the right, and we share the middle–except for our toothbrushes which are housed in Daniel’s. And yes, we do have a ridiculous amount of toothbrushes. We have a habit of keeping our old one’s even though we have new ones. But you don’t care!
So starting with my side, I really wanted to cut down all of the items I don’t use regularly or are full of harsh chemicals that I don’t want on my body anymore. Here’s what I decided to get rid of:
I apologize to anyone reading this who may have given me one of these things. I think they all were gifts at some point except for the deodorant, makeup remover lotion, and a few samples. Some of these items were really old, like the Bath & Body Works items in the back which ranged from 5-8 years old. It was time for them to go. As for the perfumes, although the scents are nice, I just honestly don’t wear perfume that often so I decided to keep only my full sized items. Although, that purple perfume was one of my favorites for a long time, it is almost empty and has taken on an alcohol-ish smell from age. The older items I threw away, but I am planning to give away some of the almost full items like the Avon lotion and the makeup remover lotion, and some of those little perfumes that are newer.
So here’s the result:
It looks so much better and only has (mostly) the essentials I use. I am planning to get a new deodorant though since that Tom’s of Maine one on the bottom shelf just isn’t working for me. It seems to make me smell instantly of B.O. when I apply it. Anyone else? Maybe it’s because I have the unscented one… And yeah, I have my old and new retainer stacked there on the second shelf because I told you I’m a hoarder. I’m slowly trying to transition my personal care items to all natural, vegan, cruelty-free. A good website I’ve been using to determine whether it’s “all natural” or at least safer to apply on my skin is Skin Deep by the Environmental Working Group or EWG. They have compiled thousands of products and the ingredients in them based off of the current research available to give each product a score for how safe it is. Some products are even starting to use the “EWG Verified” certification on their packaging if they are rated as safe. Pretty cool stuff!
Alright enough rambling. Here’s the middle section decluttering action:
It is mostly expired medicine and eye drops. I had a major issue with dry eyes when I wore contacts but now after PRK (a similar surgery to LASIK) I only need one bottle of drops as seen on my side of the cabinet. Oh and we condensed our bandages into one box so we could get rid of the other half-empty box. And we got rid of some almost-empty and “unsafe” sunscreen.
Here’s the after:
We kept the itch-relief stuff since Daniel had a bad bout of poison ivy a couple years ago and wants to have it on hand at all times. We also have some sunscreen in that orange tube that a friend left and we’ve been meaning to return… sorry friend! And I keep baby powder around to make my own dry shampoo. It smells like lavender! Then we’ve got a random assortment of first-aid stuff on the second shelf, plus my “safe” sunscreen! Goddess Garden is an awesome brand! And we have a ton of extra floss that accumulates from the dentist. I prefer the pre-strung flossers but Daniel says once we run out of them we have to use all of this floss before buying more *first world problems*. Then on the bottom shelf we have some flosser tools (not sure what they’re really called but for those of you who have a permanent wire bottom retainer from braces, you know what’s up), plus a spare tooth brush, rubbing alcohol, nasal spray, tweezers, and a tube of shaving cream.
And now Daniel’s side decluttering:
Yeah he really didn’t have much to get rid of. Some cologne that makes him sneeze, an old razor, and some cream that was actually mine when I had eczema. And not featured, we threw out our old toothbrushes. Because, progress, ya know?
Up top he has some shaving stuff and his deodorants, middle shelf he has his colognes/more shaving stuff, and the bottom shelf he has kindly donated to our dental hygiene. Pink toothbrushes for the win!
So here’s the final result:
And side-by-side for perspective:
It doesn’t look like much improvement, and we could certainly cut down on more, but it is progress and these things take time. I basically have to rewire my brain to assure myself that it’s OKAY to get rid of what I don’t need/use. I don’t have to hoard all the things. But I was able to get rid of more than 10 items!
Just like I try to focus on physical health, I want to improve my mental health, and decluttering my surroundings really helps to improve my mood!
I plan to tackle the bathroom vanity next. I have taken it over with all of my hair and makeup products and it is worse than the medicine cabinet…