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I’m on a decluttering / organizing rampage and the cabinet under the bathroom sink was in need of attention.
(We generally DO use a bag in the garbage… don’t judge me please. We were really sick last week, and things like this went overlooked… apparently. But not the point of this post today, so moving on.)
You can see that I have, in fact, got an organizational system in place under the bathroom sink. I’ve implemented some of the best and most popular tricks around, like making use of the upward space with shelves and buying cute little baskets from the dollar store (sarcasm? Even I can’t tell…).
And you can see that I have totally ignored that system and piled crap anywhere and everywhere under the sink where crap would fit.
If you’re here looking for suggestions on “how to organize the cupboard under the sink” then bear with me. More important things need to be discussed first.
My decision to organize under the bathroom cupboard has brought me face to face with some hard truths.
I think these truths are something I need to confront, and perhaps, if you are constantly “organizing” or “decluttering” they are truths you need to confront them, too.
♥ TRUTH # 1 – An “organizational system” won’t solve your clutter problems. YOU are your clutter problem.
There’s a system there, believe me, and it’s been there for over a year. There’s a cute basket for everything. There’s dedicated space for “stuff”. The problem is not lack of a system. The problem is me and my failure to:
A) Use the system. (The system won’t work if I just throw the stuff under the sink where ever it fits when I’m tired or when the baby is crying at me.)
B) Control the amount of stuff coming into my home. (There are FIVE bottles of shampoo, THREE body lotions, SIX toothpastes, and SEVEN body wash in this picture. I am all for stocking up when stuff’s on sale, but I need to be realistic about how much my house can hold and how frequently sales actually do happen.)
Related: Tackling Clothing Clutter: Confessions of a Clothes Hoarder
♥ TRUTH # 2 – Being dedicated to decluttering and simplifying means making some hard decisions.
Choosing to live with less clutter means choosing to have less, and if I truly value having less I am going to have to do some hard things.
I’m trying to have my decluttered cake and eat it too. (I want to have space and feel free from things, but I also want to keep that, and that and that. And this.)
There are two things here that make me realize this – firstly, the unnecessary stockpile.
Secondly, and more convicting-ly (I can make up words if I want to), there is a tub under the sink of random things that I have kept every. single. time. I have “decluttered” under my cabinet.
I’ve had these things for years and never used them… but justified keeping them because they’re great and useful things – some of them expensive – and I would most definitely use them someday, so I’ve hung onto them every time. I have used NONE of the things, not even one time, since the last time I “decluttered” the bathroom cabinet.
Things that finally left the bathroom this round – because I finally get it:
- Very expensive MAC concealer (that concealed NOTHING), which I felt like I had to keep because I paid out the nose for it.
- Sunless tanning lotion that works great and I’m sure it’s an awesome idea, but I literally NEVER bother to put it on.
- Homemade bathbombs that grease up the tub when I tried to use them but I felt so wasteful throwing them out.
- Eye shadows that were practically new – um, because I don’t use them.
- Hairspray that doesn’t work as good as my new hairspray. (This old hairspray was discontinued when I was in HIGH SCHOOL. Just let that sink in.)
♥ TRUTH # 3 – Bad messy habits creep back when you’re not diligent!
Let’s face it – that cabinet is not owned by someone who is naturally tidy, but just looking at it makes me cringe.
I hate messy, and I have worked very hard to quit being messy in my home in general. BUT here, the door can close and the mess can be hidden… and it’s easy to let this area slide.
You can organize and declutter all you want, but if you’re not committed to simplifying and staying tidy, don’t bother.
How long will it look like this?
I already know the answer.
It’ll remain organized and tidy as long as I choose to keep it that way. It’s actually that simple.
As long as I choose to remind myself I don’t need to stockpile, as long as choose to take the extra moments to put things in their rightful places. As long as I throw out the greasy bathbombs as soon as I find out I don’t like them.
Practical suggestions for bathroom cupboard organization:
If you weren’t stopping by for a lesson in living simply or self reflection, and you just really do want bathroom cupboard organization ideas, well, these storage tips DO work for me (when I choose to use my systems).
- Use shelves to make use of the upward space. Don’t just sit everything on the floor! I grabbed one like this from the thrift shop for 3 bucks (- I think the one I got is meant to hang… but who cares? I’ve also got a spice rack shelf in the back corner that holds my shampoo / body wash stockpile so I can SEE what’s there with one glance- nothing is hiding. Plus, when the spice rack shelf is full, I DO NOT NEED to buy more of these things. Even if there is a sale. Period.
- Use bins that don’t have lids to group like things. (Why no lids? Because you know what you do with bins with lids? Set stuff ON them. At least that’s what I do.)
- Use small drawers to organize picky little stuff you want easily accessible… I use these for “fancy” make-up, extra razor cartridges, and dressy hair accessories. (Stuff I don’t use everyday but don’t want to have to dig for when I DO need it.)
- MOST importantly, put less stuff under the bathroom sink. 😉
Related: How I Conquer Clutter When it’s Emotionally Difficult
Related: Where to Start When You Are Drowning in Clutter
Related: Kitchen Organization Ideas
4 thoughts on “Organizing the Bathroom Cupboard: Facing the Truth Under the Sink”
The trick is. When I go to a thrift store to buy …let’s say a shelf to declutter.. Well I buy more stuff at the thrift store.. ahhhhh
Shopping addiction is it’s own problem, right?
And here I was, thinking “so cool that she cares enough about not using a bunch of single-use plastic that she’s fellow no-bag-in-the-garbage person.” Really, why would you – a person against waste – DO that, given the state of the world? If it’s dirty, wash it — and I’m a slob saying that. I’m thinking it just hasn’t occurred to you yet and you’ll stop now. 🙂 I’m enjoying your articles btw. 🙂