This year, perhaps more than ever before... we have realized the importance of clearing out, using things as much as you can (and in new ways)... and of salvaging and fixing things up.To this end, I thought I might do a series of posts on clearing out and organizing, and living a simpler life. I did a post here... and here... and I've another one for you today. I hope to do one once a week.
Today I am taking you to one of the places no one wants to talk about... the bathroom.
I think the last time I saw an episode of House Hunters, the couple on the show had 2 little kids, and were only looking at houses with 4 bathrooms. They insisted that each person needed their own bathroom. Go figure. When we lived in Albuquerque, our house was about 1350 square feet... which for most 4-person families in the neighborhood.... was small. It had 1 3/4 bathrooms. This house has one bathroom for a home with just under 1000 square feet. Now, I cannot deny that it would occasionally be nice to have an extra 1/2 bathroom... but with 3 adults here in this house... I really can't complain.
Our bathroom is small, and it's not horribly attractive. Our home was built in 1973, and the bathroom is mostly gold and white. When we moved in, the walls were pink. One of the most affordable ways to change the look of a room is with paint. We were able to get paint even cheaper, by buying paint that had been already mixed for a customer, and refused. Most home improvement stores have a shelf or two of these paints... and they are a great savings provided you can find a color you can live with. We chose an avocado green... because it goes with the age of the home... and I thought it would actually make the gold in the bathroom more tolerable. We painted the accents a crisp, clean white, ...including the light fixtures and the medicine cabinet.
Our bathroom only has one cabinet (with the sink), it's smaller... with 2 little drawers. It is mostly empty... as we hope to paint it at some point. In the bottom, we keep cleaning supplies and misc. One way to save money... is to limit your cleaning supplies. Find one you like, and stick with it. As an example, we have an old butter dish on the counter that we use to keep baking soda in. We use it in place of toothpaste, but we also keep some on hand to clean with. It is great for sinks and faucets. Because of space, and our own inclinations... we just don't have lots of toiletries. Hairbrush, razors, floss, a few odd and ends... is all you really need. I keep another jar on the counter-top to hold Q-tips. We have a little dish for soap, and a little bowl for clippers, tweezers, Visine, Neosporin... little things that would get lost in the shuffle of a drawer.
Then there's the medicine cabinet. It is small, and doesn't hold very much.. which is actually good. Vitamins, cold medicine, allergy stuff, shaving cream, band-aids, it all fits. I think where lots of folks get tripped up is that they save everything. Every box, every prescription they've ever had... all kinds of creams. Basically, if it doesn't work for you... get rid of it. If it's a drug and it's more than 6 months old; the general rule is that it should be disposed of.
Over on the back of the toilet, I have a basket to hold slightly larger things like lotions and such. To hold the bigger things, we built some shelves to replace a wall cabinet that was hideous. Just simple wood shelves made from scrap lumber and painted to match the walls. On those we keep towels, toilet paper and such. It's all streamlined and easily accessible.
You will find as you go through things, that you really need less than you think. Personally, the less I have, the less I feel I have to keep track of, clean, or worry about. But that is me. Do what you are comfortable with. Every bit does indeed help.
Like this post? I hope to do more...
See you all tomorrow.
((if you click on the bathroom photos, they will enlarge for you))