Green Clean Makeover: The Bathroom Cabinet

You know the situation. It's T-minus eighteen hours until your lease is up, and there's one cabinet door you have refused to open until the last possible moment. This is it: time to reckon with that bathroom cabinet, where you're sure to find half-empty bottles of lotion, cleaning agents, and probably an old toothbrush or three. Here are a few tips to getting that particular netherworld whipped into shape.We find that underneath the bathroom sink is where most of our forgot-we-had-it or didn't-quite-like-it-enough-to-use-it-often products wind up. Whether it's that lotion we got in our stocking at Christmas, or the bottle of chemical-laden cleaner we bought three years ago, just before making a switch to all green cleaners. . . Chances are, there are many unused things under there.

So our first tip for cleaning? Scrutinize. Everything.

Whenever we're preparing for a move, or feel a spring cleaning purge coming on, we sit down on the floor and reach under the sink.

First, go through products that have never used before. Can they be donated? Do you have a lotion in a scent you can't stand, but your good friend loves? Give it away.

If you need to pare down in the cleaning agent department, do it the right way. Dispose of your chemicals responsibly. Clean out empties that can be recycled, or save them for making your own household cleaners.

As for makeup, you can send empty containers to Origins to be recycled.

If you have just a little bit of this or that, and you'd like to use it up, check out this post about getting every last drop out of a container.

Ladies, we can't sing enough praises for one way to de-clutter that bathroom cabinet (and keep trash out of the sewer system and landfills); forgo the one-use-only fem products and opt for a very eco-friendly option.

Once you've organized your products, you can more easily containerize them. We've found that keeping items we use daily most accessible helps to cut down on unused clutter in high-traffic areas (the top drawer).

(Image: Flickr member Midtown Crossing at Turner Park, licensed under Creative Commons.)

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