cleaning playlist ready and jump below for the plan: 1. Clear out the old and empty. Toss (or recycle, when possible) used up, empty containers and also any health and beauty products that are past the expiration date. Check the drawers and cabinets and in the bath or shower area. A tip from Real Simple: Many products havea "period after opening" label, a number followed by the letter M. It indicates how many months the item is effective after opening. In general, eye makeup is good for six months, foundation a year, and lipsticks two. 2. Purge the bad towels and washcloths. Some of ours have hit the point of no return, where they just are too worn out to be of good service. We plan to go through the stack with a pair of scissors in hand, cutting up the ones that are past their prime into cleaning cloths - they are great paper-towel alternatives. 3. Apply the six month (or one year, if you are feeling generous) rule to everything else. If there is something taking up precious space in your bathroom that you haven't used in a year, donate it. Examples: the old "spare" hairdryer, a set of rollers, a bottle of scent you just don't like, the shampoo that did not so great things to your hair and, of course, anything broken or in need of repair that you know you wont get around to tackling. 4. Lose the magazines, books, pamphlets that came with products, etc. If you tend to accumulate any reading material in the bathroom, clear it out. Recycle or pass them on. 5. After the big clearout, turn up the music and empty, clean and refill the drawers, cabinets, shelves baskets and bins one by one. Tackle them one at a time, taking everything out, cleaning out the drawer (we like to vacuum them out with a brush attachment first and then clean with a damp sponge). Then replace contents in an organized manner, being sure to add anything you missed during the purge to the "outbox" and moving misplaced items to the correct drawer, cabinet or container. This job shouldn't take long at all and makes regular cleaning MUCH easier. Good luck with your own bathroom re-org and enjoy the new found space and simplicity! Photo: Venetian Blinds in the Bathroom from Living Etc.- January 2009. Check out their great galleries of bathroom photos right here.