10 Questions to Ask Yourself if You’re Constantly Cleaning Your Bathroom

published Dec 6, 2021
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Credit: Sarah Crowley/Apartment Therapy

You likely use your bathroom multiple times a day for multiple purposes, so it makes sense that it would be one of the toughest spaces to keep clean. But, like other lived-in spaces in your home, it’s so much easier to function in the bathroom when it’s neat. Plus, shouldn’t you actually enjoy your time in a room where you spend so much time? 

Sometimes, bathroom messes are obvious and easy to solve — for example, wiping down a visibly dirty counter or scrubbing your gross toilet. But it can sometimes be tough to pinpoint exactly what’s creating a dirty vibe and what steps you need to take to keep things neat. Feel like your bathroom is never clean, and not sure here to start? Here are some expert-recommended questions that can help you pinpoint why.

1. Do you run your fan or open windows after a shower? 

Darla DeMorrow, owner of HeartWork Organizing, says it’s essential to keep your bathroom fan on whenever you’re in the bathroom to reduce moisture, eliminate odors, and mask sounds. The only exception to the rule is after a shower — in that case, she recommends leaving the fan on for 20 minutes afterward. If you don’t want to waste energy or you don’t have a fan, simply open the window.

2. Can you off-load clutter into another space?

If clutter’s getting to you, it’s probably not that you don’t have room for everything — it’s that you’re not storing it in the right place. Ben Soreff, owner of House to Home Organizing, encourages making room in the linen closet for things you don’t use on a daily basis. Start by decluttering that space, then use it to store run-off items from your bathroom counter, cabinet, or drawers. 

3. How often do you go through your toiletries? 

Another smart tip from Soreff: If your bathroom is constantly messy, think about routinely taking stock of your toiletries. Medicine, makeup, and skincare products all expire, so there’s no use keeping them in your medicine cabinet. Also toss unusable items — super-sticky toothpaste tubes or torn-up washcloths — and give away items you just don’t use anymore. 

4. Are you effectively using vertical space?

Cramming baskets and bins in a cabinet might keep them out of sight, but your bathroom probably won’t feel organized. Soreff suggests making use of vertical space when other storage options are tight. For example, you could mount a shelf on the wall and put toiletries or washcloths and towels in baskets, or buy a tall, skinny corner shelf to add additional storage space.

5. Is it easy to clean?

As a rule, people tend to avoid jobs that feel hard or overwhelming. So if your bathroom doesn’t feel clean, it’s probably because you don’t want to clean it. To overcome that mindset (and the corresponding habit), pro house cleaner Sara San Angelo suggests keeping your bathroom cleaners, paper towels, and rags in the bathroom. That way, if you have a few extra minutes, you can wipe down the counter or clean the toilet without lugging a bunch of supplies in the bathroom. 

Even better if you streamline the cleaning! Justin Carpenter, owner of Modern Maids in Texas, recommends investing in an automatic toilet bowl cleaner that runs product through the commode with each flush, so it stays sparkly clean and fresh. He likes this Lysol option, which can keep your toilet clean for up to eight weeks.

6. Are you an impulse shopper?

Waiting until you’ve run out of your favorite product can leave you in a bind that may result in purchasing something you don’t love that’ll ultimately go unused. This is the main culprit behind bathroom clutter, say Christina Lee and Rebecka Jodeit, co-founders of the organization company Graceful Spaces. 

“The goal of your bathroom should be to stock it with intentional choices rather than random products, so we encourage clients to buy a back stock of their favorite bath and beauty items,” Lee says. “These items can be placed in a bin or basket labeled ‘back stock’ or ‘overflow’ underneath the sink.”

7. What’s your daily makeup or skincare routine?

If you have products you want to keep but don’t use every day, Jodeit suggests keeping them in their own categorized bin or basket out of the way. “This not only saves you space for your daily items, but also makes it easier to get ready for an evening out,” she says. Same goes for skincare products: If you mask once a week, keep it in a specially labeled drawer (or in the linen closet). You’ll know exactly where it is but it won’t crowd your bathroom space.

8. Do you keep all surfaces dry? 

Excess water in your shower or tub, on the floor, or in the sink isn’t just an eyesore; bathroom moisture can also result in unwanted mold or mildew. Lauren Bowen, director of franchise operations at Two Maids & A Mop, recommends spot-drying as you go. Build a squeegee moment into your shower routine to prevent hard water deposits and thoroughly dry the floor afterward to prevent falls (and the need to deep-clean later on).

9. Do you hang your towels? 

A bunched-up towel can add clutter to your bathroom, yes — but it’s also a common source of bathroom mildew. Home organizing expert and stylist Caroline Solomon recommends hanging damp towels wide on a bar instead of draped on a hook for more effective drying. 

10. How often do you take out the trash? 

Another easy way to keep your bathroom feeling clean? Take out the trash regularly! “To make unloading trash a breeze on trash day, keep it regularly lined with a plastic bag,” says Solomon. “Extra points for keeping additional plastic bags at the base of the trash can for easy swapping.”