Decluttering Cure

How to Declutter the Busiest Part of Your Bathroom in 20 Minutes or Less

published Sep 29, 2022
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Apartment Therapy’s Decluttering Cure is a free two-week decluttering program that’ll help you achieve a tidier home. Joining us today is guest cure-ator Tyler Moore, a New York City-based teacher, husband, and father of three young girls with a passion for inspiring others to tidy and simplify their lives. He shares his approach to tidy, simple, and joyful living at

When you share a bathroom with another person — or several people — you soon realize how space is at a premium and how quickly things can get messy, and not just the typical toothpaste on the counter or dirt buildup in the corners of the room kind of messy. I’m talking about all the stuff that gets taken out of drawers and cabinets and never makes its way back home. Instead, they take over and clutter your high-traffic areas, like the medicine cabinet or the counters.

A messy bathroom can lead to chaotic mornings, too. “A bathroom has to work efficiently for you,” says Tyler Moore, aka the Tidy Dad, and our guest cure-ator for today’s assignment. 

This is especially true in shared or small bathroom spaces where there’s not a lot of real estate available. You really want to work with the space you have and maximize it, says Moore, so today we’re going to do just that.

Day 11: Declutter the busiest part of your bathroom

We’re going to spend some time tackling the busiest part of your bathroom to hopefully help you put things back in place and prepare to take on the day ahead. Set aside 20 minutes to complete the task of decluttering and organizing a project in your bathroom today. Can you really put a dent in bathroom clutter in just 20 minutes? Of course you can. This is what Moore says you can do to make the most out of the time:

Edit. Remove items that aren’t frequently used or that you don’t use at all. These could be haircare accessories, trial-size products, or an overflow of candles without a true home. You can choose to relocate or discard, but what should be left in your bathroom are the essential items you use daily. 

Here’s where to look:

  • On the vanity or countertop
  • On or in the medicine cabinet
  • Inside your makeup or toiletry bag
  • Inside drawers
  • Under the sink
  • Inside the shower
  • On shelves
  • Inside standing or wall-mounted organizers
  • By the trash can and toilet

Here’s what to look for:

  • Expired medication, makeup, sunscreen, and lotions
  • Empty or almost-empty products (get the dregs out and get rid of them)
  • Stretched-out hair ties and broken bobby pins
  • Unused makeup, skincare, and hotel toiletry items and samples
  • Nail polish that’s duplicated, never used, or has separated
  • Old toothbrushes you’ve kept “for cleaning,” but haven’t repurposed
  • Any kits (like teeth whitening) you’ve never used
  • Old, broken, or unused hair styling tools
  • Duplicate items, such as hair tools, tweezers, nail clippers, eyelash curlers, etc.
  • Anything you keep “for traveling” but never actually pack
  • Accessories for tools you don’t have anymore, like chargers and replacement toothbrush heads
  • Hair accessories and jewelry you haven’t worn in more than a year
  • Cleaning supplies that belong somewhere else

Contain. “In order to maximize the space to the fullest potential, you have to think about how you’re going to contain it,” shares Moore. And, it’s important to consider what you want seen and unseen. This can mean repurposing clear desk containers for the inside of medicine cabinets or baskets and bins to hide things on shelves. 

Create zones. This is especially crucial for people that share a bathroom. You want to make sure everyone has a place in this space so that each person can go into their zone and grab what they need while you do your thing. Another thing to consider? If someone is not the best at being tidy, you might want to assign them a zone where no one sees their things, such as under the sink. 

MOORE’S PRO TIP: Take precise measurements in the bathroom for your organizing and storage solutions. “Inches, centimeters, sometimes millimeters, can be the difference in being able to have a really functional, organized piece,” says Moore. 

Where was the busiest part of your bathroom? Was it the medicine cabinet, countertops, or under the sink? Tell us in the comments and tell us how you used your 20 minutes there.

More ways to participate in the Decluttering Cure:

The Cure Program is a tradition here at Apartment Therapy — it happens every January, April, and September. Click here to learn more about the year-round program and when to sign up.