Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Great Purge of 2009 (Part 4)

I've been occupied over the last several available weekends with a huge de-cluttering, de-junking, and organizational project, which I like to refer to as The Great Purge of Ought Nine. In my last post, I discussed the de-cluttering of my living room, family room and linen closet. Today I’ll talk about how I conquered my two bathrooms and guest bedroom.

The front bathroom didn't really need much de-cluttering. Neither myself nor my husband use this bathroom to get ready every day. In fact, for the most part, it only gets used when company comes to visit. So the only thing I had to sort through was the medicine cabinet. I combined all the band-aids into one container, so we wouldn't have two or three boxes with only a couple of band-aids in each. I went through all the over-the-counter medicines and pitched anything that was either really old or we no longer needed. I also re-purposed some bath items from a gift basket I had received, and put them under the sink for our guests to use in case they forgot their shampoo, or soap, etc. All the other drawers and cabinets have remained empty, except for extra towels so, like I said, not much de-cluttering here. I did give it all a thorough cleaning though, and conditioned the wood on the cabinets. It was so sparkling and shiny when I was done!

Then I moved on to the master bathroom. The biggest problem here was all of our toiletries and my makeup. Let me just make something clear upfront; I've never been an uber girlie girl. I'm not into having makeup for every occasion or outfit or trend. I hardly ever paint my nails or give myself manicures. I keep my makeup routine down to a simple minimum. Yet when I actually stopped to evaluate the situation, I realized that there was a mountain of old makeup, lotions, and lipsticks everywhere in the cabinet under my sink. Where did all this stuff come from? (It wasn't the first time I'd asked that question during this Great Purge, and I'm sure it won't be the last.) Do they breed in the night? I wonder... The decluttering went quickly, as I threw out anything that was old, mostly empty or was something I had tried and just didn't like the scent or color, but couldn't bear to throw away. (So instead of throwing it away, I paid rent to store it, allowing it to take up useful space in my cabinet. Duh!) You can click here for some guidelines on the shelf life of makeup and when to throw things out. Just like the kitchen, it's amazing how much you will actually use the things you have if you can see them and easily get to them. I found a couple of my favorite lotions that I didn't even realize I had!

I went through the medicine cabinet and threw out all the old prescription medicines we had. (Did you know medicine - even pills/tablets - lose their effectiveness over time? So if you're not going to use it again in the next few months, it isn't worth it to keep it. In fact, you should probably just go to the doctor instead.) I thew out old brushes I no longer used, travel containers for toiletries that were broke and no longer worked, and all other kinds of assorted riffraff that had made its way into our bathroom cabinets. When I was all done, I lined the drawers with cabinet liners, to protect the wood from toothpaste, spilled makeup, etc. I also gave the place a thorough cleaning and conditioned the wood on the cabinets.

Next was the guest bedroom. I will be honest here *gulp* and admit that our guest bedroom had become a catch-all for junk, unfolded laundry, and all sorts of random things. I think most people have this problem. I cringe when I think of how many times I have said, "Let's just put it in the guest bedroom for now, to get it out of the way, and we'll decide what to do with it later." That's why there was a computer monitor, music equipment, books, stationary, wrapping paper, holiday decorations, wall art and luggage in this room. Plus, the clean laundry ends up on the guest bed too. Not so much because I hate folding laundry but because the closet and drawers in our bedroom are jammed with clothes we don't wear or that don't fit. (This is precisely why the master bedroom is my next stop on the decluttering journey.)

Most of the decluttering in this room just consisted of me finding the proper place for these items and putting them there, simply because I didn't take the time to do it in the first place. For example, I had bought some lovely wall art for the living room that I'd never taken the time to hang, so I finally took the time to hang it up. Sad, that I could have been enjoying it all this time, but instead it was leaning up against the wall in the guest room. *shakes head in shame* It's just silly, the things we humans do.

One of the problems with living in Arizona, is that you can't really store things in your attic or in the garage, especially delicate items. The summer heat bakes everything. It melts holiday candles, evaporates the water from snowglobes, warps plastic wall hangings, etc. So I have holiday decorations stashed away in almost every closet of the house - especially the guest bedroom closet. For now, I'm focusing on condensing all the decorations I come across during my decluttering to one central location, and then, once I can see everything I have, I'm going to go through it all to see what I want to keep, sell or toss. This means that sorting through my holiday stuff will be one of the last things I do. Hopefully I can pare it all down, so that it only takes up one side of the guest bedroom closet and the other side can be left free and open for guests to hang their clothes, etc. when they visit.

Life has been full of drama and has been very challenging for me lately, with other responsibilities taking precedent over this decluttering project. However, I think we are currently experiencing a calm between storms, so hopefully I can tackle the decluttering of the master bedroom, master closet and the office soon! Everything in its place, and a place for everything!


Writergirl316 said...

Write a children's book about your adventures de-cluttering your house! Moms will love you :-)
I enjoyed reading of your adventures cleaning your house...they sound eerily familiar to mine...

hyacinthinemoon said...

Great job! I tried to put lining in my husbands drawer in our master bath and he just crumples it up, so tooth past marks stil hit the wood of the drawer. Ah well. I have no trouble with the lining in my drawer, I wonder why that is?

I rule that I know I have broken in my bathroom is I keep all my makeup in a container on my counter so I can access it easy. It doesn't look as pretty though. I also keep all bottle that are most used on the counter top.

After having pink eye I was forced to throw away ALL my makeup, so that was sad, but now I don't own anything that would be considered too old.

I went through the medicine cabinet like you did and was amazed how OLD the medicine was. I'll fess up to finding stuff over 5 years old....

I have a feeling I must declutter everything you say, "what is happening, are these things breeding in the night while I am sleeping? Where does it all come from?" It's a bit scary really.

D.L. White said...

There once was a kid named Mazie
Whose bedroom was all crazy
It was filled with clutter and junk,
And his closet really stunk...

Sounds like you need some double-sided tape for the drawer liner on your husband's side of the master bath! And as far as the rules go, I've bent and broken a few myself (like the magnets on the fridge). If the "ease-of-use" outweighs the "visual clutter" of having your stuff on the counter, then I say go with it! :)