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LifeBalance Blog

Win the Bathroom Battle—Soap Scum, Mirror Smears, & Clutter

If bathrooms could have poor health, they would probably have about a dozen diseases all at once. Soap scum, mirror smears, dusty decorator soaps, unused products… Lighten up this high-use room.

First, let’s start with some decoration elimination. Who uses those dusty decorator soaps and “company” towels any way? Bathrooms may look better without dust-collecting decorations. Consider tossing dried silk flower arrangements and dusty candles. If the horizontal surfaces are clutter-free, they are easier to clean.

Next, try to reduce the quantity of medicines, personal care, and cleaning products. Check the expiration dates on your over-the-counter remedies and samples. Some expired medicines gradually lose their effectiveness. Others can actually become harmful. For information about specific products, contact your pharmacist. Or, better yet, dispose of them now!

How long have you been hanging onto that lipstick you never use because it isn’t your color? Are you going to wake up one day, try it on, and suddenly decide you like it? Do you own any old perfumes, dried up eye shadow, mascara, or eye pencils? Perfume samples? Did you hang onto the hotel’s cute miniature products? What about pricey lotions you just didn’t care for? Feel bad once as you toss them, rather than every time you have to scrounge around them in the bathroom drawer. The same advice applies to unused cleaning products.

Get rid of bathroom guilt. Purge products you aren’t using to free up space and time in the bathroom. Maybe you made some unwise purchasing decisions. Admit the mistakes, free up space, get rid of the guilt, and move on. Why do we sometimes insist on storing our mistakes indefinitely? The possibilities to reduce bathroom clutter and get organized are as endless as your creativity. You can do this!


Tips for keeping the bathroom clean—after clearing the clutter

  • Keep a glass cleaner or a multi-purpose cleaner, and a roll of paper towels right in the bathroom. If you have to leave to go get a product or a paper towel, you might not make it back to the bathroom!

  • Vacuum your bathroom floors when you vacuum your carpet. Check first to make sure the bottom of your vacuum cleaner won’t damage your flooring.

  • Squeegee the tub surround after every shower or have the last person who showers in the morning take care of it. This helps prevent soap scum build-up. Choose a squeegee design that doesn’t have any metal on it that could scratch walls.

  • Check out the disinfecting wipes made for quick touch-up cleaning. Regularly take a quick swipe at counter and sink and toilet and floor. In less than a minute, you can change your bathroom from fuzzy to presentable with one of these.

  • Train family members to wipe the sink area with their towel before leaving the bathroom.

  • Reduce decorating items and general bathroom clutter to make cleaning faster!

Barbara Tako is a clutter clearing motivational speaker and author of Clutter Clearing Choices: Clear Clutter, Organize Your Home, & Reclaim Your Life (O Books, 2010), a seasonally organized book of clutter clearing tips that readers can pick and choose from to fit their personal style and needs. Sign up for her free monthly clutter clearing tips newsletter at

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