How to Sort and Box Up Belongings for a Bathroom Remodel
Your bathroom project presents a great opportunity to get rid of all those unnecessary toiletries and cosmetics.
It takes quite a bit of time to prepare for a bathroom renovation. Just finding a reliable designer and builder can be a huge undertaking. Then there’s picking fittings, fixtures, finishes and colors. The list of decisions that need to be made seems endless.
But once you make it past all that and actually set the demolition date, it’s a good idea to set aside a little more time to go through your bathroom supplies and pack them up in an orderly fashion. That way, once the renovation is done, you can bring only the things you really need and want into your new space.
Start going through your bathroom belongings early — you never know how much you have stashed away in those drawers and cabinets. If you don’t have a specific strategy in mind when packing up your bathroom stuff, here’s a good one to adopt so that your new bathroom will be neat and uncluttered from day one.
Corral Daily Necessities
Before you dig in and start making decisions, first gather all the tools and products you use daily — think bathing, shaving, skin care, hairstyling, mouth hygiene, and nail care items. Also include makeup and a few cleaning supplies. Corral these items into a container and move them to another room.
Attack One Category at a Time
Now it’s time to get serious. Collect a few sturdy boxes and some paper for wrapping breakables. To keep things organized, start going through the bathroom one category at a time. Consider laying a bed sheet or tarp on the bathroom floor and laying out all the items in one category for easy visibility. Go through all drawers, cupboards and shelves. As you do this, pull out the things that are expired, worn out or no longer needed and dispose of them accordingly. Pack the keepers in a box, with all breakables safely wrapped in paper.
Be sure to label the contents of each box clearly on the outside. Find a convenient spot to store all the boxes during your remodel, like the basement, garage or spare bedroom. While you should pack the boxes securely, it isn’t necessary to use the same care as when packing for a major move.
Beauty products. It’s common for people to have lots of unused makeup stashed in the back of drawers and under the sink. While it may be difficult to think about tossing it out, keep in mind that cosmetics do have a shelf life. Throw away any expired items or any products you’ll never use. If there is still quite a bit of makeup left after your initial edit, don’t worry. Just make it a point to use up what you already have before purchasing any more.
Hair products and accessories. Lay out all styling tools, like brushes, combs, curling irons, hair dryers, hot rollers and hair accessories. If you have an overabundance of brushes and combs, consider paring down your supply. Dispose of any broken items and donate anything you no longer use that is in good condition. Because of guilt, many people hang onto half-empty bottles of hair products that they don’t use, which clutter up shelves, cupboard space or the shower. But again, hair products like shampoo, condition, hairspray and hair gel often have a shelf life. If you find expired items, throw them away. Any that are not expired can either be used, thrown away or donated. Vow to use any partially used products before buying any more, or if you know you’ll never use them, dispose of them appropriately so that you’re not cluttering up your new bathroom and taking away from its beauty.
Travel-size products and free samples. We all have them — those tiny freebies from hotel stays or shopping trips. While it may be tempting to store them up, it’s important to remember that they take up valuable storage space. On top of that, these products can expire. If you find yourself with a stockpile of little beauty products, try editing them down or actually using them during your renovation. You can also set aside a few in your guest room or travel bag, and donate the rest to a local homeless shelter. Throw away any expired products.
Medicines. Empty your medicine cabinet of all prescription and over-the-counter meds. Start by combining multiple opened packages of the same drug, like aspirin. Be sure to check and make sure the medications are the same, including dosage and expiration date. Next, check the expiration dates on all the medicines and dispose of those that are no longer current. While the effectiveness of drugs after they expire is disputed, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that expired meds are less effective at a minimum, and at the worst can be dangerously compromised, so should be disposed of appropriately. Most pharmacies and law enforcement agencies can give you a location for disposing of unused medicines. If no drug take-back program exists where you live, the FDA says to flush any opioids down the toilet due to the possibility for abuse. For other meds, remove them from their packaging, mix them with kitty litter or dirt, and place them in a sealed plastic bag. Peel off any labels or identifying information from the original packaging and throw everything away in the trash.
Towels. If you store your bath towels in your bathroom, consider replacing any that are frayed, faded or showing signs or wear. Hanging worn out towels in a newly remodeled bathroom probably isn’t something you want to do. Be sure to ask your local animal shelter about donating any unwanted bath towels. You can also cut a few up to use as rags for cleaning and polishing.
Cleaning products. Pull out and store any large containers of cleaning solutions in another area of your home. When your new bathroom is done, consider simplifying and keeping only a small container of all-purpose cleaner and a few cleaning cloths under the bathroom sink. Try not to clutter your remodeled bathroom with lots of cleaning products.
Once you’ve purged and packed up all your bathroom stuff, organizing your new bathroom space should be a snap, in addition to keeping a clean and tidy bathroom into the future.