Bathroom decluttering checklist – 9 things you can clear out quickly

Professionals always declutter these nine things when working in bathrooms, and you should too

A bathroom with wooden cabinets and dual sinks
(Image credit: Minthouse)

Marking the start and end of everyone’s busy days, bathrooms accumulate clutter surprisingly quickly to say we don't spend much time in there. 

Organizing a bathroom is made ten times easier when it is decluttered well – which is where a bathroom decluttering checklist comes in to help you stay on top of your everyday clutter and avoid it building up. 

Here, professional home organizers have shared their top nine items from their own bathroom decluttering checklists for you to reference as you work through our space. 

Bathroom decluttering checklist 

Having a good checklist is one of the best decluttering tips that professionals implore you to use no matter what room you are working in. Not only do they help you stay on track, but also make sure everything in the room is dealt with and nothing is forgotten. 

1. Duplicate or unused products

makeup room ideas, makeup storage

(Image credit: Nest.co.uk)

It can be easy to fall into the trap of buying new bathroom products knowing you will get around to using them eventually. However, this is a leading cause of bathroom clutter and makes the room incredibly difficult to organize – especially if you are organizing a bathroom with no storage.

‘Take stock of your bathroom essentials, including toiletries, cleaning supplies, and grooming tools, and regularly discard duplicate or unused items that only take up valuable space,’ recommends Elizabeth Grace, designer, and founder of Dream Home Making. ‘Streamlining your collection will make finding what you need easier and maintain a tidy bathroom.’

Interior Designer
Elizabeth Grace on a grey background
Interior Designer
Elizabeth Grace

Elizabeth Grace is an interior designer and furniture expert. She received her degree in Interior Design from the University of Notre Dame. Elizabeth landed her first job as an intern with a leading firm in New York City, learning from some of the city’s top designers. She currently works as an interior designer for both residential and commercial clients.

2. Cut back on your skincare

Small bathroom with red painted vanity and pink walls

(Image credit: Jonathan Bond Photography)

The best bathroom organizers will only go so far to help keep your products in check and can sometimes even hinder your ability to declutter if you have items stowed away in different areas of your bathroom, suggests Amélie Saint-Jacques, professional organizer and founder of Amélie Organizes. 

‘To see the items in a new light, put like with like in one area and see how much of each category you have. Get rid of duplicates and products that no longer spark joy for you.’

Amélie Saint-Jacques
Amélie Saint-Jacques

Amélie Saint-Jacques is a certified KonMari Consultant and professional organizer based in San Antonio with years of experience in professional tidying. 

3. Anything you don't use daily

detail of dressing table with compartments and mirrors

(Image credit: Louise Bradley)

Bathrooms need to be functional above all else so any product that you are not using daily, or at least a few times a week, should be banished from your bathroom counter space, advises Courtney Finley, professional organizer and designer at Organized Designs. This is especially important if you lack drawer space and need to use your surfaces for the majority of your storage, she adds.

Courtney Finley
Courtney Finley

Courtney Finley is an Organizer and Interior Designer and has a BFA in Interior Design. Her organizing and interior design business helps working professionals get organized and design their home or office.

4. Old or expired medications and personal products

Organizing a medicine cabinet black cabinet on grey wall

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Organizing a medicine cabinet should be pretty high up on your decluttering checklist, with expired or unused medications taking up more space than perhaps any other product in your bathroom. 

‘Medications both Rx and OTC should be checked for expiration dates at least once annually and disposed of at a pharmacy,’ says Bonnie Borromeo Tomlinson, professional home organizer and author of Stop Buying Bins, available on Amazon. ‘Do not flush them down the toilet or sink. 

‘Using medications past their expiration date may pose a hazard or just not provide the most efficacy, so keeping a hold of them “in case” is pointless.’ 

5. Old bath toys if you have children

A pink tiled bathroom with a boat bath toy being held up above the rim

(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you have children or grandchildren who regularly use your bathroom, then you likely have at least one or two bath toys laying about. These are a prime category for decluttering, as they break down easily or become moldy. 

‘Pare down bath toys, and thoroughly clean the bath toys the ones you are keeping, recommends Amélie Saint-Jacques, professional organizer. ‘Any remainders should be corralled together in a net to allow for good drainage and airflow to prevent mold growth.’ 

6. Worn-out towels

Neutral bathroom with green towels on ladder

(Image credit: Christy)

Old towels can be found on every decluttering checklist, and for good reason. Towels can be expensive, so they are hard to let go of when they are a little past their best. Nonetheless, Bonnie Tomlinson, a professional home organizer urges us to get rid of anything thread worn, crusty, stained, or unused to make space for better investments. 

‘You can easily downgrade them to cleaning, pet, or recreational use instead,’ she says. ‘Cut towels make excellent cleaning rags. Old towels are ideal for pet care, camping, catching spills in the car, etc. Keep your bath towels to just those that make you feel the most pampered.’

7. Broken or unused electrical tools

A white hairdryer laying on a table beside a black brush

(Image credit: Alamy)

‘Bathroom drawers can be cavernous and hide tools that you don’t know that you have,’ says Jill Viglione, certified professional organizer and founder of Embrace Your Space. ‘Identify different versions of similar hair tools such as curling irons, flat irons and blow dryers. Toss tools with worn cords, or donate duplicates and those that you no longer use. Save tools that are part of your daily routine or have a dual purpose – storing them somewhere away from water such as a bathroom cabinet. 

‘The more space you have, the easier it will be to find what you need each day,’ she reminds us.

8. Empty packaging and products

It should go without saying that any trash you have collected in your bathroom needs to go in the waste bin, this can help to prevent any unpleasant odors and keep your bathroom clean and hygienic, says Erica Fecundo, tiny home expert at Hauslein. Consider adding a trash bin to your bathroom design to help collect old product bottles and packaging as you use them up to prevent it from collecting on countertops or in the corner of your shower. 

9. Excessive decorative items collecting too much dust

bathroom with chequered floor and twin basins

(Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga)

‘Bathrooms are surprisingly dusty, so decor that clutters countertops and makes cleaning a hassle needs to go,’ says Elizabeth Grace, designer at Dream Home Making. ‘There is nothing wrong with decorating a bathroom – in fact, it can help to add personality, and make a bathroom feel cozy, but you should evaluate the decorative items in your bathroom and remove any excess or unnecessary clutter. Keep a few carefully chosen decorative pieces to enhance the ambiance of the space, while ensuring they don't overpower or overcrowd the room.’

FAQs

How do you purge toiletries?

To truly purge out your toiletries, you need to avoid hoarding free samples, half-used products, and travel-sized products that you don’t use. These should be disposed of if they are expired or partly used, recycling bottles where possible but can be donated if they are in good condition and unopened. 

How do I keep my bathroom clutter free?

There are a few ways to keep a bathroom free from clutter, starting with investing in some good organizers to keep your bathroom products organized and easy to find. From there it is about preventing clutter from building up by only buying new care products when you have finished the product you are using, not buying new travel products every time you go away, and having a trashcan in your bathroom to collect empty packaging as soon as you are done with it so that it doesn't end up back in a drawer or on your counter. 


Once you have worked through your bathroom decluttering checklist, then it is a good idea to move on to cleaning a bathroom for a hygienic wash space and then re-organizing. Jill Viglione, a certified professional organizer suggests picking out some pretty drawer organizers to create a specific place for each item. ‘Having an organized bathroom will save you time in the morning and make your day even better,’ she says.

Chiana Dickson
Writer

Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for a year, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.