Tenner Week February 2023: Day 3

Hello again, welcome to Wednesday – and how is your budget going so far? We’re continuing headlong into our ‘declutter and spring cleaning’ challenge and today it’s time to declutter your main bathroom shelf.

A semi-regular tidy up in the bathroom makes life so much easier, especially on hectic mornings where you just need to get your hands on the essentials and swiftly get out of there. It’s definitely worth taking a few minutes to organise.

We’re only going to do your main bathroom shelf today because it’s Wednesday and things are often getting a bit hectic by midweek, so it’s a fairly quick effort. If you have more time, by all means feel free to declutter your shower caddy, storage by the bath or sink, the windowsill or the entire bathroom cabinet, but don’t feel obliged.

So, where is your main shelf? It depends on the size of your bathroom and how you have it organised, but it’s probably the shelf you use most frequently in a regular bathroom cabinet. It’s probably where you keep your everyday skincare, some basic medication or sticking plasters, and maybe your toothbrush and toothpaste.

declutter your bathroom shelf

The main aim is to make mornings easier by streamlining things that get in the way. Here’s the quick declutter:

  • Take everything off this particular shelf, windowsill, shower caddy, side of the sink etc.
  • Clean the shelf / sill etc well and dry it.
  • Sort through your personal items such as toiletries, first aid, medicines, toothpaste, perfumes, makeup etc that you have moved.
  • Check the use-by dates or freshness of these products – throw them away if they have gone off. Wipe and dry any messy bottles, handles, boxes and so on.
  • Go through the remaining items and sort them into piles to throw away, donate/swap, keep here (things you use daily) or keep elsewhere. For example, if you have done a bulk buy, you might decide to keep the unopened items in a different area. Be honest with yourself – is there anything here you’re never going to use again? If so, give it away, recycle it or bin it.
  • Add dividers, boxes, caddies or other storage if needed. If you don’t have any then you might want to add something to your shopping list.
  • Put your ‘keep here’ items back on the shelf so they’re there for you first thing in the morning.
  • Put any first aid kit within easy reach, in case of emergency. It doesn’t necessarily need to be in the ‘keep here’ space, but make sure it’s safe but accessible. Likewise think carefully about where you put medications, and keep them out of the reach of small humans etc.
  • Put your ‘keep elsewhere’ items away in their new homes. This could be products you only use weekly or occasionally, or things you like to keep for best or a treat. It could also include spares and duplicates.
  • Think about what’s missing or running low. What would make your morning routine quicker? It could be anything from a sunscreen that doubles as a face moisturiser to a beaker to stand your toothbrush and toothpaste up in to save space, to a pump top bottle where you aren’t spending ages fumbling around with packaging. Add that to your shopping list too.
  • If possible, try to get any rubbish or recycling into an outside bin today, and any donations dropped off within a week.

Most of us share a bathroom, myself included, but don’t feel as though you have to tidy up after other people for this declutter. That can be done another time if needed, but for today you just need to tame or organise your own things.

As an example, my ‘main bathroom shelf’ is a shelf in a shared bathroom cabinet. It contains clean face cloths and muslin cloths, everyday serum and moisturiser, deodorant, makeup remover, cleanser, night moisturiser, eye cream, toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss. I keep the lids separate from any pump action bottles because they just get in the way, and that type of packaging keeps the serum or moisturiser protected anyway.

I keep products like SPF, makeup and perfume outside the bathroom. That’s partly due to factors such as temperature and humidity, but it’s also because it’s a shared bathroom and other people need to use it in the morning too.

What’s happening here

Yesterday I managed to get a quick declutter done on my bedside table. It was pretty clean and not as messy as I’d feared, but I did finally admit to myself that I’m never going to finish one of the books on there so that’s had to go, and I also got rid of some old eye gel in the drawer that I suspect I’ve become allergic to. It’s also made me realise I really don’t like our bedside lamps, so I might start looking for some new ones after this challenge is over, as long as there’s enough in the home budget.

Yesterday was all about the pancakes, which was fun. Apart from that it was a relatively quiet day mostly working from home, with a quick walk in a nearby park for some exercise and fresh air. Sometimes you need a day like that to take care of business, but they aren’t exactly exciting are they?

I’m hoping today’s declutter isn’t too bad, but I’m kind of itching to give the bathroom cabinet a good scrub so that’s a quick thing to do before work. Meanwhile, I’ve noticed that a few bits and bobs such as travel items have started to build up on my shelf and seeing as I don’t go away travelling every week I should probably find those a new home.

My £10 ‘pocket money’ is currently intact but I’m off to a work and social event later and will probably end up getting some coffees, cake or a pot of tea. I’m still adjusting to the idea of having pocket money, but it’s actually quite a nice feeling, and I’ll have a bit of it left over for the weekend.


Does your bathroom shelf need a quick tidy, or could it do with a proper deep clean today? 

Good luck with your decluttering and budgeting.


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  1. Dear Penny,
    I have sorted all of my toiletries and rearrange them in order and priority of use.
    Love Pat

    1. Hi Pat – it really helps to have everything when you need it in the morning, doesn’t it? So much less hassle.

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