If you're not sure what this is about or need your checklist: Go here >> to learn more about Simplifying Home and print your 8-week checklist.
Share your updates on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with #SimplifyingHome. Now let's get started, shall we?!
Simplifying Home | Week 4: Bathrooms + Self-Care
Clean + DeclutterI don't know about your bathroom cabinets, but over time random, unused products get pushed to the back of ours. It's so helpful to pull all of it out and be honest about the last time I used or really needed that item. We're especially looking to get rid of anything expired or unused in the last 6-12 months. (I'm being generous here; usually anything not used at least monthly should probably go.) Also let go of those items that you tried once but didn't like, or anything that needs replaced (i.e., towels or razors).
If you have half-full containers that you aren't using, consider offering them to friends. I love Freecycle for this. I did a major product decluttering a few years ago by listing half-used containers there and people actually came to pick them up! Ever since, I've been a lot better about buying products and using them up before trying something new.
Empty OutboxWe're almost halfway through eight weeks of simplifying our homes. Hopefully you've already found a nice little (or big) collection of items to let go of. Now is a good time to address that outbox. If you know you're ready to let go of everything put here, go ahead and haul it out to the car or dump or list it online--or whatever you need to do with it.
If you did like I do and added lots of items that you might want to let go of, but haven't decided yet, now is a good time to look through those things and start making decisions. Try to keep the decisions quick. You put the items here for a reason (they didn't belong, might be excess, or any number of "faults").
Try to really be honest about whether you have missed or needed those items while they've been in the outbox. Also think about the space they used to occupy--do you like that space better now that they're gone? Is it easier to access things or is there less clutter and chaos? Hopefully these questions can help guide you in making decisions. Even if the item is nice and you still like it, you might find you're happier letting it go for the betterment of your home.
This isn't necessarily an easy process. In fact it can be downright exhausting and time-consuming. But it's necessary and can make the biggest improvement in our homes. So be courageous and keep on with it. You're doing good!
Set Timer + CleanThis week goes back to setting a timer for 20 minutes and cleaning as much as possible. Of course, this is about putting whatever effort you can into cleaning your home. Feel free to implement whatever method you prefer to get that done at least once. Also, keep referencing that repair list and checking off one or two items as you are able. A little effort in cleaning and maintaining our homes really adds up week-by-week.
Also, take note of which method you like better: Clean floors and surface throughout the home, or set the timer and work on whatever needs cleaned? Week 5 you'll choose, and Week 6 you'll start coming up with your own cleaning routine.
Shower CurtainsThrow your shower curtain(s) in the wash and get them cleaned. If you have a plastic one, then wash it by hand in the bath. Use this opportunity to also deep clean the bath/shower and some other neglected surface in the bathroom. Humidity and dust can create build-up on the floor boards, and moisture and soap scum can build-up in the shower, too. Let baking soda and vinegar sit for 30 minutes, then scrub away.
Cosmetic DatabaseDo you know the toxicity and safety of the cosmetics you use regularly? I didn't use to put any thought into it. Then, when I did start to care, I didn't know who to trust (labels can be deceiving). That's where the Skin Deep Cosmetic Database comes in. You can search your favorite brands or specific products and get detailed information on how safe it is for you to use. Finding some of your cosmetics have a high hazard rating? You can also do a search to find safer alternatives.
Cosmetic Database (what it is and why is matters)
10 Minute Beauty Routine
Medical + Personal Care ChecklistYou may decide you don't need this, and that's okay. But our toiletries and cosmetics and medicinal supplies seem to easily get out of control. We stock on some supplies and forget what we actually have when we're at the store. And we usually are feeling under the weather or in an emergency when we need the first-aid kit or medicine bin, so things get jumbled.
Making a list of the essentials (not everyone has the same essentials) is a starting point to seeing what we have and what we need. Keeping them all separate helps with the organization. A medicine bin should be separate from a first-aid kit which should both be separate from everyday cosmetics. Get a container or portable bin for both, toss anything that's expired, empty, or won't be used, and use the checklist to keep on top when something is missing or to note if you have extra.
De-Stressing RoutineHaving a de-stressing routine is so important for our health. Stress impacts us negatively physically, emotionally, spiritually. Having a way to unwind at the end of each day (not just when we feel overcome by the stress), is such an important habit to start today.
It could be a calming routine like stretching or meditating, soaking in an epsom salt bath, diffusing a calming essential oil, journaling, or reading. Or it could be something that lets off steam like an aerobic exercise. It could also be any sort of hobby from golf to painting to browsing beautiful homes on Pinterest.
It is so important to take these few moments weekly and even daily for ourselves. Little acts like this for as little as ten minutes a day helps us to let go of that stress tension that threatens our health more than we likely realize. You and the people you love, and really everyone around you, needs you to take care of you. No one else is going to do it.
Your ProjectsWhat do you really want to accomplish in your home this week? If it's not already on the list, then put it on there. This is your home and your challenge, make the most of it.
Simple Bathroom + Beauty Care Products
*Affiliate links used. See full note below.
Here are a few favorites for a simple bathroom and beauty routine. This not a full list of beauty products, but a few worth mentioning while we talk about simplifying in the bathroom.
Flour Sack Towels | These are usually found in the kitchen section at Target or wherever you get your home stuff. They're thin and super affordable. I've lost count of how many we have and we use them as hand towels in our bathrooms. They dry quick, having a lot means we can change them out a lot, and they bleach easily if stained.
White Wash Cloths | We bought ours on clearance in a big pack from Target. Having lots means they can be used once then thrown in the laundry. I especially like using a clean one at the end of each day on my face, and I like white wash cloths for their bleach-ability.
Nice Soap Dispenser | In keeping home simplified there's not much decorative-type items that make sense in a bathroom. Getting a soap dispenser that you like is a practical way to add a bit of design to the bathroom. It also eventually saves money by buying soap in bulk to refill the dispenser, or even making your own.
Washable Bath Rug | My favorite bathroom rugs have no grippy backing which makes them less likely to get ruined in the washer or dryer. And bathroom rugs see a lot of moisture and hair and lent and even product residue, so wash-ability is really helpful.
Squeegee | We got our first squeegee for cheap from IKEA. A small hand-held option that hangs in the shower makes post shower water-removal easy-peasy. It keeps the shower surprisingly clean and reduces likelihood of mildew--this was a must when we lived in uber-humid Florida.
Glass Shaker | I cover our glass shaker on my cloth diaper blog. In Week 1 of Simplifying Home, I mentioned the use of baking soda for cleaning. A glass shaker is one way to have it handy and ready to shake over whatever surface needs cleaned. Having it in a shaker also makes it easy to shake over the trash if it's a little smelly and not yet ready to be taken out (especially with baby diapers).
Spray Bottle | A spray bottle is handy for the usual uses like ironing or wetting hair in between washes. Getting a glass one is also good for making an all-purpose cleaner with vinegar and essential oils like mentioned in Week 1 (essential oils shouldn't be stored in plastic or metal containers). Sprinkle baking soda over bathroom surfaces, spray with the all-purpose cleaner, let set, then scrub as much as needed. Rinse excess baking soda and you'll have a clean and disinfected bathroom.
Coconut Oil | Are you done hearing about coconut oil yet? If you haven't noticed already, it's really versatile especially for self-care, as are many other oils. Do a little searching to find one or a few to use on your hair, skin, and more in a variety of ways. They can work to restore moisture to hair, gently moisturize or even clean the face, moisturize skin, make a deodorant, work as an intimate lube, dilute essential oils for beauty uses (essential oils shouldn't be applied directly to skin), whiten teeth ("oil pulling"), and more. We use coconut oil a lot, but jojoba and grape seed oil are two of my other favorites.
Physician's Formula Tinted Moisturizer | This tinted moisturizer works great as a light coverup while also moisturizing and not causing breakouts. I love how light it feels, but have even gotten compliments on how well it covers up.
Physician's Formula Mascara | This jumbo lash mascara makes luscious eye lashes without much money. Curl those lashes and add a second coat for a bigger effect.
Burt's Bees Beeswax | Beeswax is my all-time favorite chapstick. Refreshing and nourishing.
C.O. Bigelow Peppermint Lipgloss | I got this lip gloss as a gift a few years ago. I use it pretty regularly and somehow it's still lasting. It's so minty fresh and goes on clear adding a nice gloss to my natural lip tone.
simplifying home: 8-week challenge
week 5: bedrooms + closets
10 minute beauty
monthly dose of simple
*Note: Amazon + Target affiliate links used in this post. Any purchases made through these links could earn me a small commission with no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!