My bathroom is 6 feet by 5 feet, which doesn’t seem small to me- but according to a few sources I checked, the average size of a master bathroom is 15 feet by 17 feet (or 255 square feet, over half of the square footage of my entire apartment). While our bathroom does not actually attach to our bedroom, it is the only bathroom in our apartment- effectively making it our “master bathroom”. I checked around online and a non-master bathroom is typically an average of 40-50 square feet in size. In other words, your average standard American bathroom is still a good 10-20 square feet larger than mine.
I have a full bathtub, which I take many long luxurious baths in, two mirrors, and more personal care products than anyone absolutely needs. I have scented oils and candles, as well as just in case cold medicine and extra tubes of toothpaste. In short, I have a fully equipped bathroom in a convenient (and fast to clean) 30 square feet. This begs the question, what is America filling its gigantic bathrooms with?
I believe that bathrooms (as well as all the rooms of the current standard American home) are growing larger and larger simply to accommodate the ever expanding number of consumer goods that we are told we desperately need. From the exploding market of beauty and personal care products, to the numerous electronic groomers that so many consumers are purchasing- we are bursting at the seams.
Minimalism isn’t about living a stark life of deprivation- it’s about determining what you actually need (rather than what you are told you need). I like to fill my limited bathroom storage space with multipurpose products that I use very regularly. I’ll detail some of my favorites later in another post, but for those of you looking to get a head start on clearing out the clutter- here are some easy steps to follow:
1. Pretend you are packing a suitcase for a weeklong vacation. Be realistic- what would you pack from your arsenal of bathroom goods? Set all the items you would pack in one spot.
2. Now pretend you are going to a fancy gala or a wedding (or other very formal event). What items would you need to prepare for that? Take those items as well, and set them with the others that you would pack for a trip.
3. Go back in your bathroom, and look at everything that’s left. Aside from perhaps some first aid kits, toilet paper, and cold medicine (or other medically necessary things), you probably don’t need anything that’s left. I would recommend taking everything that’s left, and boxing it all up. Store those boxes somewhere in your house for 3 months. If you can go without all these items for three months, you definitely do not need them. Donate them if you can, if not throw them away.
I use the three month rule often for de-cluttering. The best indicator of not needing something is when you open that box at the end of three months and you see things you didn’t even remember you had.
What are your bathroom de-cluttering tips?