I’ve been a practicing minimalist for years. Minimalism has helped me drastically reduce anxiety. It helps me keep my house calm and clean and it makes me more relaxed in my space.
My family currently lives full-time in a 42 foot long fifth-wheel RV. We are traveling America seeing landmarks and National Parks. We love the travel. But, we have two adults and two teenagers in about 350 square feet of living space. So, we need to be very selective in what we bring into our home. Being a minimalist is kind of a prerequisite for this type of lifestyle.
If you want your space to be clean, calm, and organized- the trick is really to own less stuff. If you have a lot of “junk”, you can buy beautiful containers, and a label maker. You can color code everything. But, at the end of the day, you’ll just have organized junk. So, the first step is to purge. You don’t need duplicates of everything. No one needs more than one eyelash curler. You don’t need a different shampoo for everyday of the week. But, you shouldn’t get rid of anything you really love. If you really enjoy keeping little glass dishes on your counter for your rings and bracelets-great! By all means, keep them. The point is to enjoy the space, not to be overwhelmed by the “lack of space.”
My bathroom is very small. But, I really like it. It is inviting and I have everything I need. It’s a calm space to start my day.
When we moved into the RV we were moving out of a 1850 square foot home. It also had a full basement and a two car garage. My bathroom was huge compared to this one. So, I was going from a full linen closet and a huge vanity with lots and drawers and cabinets to two cabinets total.
]So, lets talk about what we kept.
This picture shows my shower. The shelf holds my stuff and my husband’s. I have a shampoo and conditioner. I also keep body soap and facial soap on my shelf and I have a razor. My husband is bald and low maintenance. He just has a bar of soap. My kids have their products in the green caddy on the floor of the shower. Charlotte uses a loofah. So, it is hung to dry. I keep a squeegee and a scrubber in the shower for cleaning days. I also have command hooks in the shower to hang up damp towels.
I chose this toilet paper holder so that I don’t have to use my limited cabinet space to store extra rolls. I don’t have a lot of floor space either. So, I purchased this slim toilet brush that mounts to the wall.
From this angle, you can see that I store my cleaners in this awkward space between the toilet and the wall. I keep laundry pods, bleach, stain spray, and a lint roller here. I also keep glass cleaner here for cleaning the shower door and mirror.
There isn’t much counter space. So, the only thing left out is hand soap and a tiny plant. It’s aloe. One thing I love about my bathroom is that it gets great natural light. I have two skylights in here. You’ll notice I don’t have decorations in my bathroom. I enjoy the clean streamlined esthetic with neutral colors. It’s calming to me. It think in a small space like this, the less decorations-the better.
The open shelf above the sink is for my husband. He has a black leather toiletry bag and a little sturdy black box (I think it might be the box my phone was packaged in) on the shelf. His prescriptions go in the box. His toothbrush, deodorant, etc. goes in the bag.
Here, you can see inside my medicine cabinet. My toiletries are on the bottom shelf inside the cabinet. I prefer soft-sided baskets on narrow shelves. They are more forgiving. Things I need everyday are in the baskets. The larger one has my hairbrush, toothbrush, deodorant, etc. The smaller basket holds my makeup. I used to have my things lined up on the narrow shelf. But, that didn’t work well because not a lot would fit and things were always falling off the shelf. Now, everything can be tossed in these two baskets any random way and they look tidy when put back on the shelf.
If you struggle to know what products to keep and what to purge, I think there’s a helpful exercise. Imagine you are going on a week-long vacation. You will have some fancy dinners out. You will exercise at the gym. You will spend a day in nature. Something will come up at work and you will have a meeting with a client at your resort and one on zoom. Knowing this, what toiletries will you pack for your trip. It may help to actually pack these items. Hotel stays help us to see what we really need. You’ll probably realize you don’t need 6 lipsticks and 4 sticks of lip balm. But, you might pack one for work and one for nights out. You can probably live without 5 different types of curling irons, twelve eyeshadow palettes, and that stray butterfly clip that’s been in your bathroom since the 90s. Think, “if I got to the hotel and realized I forgot this item-would I run out and buy a replacement?” If the answer is no. You should consider purging it. I think that women tend to use a few core colors of makeup. A woman who owns a dozen lipsticks probably has two that she uses far more than the others. Why not just keep the two colors you love instead of the other ten you feel meh about? I know, I know makeup is expensive. It’s hard to throw things away when we’ve spent our hard earned money on it. But, if you aren’t using it, you aren’t getting your money’s worth anyway. So, toss it! You’ll free up space for the things you love. And, you won’t have to dig through all the clutter to find them.
The next shelf up is medicine, vitamins, and drops (eye drops, ear drops, nasal spray). The little purple bag to the side is filled with pills and capsules that came boxed in blister packs instead of bottles. I throw the box away and just tear off any dosing information I need and put it in the pouch too. If I ever need any other info on the medicine, I can Google it. The boxes take up too much cabinet space.
The top shelf is my Nettie pot, wipes, foot powder, and extra contact and diabetic supplies for my husband.
Another tip is if you are limited on space, don’t buy things until you need them. You don’t have to have replacements for everything stored in the cabinet. Wait until you run out of something before replacing it.
In the cabinet under the sink, I have two deep shelves. I keep towels here for my husband and me. My kids use our shower. But, they have a separate bathroom. So, they keep their towels and toiletries there. The bottom shelf is home to our first aid kit, an eyeglass repair kit (our whole family wears glasses), a roll of paper towels, a couple items too tall for the upper shelves, some hair accessories, and a basket. I fit a lot of stuff in that basket; electric razors for my husband, a hairdryer, curler, and straightener for me, some essential oils, an electronic thermometer, and some period supplies.
My sheets and blankets aren’t kept in a linen closet in my bathroom like they were in my old house. Now, they are stored under my bed.
Tips to Remember:
Use the hotel stay method to purge items you don’t need.
Resist the urge to stockpile replacement products.
Use soft sided baskets or toiletry bags to make more items fit on narrow shelves.
Keep decorations to a minimum. It keeps the space uncluttered and streamlined.
A basket is a great way to create vertical space when you don’t have a lot of square footage.
We have everything we need in this little space. It’s orderly and that makes me really happy with it. I love that it is quick and easy to clean. You don’t need a huge bathroom to have an organized bathroom.