decluttering, nEAtening, organising, rEArranging, simplifying

simplifying the house – declutter day 1…

Spurred on by finding and reading the Kondo book that has seemingly gripped the nation I woke this morning on a mission.  However, going against all the ‘Kondopinions’ in her book I am starting not with my clothes but my toiletries.

Aha you say this is probably your downfall of ‘keeping’ Tidy and well it might be!

To begin

I do agree the best way to sort is to get everything out of the cupboards, drawers, shelves and hidey holes so you can see at a glance the full ‘amount’ of stuff to deal with.  So I emptied my main storage areas – dressing table, shower room cupboards and travel and makeup bags.  This clean out I really intend to deal with those items that were maybe put back last time ‘just in case’  in fact I think the ‘just in case’ is one of my sticking points.  Looking at everything laid out all together my first question is do I really need all this stuff?  Can I simplify and reduce it to only the bare necessities?

Step 1 Empty Cupbaords

For instance I have kept some hotel goodies ‘in case’ a guest arrives without shampoo or body cream – given that my mum comes with the whole of Superdrug in her luggage and she is our main guest I hardly think I will be needing these any time soon!  In fact I have never had a guest come unequipped as far as I can remember.

No I realise that I am keeping them as I am loath to throw things away because of the waste and of course they look rather cute.  I have a picture in my mind of preparing one of those wonderful guest baskets full of tempting creams and shower gels and sachets of lavender you know like the ones you see in magazines articles but then I said to myself if ever I have such a guest requiring this I will go and buy something purposefully until then they are out and empty space is in.  And the waste – well look below I have put the shampoo samples to good use washing out my makeup and hair brushes.

Wash and Dry

I have been quite ruthless this time and in a way Kondo has given me the permission to throw away some of the items I know I have kept because I hate to waste – but I can see the point that the shelf life is limited on toiletries.

This is the end result of the clear out – in this pile are items to use up or throw out, a few unused items to go to charity and empty packaging for recycle.  I even surprised myself that there was so much.

Toiletries to throw out

I did come across one or two items that I know I want to use but somehow between one clear out and another it just sits on the shelf.  One of these items is the Weleda Birch Cellulite oil – I do need to use this everyday though to see any effect.  I also have a body brush and I did use this every morning at one time and would like, as part of my wellbeing project this year, to start doing this again.  So I am giving myself 3 months to use or lose it.

One of the hardest decisions was my small collection of aromertherapy oils – I have the book and quite a few oils but somehow I have never really got into mixing the oils so I decided to slim down the number and keep only my absolute favourites plus one or two of those like Juniper that add the low notes (or maybe it’s the high notes!)

Now for the after pictures -Firstly my dressing table drawers

Top drawer – Cleansing and skin care – everything in this drawer is used either daily or periodically.

Cleansing and skincare

Middle drawer – ailment potions on the left – makeup and nailcare on the right.  Not everything in here is used daily but frequently.

Aiments drawer

Lower drawer – Haircare – I think this is about the bare bones – unfortunately the can of mousse is too large for the drawer.


The medicine cabinet –

Containing potions and lotions and my essential oils.  Hopefully I won’t need the items in here everyday but I might need them occasionally for cuts, bites, stings, bruises etc.  I keep my shaver in here for convenience as it is near the shaver point.

Medicine Cupboard


Shower room cupboard –

This large cupboard houses all the stocks of shower gels, deodorants, face creams, suntan lotions

Shower room cupboard

and my pedicure kit, mini travel and spare supplies for the toothbrush.

Shower room cupboard 2

Below here I keep toilet rolls and cleaning products but that is another clearing session.

I have made a shopping list of those items I do need to replace because they are about to run out so when I feel I need a bit of retail therapy which for me is not often I can purposefully shop rather that buy something I might not use.

So end of day 1 simplifying and decluttering and I feel quite pleased with myself.  I have let go of a few items I had been holding onto since last time but had not used in a whole year.  Of course I do not use the thermometer very often not even in the last year but I suppose you do have to keep some items ‘just in case’.

Have a good weekend x

19 thoughts on “simplifying the house – declutter day 1…”

  1. It’s good that you have a beauty routine and you know what you actually use. I agree that some first aid stuff is best kept whether used or not! And I like your drawer and shelf containers and dividers!


  2. I read the book too. I didn’t start with my clothes easier. In fact, I didn’t do much the way she did. The most important thing I got out of it was the permission to discard things that still had value, but not used in my life.


  3. It’s very cathartic this sorting and getting rid isn’t it. I need to do my toiletries soon, but I still have summer clothes to do, and I must do them they are strewn over the guest bed and we are about to have a guest so no more putting it off 😉

    You have lovely neat cupboards and drawers now, but you use a lot of stuff don’t you, just an observation not a criticism 🙂


    1. At the side of some of my friends I don’t have a lot but I can see what you mean even reduced I wondered myself if I need it all. I will do a stock take post one day soon so that I can see for myself if it is all necessary. Good luck with the seasonal sorting – according to Kondo we shouldn’t really need seasonal – not sure I agree with that – I am not one to float around in a t-shirt in winter unless it is under a jumper!


  4. I love how organised and compartmentalised everything is! I also find it really hard to declutter bathroom items because you can’t recycle or donate most of it. I have half-used items that are out-of-date but I can’t bring myself to send it all to landfill.


    1. I feel the same and in the past I have created a use up box and made an effort to use everything up before opening anything else. I also use unwanted shower gels etc as a foot soak and shampoo to clean my hair brushes. I have just finished using up cleaning products that I brought from clearing out my mum-in-laws house 5 years ago because I couldn’t bear to waste them! Now I try not to buy things if I am not sure I will like them and any beauty type gifts I am given I pass them straight on to charity unpopened.


  5. I have very few products, but I’m still trying to use up a few free samples etc as even that amount of clutter drives me mad these days. I had ideas if creating a lovely guest basket too, but I decided a box of tissues by the bed would be enough. We use real hankies and I thought tissues might be one thing a guest might need that they don’t have with them.

    I love muji products. I have a few already but when we get the bathroom done I’m sure a couple more will sneak in there. 😉


  6. I’m with other commenters, it looks so lovely and ordered but I just couldn’t throw things away. Sometimes I buy extra when they’re on special or for a treat. (I just bought a heap of No7 while we were in London. Not ready to open them yet as I have other products.) And the sample size products are great for travelling. Actually the difficulty I find is in the maintenance. The decluttering and tidying is cathartic but it is hard to keep it thus.


    1. Hi Lucinda and welcome home – I have been trying to keep up with your London visit – seems like you had a wonderful time – what a shame I do not live closer to London we might have been able to meet for a coffee! I have just been stocking up on No 7 today with the 3 for 2 offer.
      Just to set your mind at rest very few products were thrown away in the end just the out of date suntan cream as I could not think of another safe use for this. All the old shampoos satchets have been used to clean rollers and brushes. Unopened items went to a local charity that surprisingly take any toiletries.


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