Did you upgrade to a new hair dryer, curling iron, razor, hair trimmer, etc. but kept the old one? If the old item is in good condition, donate it; if not, toss it – it isn’t doing you any good.
If this item doesn’t apply to you: Eliminate one item with a plug that you never use.
Time to toss old polish that’s dried up or is the wrong consistency or is a color that no longer interests you.
If this task doesn’t apply to you: Check through your grooming and/or beauty supplies to make certain you are using any items that are open.
I know that I never apply as much sunscreen as is recommended, and, so, I’m not surprised when the summer comes to an end and I still have sunscreen in the bottle.
And, sunscreen is one of those items where you may have a couple of bottles in use, particularly if you go to the beach or send your kids to an outdoor camp or sports program.
Check expiration dates or toss any sunscreen from previous years. In this case, go out and buy a replacement bottle of sunscreen.
If this task doesn’t apply to you: Toss five pieces of paper – an old list, an out-of-date warranty, an article you tore from a magazine or printed from online, etc.
A quick search online shows that natural loofahs should be replaced once a month while plastic poufs can be used for a couple of months before being replaced.
If you can’t remember how long you’ve been using your loofah or mesh pouf, it’s probably time for a change. And, if you have a loofah you never use, you don’t need to keep it.
If this task doesn’t apply to you: Intentionally skip or turn down an activity you want to avoid.
Gather up the hair styling and grooming products that you have in your bedroom and bathroom as well as in your purse or gym bag.
Are there products that you dislike? Maybe the fragrance made your eyes water, or the shampoo left your hair limp. Unless these products are fairly new, and you want to ask around and see if anyone wants them, toss these items you aren’t going to use. Holding onto something you won’t use doesn’t allow you to get extra value from the item.
If you have partially-filled bottles of shampoo or other products, sort them onto a shelf so you’ll use up the items with the least amount in them first. If you have a collection of shampoos and conditioners from hotels, use them at home.
Find a place to keep your hair products together so you’ll remember what you have, and you’ll use these goods.
If you have an assortment of half-used bottles of shampoos and body washes because you like switching to different products, gather these supplies together so you can see what you have.
Are there products that look or smell strange? Toss them. Otherwise, make a point to use up body lotion, hand cream, face moisturizer, and other beauty and grooming products before you buy new ones.
If you store the products with the almost empty ones up front, you’ll go through these supplies fast and you’ll clear clutter.
My great-aunt had flower-shaped soaps displayed in decorative jars in her bathroom. When she moved, she gave them to my mother, and so these became decorations in our cluttered bathroom.
Do you have soaps that are for display purposes only? Do they still fulfill your decorating interests, or have they been sitting in the same place for so long that you have stopped noticing them?
You may have lovely handmade soaps that you bought at a craft fair or that you received as a gift. These may have seemed so nice that you haven’t used them. Don’t save them; enjoy them!
If the soap is turning an ‘off’ color or is falling apart, it may be old and best scraped into the trash.
Only if this doesn’t apply to you: Pull a book off your shelf that you haven’t read and decide if you will start reading it today or if you will pass it along to a new owner.
Check the toothbrushes you and your family use. If you notice bent bristles and other wear, replace the brushes. (Check with other family members before doing this as they may want a specific type of brush for their replacement.)
You may save old toothbrushes to use for cleaning tasks. Do you use them for that purpose or have they accumulated in the cabinet beneath your bathroom sink?
And, if you do use them, how many do you need to keep for this purpose? If you regularly replace your toothbrushes, then you are always restocking your old brushes. Maybe downgrading a toothbrush can become your prompt for doing a specific task; then, you don’t need to hold onto old brushes.
Only if this doesn’t apply to you: Eliminate a snack that you are eating only because you are bored, or you need a break.
Pull together your manicure tools. Do you have duplicates? Are some pieces rusting? Did you stop using that battery-operated manicure tool because it didn’t work as well as a $0.20 file?
Clear through the gear, keeping the best, or noting that you need a sharp pair of nail clippers. Should you own more than a pair of nail clippers, do you have a box or basket to keep this stuff together. These things are small and oh-too-easy to put down in the wrong place and then lose beneath other items.
If you find used nail files in odd spots or too many duplicates because you can never find what you are looking for, find a way to keep these things together and then always take the entire bin of items with you instead of one item that might not make its way home.
Susan Caplan McCarthy
I'm Susan, a writer and teacher developing a second career as a Decluttering Coach.