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Living Healthy Guide to Cleaning
Be sure to check out our previous installments of this Living Healthy mini-series:
Part Four: Cleaning and Organizing the Bathroom
The bathroom is generally a very small room, which is why I like starting with it. It is a straightforward process of cleaning surfaces and organizing toiletries. Most of the time, the objects that you’ll find in the bathroom belong in the bathroom. Sometimes when you get to cleaning other rooms, you’ll find papers in the kitchen that belong in the office, or books in the bedroom that belong in the living room; this is unlikely to occur when you begin to clean the bathroom. That makes it a simpler process of cleaning and organizing, in my opinion.
There are three major components to doing a deep-clean of the bathroom, and then three components to maintaining that cleanliness:
1) Reduce clutter. Take everything off the counter, off the shelves, out of the drawers. Move it ALL out of the bathroom and organize it. Throw out the junk that you don’t need in there (old make-up, hair clips you never use). Once you have everything out of the bathroom, you can start fresh and decide what you really *need* in there. Also, be sure to clean out the shower area: leaving a canister of shaving cream in there, for example, will leave an ugly rust ring. Instead, keep that in your cupboard. I like to keep my shower items simple: shampoo, conditioner, and soap are always in there. If I want to use body scrub or shaving supplies, I get them from my cupboard. Shampoo and soap are the only things that are allowed to “live” in my shower.
2) Clean all surfaces. You have taken everything out of your bathroom, so this is an excellent opportunity to scrub it all clean! Get rid of stains and marks. Scrub the toilet, scrub the bathtub, wipe down the sink and all around the toilet, spray down the mirror, and dust all counters, shelves, and inside drawers. Clean the drains. Wash your towels. Get rid of any shower curtains or bathmats if they have gone moldy (ew). Your bathroom should be smelling heavenly- and because it is such a small space and everything has been taken out of it, it won’t take you that long at all to clean.
3) Organize all toiletries. Hopefully you have plenty of storage space in terms of cupboards and drawers to keep everything hidden. If you do not, invest in a couple baskets or nice boxes. Clear, plastic boxes with lids are useful for stacking and for being able to quickly see what is in which box, but having a trunk-style box is also very aesthetically pleasing. Use drawer organizer inserts if you have drawers. I’m lucky in my new condo: I have a floor-to-ceiling cabinet in my bathroom, in addition to a cupboard under the sink and four drawers right beside it. I also have three shelves above the counter; I keep two beautiful perfume bottles on one shelf, two aesthetically-pleasing candle holders with candles in them on the second shelf, and a box of Kleenex on the top shelf. My counter itself has a hand towel, cup, soap dish, liquid soap dispenser, and toothbrush holder, as well as a bowl for Q-tips and cotton balls. All of these dishes are from a matching set and are lined up neatly against one wall. It’s simple and it looks nice:
1) Clean the bath tub immediately after bathing or showering. It only takes about 30 seconds to grab a paper towel (or rag, if you’re more environmentally-conscious) and wipe down the walls and bottom of the tub. This gets rid of any grime, soap scum, hair, or towel fluff that has accumulated from a single bath or shower. The advantage to this is that you get to step into a very clean shower every day, knowing that it is pretty much immaculate.
2) Put things back where they belong. Fold the towel nicely when you’re finished using it. I like to keep my nicer bottles and jars on a shelf to display, so every time that I use one of them I always return it to its proper place (and yes, that means angled a certain way with the label facing forward 🙂 You might not be that obsessive about it, but that’s what I personally like to do in my own home). It’s all second nature: if you always put things where they belong, you’ll have a bathroom worthy of a House & Home magazine with nearly zero effort on your part.
3) Do a quick clean once a week. Spray the mirror, wipe out the sink, scrub the toilet, wash the towels, dust the counter, empty the garbage. If you do this once every week or so, it will only take a few minutes to complete the entire cleaning process. The more frequently you clean, the less you’ll have to do in the long term! If you can already see a layer of dust, you’ve left it for too long.
What’s the point of doing all this work?
Having a clean bathroom is important for hygienic reasons, but also because guests are likely to make use of your bathroom. And you never know when a guest will have sudden need for a shower: if the weather is miserable and they’re covered in mud, or if they have a kid that has an accident, that shower may just be in use. For those kinds of emergencies, it’s nice to have a clean shower ready for them, rather than a pretty shower curtain hiding a dirty bathtub from view (besides, if you have a mother dear and a couple of aunties who always have their homes clean and tidy, you wouldn’t want to do them a disservice if they happen to peek behind curtains and doors, now would you? *waves at said mother dear and aunties*).
Share your tips for cleaning the bathroom in the comments section below!