Over the years, everyone, no matter how many times they move, always has one box that they take with them from place to place. This box is the box that will not die. It may contain any number of things, but the one thing that 90% of these items have in common is that you don’t really need any of them. In fact, you haven’t needed any of them for the past few months, perhaps years, and yet they follow you like some sort of stuff tumor that you would rather hide in the closet than confront. For many people, this box is full of things like hair products, soaps, contact lenses, various expired drugs (almost always including Nyquil) and about 12 half full bottles of lotion. So do you throw out this whole box and start over? Unfortunately I was unable to do that, but found a much less wasteful way to approach the problem.
Step 1: Get a tower
That’s right, I called it a tower. Sounds empowering, right? Not everything is going to fit in your tower, so you still have to downsize, but the size of this tower is going to determine how much stuff you keep. They are usually $15-25 and can be found at most department and hardware stores . You usually have the option of throwing wheels (casters, if you want to get technical) on the bottom.
Step 2: Make hard decisions
Okay, so hard is a relative term. Should I keep that half bottle of Fructis Shampoo with the peeled off label and the top crusted in dried soap scum? Don’t try to use the “there are people who don’t even get to shower” excuse for keeping it. Either combine it with four other bottles and make a mega bottle or throw it away.
Step 3: Categorize
I found this step very helpful and I repeat this process every time the drawers are getting out of hand. Get some baskets or Ziploc bags and categorize everything. You might want to build a snack and dance party break into this step because it takes awhile. Please note: if stuff from the junk box does not belong in the bathroom area, find another home for it or get rid of it. Use categories like “travel size items” or “manicure/pedicure supplies.”
Step 4: Fill that tower!
Since everything is sorted nicely, this should be a piece of cake. Decide what you are going to use most often and place it in the top drawer. Things you might use once or twice a month go in the middle drawers and things you want to keep but rarely use, or really big items, can go in the bottom drawer.
And there you have it, you’ve just organized/downsized your junk box and made it much more aesthetically pleasing. You’ve also added counter space because you can now store things on top of the tower and you have a quick place to stash clutter if such a time should arise.