As we seek purity of the soul, our physical body and home cannot be ignored; they are all interconnected. Cleanliness of the soul, body and home is a great virtue in Islam. A cluttered house ignites stress and tiredness and disrupts thoughts. Have you ever noticed how distracted and anxious emotions go through us when worshipping in a cluttered area? On the other hand, a serene, shipshape environment uplifts one spiritually.
Let’s turn a hectic home into the ultimate soothing space with a few simple tips and tricks, starting with the busiest yet smallest room in most homes – the bathroom. You owe it to yourself to attain a sense of harmony, peace, and tranquility as you prepare for prayers, so make your wudhu in a calm, clean and uncluttered bathroom.
No one likes to see kids’ bath toys scattered all over the floor or fight through the toys to take a shower – or worse yet, trip over them. Do you really have the time to find your favourite eyeliner, brushes, and bottles when they are all jumbled together? There is only so much counter or cabinet space we can have to cram everything in, no matter how big the bathroom is. The solution, you ask? Cut the clutter and get creative in finding storage solutions within the space you have.
Reduce the Clutter
Reassess, donate, and discard. Keep clutter under control.
Re-evaluate your true needs. How many types of hair and body cleansing products do you and your family really need? And that makeup stash of yours? Is it that hard to part with those eleven shades of pink nail polish and fifteen maroon lipsticks? Keep only what you are really going to use.
Donate any unopened or lightly used products that you are unlikely to use to shelters or to a toiletry drive near you. Ramadhan teaches us about how little we can get by with. During Ramadhan, we eat less, drink less, talk less, argue less and sleep less. It’s amazing how little we need. Pack up all the extras and give them away. Give away your ten extra nail polishes, purses and hundred pairs of shoes that you have not used in the last six months. Those knick-knacks you picked up from the hotel on your last trip and those lotion and perfume samples you collect are taking up valuable real estate. Use them up or donate them. Many shelters not only take unopened hair and skincare products, but also lightly used makeup, to give to women who are trying to get on their feet and preparing for a job interview.
Toss out any old, expired or broken items. As for makeup, the general replacement guideline for mascara and liquid eyeliner is about six months; foundation, lip liner and nail polish a year; and lipsticks, eye shadow, concealer and blush eighteen months.
Find Storage Solutions
No matter how big or small your bathroom is, without identifying adequate and appropriate storage solutions, clutter will find its way in and become a constant problem. Containers, boxes or baskets keep the odds and ends out of sight, immediately giving a sense of sleekness to the room.
Stackable boxes of varying sizes create supplementary space under the sink or inside shelves. Depending on your budget, buy fabric or plastic drawers or reuse cardboard boxes (make pretty by painting or wrapping with wrapping paper in a uniform color). Put things used in the same way or at the same time such as skincare, hair products or first aid items in the same box for easy finding. Keep all eyeshadows and lip liners together, and lipsticks upright so it’ll be easy to find what you need.
Making the most out of available options using vertical space and unused areas for creative organisation is the best approach to take:
• Floating shelves or cubes above the toilet are great ways to take advantage of the unused vertical space.
• Buy a tiered plate or glue cheap pretty plates on candleholders to create tiered storage. Add one or two small cups to the top level for storing smaller items, such as cotton swabs, bobby pins, safety pins, makeup brushes, etc.
• Use hanging tiered fruit baskets to hold toys or use as a shower caddy in the bathroom.
• Make use of corners by using corner shelves to boost space in a small bathroom.
Make use of the doors for easy storage:
• Install one or more towel bars on the door.
• Repurpose tin cans or mason jars inside cabinet doors to hold your hair brush, hair dryer and straightener, and tame the unruly cords.
• Attach a magazine rack behind cabinet doors and you instantly have a pocket for stowing toiletries.
• Attach a sheet of pre-cut galvanised steel to a door’s interiors and add magnetic hooks to hold scissors and tweezers. Add small plastic cups with magnetic bottoms or metal tins to hold small items, such as rubber bands and hair clips.
Find storage solutions in unexpected items:
• Use small flowerpots or repurpose mason jars to store q-tips, cotton balls and makeup applicators.
• Kitchen utensil holders are great to hold toothpaste, toothbrushes and makeup brushes.
• If you have a window in your bathroom, attach a flower box to store towels and other toiletries.
• Store bobby pins on a magnetic strip in a drawer.
• Install a tension rod to hold cleaning supply spray bottles inside cabinets.
• If you’ve always admired that wine rack at the store but never knew how to use it in your home, use it as a towel holder. Fold the towels and show them off neatly.
Organisation is an on-going process and not a one-time task. Many of these concepts can be carried out in other areas of your home as well. Get in the habit of controlling clutter by giving away or putting away that which you do not use.
Lail Hossain is a mum, wife, daughter, sister, niece, management consultant and blogger. She is a committed lover of family and nature, and shares her journey to tackle and celebrate everyday life through food, creativity and family on her blog, With A Spin (www.withaspin.com).