Simplifying in the Bathroom

On the counter: toothbrush holder, toothpaste dispenser, soap dispenser – that’s all!

Welcome back for further simplifying tips for every room of your house…last week, we discussed the kitchen, and today, we enter the bathroom! Normally this room is piled high with various body, hair and facial products. I have been there! Items that just make this room look so cluttered. How can you simplify? Preparing for this post got me extra motivated to get more organized in the bathroom – I even pulled out a few items that needed to go! Remember every little baby step you take to simplify your life will open up time to focus on the important things – investing in family and the lives of others!

1. Baskets

As you may know, I love using baskets for organizing my home. I use a simple basket on top of the toilet which holds all our bathroom supplies that are normally in daily use, rather than cluttering the counter with them all. Any other product, whether it be duplicate items from a sale, or not used as frequently are stored under the bathroom sink. My basket includes coconut oil (uses listed below), deodorant, Aaron’s shaving cream & aftershave (which is slowly weeding out and being replaced by coconut oil), and my makeup. Now if I can keep it so nicely laid out in this basket! ;) I need to work more on putting things away when I am done using them – rather than leaving my makeup scattered around the counter!

2. Bathroom Cupboard & Drawers

Remove anything that is not being used. Organize in baskets. Medicine in one, jewelry in another, hair pins in another. I used something I had on hand – small little tea cups to sort my goods. The rest of my earrings/necklaces hang in our closet.

3. Towel rack or basket

Store your towels in a basket or shelf, folded and ready to go. It could be hanging or not. I keep them in the laundry room, but if you have room in the bathroom you could set up a little shelf above the toilet for this purpose as well. Keeping just two sets of towels will keep it simple. Wash one and use the other set, rotating weekly. Wash with your whites or colors and simplify your laundry!

4. Consolidate your products

Do you really need three different types of shampoo? Or might one product serve multiple needs? How about all in one shampoo and conditioner? Do you have any products that haven’t been used in a while? Remove them altogether. I am seeking to provide quality natural ingredients for our bodies. What you put on your skin is just as important as what you eat, as it will penetrate your body in a matter of minutes. Test this by rubbing garlic on the bottom of your feet. In a matter of seconds you can taste it in your mouth. As many natural products are rather expensive for my budget, I have come up with a few more frugal alternatives that have simplified our body products significantly.

Coconut oil can serve so many different purposes (all in one type of product!)- conditioner, aftershave & lotion/moisturizer. It works as well as a natural curling gel for me and regular hair gel for Aaron!

Another frugal natural option is getting rid of shampoo and conditioner all together as discussed here.

I have shampoo (homemade in the spray bottle – still experimenting before sharing the recipe ;) ), coconut oil for conditioner (put on our hair after we take a shower -stored in basket on toilet), Dr. Bronner’s bar of soap, shaving cream, and razer in the bathtub, and that’s it!

If you have multiple family members that must use different products (try all these other options first!), try this idea: Have a box for each one of them with their specific products. The key – they must take them with them and store in their room, rather than loading up products in the bathroom. Keeps it organized and no complaining about using someone else’s product.

5. Baby Bath – toys & such

Do our toddlers really need a huge bag of toys for the bath? I’ve always found my little lady is quite happy with 2 or 3 little toys. Choice safe plastic toys (without PVC). This keeps a lot of clutter out of the way! We have a fun little bathtub that works great for Karis from day one!

We use one product for Karis – Dr. Bronner’s baby mild soap bars along with some simple baby wash clothes. These work great for her hair and body! No need for multiple products here either.

Why should we simplify our lives? For the glory of God! Live simply in order that others may simply live!

Any other ideas for simplifying the bathroom? I would love to hear them! Any one have a natural alternative to shaving cream or a natural brand recommendation? Slowly weeding out this product as well!

For more tips, visit Works for Me Wednesday.

Mountain Rose Herbs has the best price for coconut oil and it is simply fabulous for many uses!

Bulk organic herbs, spices and essential oils. Sin

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

37 Responses to Simplifying in the Bathroom

  1. katie July 27, 2010 at 6:57 pm #

    I got sick of the bath toys, too. Instead we bought a couple sets of measuring cups from Target, (one turquoise, one orange) and we keep them in a little metal basket that suctions to the corner of the tub. The kids are thrilled, and so am I. I can toss them in the dishwasher when I want them really clean.

    I also use South of France soap on everything but my hair. I used it on my hair for a while (followed by an apple cider vinegar rinse), but we move so frequently (Army) and the different qualities of water really did a number on my soap-only routine. Now I use a regular shampoo and still rinse with the ACV, though I’d love to switch back to using only real soap.

    • momof5 July 11, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

      Katie, I make my own soap…I accidentally discovered a fabulous shampoo bar that needs no conditioner. Hair is soft & wonderful to use. I would love to send you a bar for some feedback. Mainly, pun intended..because all who have tried it are thrilled it works. I use only coconut oil with rain water & lye…but I need someone who has water issues to try it to tell me if it still works regardless..go to my blog post a comment & I can contact you that route. Rather than posting our emails over the WWW. Judith

  2. Lindsay June 4, 2010 at 8:54 am #

    I didn’t read all the comments so sorry if this is a repeat. A while back I got several foam hand soaps and when they are empty I just fill them about one sixth with Dr. Bronner’s and then water. It works great and is super inexpensive!

  3. Sarah-Anne March 3, 2010 at 10:55 pm #

    Hi Lindsay,

    I’m curious to hear your thoughts on hand soaps. It’s time to replace ours in the bathroom and kitchen. Currently we have liquid soap (often it’s Trader Joe’s, currently it’s Method) in pump dispensers. Have you made your own, or found a less expensive / more frugal / more natural type?


    • Lindsay March 4, 2010 at 9:41 am #

      I have tried homemade varieties without much success. We like a thick hand soap and it seems impossible to achieve. Dr bronners is too thin so you don’t feel like you get any on your hands. I tried a soap nut concoction with similar results. We currently use Mrs Meyers lavendar soap and love it! It’s completely natural and very effective and the scent is wonderful. She offers concentrated refill packs I believe. But TJ would probably be your most frugal option unless you like thin watery soap. Vitacost has great deals on Mrs Meyers products.

      • Sarah-Anne March 4, 2010 at 10:11 pm #

        Thanks so much for answering my question! Even though it’s a small thing, I definitely appreciate it.

        BTW, happy birthday to your little fellow. That’s unbelievable that he’s one… the year has flown by! I think I was newly pregnant with my second when you had Titus, and somehow he’s already four months. I can’t quite believe how quickly time seems to go by this time around.

        Blessings to you and your famiy!

  4. Kara July 30, 2009 at 7:04 am #

    Hi Lindsay, I’ve just started following your website…great ideas! I have a question on using Dr. Bronner’s soap, as I see you are using it for multiple purposes. I have been looking into ordering it for use as baby soap and an ingredient for baby wipe solution, but after discovering the skin deep website from you, looked it up on there and was disappointed. They rate it with a hazard level of 2, granted that is a whole lot better than a lot of the other products out there, but what do you think…

    • Lindsay July 30, 2009 at 7:16 am #

      I don’t worry about it. Skin Deep is not very accurate on some levels. You have to take some of it with a grain of salt. Most of the natural products that I consider and have researched to be safe come up around 1-2 still. For most assured accuracy, it is important to know the company. Dr Bronners is very reliable and safe from my research and understanding.

  5. Kate January 19, 2009 at 3:05 pm #

    Oh hey, Lindsay, when we were in Florida of Christmas, I noticed my brother has a cottony shower liner. I’ve been looking for one since then!

    Something to check into! And they do dry just as quick as a plastic/vinyl liner, if not quicker.

  6. Alison January 3, 2009 at 1:33 am #

    Hi there! This is my first time to your site. Excellent! I found it in a search for how people cope with just a toaster oven and no microwave (we’re loving the no microwave life!). Anyway, I was scanning through some of your old posts, and thought I’d share something I’ve found useful in the switch to attempting to be more “green” and “simple”! I don’t know if you’ve ever thought of it, or tried it, but I recently switched from using plastic purchased menstruation pads to cloth ones. I was skeptical at first, but my sister-in-law told me about them and how she loved them! I ordered a bunch from a company called lunapads (, and they are wonderful. They would be easy to make as well. I find them excellent! Not itchy, or restricting, and best of all, they save money, and can be re-used! Anyway, I recognize this is an old post, but figured I’d add this in here! Blessings on you and your family in 2009!

    • Kate January 19, 2009 at 11:15 am #

      I use a Diva Cup. Pads just never appealed to me. I went from tampons to Instead, then a friend mention the diva cup. I haven’t gone back to tampons yet!!! I love the freedom of being able to do ANYTHING during that time of the month.

      • Gillian January 19, 2009 at 4:41 pm #

        Me too Kate! The Diva Cup is wonderful! Good for the environment, the body and simplifying! It really is too bad that more people don’t know it’s an option. I sure wish I had known about it sooner.

  7. Jennifer September 4, 2008 at 8:30 pm #

    Thank you so much for all of the information that you make available on your site! I was wondering if you had a suggestion for what to use for my two year-old daughter’s curly hair. I am trying to go no-poo :) but have found it difficult for her–she gets pretty frizzy and yucky without conditioner. Any suggestions would be welcome. BTW–Happy Birthday!

  8. Annie July 23, 2008 at 9:38 pm #

    I just received an email from my mother-in-law that suggested that you shouldn’t leave your toothbrushes out in the open because many of the 3.2 million microbes (per square inch) of the toilet bowl get aerosolized upon flushing and land as far as six feet away. This info. was provided by -Chuck Gerba, PhD, Professor of Microbiology, University of Arizona

    • Shelley July 25, 2008 at 9:26 am #

      Closing the lid of the toilet should help alleviate a lot of this problem related to flushing.

  9. Nicol July 19, 2008 at 8:16 pm #

    I recently came across your site through a friends blog and I am all about going simple. I love to decorate and such but I hate clutter. Bathrooms can be one area that I like to keep simple.

    I loved your ideas for your kitchen as well…the canning jars. I will have to see about finding some.

    I would love to hear ideas about organizing or keeping a simple bedroom. This is my tricky area.

  10. Kate July 17, 2008 at 4:19 pm #

    We only have a handful of toys in the children’s bathroom. We have one of those mesh bags w/suction cups on it. and at the end of bath time the time the toys go back in the bag.

    When we moved into our home we have now, we got rid of those big mirrors in the bathroom…too big too clean! I just went out and bought 2 mirrored frames. (we have a double sink in our bath). And a single mirrored frames in the other baths.

    We have the same taste Lindsay!

    Another thing…I guess it’s frugal tip. Instead of buying toothbrush holders, I used the 4 oz glasses out of our glassware. They are clear, and it’s different. And easier to clean! (open glass, now tiny holes to clean out) And the toothpaste tube can fit in it!

    We also have a small clock in our bathroom. Like a travel size clock. But that’s it!

    • ~M February 28, 2010 at 10:03 am #

      My husband and I share an electric toothbrush that was recommended by his dentist. We each have our own toothbrush head and swap them as needed. I couldn’t find a good way to store the toothbrush heads upright until my brilliant, engineer husband suggested a shot glass. It’s glass, dishwasher safe, and super easy to clean. Works great!

  11. Cammie July 17, 2008 at 6:07 am #

    Great ideas! I nixed the tub toys a while ago. The slimyness was getting to me and I just did not have time to wash them. My kiddos still have a blast in the tub with just water!

    Our bathroom is very small…I am out to get some baskets today..thanks.

  12. Kate July 17, 2008 at 2:21 am #

    I didn’t have time to read all the posts, but I have used conditioner and coconut oil in the past to shave my legs, etc.

    I have an over the shower head organizer. I had to get an adjustable one because of the size of the shampoo bottles. (normal size)

    Our drawers are tiny in our bathroom, I keep all my hair stuff in a make-up bag in the drawer. We’re fortunate in the fact we have a linen closet in the bathroom. To keep our towels, and stock pile of toilet paper and stuff.

    Oh, and you shouldn’t store medicines in the bathroom, too much moisture. Best place is in your bedroom.

  13. Kendra July 16, 2008 at 8:38 pm #

    I use many different styles and sizes of hair pins (my hair is below my knees). Instead of throwing them all in one basket I separated them by size into coffee cups and smaller empty tea tins. I keep the cups and tins in one drawer. As I am fixing my hair, I know exactly what cup to reach into for a specific pin. Once I received flowers with a beautiful vase; not the tall clear kind. I put this vase on my counter to stand my combs in.

  14. Sweetpeas July 16, 2008 at 4:17 pm #

    I’d like to suggest that except on very rare occasions, babies/young children don’t need anything but water to clean them. When I stopped using anything on my kids except water I found their hair was nicer & their skin didn’t dry out like even a gentle, natural soap can do. Once in a great while we need to use a little gentle, natural soap (the last time I recall needing it was when Lexie threw up in her sleep & got it in her hair, it required soap to get the vomit smell out) but for normal day to day, plain water gets them clean and doesn’t dry out their skin or hair.

  15. Alyssa July 16, 2008 at 2:12 pm #

    That looks similiar to our bathroom! I love the simplicity-I hate a cluttered bathroom!
    We’re in a small apt. without much storage space, so we have a wall mounted cabinet above the toilet from IKEA. It has two shelves-the top one holds towels and below is baskets with toiletries, etc. It works awesome for us. Just an idea for anyone needing extra storage space! (And I think it’s nicer than the over-the-toilet floor standing ones.)
    Looking forward to more simplifying ideas! :)

  16. craftymom July 16, 2008 at 12:37 pm #

    Now I’m motivated to go simplify my bathroom!

  17. Marian July 16, 2008 at 11:35 am #

    Now that is a beautifully clutter free bathroom! Hope mine will stay as clean as yours; my mom just put a new shower holder in ours, and it’s the same as yours!

    Doesn’t take much to amuse me…

  18. Heather July 16, 2008 at 11:28 am #

    Have you found that a certain type of coconut oil is superior to another? I bought a virgin coconut oil for $8, but my MIL found a regular coconut oil for $4 that had more oil too. I know with olive oil it is much better to have the extra virgin, but wasn’t sure if the principle applied to coconut as well. It would sure help out my budget to be able to have the cheaper kind. Thanks for your input.


  19. Mother Hen July 16, 2008 at 10:50 am #

    I have been reading a lot of your posts about using the natural, better for us products. Thanks for doing all the research and then sharing your experiences with us.

  20. Becky July 16, 2008 at 9:28 am #

    I love the idea of the basket on top of the toilet for the daily items. I have never thought of that! I do have a question…DH and I are getting ready to move into our first home and the master bathroom has 2 sinks together in one counter space and the toilet is in a little alcove in the back so putting our daily items on the toilet might not be useful. Any suggestions? I could put a basket in between the 2 sinks, I guess.

    • Lindsay July 16, 2008 at 10:09 am #

      That is what I would recommend – in between the two sinks. We just don’t have that much counter space, so the toilet suits us! ;) It would definitely still keep it more organized and contained.

  21. Carol July 16, 2008 at 6:52 am #

    I love this. I simplified a couple of years ago and was amazed at how few products I truly use compared to how many I had accumulated over time. Now I’m doing a lot better at sticking with the tried-n-true vs. trying-all-the-new.

  22. Lanette July 16, 2008 at 5:19 am #

    Funny – I just gave my bathroom an overhaul on Monday :-) Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap works for me as shaving cream. The lather runs/rinses away quickly, though. I can’t say that my four and six year old would be happy with a couple of simple bath toys, but they are creative with using everyday things to play with!

  23. Fe July 15, 2008 at 11:15 pm #

    Just days ago, this post appeared in my reader:-) Reading your post today, I thought it might appeal… I’m rather tempted to try it out myself—the rest of our bathroom is pretty good, but the bath? Horrendously full of toys, and they’re _not_ all so pleasant:-(

    • Lindsay July 16, 2008 at 6:26 am #

      Thanks for the link! I had my plastic duckies get mold and such inside them too as this lady mentioned. Yuck! That is when the plastic had to go! We just have a set of stacking cups now that she enjoys. Definitely looking for creative ideas!

  24. Marlene July 15, 2008 at 10:34 pm #

    I love your tips for simplifying both the bathroom and kitchen. I printed them both out. When I am cleaning the bathroom tomorrow, I am going to take a break and go over them to make sure that I followed them. I think there are some products/containers I need to get rid of.

  25. Melody Hamby July 15, 2008 at 10:20 pm #

    Please post when you find a natural shave gel! I’ve been searching for one for a while…trying to find one without frangrance is very difficult! Will look forward to what you find out! Thanks!

    • Tori July 26, 2008 at 2:34 am #

      My friend, Anna, makes a natural shaving soap that is really great. It does have a slight scent but only from essential oils. Everything she makes is completely natural and very reasonably priced. We really like her body balm for a diaper cream for our infant son and use her soap for him for soap and shampoo. You can find her at the Fairview and Gresham Farmer’s markets or at

  26. Melissa July 15, 2008 at 10:08 pm #

    Now THAT is a simple/organized bathroom! Very nice! I just cleaned and organized our master bathroom today..I thought I did pretty good but now I am thinking I need to go through it again. Hehe.

    Very nice! ;)