Simplify For Fall: Bedrooms & Bathrooms

This week I’m following along with the Life Your Way Simplify for Fall Challenge. Six days, six areas of the home to simplify. I’ll be sharing my progress here all week. Here’s what I’ve already tackled: clothing & laundry room, toys and kitchen and meal planning.

Not sure I am going to stay ahead of the work on these projects so beware, there might be some of these posts up next week.

Simplify your: bedrooms and bathrooms.

Time I took with this task: 1-2 hours

Some of the big work we did in the fall of 2010 and the massive downsizing for our move overseas has really paid off. Neither of these areas were too challenging or too cluttered for us.

Don’t be jealous. I’ll be showing you my paper clutter soon. Paper and clothing seem to be the first things that get out of hand in our household.


I’ve come to a conclusion about guest rooms after ours got out of control.

You need to use your guest room.


You need to keep the door open.

After my sister left last week I committed to leaving the guest room door open and to not chuck anything I am procrastinating on in. Not that I haven’t been tempted this week.

Our room, seen at the top there, was no work at all. We don’t have much besides our bed and clothing in there. Our side table drawers hold a few things like my hair dryer and two hand bags.

Yes, I know the room is awfully beige and plain and boring. It’s a minimalist cliche rather than minimalist chic. But we live in a furnished rental so we don’t have a lot of choice and while it’s rather boring I find it calming. And calm is what I need when I’m trying to get a good night’s sleep.

I’ll get around to hanging some pictures or art on the wall in the future.

For now the only thing I did for the challenge was hang a reuseable bag over the chair for my husband’s dry cleaning. We use the doors of our closet to hang out clothes we intend to use again for a bit of airing.

Henry’s room was in good shape already after sorting toys and clothes.

The crib and change table dresser came with our apartment and at some point I hope to have both children in the same room. I didn’t have my own room until I was 18 and living off-campus for the first time. It certainly made me more more easy going about sharing space with roommates and my husband.

A good sign: empty storage.

Usually when you have another baby on the way you start thinking about buying dressers for all the clothing. Not here. Most of the drawers and cupboards in Henry’s room are empty and we’ll have more than enough space for newborn onesies and cloth diapers.


We have a very small bathroom off our master bedroom with a shower. Very small. So small I couldn’t figure out a way to get a decent picture of it.

The small bathroom has a towel rack and one medicine cabinet for storage. The pedestal sink fits just one tube of toothpaste and our toothbrushes.

There is no storage for extra toiletries, sun block, travel toiletries and what not.

So we put it all here:

Not so pretty but it works.

For the challenge I went through all the boxes and cleaned up a puddle of almond oil that had leaked.

One of the boxes contains over-the-counter medication and I moved all of it into an empty shelf in the kitchen. Makes it more accessible for use but also keeps it out of Henry’s reach.

This is our main or family bath (except the make-up case medicine cabinet photo – that’s from our master bath). It has a tub and a separate shower (didn’t get a photo). We rarely use the shower in there which is good by me because it is a pain to clean.

Henry is the main user of this bathroom and it stays pretty tidy. We keep a hand towel and Henry’s towel cape, a much loved gift from my friend’s mother, on the towel rack. The beach towels are for guests and beach and pool trips. Our master bath has white towels and I like to keep them for home use only.

The medicine cabinet is mostly empty except for infant nail scissors, some children’s bath suds/shampoo and a can of Febreeze the owners left. Personally, Febreeze makes me gag. I prefer the light a match method but I leave that to our guest’s discretion.

Some of these simplifying areas have been a chance to document what we have rather than do a lot of simplifying. Our work in the last two years has really paid off and while we still have our hot spots for clutter we’ve made a lot of progress in just generally having fewer things around.

I thought about skipping some of the days but a lot of people have asked for photos of what our home looks like, what a moderate minimalist family owns.

Hopefully some of you can see that we’re not zealots, or completely nuts, just trying to live with a bit less than the average first world family.

Tomorrow: Paper Clutter & Budgets

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  • Yesterday, the kids suggested that they only want to keep their legos, their small ‘secret’ boxes. (full of marbles, pins, carabiner etc), a few boardgames, and of course their sleep-teddys each. That is all.

    They said they don’t play with the wooden toys (blocks, marble run, train-set), with the duplos, with the Schleich animals and with their matchbox cars. So, here’s the question.
    I have a box of wooden toys, a box of duplos and a little box of animals&cars that are not needed. The problem is I do not have the heart to give them away or sell them. They are the only toys the kids ever played with, they are of very good quality and I feel I would love to keep them for my future grandchildren. Is that pathetic? I mightn’t even have grandchildren. But I know how much my kids appreciate the little cars and legos they inherited from me and my husband. Will I just toughen up and get rid of these toys? My husband does not mind either way, my eldest says he’d like to keep them for his sons! :))

    • You know Apple, my girls just asked me a similar question. Can we keep their nebulizer machine that looks like a penguin that we call Beau when he dies? They have asthma and have grown up with Bow. Bow has helped them breathe through many an night. He has unfortunately been used a couple hundred times. I was taken aback with this, yet, I understand their attachment. I don’t know that we’ll end up keeping it until grandkids come because of the nature of it. But I did say, yes.

    • Not pathetic at all. :) I am sure I will have similar dilemmas when we reach that stage.
      No harm in keeping them for now. Box them up and store them for those future grandchildren. If your feelings or circumstances change you can give always give them away.

    • I agree that you should hold onto them. Save the purging for the easy things, but anything that is tugging at your heart, and especially items that are good quality and maybe able to be passed down should be held onto for a while. I think if you purge them, you may feel remorse and then you may have trouble getting rid of anything in the future. I have 5 kids and I’ve gotten rid of bucketloads over the years, but sometimes you just know when you should store something instead.

  • I can’t stand clutter, so this is right on with my way of life. I don’t aim to deprive myself of everything; I just can’t stand seeing things that don’t belong there or aren’t useful and enjoyable.

    That said, I know I can still do some work on the bottom of my bathroom sink. It’s not cluttered, but there are some things there that could probably be thrown away. Must work on that soon!

  • I reached the same conclusion about our guest room – every time an impromptu ‘put up’ occurred I had a major job making space, washing linen etc etc… now nothing goes in there.

  • Just an FYI- they say not to store medicine in the kitchen or bathroom because of humidity and heat and the effect it can have on the meds. We still keep ours in the kitchen too, but that’s what I’ve read. Since I hardly ever use meds, it doesn’t seem to matter to me.

  • Hum? I live in a very tiny studio or bachelor flat. The one challenge I have is the bed is also in the living space. (Okay, off in a corner, but still!) Other than a pull out bed / sofa, or a day bed – which I do not see the point in spending money on – I’m trying to figure out a way to separate the areas. In a minimalist way. So in the meantime, I made sure my kitchen, bathroom, and closet spaces are fairly clear. To make up for it! :) I do keep my makeup in the closet on a shelf, for I do not want bathroom humidity build-up to cause the makeup to go off. I keep all my makeup and brushes in a small zip top cosmetic case. Easy to pack for travel!
    I too appreciate white towels – easier to clean or at least to know when they are really clean!

  • You got to the guest room and it reminded me of our “give away bin” we keep in the closet of our gust bedroom. When kids outgrown cloths and we don’t know anyone who can use them or when we sort through the toys – usually done each season or just before birthdays and holidays – we take them to the ‘give away bin’ and it goes to the local good will. This gives good quality things to those who may not have the finances to by them otherwise. When I was growing up we were that family, it’s nice to find good quality things at second hand type stores. *smile* I have a hard time sending on learning things like really good books or ones that helped our two in their learning process, maybe their chidlren will also benefit from them. Compaired to many people I know I purge pretty well, but I still think I hold onto quite a bit of the things we are not in need of but I know good quality books are getting harder and harder to find. Not to mention, I am a homeschooler, books are little bits of gold for us. *big smile*
    Thank you for sharing your progress and I wish you all the best as you purge and organize. I like the bins in the bathroom plan. Our medicine cabnet is also in the kitchen, well there and the hall closet in a diaper wipes box. *smile* Have a blessed day getting rid of what you don’t need and making time for the blessings God has given you today. Sincerely, Mommy of two growing blessings & so much more!

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