It's harder for me to work on the big projects while I have my son here, so I am deferring the den and instead spent an afternoon clearing out the bathrooms. I followed the usual rules - every single item left the two bathrooms and was piled on my bedroom floor. It's so much easier to get rid of things once they are out of the room and out of context - suddenly putting everything back seems nonsensical. Even the little shelves in the main bathroom - there used to be a big collection of shells and I pared down to just a few. And now, you can actually see each individual shell and piece of coral.
I've mentioned my supply-hoarding, right? Well, it was sobering to actually count. 28 containers of dental floss, folks. Why? I don't know. I think every Christmas I buy a big pack because it's one of the small items I put in stockings and then the rest go into the cupboard, year after year. With the array of toiletries spread out in front of me, I had to consider each item and whether it made sense to keep it. Two curling irons I never use because my baby hair is immune to them? Out. The nail polish in shades that look better in the bottle than on me? Out. The glittery shower gel that leaves sparkles everywhere? Out. The shampoo I don't really like the fragrance of? Out. The leave-in conditioner that I never want to use? Out. And most of all the nineteen gazillion soaps and tiny bottles of shampoo and lotion I've brought back from hotels over the years. They're so cute. And they sit there in cute little masses mocking me. Out. All except from several bottles of amazing-smelling lavender and eucalyptus shampoo and conditioner I got in Cancun - I kept those and put one set in the shower so I'll remember to use it. Additionally, I realized that my plan to force myself to use up all the olive oil bar soap before I switched to the liquid soap was just stupid. The bars get goopy in the shower and last forever. So I pitched the one in use and replaced it with the bottle, and took the remaining two bars out of their wrappers and put them in dresser drawers as sachets. Win-win. Above, my now incredibly stream-lined bathroom cabinet. And I made a solemn vow not to buy anything new until I was nearly out. Especially dental floss.
The over-the-sink medicine chest has a shelf for each of us. Now that I think about it, I'm not sure why I have the top one when I'm the shortest person in the house. By more than half a foot. Anyway. In order to leave the sink as clear as possible, each person has a little bin for toothbrush and toothpaste. The single item left on the sink is a bottle of hand soap.
And the other shelves now hold only swabs and cotton balls. The little white things next to the cups and bamboo are not run-away cotton, by the way, they are dried sea urchins I found on the beach in Puerto Rico.
I keep medical things in the half-bath so they won't be subjected to steam. I found a ton of bandaid wrappers left by my evil children who apparently don't notice there is a trash can right there. Again, things I couldn't identify or don't use were tossed and everything else neatly put in bins with like-items.
Just soap on this sink, too, and no clutter. An aside - every time I look at the blackbird framed with the feather he left behind, I think of the Beatle's song "Blackbird." I took that photo during a difficult time in my life. One day a big flock of blackbirds visited my yard and the sight of so many was unsettling at first until I was reminded of the song. Now looking at it is a reminder of hope and healing. I'm finding it to be true that when you get rid of the excess, you're more likely to notice and enjoy those things you treasure. Shouldn't everything you see in your house make you feel that good?
Blackbird singing in the dead of night Take these broken wings and learn to fly. All your life, You were only waiting for this moment to arise. (Lennon and McCartney)