After you pack large areas like the bedrooms or the kitchen, you might welcome the chance to pack a small space like the bathroom. However, packing a bathroom is not as simple as cramming everything you can into a few boxes and throwing on labels.
How many almost empty shampoo bottles do you have laying around the bathroom? What can you pack a week in advance and what do you need to keep through the move?
Packing the bathroom comes down to three principles: sorting, purging, and organizing. Use this guide to simplify your packing process.
Sort Your Stuff
First, you need to get a realistic idea of what you have and how much of it is necessary. After you sort through all of your stuff, you will have an easier time deciding what you should keep, what you don’t need, and what you need to replace.
Sort your stuff into the following categories:
- Appliances and accessories
- Feminine and paper products
- Hair products
- Towels and linens
- Cleaning supplies and miscellaneous chemicals
Purge Unneeded Items
Appliances and Accessories
Take inventory of all your appliances and accessories. Do you have five identical curling irons and three blow dryers you’ve collected over the years? Test each of your appliances. Take into consideration how many people use each item to determine if you actually need duplicates.
If there are lots of girls living at your house, your bathrooms probably have accessory drawers full of hair ties, bobby pins, and headbands. Take the time to sort through the drawers and figure out which accessories you still use and want to keep.
How many tubes of old, dried-out mascara do you have lying around your bathroom? Cosmetics can be expensive, so many of us try to hang on to them as long as possible and forget to throw away the old stuff after we purchase replacements.
Go through your makeup and throw away anything old, dried-out, or broken. Don’t stop with the damaged items. If you never use certain shades of eye shadow or mascara, throw those away too.
Feminine and Paper Products
These items are light, so they shouldn’t cost very much to ship. You shouldn’t have to throw any of these away as long as they haven’t come in contact with moisture.
Hair Products and Toiletries
While you should sort these items separately to get an accurate view of how much you have, you can treat them the same.
Throw away any empty bottles or products you never use. While it may seem like a waste of money, if your moving company charges by weight, you will have to pay to ship products you’re never going to use.
If you have a large supply of unopened shampoo, conditioner, or any other liquid hair product or toiletry, ask yourself whether it would cost more to ship your storage or buy a new product when you get to your new home. If it would cost more to ship the product, consider donating your unopened product to a homeless shelter or a women’s shelter.
Most of us probably have a small pharmacy of unused prescription medication in our bathroom. With prescription drug abuse, this is not a safe practice-especially if you have children. Moving is the perfect time to clear out your medicine cabinet.
Safely dispose of your medication under the following circumstances:
- It’s expired
- Its label is illegible or not present
- It causes new side effects
- It seems ineffective
- Its physical appearance or smell changed
- It’s no longer necessary as you’ve completed the treatment
Don’t throw away or flush your medication. Flushed medication can introduce harmful chemicals to the environment, and too many people can access pills you throw away. Take your unused medicine to a local household hazardous waste facility.
Towels and Linens
This process is fairly simple; if your towels, rags, shower curtains, etc. have holes, rips, tears, or considerable wear, throw them away. You can also use old towels and rags to clean your home before you leave.
Cleaning Supplies and Other Miscellaneous Chemicals
Go through your cleaning supplies and get rid of any you can’t definitively identify. Some chemicals, when mixed, can emit toxic gasses. Additionally, you can’t use all chemicals on all surfaces.
If you have any old paint, use it to touch up your walls if necessary, then dispose of it.
Dispose of all chemicals, cleaners, and paints with your unused medicine at a local household hazardous waste facility.
Organize Your Boxes
You don’t want to put off packing until the last second, but you do need to use a lot of
bathroom items every day.
Once you are ready to pack the bathrooms, make everyone in your home packs an essential bathroom bag. This should include toothbrushes, any hair product or appliance they need every day, deodorant, makeup, and anything else they would pack in a travel bag for a weeklong vacation.
After everyone has done that, clear out every bathroom except one. All other bathrooms should have toilet paper, soap, and a hand towel-that’s it.
Organization Tips and Tricks
- Wrap all opened bottles containing liquid in plastic wrap or put them in plastic bags.
- Line the boxes containing appliances and accessories, hair products, and toiletries with towels.
- Wrap fragile items in towels to protect them during the move. Label the boxes as fragile.
- Pack unused towels on the top of otherwise heavy boxes. They’ll take up space without adding extra weight.
- Label all boxes clearly.
Don’t let packing overwhelm you. Remember to take breaks when you need to and ask for help when you need it. If you sort, purge, and organize, you can pack your bathroom in no time.