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The February Challenge: Functional Bathrooms

First of all, thanks to some very generous donors, we're going to have some incredible prizes in coming months. Trust me on this, you do not want to sit a challenge out. If you do, when you see some of the prizes in this challenge, you will kick yourself for not participating. In December, someone will walk away with a very valuable package. If you didn't participate in January, you can start now because the winner only has to participate in ten challenges, so if someone from January sits a challenge out, you could be the one enjoying the fat prize package.

And remember when I said we reserve the right to change the rules? Well, we're going to offer a prize package, though not nearly as valuable as the winning package, to the person who comes in second place. A consolation prize for sticking to it. Click here to read the rules.

Now, onto February's Challenge....

In January, you got a jump start on this year's holiday season. Now you're organized and ready to tackle Christmas when it comes. In February, you're going to focus on the potty room and transform it into an organized, functional and clutter-free oasis.

Are you ready?

I keep a basket of meds in my master bathroom. A few months ago, I started purging my bathrooms of stuff that I no longer need, don't use or products that had simply expired. I was stunned at the number of medicine packages that had expired. No telling how many times I popped a NyQuil capsule that had lost its effect three years earlier. Now, I can confidently reach for an aspirin, cold remedy or cough syrup knowing that it hasn't passed its prime. It's time for you to do the same thing. If you haven't gone through your medicine in a while, I'll just bet that you'll end up as surprised as I was. If your medicine is kept somewhere other than the bathroom, that's okay, go through it anyway.

I thought it was a great idea to buy that lot of lipsticks. The problem is, when you buy 20 lipsticks, it'll probably take 15 years to use all of them. Have you tired to use a lipstick that was five years old? I did, and it was a cakey nightmare. Into the trash bin went several lipsticks. That great deal wasn't so great after all... I had also saved lip liners, eye shadow and other goodies that I had picked up over the years which came free with a purchase of something or the other. Free is good, but only if you're going to use it. The colors were all wrong for me, but I kept them anyway. Same thing with lotions, potions and other items of that sort. The older I get, the more minimalistic my tastes become. I should have learned that lesson long ago. Bottom line - If you aren't going to use it, don't hang onto it. It's time to weed your bathroom of items you don't use and want use.

Recently, I bought some things from the Linens N' Things going-out-of-business sale. After I bought the stuff, I completely reorganized my bathrooms top to bottom; from the linen closet to the cabinets to the drawers. I got rid of things that I didn't need and rearranged items so that the layout and storage is much more suitable to our lifestyle. As part of the reorganization, I placed cleaning items (Clorox wipes, Tilex, Windex, Paper Towels, etc.) in the bathrooms. I was tired of toting the cleaning products all over the house. So now when it's time to clean the bathrooms, I just reach for the products and they stay put. I buy the cleaning products at Costco in a lot, so I have the products on hand anyway. This is a personal preference, some of you may prefer to have all your products in one handy tote and carry them from room to room, but if not, consider this method. For me, it's a small time saver, but every little bit helps.

Now I'm going to tell you to spend some money. Yep, that's right. I waited for the prices to be slashed to 40-50% off before buying the stuff at LNT's sale. I picked up some towels, washcloths, sheets, Yankee Candles and even some bar stools. It's been years since I've bought new towels and I couldn't believe how worn out my old towels were when compared to the new, plush towels and washcloths I bought. The hand towels and washcloths on the left are the new ones, and the ones on the right are the old ones. See the difference:

Towels

It's amazing how something as simple as a plush towel can give me a lift every time I use it. I bought several of each and would never have bought so many if they weren't discounted so deeply, but one thing you can do is invest in two nice towels and washcloths. If it's in your budget - go on, do something for yourself....

This month's challenge is very simple:

  • Organize your bathroom(s) - top to bottom. Make them more user-friendly and clutter-free. Go through your cosmetics, beauty products and medicine cabinet/basket and get rid of expired items and items you no longer use or need. Transform that bathroom!

Send in your photos, and be creative.

You can post your results on this thread, or the thread that will be posted after the challenge ends, the one which will showcase your photos.

Want to see February's prize package? It's a good one:

The winner will receive a beautiful, monogrammed cosmetics case like the one below. My sister gave this to me and I love it. I use it as my traveling cosmetics case.

Cosmetics case

Inside view

Caveat: Size and color may vary considering it will be December before a winner is chosen and the company that makes them may have different colors/sizes in stock.

We don't want to add more clutter to your bathrooms, but we want to reward you, so you will enjoy a $25 gift card to Bath & Body Works.

And...

The winner will get to go shopping using a $50 gift card for Bed, Bath & Beyond. Caveat: If they go out of business before December (you never know given the economy), a gift card to a comparable store will be issued.

The challenge ends on February 25. You have twenty days to complete your challenge. Time to get started....

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