A few months ago I went to a friend's house and she asked me to walk through the home with her to look at what she should do to eliminate clutter. Her home is beautiful and we chatted about a few areas but it was the bathroom where I found that most of her clutter lived and it was hidden away as not to be seen. She had boxes and bins full of toiletries. Travel size, full size, shampoos, conditioners, soaps, bath gels, gifts with purchase, you name it! I asked her if she was using all of them. No, but she might need them. Then she confessed that she sometimes bought more because she has so much she cannot tell what she does and does not have.
I recently worked with a client in a similar place. A lovely home. Not what we would think of as cluttered. She simply needed assistance in releasing some things. One of the primary places we worked was in the bathroom.
It's not intentional. It's those darn gifts with purchase. Or, it's that flare of eczema and you try 5 different creams until you find the one that works. It's our hair that becomes limp and dull and we are trying to find that perfect shampoo. Then there is the suggestion from Real Simple or from a friend or just the simple need to purchase items. Finding ourselves with a bathroom full of lotions and shampoos and eye shadows is quite easy really.
When thinking of my clients - and myself - I thought of the four personalities that I encounter or meet or know and want to talk about them here and how it relates to this work. Which one are you?
Never Enough Nadine
Everyone Else is First Evelyn
Practically Perfect Patty
Susie Someday has a bathroom full of products - that she never uses. Someday Susie will use these items. Someday she will make that effort. Someday Susie will be someone else and will look in the mirror and like what she shes. Susie has invested in a ton of products find that person but she never uses them. But, she keeps buying or accepting.
Never Enough Nadine also has a bathroom full of products. The difference is she actually uses them. She uses product after product that she reads about or her hair dresser suggests or her friends rave about because all of those people - in her mind - have it better than she does. Their hair, their skin, their lives. She purchases and purchases and uses and the end result is the same. She wants to like what she sees but cannot. Maybe, just maybe, there is that perfect fix.
Everyone Else Evelyn needs some of what Susie and Nadine have in their cabinets! Instead of investing in herself, she puts everyone else first. Her kids, her husband, her friends, her clients, the pets, her parents. She needs some skincare, a new lipstick and that perfect shampoo but she is so busy tending to everyone else, that her own real needs fall behind.
Then, there is Practically Perfect Patty. Maybe you don't fall into the above categories. Your self-care is on track, you neither hoard toiletries nor sacrifice yourself. I know a couple of these women. Not many, but a few. I envy them. They are very balanced and understand their needs. But, guess what. For the ones I know it came through tragedy or pain. Maybe they are divorced, lost a child or have a medical condition that makes them approach their bath habits in the best way possible. For some, maybe tragedy is not part of their story and they just are one of those folks who were born under the right star, made great choices and are living life the way it was meant to be lived or they've lived long enough to figure it out. I don't mind saying I want to be Practically Perfect Patty. I want that balance, that self-care. But, I'm not. Not YET.
Today, I am Evelyn. This challenge for me is about peeling away those layers and shining a light on the places where I excel and those where I fail - for myself. In this challenge my own challenge - is to stop giving it all and keep some for myself.
What about you? Do you see yourself in any of these profiles? If so, what can you do to change it today? Look in your bathroom. At the counters. In the drawers. Under the sink. In the linen closet. Identify yourself and begin the process of finding balance.
Now, the task:
1. Identify yourself in the profiles
2. Take a serious look at your bathroom(s). Open the drawers and cabinets.
3. Begin to purge. Let go of the samples that you will NEVER use, the half-empty bottles of items you hate, that horrible eye-shadow that is out of style or a mistake. I know you hate to throw away things, but in this case, do it or donate it.
4. Make decisions about what you really use and if you find that you are Evelyn and truly lacking, come up with a plan to get what you need.
5. Strive for balance. Be like Patty. It's not about perfection for others. It's about loving yourself enough to put your needs first.
I have included two images in this post. The first is from my client's stash and the second is from Room in the Inn where we donated the items so that homeless folks in our community will have some really great stuff to use in the shower!
Now, get to gettin' and as always, let me know how it's going.
Here's to self-love,
I’m Dana Croy and I am a modern day mama. Balancing family and work is not always easy (not to mention a little self-care). Though being Mama to two fantastic kiddos is a huge part of my life, that was not always the case. I wear many other hats and invite to sit down and find harmony with me.