Facing an avalanche of shampoo bottles and old razors? “Decluttering is so important. It means you don't have to find storage for items you don't need,” says professional organiser Amy Revell (artofdecluttering.com.au). “Start with out of date items. If it's older than 12 months you shouldn't be putting it on your face or body, so throw it out.”
“Nothing looks worse than old, mouldy or discoloured silicone,” says Kibira Sattieva, household expert at Selleys. Following her advice, use a sharp knife to cut away the old silicone, then apply Selleys Silicone Remover on the surface. “Wait two hours, then use a scraper to remove the softened silicone,” she says. “Clean the surface with turps, spray with Selleys Rapid Mould Killer and apply a new wet area silicone sealant, following the instructions. Using the right sealant will help stop mouldy spots returning.”
When the fatty acids in soap interact with the mineral ions in hard water, you end up with soap scum, which needs more than your average multipurpose spray to remove. The secret is bicarb (bicarbonate of soda), which you can either sprinkle on a damp cloth or, for tougher scum build-up, mix with white vinegar and apply as a paste. Let it sit on the stain and then scrub – the acidity in the vinegar will help to break down the scum.
Keeping grout looking fresh maintains your bathroom's good looks. Choose a grout cleaner that not only covers and whitens stains but also contains fungicide to help prevent mould re-growth, like Selleys 3-in-1 grout stain whitener. If your grout is beyond redemption, replacing it entirely is an achievable, if laborious, D.I.Y. job. Apply a good quality grout sealer afterwards, or choose an easy-clean epoxy grout, to make it less effort to maintain in the long run.
You don't need masses of storage to keep your bathroom tidy. “Try using a cutlery caddy to store the products you use every day, like skincare and make-up staples,” says Make It Yours style creator and blogger Steph Pase (justanothermummyblog.com).
For everything else, she recommends clearly labelled tubs in the bathroom cupboard. “I label ours: ‘hair', ‘body', ‘face' and ‘bath', but do what works for you,” she says.
Anticipate your guests' needs by stocking your bathroom with extra toilet paper, air freshener, handwash (ideally without fragrance for sensitive skin) and plenty of soft hand towels.
Wicker baskets are great for storing loo roll and extra towels, and you can use shallow dishes to display candles and soap close to the sink for easy access. For the finishing touch, add a hardy indoor plant that likes humidity, such as a Boston fern or a spider plant.