My bathroom


I live in a beautiful space. I smile most times I enter my home. The apartment is located on the second floor of a house that was built more than 220 years ago. Of course there are many features throughout that are more modern, but some of the original details remain intact. It’s easy to see where the building has settled over time and the crooked lines give each room so much character. This place has great bones and shows signs of the many who have loved it before me. The few carefully curated things I’ve chosen to fill it with make it mine for now.

I love my bathroom. I love the old built-in medicine cabinet and the large 12 pane window. It looks out over a small alley and across to the siding of my neighbors’ house. None of their windows are visible from this spot so I don’t have to hang any curtains or blinds and all the natural light that reflects off the pale yellow clapboard floods into the room. My plants love it.


I’ve written a lot about how beautiful food looks when it’s stored in glass or stainless steel. I think the same is true for personal hygiene products. Bulk shampoo, liquid castile soap, baking soda, and package-free bar soap sit on the shelves of my shower. My linen bath towel and hand knitted hemp washcloth hang beside it.


In my medicine cabinet I keep my homemade spray deodorant, bulk carrier oils (sweet almond and grape seed) used as skin moisturizer and hair conditioner/detangler, homemade salve, bulk cornstarch for sockless sneaker wearing, bulk body lotion, an eyelash curler, a terra cotta body buffer, and bar soap. A ceramic dish holds my barrets, bobby pins, new razor blades, and a spool of floss that was once in a paper box dispenser—but the box got a little crushed and ended up as firestarter for the wood stove. The floss is wound around a small plastic spool, which will become landfill waste. The paper and cotton swabs are leftover from before the start of this project. I use them very seldomly because I just use gentle soap and water to clean my outer ears.


A cup of grooming tools (my toothbrush, gum stimulator, safety razor, tweezers, cuticle trimmer, and nail brush) sits on my windowsill next to the jar of baking soda I use to clean my teeth. I use the small stainless steel spoon to scoop a tiny bit onto my compostable toothbrush.

It has taken me some time to pare down the products in my routine to a few package-free essentials that work for my individual skin, hair, nail, tooth and gum care needs. But my space has become very functional and I love my daily rituals.

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8 Responses to My bathroom

  1. Endearing Life February 1, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

    Love the simplicity! So beautiful!

  2. Jeff Helfrich February 1, 2013 at 10:48 pm #

    Love the concept. For those who can’t totally remove packaging from their bathroom, we have developed a trash/recycle can that makes it super easy to be sure ever piece of recyclable waste gets recycled. Check it out and if you think it is a good idea please share some like love on FB at Happy recycling.

  3. sonrie February 1, 2013 at 10:56 pm #

    Thanks for sharing your home so I can better see how you are putting your decision of no trash into practice.

  4. Leah February 8, 2013 at 4:17 am #

    Beautiful bathroom. It’s so inspiring to actually see a room that is truly clean.

  5. Elysia March 22, 2013 at 10:53 pm #

    hey, I was wondering where did you purchased your hemp yarn? I am having a hard time looking for one to make washcloths. it is finally time to get rid of our old plastic loofahs and Im switching as I go :)

    • Colleen March 28, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

      Hi there Elysia! I ended up having to buy the yarn online because I couldn’t find a local source. I purchased mine from an etsy store. I did a search and couldn’t find the same seller, but there are many other sources if you search for hemp yarn or hep twine. Some hemp yarn comes spun around a spool, some of which are plastic while others are cardboard or fiberboard spools, so pay attention to this since it sounds like you are trying to avoid plastic too. Whenever I shop online I make sure to contact the seller and request minimal plastic-free packaging for the shipment of my items. In my experience, small businesses or independent sellers are usually pretty accommodating, especially when I explain that I’m trying not to make any trash. Good luck in your search! Let me know if you have any other questions. I’ve been so happy with my little hemp cloths!

  6. Anna January 24, 2015 at 1:57 am #

    I love the ideas in this post! A lot of the things you mention work very well for me. I do have a quick question about your eyelash curler, does it have rubber/plastic pads? Mine does, and I would be concerned about the trash created by it. Or does yours somehow work without them? Thank you very much!

  7. Eva November 6, 2015 at 2:03 pm #

    Hi Colleen!

    Your lifestyle is so inspiring!!!! I can’t get enough of your blog!!:)
    Even the anti-spam quiz is lovely!hehe

    Greetings from Greece!

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