Just because you spend a lot of time in your bathroom—showering, shaving, putting on makeup, or even catching up on a good book—it doesn’t mean you need to store all your belongings in there.
Not only will that clutter a small space, but it can quicken the demise of certain possessions (best-case scenario) and potentially even mess with your health (worst case scenario).
Here are the unexpected items you need to move out of your bathroom, post haste.
Let’s start with the category you know you should secure away, but probably store in your bathroom cabinets anyway: medications.
While it’s convenient to stash them above your sink, “it’s actually the last place you want to keep them,” says Morgan Statt, a health and safety investigator at ConsumerSafety.org. “High heat and humidity from showers and baths can mess with their effectiveness.” And let’s not even talk about keeping them away from the prying eyes of visitors or the grabby hands of kids.
You’re better off storing any Rx you use in a bedroom nightstand. Temps will be cooler there and, unless you live with SpongeBob, it should be free of moisture. If you have kids around, you may want to keep them in a small lockbox or other secure location. If you’ve been faithfully keeping prescription or OTC meds in your bathroom and notice their texture, smell or appearance has changed, don’t continue to use them—they could make you sick. Contact your doctor instead.
2. Extra razors
Buying razor blades in bulk isn’t a bad idea. Just don’t store the extras in your bathroom. “Shower steam and the build-up of humidity can rust or dull the blades before you even get the chance to use them,” Statt says.
Can’t come up with a better place to store them? At the very least, put them in a tightly sealed plastic bag to try to keep out the moisture.
3. Makeup and makeup brushes
The best lighting to put on your makeup may be in your bathroom, but you really shouldn’t stash your products—or even your brushes—in there.
Thank the usual culprits: Higher temps. Steam. Humidity. All of these “encourage mold growth and make your products expire faster,” Statt says. “Not to mention your makeup brushes will be picking up germs that you then apply right to your face.” Gross.
4. Your toothbrush
OK, this one might be a shocker: “If you store your toothbrush in a holder on your sink, you can put it at risk for bacteria growth,” Statt says.
(Now’s a good time to also mention the aerosol effect of flushing toilets.)