Sometimes it's the little things in life that are the most difficult to get under control. In many households, toiletry items fall into this category. If you're like most people, you probably have an extensive collection of toiletry items, personal care products, and even medications. Although you undoubtedly use a lot of these items, it's also likely that there are some you never use. In fact, if you're truthful with yourself, there are probably a lot of these products that you'd never even dare to use because they are so woefully outdated and past their expiration date. If your toiletry items and personal care products are getting the best of you, here are a few organizational tips you can use to get them under better control.

Assessing Your Toiletry Collection

A careful and complete assessment of your toiletry items is the first step towards getting them organized and under control. After all, if you're not aware of every item that you own, it can be very difficult to develop an organizational strategy designed to handle them appropriately. In most cases, you'll find it easier to simply remove your items from their drawers and cabinets, placing them all in a cardboard box or plastic bin. For example, if you want to organize your bathroom toiletry items, remove everything from your vanity, medicine cabinet, shelves and closets. Although you might be tempted to clean and organize one area at a time, this is rarely the most efficient method. Once you get all the items gathered together in one box, you might find that you actually own duplicates of many items. It can be helpful to sort similar items together during this step.

Once the items are sorted, go through them carefully. Pay special attention to expiration dates. If you have any medications or personal care products that are past their expiration date, discard them. If you find items that are still good but that you never use, see if you can find a friend or family member who might be able to put them to good use. In the case of new and unopened products, you could even donate them to your local charity or women's shelter. If you find containers that only contain small amounts of products that you use, keep them separate so that you can use them up quickly.

It can also be helpful to decide if you really need all the various products that you own. For example, is it really worthwhile to use separate shampoos and conditioners when there are conditioning shampoos available? Do you really use your loofah sponge, and when was the last time you actually buffed your nails? If you're not using these items, get rid of them - they are simply taking up valuable space.

Develop an Effective Organizational Strategy

Once you've sorted your toiletry item collection and are left with only those you actually use and need, it's time to put them back into their drawers and cabinets. Before doing so, think about how you actually use these items. Try to store each item as close as possible to where you actually use it. For example, bath products are best stored close to the bathtub, while cosmetics belong close to the vanity mirror. By storing items in this fashion, you'll reduce the number of steps it takes to get ready in the morning, thus saving time, energy and stress.

Author's Bio: senior staff writer, Maya Willis, specializes in designing with rustic Western wall art and turtle metal wall hanging.