Ask Unclutterer: Can a bathtub be clutter?

Reader Kate S. submitted the following to Ask Unclutterer:

We have a lovely large whirlpool bathtub in our master bath that we never use. When we bought our house last year, it was a nice selling point, but now it just collects dust and goes unused. What should I do with the extra space? Or how can I minimize cleaning something I never use?

Kate, do you live in my house? Do you read minds? Honestly, this is the exact situation in my home. I have a stall shower that is used daily and a large, whirlpool bathtub that only is used when we bathe our cats. It takes a ridiculous amount of time and water to fill the bathtub to reach the whirlpool intake sensor, so we rarely use it.

In my case, I clean the tub immediately after I use it. The other times I just dust it with a dry cloth when I clean the bathroom.

I am at a loss for what to do with your situation otherwise. I hope that our readership chimes in the comments section and gives both of us advice for how to handle the situation. Like you, I feel that the whirlpool tub is clutter, but too expensive to remove (both in replacement cost and home value).

Thank you, Kate S., for submitting your question for our Ask Unclutterer column. My apologies for not having a solution — but I’m sure checking out the comments will help both of us.

Do you have a question relating to organizing, cleaning, home and office projects, productivity, or any problems you think the Unclutterer team could help you solve? To submit your questions to Ask Unclutterer, go to our contact page and type your question in the content field. Please list the subject of your e-mail as “Ask Unclutterer.” If you feel comfortable sharing images of the spaces that trouble you, let us know about them. The more information we have about your specific issue, the better.

59 Comments for “Ask Unclutterer: Can a bathtub be clutter?”

  1. posted by Serena on

    My partner and I added a whirlpool bathtub in our master bathroom, just a year ago, during renovation. We thought we’d use it a lot. Turns out we don’t. But occasionally, we do love to relax in the hot bubbling water, especially in the Winter, especially after workout. When we do use it, we clean it straight afterwards. When we don’t use it, it’s esay to clean, it just needs dusting.
    It is a pity we don’t use it more often. But do we regret having it? Not a chance. I can’t get myself to consider it clutter. It’s just plain wonderful!

  2. posted by Johanna on

    We have a single width extra long whirlpool tub. 2 people do fit cozily, and it doesn´t take too long to fill. After the novelty wore off I used it only about every 2 months.
    Now, I schedule ‘my time’ at least every 2 weeks, more frequently if I can. I find that I’m a nicer person after each luxurious bath with ‘me, myself, and I’.
    If you have a tub, any tub, please take advantage of the healing effects of water, and enjoy.

  3. posted by Kalani on

    Personally, I couldn’t buy anything without a tub deep enough to soak in, but then, I do enjoy baths and I know not everyone does. I like the solutions that don’t require removing the tub altogether; even if most people shower, not having a bath when you want one can be pretty miserable. Interesting comment re: dishwasher; again, in my mind, having a dishwasher is probably one of the most wonderful things. Wouldn’t it be cool if all appliances were even more like furniture, and we could re-arrange them at will? Then you could sell your tub to your neighbors or something.

  4. posted by Eileen/Nana on

    I just saw a great episode on HGTV where the designer cut a piece of plywood to cover the bathtub, then he/she then used spray glue to secure a piece of thick foam the same size on top of the plywood. Then using beautiful fabric they covered it making a wonderful window seat area with pillows. I WANTED ONE!! and I don’t have garden tub!! What a nice place to kick back and read without taking valuable real estate from somewhere else in the house! As a designer myself, I would add a false covered wall hiding the toilet if it is in view at all! (Yuck) I loved this idea because 1) it kept a selling point in place and 2) it repurposed an unused area. Also, adding a 3rd point, it didn’t add a bunch of clutter which is what we are about, right?

  5. posted by Eileen/Nana on

    I just read all the fun ideas. I like the hinge idea…I would put extra towels or out of season clothes (?) in nice covered containers in the tub or sheets and blankets for guests. Who would know but me? Having it hinged means you could easily remove the containers and run the water once a month or sooner and dry the tub overnight. It would be actually very simple to do only once or twice a month. I would also suggest plugging the tub after each cleaning. I really liked the plant idea to hide the faucets with a slick designers touch.If you wanted to go for a little ambiance to your nook you could hang a “candlelabra” from the ceiling and put some shiny vases of different sizes and colors to catch the sparkle from the candles. Use tealights, they are so much safer!

  6. posted by JT on

    Ugh. My parents house has the same issue, and lately while shopping for a new house they always bring up the whirlpool as a point of interest. It is the most annoying thing to have something that has never been used as a selling point. I just don’t get it. If it has no purpose, then how does it appeal to have it as a resell point.

  7. posted by Melanie on

    I think putting a plywood cover on it for storage is a good idea.

    However, I don’t understand padding the top and considering it a good place for you or your child to sit and look out the window or read. Aren’t these bathtub in the bathroom, next to the toilet? Not exactly the most pleasant place to lounge around.

  8. posted by RAM on

    Sewer gases can and do cause explosions and kill.

    Either seal the drain and the overflow or take measures to prevent the trap from drying out before “abandoning” it to another purpose.

    A quart of vegetable oil poured down the drain will not evaporate quickly. (If at all.)

    Master Plumber in TX

  9. posted by Ralph on

    I am remodeling my kids bathroom and I’m considering removing the fiberglass tub and walls and either tileing in a shower or buying a fiberglass shower and doing away with the tub. We will be left with one tub in the house. Will this hurt my home value when it comes time to resale? Should I remodel with a tub or will the shower only be fine?

Comments are closed.