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As the calendar flips to January, we all seem to get the insatiable urge to de-clutter, organize and beautify each and every space in our house! While there is truly nothing magical about the month of January, the fresh start of the new year is the perfect time to tackle projects that didn’t get finished the year before. While some people take on large makeovers, I like to complete small, nagging projects — those that don’t require a ton of effort or money but make a huge difference in our daily lives! My first mission this new year was to de-clutter, sort and freshen up our cleaning supplies!

With any organization project I take on, I follow five basic steps:

  1. Take inventory and purge
  2. Sort and categorize
  3. Corral
  4. Beautify
  5. Find a home

Let me show you this process in action as I tackle our cleaning supply collection that had grown out of control over the past few years!

Step 1: Take Inventory and Purge

Start by pulling out all your cleaning supplies from around the house. I had them all over: all the bathrooms, the kitchen, the laundry room and the garage! I was surprised to see how much I had, including several empty bottles, duplicates and products I no longer used or needed! After pulling everything together, I discarded anything that was old, empty or no longer needed, then turned my attention to what remained.

Step 2: Sort and Categorize

With all the cleaning supplies purged, it’s time to organize them into sensible categories. Here, you need to do a little thinking about what kind of system makes the most sense for you and your family. While you can certainly put all your floor cleaners together, all the wipes together, etc., I prefer to categorize cleaning items by where and how I use them. Cleaning supplies are best and most used when they are easily accessible, so here is how I sorted mine:

  • Laundry or stain-related supplies
  • Sponges, rags and brushes
  • Most often used and needed supplies
  • Extra, specialty and rarely used supplies

Step 3: Corral

One of my absolute favorite organization strategies is to corral small or like items into bins, baskets and containers. Not only does this strategy keep disorderly items together, but it creates a “home” for items when you are done with them, making it always easy to find what you’re looking for when it’s cleaning day.

My laundry items were tucked into an old wooden toolbox that was painted to match my décor:

My rags, brushes and sponges were loaded into a decorative storage box …

… and all of our frequently-used items were put into a quick-access, easy-carry caddy!

All of our extra and backup supplies were tucked into a bin and put on our storage shelves.

Step 4: Beautify

Organization systems are always more enjoyable and easier to stick with if they are fun and pretty to look at! In addition to using decorative boxes and caddies, you can add pretty papers, vinyl stickers, labels and paints to give your containers some style! I need my cleaning supply caddies to be hardworking and durable, so I used vinyl decals and words in various ways to amp up their personality. Now they are fun to look at as well as easy to use!

Step 5: Find a Home

The final step is to put your newly sorted, purged, corralled and beautified items away! Especially with cleaning supplies, you should put them in places that are easy to access and close to where you will use them.

Laundry items were placed on the folding counter right next to our washing machines:

The box of sponges and brushes, as well as the cleaning caddy, were placed in the most central (and logical!) place in our house: under the kitchen sink. Now everything we need and use regularly is easy to find and right at our fingertips!

The concept of putting items you use frequently in logical and accessible places should also extend to your brooms, mops and vacuums in order to make cleaning as quick, easy and painless as possible!

When is the last time you took inventory of your cleaning supplies? Do you have them spread around the house or all crammed under the sink? Do you have more empty bottles than full ones? Follow these quick and easy steps to getting your cleaning supplies (or any area of your home!) clean and tidy in the new year. If you need more organizational inspiration or ideas, check out the innumerable resources on ForRent.com here!

About :

Hi, I'm Megan...wife to a U.S. Marine and mom to a high-energy baby boy! We are a military family, moving into our 5th home in 8 years! I started this blog as a way to chronicle the various "homes I have made" over the years, as well as to be a resource for ideas, tips, and tricks for making any temporary space a cute, cozy and comfortable home! I hope you'll stay a minute, take a look around, introduce yourself, and hopefully...find something you like! Have a great day!

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