Declutter and Detox Your Cleaning Products
Whether you like cleaning or not is most definitely personal preference - I know some people who despise it and some that do it more out of love than necessity. I'm a bit in the middle - it depends on what mood I'm in! But, you can't help but love the feeling of a clean home.
Since starting my journey into a simpler way of living, I have eliminated so many cleaning products that I realised I didn't need to use or spend money on. By clearing the excess and clutter, I have also been able to keep the cupboard under the kitchen sink looking clean and tidy with very little maintenance needed.
This home edit is to look over your cleaning supplies.
However you feel about cleaning, keeping your products simple and organised makes it that much easier - not only for you but for everyone else in the home so that they can help with the cleaning.
The cupboard under the kitchen sink is usually where we store our cleaning products (what else would you want to keep under there?!). It is often the most neglected space in the kitchen and can get messy very quickly.
Cluttered with cleaning supplies - and an assortment of items you're afraid to store elsewhere.
DECLUTTER + simplify
Under the sink organisation begins with taking everything out.
If you have cleaning products in more than one place, go around your home and gather them all together so that you can see what you have. From under the kitchen sink, utility, bathrooms, garage, bedroom... I have seen cleaning products kept all over clients homes!
Start grouping items into' like' categories as you're pulling it all out and bringing it all together.
Whilst the cupboard is empty, give it a good clean out. It can also be helpful to measure the space at this point, too - just in case you want to invest in any new storage products.
Then go through each of your categories - and be ruthless!
It's so easy to get drawn into buying products that promise life-changing cleaning miracles or to become enticed by 'special offers'. The products rarely end up being life-changing, or there are yet more 'special' offers the next time you go shopping. So we end up with a cupboard/s full of half-used sprays and bottles because we feel bad about getting rid of them (and because we'll always need cleaning products - right?). But, in reality, the excess products clutter our space and minds unnecessarily.
Today is the day to clear them out.
How many products are old, have been forgotten about and can be thrown away? Get rid of anything old, leaky or past its best.
How many multiples of the same product do you have? If you have lots of multiplies that you genuinely use and get through - keep them, but make sure you don't buy any more until you have reduced your stock. Store the excess elsewhere if you can and use them up one by one. Store the half-used bottles at the front of the cupboard and use these up first.
Note: I wouldn't recommend mixing products to consolidate half-used multiples unless they are the same products (or natural) - mixing chemicals can be dangerous.
Beyond looking horrible, old worn-out sponges are a breeding ground for germs - they need to go.
Think about the surfaces you have in your home - walk around and write a list of the products you need. What types of surfaces do you have? What products do you need? It's about you and your home, not what the advertisers and supermarkets tell you you need.
Be realistic about how you clean your home. Are you likely to use multiple products in each room, or in reality, will it be a simple once over each week with one or two products? And if you do want to deep clean, would you need more products to do that?
Try and pare down to the essentials - you don't need 20 different bottles to clean your home - you can do it with just a handful.
Here are the products that you will find under my sink;
What to do with unwanted cleaning products
If you have any new and unused products that you won't use - offer them to friends, family or on local gifting/free sites. Local food banks often accept new cleaning products too.
If you have products past their best and beyond giving away, make sure that you dispose of them safely. Always check the label for advice. Products identified as hazardous should be taken to your local household recycling centre for safe disposal. Most empty, rinsed bottles and containers can be put in your household recycling bins, but check your local guidelines first.
HOW TO ORGANISE UNDER YOUR SINK
Setting up a good organisational system will save you so much time and money in the long run.
The goal for the next step is to make sure that everything you're keeping has a dedicated space to live.
Your 'like' items should be placed together. You can organise your products by category type or room - whatever works best for you, how you clean, how many products you have, and the space you have to store them.
Grouping items together makes it much easier to grab what you need in one go - you could even invest in a caddy for your most-used products (see below).
Some people prefer to keep their bathroom cleaning products in the bathroom. It's entirely up to you. Personally, I'm not fond of cleaning products all over the house. I prefer to keep them all together under the sink in the kitchen, so I can see what I have. As they are organised, they are easy to access when I need to clean my bathroom.
Do you have cleaning products all over the house to make cleaning easier, or do you prefer them organised in one place together?
CREATE A CLEANING CADDY
I put all the items that I regularly use around the house together in a caddy. It makes it easy to carry around to each room, and saves time not running back and forth for different cleaning products.
I love this one from www.gardentrading.co.uk; they also have some lovely bits for your utility space.
STORAGE FOR UNDER THE SINK
The fewer cleaning products you buy, the less space and products you need to store and organise them. Buying less is always better than organising more.
Storage products aren't always essential, but they help to create structure in a space, helping to keep it organised.
The space under your kitchen sink can be a challenge to organise - the bulky pipes don't leave much space to work with, and no plumbing is ever the same, so you have to get creative with your own configuration. It may feel like putting together a puzzle at first, so measuring before purchasing is highly recommended!
It doesn't have to be perfect and most probably won't look as glamourous and some of the social media posts you may see. It's more about creating a practical, functional space and utilising all available space to make it easier to find what you need.
Whatever storage and containers you choose, make sure that they are waterproof and easy to clean.
Whilst it is important to avoid plastic wherever possible, plastic and acrylic containers work best in this space. Unfortunately, with moisture often present, more sustainable products such as wood and metal products don't tolerate dampness and drips so well.
In small, dark spaces, clear containers will make items easier to see. Containers with built-in handles make them much easier to pull out - little details, but they make a difference.
Throwing away unnecessary packaging and decanting items - such as dishwasher tablets - into clear, labelled containers looks much more cohesive, saves spaces and makes it much easier to see what you have. Meaning you are likely to be more intentional about what you buy.
Consider using cupboard doors to hold brushes, rubber gloves and clothes, and other frequently used small items for easy access. Add self-adhesive Command Hooks or an over the door basket to create additional storage. Just make sure there is enough space for the doors to shut!
Label what you can. Once organised, label your containers or space where possible so that you - and everyone else in the home - know precisely where items live. The space will have a much better chance of staying organised.
If there are small children in the home, you must ensure that toxic cleaning products are kept safely out of their reach. Put a safety catch on cupboard doors to prevent any accidents.
MY FAVOURITE STORAGE PRODUCTS FOR UNDER THE SINK
Expandable Under the Sink Organiser Shelves are designed to fit around the pipes and are great for creating additional storage if you don't have a fitted shelf.
iDesign produces a really good quality range of clear acrylic drawers, turntables and containers. Their modular pieces make it easy to make the best use of all available space. They are expensive, so definitely investment pieces - but they do last longer than the cheaper alternatives found in large home stores. You can buy iDesign products from Amazon, John Lewis and Homesense/TK Maxx.
I love that the bamboo handle of the RISATORP basket makes it easy to create to grab. You can use either to contain categories or create an easy to grab cleaning kit. You could have one specifically for your bathroom or other areas of your home.
If you have built-in shelves, it's always a good idea to add a waterproof shelf liner to protect them from leaks.
MAINTAINING A CLUTTER-FREE SPACe
Stick to a one-out-one-in policy. Keep one product that you are using and one spare. When you use up your current product and start on your spare, add another to your shopping list -or better still, make your own!
Once you find a product/s you like - stick to them. Trying out all sorts of new products is a sure-fire way to clutter up with cupboards with products.
Keep your products simple - stick to a few multi-purpose products.
Try not to get tempted by multi/bulk-buy offers - especially if you don't have sufficient space to store all the back stock.
To cut down on cleaning product waste, use solutions that can be refilled or purchase concentrated products and add water.
DETOX YOUR CLEANING PRODUCTS
Using chemical-free products is better for your health, home and environment. They may be a little more expensive but, for me, my family health is worth that little extra cost.
My favourite 'off the shelf' chemical-free cleaning products are from Method and Ecover, but many supermarkets are now doing their own range of eco-friendly products.
You can also purchase refillable brands online. Most of these companies offer a starter kit of the basics, followed by re-useable refills that come directly to you in the post. Better for your budget and the environment.
I use the Multi-Surface and Bathroom sprays from Spruce.
Create an essential cleaning kit of your favourite regularly used, multi-purpose items. Keep them together in a cleaning caddy so they are easy to grab when it's time to clean.
Try and reduce spending on cleaning products. Make do with what you have, and you will find that you actually need a lot less than you think to keep your home clean. Be selective about the products you are buying; stick to a few multipurpose products.
Have a one-out-one-in policy for buying products. I always have 2 of each of my favourites - one in use and one spare for when the other runs out. When my current one runs out, I grab my spare and add another to the shopping list.
Go for natural, eco-friendly cleaning products whenever you can. They may be a bit more expensive, but they are much better for your health and the environment. Better still, make your own products!
Create structure in your cupboards - organise 'like' items together and add storage, if needed, to keep everything organised and tidy.
What cleaning products could you not live without?