Fabulous 15 Minute Organizing Fix: Organize Cleaning Supplies

posted by Jennifer McClure on October 4, 2013 12 Comments

Fabulous 15 Minute Organizing Fixes: a blog series from simplify 101

For our Fabulous 15 Minute Organizing Fix this week, let’s clean up our cleaners. We use cleaning products and supplies so frequently, which is why spending a few minutes to declutter and organize can make a huge difference. Think of how much time you’ll save by not sifting through cleaning cloths and spray bottles!

Purge and sort.

declutter cleaning suppliesIf you have supplies that you don’t like or simply do not use, now is the time to let go. Same applies to cleaning cloths, scrub brushes, and other cleaning tools. Pare down to what you actually use and let the rest go.

In our home, I had several bottles of cleaners that were actually left by the former owners. I never quite knew what to do with these perfectly good, nearly full bottles of products I simply do not use. Until now! I offered them up for free on a local Facebook swap and sell page, and they had a new home within a few hours. Hooray!

Choose your location.

Decide where to store your cleaning supplies. They may be fine right where they are, or you might consider a change. Do you like your cleaning supplies in one central location or kept close to where you use them?

Maybe you are like me and take a hybrid approach to this. I keep kitchen cleaning products under the sink, but otherwise I prefer things to be centrally located. The laundry room is the ideal location in our home, except for one problem. The laundry room is more of a tiny closet with barely enough space to turn around. I have struggled with how to store cleaning supplies or anything else here for four years! (But, that’s a blog post for later.)

Decide how.

Decide how to store your cleaners. You might corral them in containers or totes, place them on an open shelf, or need to keep them up high or locked away from children.

messy cleaning suppliesI kept mine in large totes for years, which used to make sense when we did all our cleaning on one day. But, that’s not how we clean anymore, and there are more reasons why the totes don’t make sense. They don’t fit very nicely on the shelf where they were kept. The shelf was too high for me to access or put away items without getting the totes down, which resulted in constant disorganization. I don’t actually need all those products as I clean. And most importantly, my children could not reach this high shelf or carry the heavy totes.

Put it all together.

Finally, reassemble your cleaning supplies in their new home(s). Then, stand back and “ahhh” a while. Whether you make big changes or tiny tweaks, it’s still a good feeling to have this project done!

Shoe organizers keep cleaning supplies tidy, plus save space!

For me, the change was big. I pulled an over-the-door shoe organizer from my container station, put it on the back of the laundry room door, and now supplies are easy for anyone in my family to reach and put away! I absolutely love this new system, except for just one thing. There’s not an easy way to transport bathroom cleaning supplies, and I don’t want (or have the space) to keep supplies in each bathroom.

I need something that could be folded down for storage since there is no place near the cleaning supplies to store a regular tote, not even a small one. It also needs to be large enough to carry several bottles of cleaner, cleaning clothes and scrub brushes. I thought the solution would come to me in time, but it hasn’t.

Do you have suggestions for me? What do you use to transport cleaning supplies in your home? Also, just out of curiosity, do you store supplies in a central location or close to where you use them? 

Happy Organizing!

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  • October 4, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    I love the idea of the tidy for supplies ~ makes it easy to see everything. Sadly mine are all over the place:

    * I have a central wicker basket with regular cleaning for use in all rooms
    * a container full of rarely used supplies like silver polish and spares of everyday items
    * kitchen things under the kitchen sink which are hard to see as they are all behind each other
    * bathroom cleaners in each bathroom so can do a quick spruce up before visitors or on the fly.

    I’m in the process of reducing how many cleaners I use by swapping to e-cloths for dusting, glass polishing, kitchen and bathroom.

    October 8, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Thanks, Hannah! It actually sounds like having them close to where you use them is what works better for you. Do you have room for a small bin under your kitchen sink? Just thinking you might be able to find what you need if you could slide the bin out. Have a great week!

    • October 4, 2013 at 6:17 pm

      I keep supplies for downstairs under the sink in the kitchen except for the bathroom/laundry room downstairs has supplies under the sink for that area. Upstairs we keep the cleaning supplies in a basket on a shelf in the hallway closet. We buy 2-3 of the same items for each are but it works most of the time. :)

      October 8, 2013 at 1:36 pm

      Sounds like you have a great system for your supplies, Rachelle. Thanks for commenting!

      • October 4, 2013 at 7:34 pm

        I have central station for cleaning supplies. Its easy to access so I have the right tools when I need them. Great post about all the options!

        October 8, 2013 at 1:37 pm

        Hi, Ellen. Thanks so much for stopping by!

        • October 5, 2013 at 6:28 am

          I’m not sure whose bright idea it was to put cabinets with 3 shelves over the washer and dryer. I’d have to climb on the washer/dryer to reach anything!

          If it were up to me, cleaning supplies would be in the area used (no small children around). But my DiL cleans my house, so I let her decide. :)

          October 8, 2013 at 1:38 pm

          I had the same problem with laundry room shelves, Alice. It really only made sense in theory. ;-) That is wonderful about your DIL. You’re a lucky lady!

          • October 7, 2013 at 3:45 am

            Organization and planning: nothing beats these two aspects whether it is on cleaning or other tasks.

            • October 11, 2013 at 8:23 am

              Thanks Jenifer, I bought one big box, and I’ve reassembled all my cleaning supplies in. And I keep it in the laundry room :^)

              • January 4, 2014 at 7:39 pm

                Possibly a smaller shoe organizer (or one cut in half) mounted to a hanger would do the trick.

                When not in use and empty, it could hang behind your regular organizer. Need to use it? Simply pull out, loaded the needed supplies/tools, take to bathroom, hang from towel rack/shower rod, and voila!

                Hope that helps!

                January 16, 2014 at 12:17 pm

                Oooo, very good suggestion, Sheila. Thank you! :)