Reviewing cleaning supplies + storage tips
We are on to the last of the home declutter train – cleaning out the cleaning supplies. If you missed last week simply click here to find out easy it is to declutter your kitchen. Did you know on average a family spends approximately $600 annually on cleaning products? I couldn’t believe the fact from The Nest either. Worse, this money is spent on one-time-use products. Ouch!
Not likely an area you’d consider needing decluttering, am I right? Since it doesn’t need to be top of mind, we keep far more products that we haven’t used in so long, that they don’t even work or have crusted shut.
This can easily be knocked out in less than 20 minutes.
Trends change for everything in life, in cleaning supplies as well. Sadly, as we age, so do our cleaning habits. For instance,
- I don’t dust weekly as I used to have time for before 3 kids.
- You may use oven cleaner now if cooking more often.
- If you have kids, having gadgets readily available to suck up their messes around the table, something to remove fingerprints, and yes even licks on the window glass. WTF?
Reviewing cleaning supplies
Gather up all your cleaning supplies from all their kept places and sprawl them on the floor so you can see each product name and know what its purpose is (works best without kids or pets). Now rummage through and pluck out your “must-have” keepers that you use WEEKLY.
I’m not judging if you actually clean your entire house each week. You need to ask yourself this to identifying your go-to items.
If you vacuum every day (you are holy if able to do this) – then keep the vac obviously. If you clean the bathroom with 1 bottle every time, keep that product too. Do this until you have a pile reserved back that you could live on to do every job – that you regularly tackle in your home.
*If you are blessed with a house cleaner – you might want to do this with them around or consult what products they are using in your home.
What’s left behind
Examine what you have kept that isn’t a “hell yes I use that” product. If you have bottles that spray something that you have no clue what it is, what it does or where it came from they can all be tossed. This happened to me as I did the same exercise. You will find foreign objects that might be so corroded that it doesn’t have a label. Let’s just say this, get those bombs out of your house ASAP.
- Do you have products that you know without a doubt you could use within the next year?
- Are there products you have multiples? Ditch the half-empty bottles and keep the full ones IF YOU WILL USE THEM.
It makes sense to store the everyday products easy to access. Put them under the kitchen or bathroom sink. The rest of the cleaning supplies could go up on a shelf in a broom closet or laundry cupboard. Those not commonly used items should be able to be found when needed, but not take up valuable real estate elsewhere.
For safety keep the Goo-be goner’s up high – if you don’t own something to this nature go buy a little bottle of magic for when you have kids that may leave a sticker on clothing that goes through the wash or has an interest in making slime. Trust me here.
If you use safe products, storing them is simple as it doesn’t matter where they are. Put them under the kitchen sink for easy access. Put them someplace the kids can get to them and help you clean. RIGHT?
Again, if you have small kiddos or pets I strongly hope you are mindful and safely store toxic cleaning products like bleach, oven cleaners, carpet cleaners, glue repair (to me, shoe glue is better than duct tape), goo removers, etc. in a locked place or up high where kiddos are unable to reach.
Safe everyday products to use around your family
I’m not going to preach here, but I’m going to preach here. If you are cleaning with something so toxic it makes you choke up and that you alert your family to evacuate – DO NOT USE THIS STUFF! An oven cleaner is one thing. When I was a kid, shower sprays literally made me gag when I cleaned my neighbor’s houses when I was in growing up. I was willing to work to earn a buck, but at what expense? I don’t know what it is about those “magic scrubbers” in a can but when fired in a confined place – woofta. Not safe to inhale.
Do these products work so well that we have no other choice? NO. There are so many alternatives these days we should not be compromising our health or loved ones (yes, pets included) with toxins and sticky residue that is left behind after use.
In the flooring department, I’m going to call this one out by name as it was my tried and true standby before I knew. Swiffers. Gaassssp! Yes, they are handy as hell, clean up floors in a jiffy. They are terrible lady! For your pets and your babies. The chemical-filled Swiffer cloths similar to dryer sheets and are electrostatic cloths. They will not decompose in a landfill and if you recall, dryer sheets keep mice away and mice eat anything and everything. If that doesn’t tell you enough, then you stick to your ways.
Ever notice after using the wet pads how your floor feels sticky? The EWG has a review of them.
Their findings concluded with moderate concern for asthma/respiratory and environmental. Some concern to skin allergies and irritation, developmental and reproductive AND to cancer. The list of ingredients is listed out in the attached report. I can’t pronounce many of them, which is my first concern. How bad do we want a clean floor?
There is a safer option
Norwex has a better offer and allows you to clean quicker. I fell in love with the floor mop, so sad but true. It is as simple as a Swiffer and I don’t even need to buy replacement cloth’s every time I get groceries – the mop pads are reusable! Get.out.of.town you say? All you do is get the mop pad wet with warm to hot water, attach the Velcro mop base and away ya go. After I’m finished I can rise it out and toss in the wash with jeans and I’m set for the next time! I’ve owned mine for over 8 years so it’s more than paid for itself.
Think water and a reusable mop pad can’t clean as well? Norwex technology is all about microfiber. What is that? It’s a safe way to clean and better, makes things quicker. Some cloths have Baclock is a silver-based antibacterial technology. That is why you only need a Norwex cloth + water.
Does your house not seem clean unless it smells like orange peel or lemon zest? Use an essential oil diffuser or Scentsy and you’ll be fine. Me personally, it was the smell of cleaning products that I couldn’t stand the most. Unless you go clean sheets on me – that’s a fav scent that I seek out with Scentsy.
Clean quick, clean cheaper
I can clean my bathroom in minutes while my kiddos are in the bath. I only need 2 cloths, bathroom cleaner and a toilet brush. No glass cleaner, no paper towels. I save a lot of money with these reusable Norwex microfiber cloths and window cloth. Once I clean the mirrors, light switches, door handles (yes, its that time of year my kids are bringing home more germs from school), and counters of each bathroom, I can wipe down the toilets with them and toss them in the wash for next time. Pretty slick.
I hope you have found these cleaning supplies phase of the declutter to be pretty self-explanatory and that you consider what products you are using to keep your home tidy. You don’t have to buy Norwex, but you should be mindful of what you use. There are tons of products out there to choose, choose wisely.
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