Go take a look at your cleaning supplies. Do you have to walk all around the house to find them? Are they under sinks in bathrooms and the kitchen, in the laundry room, linen closet, and other places? Now go find all your medicine. Is that scattered all around the house, too?
Let me tell you what happens at my house. I tell my kids to go clean a bathroom. First they whine and complain and try to talk me out of it. Then they go to the bathroom, but there are no cleaning supplies under the sink, because the last person who cleaned a bathroom took them to another bathroom. Then I am enlisted to help this child find the cleaning supplies by going from bathroom to bathroom, looking under sinks and next to toilets, finding the Windex here, the toilet cleaner there. And let’s not forget about the rags, (which I did forget), and now have to go downstairs to find. This is exhausting! There is a better way, my friends.
As with everything in the KonMari system, we need to start with discarding first. In this category of “household supplies,” I am including the following:
- Cleaning supplies
- Laundry supplies
- Bathroom supplies (like toilet paper, toothbrushes, and feminine articles)
- Baby supplies
There may be other things you can think of. If so, go ahead and tackle those as well.
In The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, the author (and inventor of the KonMari method) instructs us to gather all the items in the same category together. So pick a spot to gather all your cleaning supplies together. This could be in the laundry room or on the kitchen floor, or wherever else you will have room. (Yes, you do actually have to go around your whole house and get all the stuff out from under the sinks).
Once you have everything together, take each item in your hand and consider how you feel about it. This whole challenge is based on what brings us joy, and I know it’s strange to think that cleaning supplies could bring you joy. But aren’t there some that you love because they work so well, and others that are just frustrating to use? If you pick something up and think, “Yes, I love this. It is awesome for cleaning tile,” then keep it. If you pick something up and say, “I hate this stuff. It never works,” then get rid of it. (Please be sure to dispose of cleaning supplies responsibly!) If you are reluctant to throw something out because you don’t want to waste money, or because you think you’ll need it someday, now is the time to banish that mentality. Most cleaning supplies are quite inexpensive, and if you throw something out and then end up needing it later, you can easily get some more. But chances are, you will never miss it.
Do the same thing for all the categories above. Gather everything into one place and decide what to keep and what to get rid of.
After discarding, you must decide where to store everything. This is the SUPER IMPORTANT part that will keep your home from getting cluttered!
Most of my cleaning supplies are in my laundry room, which is the farthest room from everything else in the house. My first inclination is to think, “I don’t want to put ALL my cleaning supplies in there! That’s so far away! It will take so much effort to get stuff from there every time and put it back there every time.” But wait–isn’t that better than walking all over the house looking under every sink on every level to find what I need? Storing everything in one place will actually save me time and effort. Plus, I’ll know exactly where my cleaning supplies are all the time.
Next week’s post: The Kitchen