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6 Tips To Get Your Collection of Cleaning Supplies Under Control

One thing we all have too much of (especially post-pandemic) are cleaning supplies. Whether you store yours under a kitchen sink, in the bathroom, in a closet—or all of the above—we’re here to help you get those unruly cleaning supplies in order.

In this installment of “Decluttering for Dummies,” we’ve got all the details from the organizing experts on how to get your collection of cleaning supplies under control.

Here are six top tips to help you clean up your act when it comes to cleaning supplies.

1. Toss what you don’t use

If your tendencies toward hoarding are anything like ours, chances are you accumulated one too many bottles of (fill in the blank) this past winter. Now’s the time to purge your collection of cleaning supplies you really don’t need.

“Like every other space, the first step is to take everything out and take inventory of what’s currently collecting cobwebs under your sink,” says Katy Winter of Katy’s Organized Home. “Just as you would get rid of a dress you haven’t worn in years, it’s time to let go of cleaning products that you haven’t used for a long time.”

2. Consolidate your cleaning products

In addition to ditching the stuff you no longer use, you’ll also want to consider consolidating products that are redundant. (To clarify: We don’t mean conducting a science experiment and combining all your cleaning supplies into one bottle—this can actually be deadly if you’re not careful.)

So while you have your cleaning supplies out, group them into categories. Then make sure you don’t have multiples in any category.

Another way to consolidate is by investing in an all-purpose cleaner you really like.

“You don’t need a different product for every job,” says Winter. “The simplest way is to have an all-purpose concentrated cleaner, which can be diluted as needed.”

Find a local store that refills plastic bottles of all-purpose cleaner (we like Refillery, Dropps, and Blueland), or even try making your own.

3. Safely dispose of the supplies you don’t need

With your cleaning supplies separated into the piles you plan to keep and the ones to throw away, it’s time to be sure you’re getting rid of all those unwanted extras responsibly. One way to do this is by checking to see if any local organizations are accepting donations of cleaning supplies.

“Contact homeless or animal shelters, schools, or other benevolent organizations,” suggests home organization expert Sherri Curley, of The Practical Sort. “Advertising on neighborhood exchange websites such as Nextdoor or Buy Nothing groups are outlets for unwanted or unneeded items. The pandemic has changed acceptance protocols, so always contact the organization before heading out.”

Just be sure that whatever you’re donating doesn’t fall into a category of household hazardous waste, which includes items like drain cleaners, pesticides, and certain chemical cleaners. If your unwanted items do fall into one of those categories, find your local HHW location to dispose of them safely.

4. Organize room by room

Now that you’ve weeded out all of your unwanted cleaning items, it’s time to start organizing what’s left.

Unless you prefer to keep all cleaning items in one place, organizing room by room is a helpful solution to ensure that everything is in the place where you’re most likely to use it—e.g., toilet bowl cleaner in the bathroom, stainless-steel appliance cleaner in the kitchen, etc.

With your collection pared down, you’ll want to get in the habit of putting things away after each use, and continuing to store them with like-products.

5. Invest in a cleaning caddy

No matter where you store your cleaning items, you can almost always benefit from a bit of extra organization.

“Using a cleaning caddy is a great way to keep all the supplies organized in one location,” says Marie Jackson of Organized Marie. “It minimizes confusion and lets you know when you need to restock an item versus going to each area to see what’s there.”

6. Remember: Less is more

As you begin to purge your collection of cleaning supplies and get things organized, it helps to keep one little clean-home mantra in your head: Less is more.

“With less cleaning supplies, you’ll have more storage space and more money in your wallet,” says Curley. “You’ll also have a healthier home environment.”

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