It’s been a while since I did an organizing project, so I thought I’d tackle one I’ve been dreading – under the kitchen sink. I don’t know about you, but if there is a storage space concealed by a closed door, I use that as permission to cram it full of crap and clutter because I know no one is likely to see it. Case in point:
We also have a sink in our basement, and the under space of that is full of cleaning products too. Look:
I love having a clean house, but really detest the process of cleaning, because all our products are always in a jumble. Our house has three levels to clean (upstairs, downstairs, and basement), so hauling all the bottles and tools up and down the stairs an armload at a time is a total drag. I like to tell myself that I would clean more if the process were more convenient, so I decided to do some decluttering and organizing to find out.
I bought this cleaning caddy at Target for about $10 – it even has a paper towel holder built in. Nifty! Too bad it’s been sitting empty and unused for about a month:
I pulled out all the products from under the kitchen and basement sinks and spread them out on the floor to see what I had.
What did I find? Lots of multiples of most things – as much as I am a sucker for products to beautify my person, I am equally a sucker for products to beautify my home. I won’t bore you with a detailed list of every item, but the gist of what I found included multiple scouring powders, multiple glass/window/bathroom cleaners, multiple carpet cleaners, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, multiple pest control supplies, multiple dusting cloths/sponges, empty spray bottles, oven cleaner (that I’ve probably used exactly once), extra grocery bags, drain cleaner, bleach, our unused city designated compost bucket, and storage bins.
Here are several items I had multiples of, that I’m assuming we bought because the ones we already had were covered up by clutter:
As you can see, one of the scouring brushes still has the tag and plastic on it, though oddly, it looks like it’s been used (I blame Ron). The pink gloves fit me and are the ones I always use – so why I’m keeping the paint spattered ones and the gigantic yellow ones is beyond me. Both yellow gloves got tossed, along with two of the scouring brushes, one of the toothbrushes, and both Swiffer duster holders, since I no longer buy the refill pads for them.
I also found this bottle of furniture polish:
I don’t really use furniture polish. I do dust, but I don’t use polish. My Mom, who is one of the best housekeepers I’ve ever met, always used polish so I had aspirations to be the kind of housecleaner who would use polish, and bought some too. I know I bought this while I was still living in an apartment. I have not lived in an apartment for close to twelve years. As you can see, the bottle is still half full. Yeah…I don’t use furniture polish.
I also found this pet hair remover I never use (interestingly enough, it’s made by Endust, a furniture polish company. Do you see a theme here?). Stella has really short hair, and is not a heavy shedder, so we don’t really need it. And when she does shed, this thing won’t pick it up. Just for fun, before I threw it out, I rolled it all over Stella’s body to see what she’d do. She arched her back and writhed and yawned in pleasure. Ron, watching me from the kitchen table, said, “I think you’re supposed to use that to get pet hair off the furniture, not the pet itself.” I told him I was aware of that, and pointed out how much Stella was enjoying the impromptu massage. I almost considered keeping it for that purpose, but ultimately tossed it.
And for anyone who has been reading for a while, remember when I realized I didn’t have a working flashlight in my car when I decluttered my glove compartment? Well I found one under the sink, and it works!
Then I packed up the cleaning caddy with the core stuff I use to clean – multi-purpose bath/kitchen cleaner, Windex, scouring powder, scouring brush/toothbrush, spray bottle for bleach, Swiffer pads, steam mop pads, cleaning rags, and paper towels.
I also filled a basket with back stock cleaning items I knew I would use- the goal is to use all this stuff up and only replace what will fit in the cleaning caddy, so I will ultimately throw this basket out too:
I put back all the essential items, and I was a little bummed it didn’t look THAT much different. But I know everything that is in there now, and once most things are used up, they will not be replaced.
I took a few lesser-used but still needed items to the basement, and was happy to have tossed enough stuff to get rid of the plastic storage container I’d had in there before:
Now the real question is if having this more organized space and properly stocked cleaning caddy will make me clean more often. Only time will tell…