Where do you keep your cleaning supplies?

jamie_mtJanuary 3, 2005

Most of mine are under the sink in my kitchen, next to the garbage can. I do have cleaning supplies specific to the bathroom under the bathroom sink, but I'm thinking of moving my cleaning supplies from under the kitchen sink to a more "central" location, so that I can put a basket under the kitchen sink for dirty dishcloths, towels, etc. Currently that is in the bathroom, and I forget about it, so I forget to wash them and run out of dishtowels. I won't forget them if they're staring at me every time I open the cabinet door to throw something in the garbage. LOL

So what do you think? Clean out a shelf in the hall closet? Disburse the supplies hither and yon into pertinant rooms? A little of each? What's your method for organizing cleaning supplies, and where do you keep them?

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Mine always end up in a heaping big mess under my kitchen sink...therefore, I am really looking forward to hearing from people on this matter.

I want to keep them there, but I need to find some sort of container system so they don't end up the way they always do. The other day I was looking for my rubber gloves (which I knew were in there somewhere), and just finally gave up!

    Bookmark   January 3, 2005 at 4:50PM
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Bathroom stuff is in the big bathroom (there's no storage in bathroom #2--not ANY).

Other stuff is in the triangular closet, on shelves at head level.

Because we do laundry as a big deal (what w/ the "laundromat" sort of set-up in our apt. bldg), we make a "round 'em up" trip to the bathroom to get all the towels.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2005 at 5:19PM
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My cleaning supplies are where I use them. I have duplicate bathroom cleaning supplies in each bathroom and the kitchen supplies are under the sink. My bathrooms have a roll of paper towels and a big bottle of Windex which I use to do a one minute clean up every day -- squirt around so it always looks presentable -- a great internalization from flylady -- do a little bit all the time and don't sweat that it's not perfect -- eventually it's all clean all of the time -- or mostly clean all of the time to be exact.

Every organizational guide I've ever read advices that cleaning supplies should be where one uses them and duplicate supplies are a great investment. Invest in two vacuum cleaners if you have a multi-story house.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2005 at 5:31PM
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I have a caddy that I put things in and its home is in the extra bathroom but it is load and carry:)
The swiffer duster,broom,mop, and dustpan are on one of those row of clip things(not even sure of the name!) attached to the wall by the backdoor

    Bookmark   January 3, 2005 at 5:57PM
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Like Nan, I use a caddy. That stays on a shelf in the garage/laundry room and comes out for weekly cleaning. In it are Soft Scrub, Windex, bleach/water in a mist bottle, as well as a scrub brush for the tub, an old toothbrush for little crevices, a Mr. Clean magic eraser, and an old sponge.

I keep some additional cleaning supplies in a cabinet in the kitchen: Comet, Pledge, another Soft Scrub. Also some of the more seldom used cleansers (silver and copper polish, Fantastik etc).

For the weekly cleaning I grab a couple of old hand towels (keep a stack in the garage), as well as a roll of paper towels. Into the caddy, and add the Comet. Ready to clean.

As for keeping cleaning supplies in the room in which they will be used, I laugh at the idea (bitterly :). My bathrooms are each 5x8, and aside from a miniscule under sink cabinet and a medicine cabinet, there is *no* storage. No room at all for cleaning supplies. I do keep a container of those Clorox wipes in the hall (main) bathroom for quick wipe downs as needed though.


    Bookmark   January 3, 2005 at 8:26PM
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My bathroom stuff is doubled...one for each bathroom in the high section of the linen closet (I have a little one). This way I can do everything as I think of it, without leaving the room. Right down to glass cleaner, etc.

My kitchen stuff is in my laundry room in another high cabinet (child-proofed) which is next to my kitchen. Just some 409 and dish soap is in another high cabinet in my kitchen.

All the funky stuff...polishes, floor cleaner, Murphy's oil soap, wood stuff, etc. etc. is in the same laundry room cabinet.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2005 at 10:13PM
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I must have been reading different books from blazedog's, bcs several of them I've read have said "create a caddy and carry it around." Idea being that you don't duplicate, it's all there, etc.

Everybody has a method that works, based on the space available, and their personal quirks. Like Ann, I have very little storage space in my bathrooms--none at all in the smallest one. I'm trying to figure out how to fix that in a sensible way, but haven't really gotten there yet.

I do weed out from time to time. I want to look again, and ditch some of the stuff I've got.

And once I get the under-sink basket installed, I have to decide whether I'm going to try to keep cleaning stuff in it--probably not, unless it's the dish soap and the dishwasher detergent.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2005 at 8:54AM
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LOL Tally Sue - you *still* haven't installed that undersink basket??? ;-)

I have all my supplies in a cleaning caddy - a housewarming present from one of my mom's friends when I bought my first house. I also have toilet bowl cleaner in each bathroom (not much storage at all in the basement bath), and some clorox wipes in the bathrooms as well.

I think for me, the hall closet is the most "central" location upstairs for cleaning supplies, so I think I'll clean off a spot on the shelf and put them in there. I also think I'll get duplicates for the basement - we'll need the same cleaning supplies down there, and it's the same square footage as the main level, so it does make sense not to have to carry stuff down there and back upstairs all the time. I think I'll pass on duplicate vaccuums though - seems like carrying the vaccuum up and down the stairs is good exercise, and will save a bunch of $$ (esp. since the dogs aren't allowed in the basement, so not as much hair, etc down there).

Thanks - great comments from everyone!! :-)

    Bookmark   January 4, 2005 at 10:33AM
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I was gonna do it this weekend, and my DH signed us up to have people over for lunch--talk about a day-killer!

I need a big window of time available, or I don't have the nerve to actually DRILL holes in something.

But I'm going to try again either this week or next.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2005 at 10:55AM
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Good luck, TS...I know having people over really *is* a time killer, but fun too. :-)

    Bookmark   January 4, 2005 at 11:08AM
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My cleaning supplies are scattered around the house, and I can't find what I need when I want it, LOL.
This is mostly due to the fact that we are working on cupboards and shelves where these things will eventually have a home, but in the meantime I plan to buy a cleaning caddy and stock it with pretty much what they suggest on the HGTV site. I have old towels in a plastic bin, so know where to find a clean rag, but otherwise my cleaning supplies are one of my priorities right now, as are cupboards and shelves in out newly painted laundry room.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2005 at 11:35AM
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Well, I can speak to This since I tamed this tiger a few months before we demo'd the old kitchen. I had an undersink mess that looked like an exploding nightmare, so I really thought about how/what I used. I bought several (fairly small) plastic baskets at the Dollar Store that would hold essentials. One held all the dishwashing detergent, Barkeepers Friend, scouring pads, etc. Another held toilet supplies, and another had windex, paper towels, swiffer mitts and furniture polish. The attic door is close to the kitchen, so I hung a tall wire shelving unit (4 inch deep) in the stairwell right inside the door. That holds everything else (copper polish, goo gone, carpet cleaner, a box of disposible gloves, butcherblock oil, old dishcloths, denture cleaner for vases/bottles etc. etc.)

It's still working for me. Grouping the cleaners together for different tasks let me put my hands on what I needed instantly, and I'm still able to find everything I need at a glance. The stuff in the stairwell is essential, but I usually only need it for specialized cleaning, so I always know where to go. It helped that I was already storing my broom and dustpan there. Some simple S hooks allows me to hang my feather duster from the wire shelving, and hang the dustpan underneath.

One other thing I did was hang paper towel holders (horizontally) right above the sinks. After washing my hands and using the paper towel to dry them, I just go over anything that needs a quick swipe. (My dog likes them too, since it gives her something to dig in the trash for. Now I have to work on that!)

    Bookmark   January 4, 2005 at 2:30PM
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LOL Claire - *that* is why my garbage pail will remain under the kitchen sink...to keep the dogs out of it! ;-)

    Bookmark   January 4, 2005 at 3:21PM
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I also use the location-based method. Under the sink in the kitchen and each bathroom are plastic baskets with cleaning supplies for that room.

Each bathroom has a toilet scrub stand. No way I'm toting that stuff all over the house - caddy or not. I have one large utility/storage room downstairs and that's where the large items like the vacuum, steamer, mops, squeegees, and Costco bulk toilet paper and paper towels are kept.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2005 at 5:03PM
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you're right Gina, I'd forgotten--ewww to the "carrying the toilet brush from bathroom to bathroom." I'll carry the toilet cleaner solution, because I have to. But I have a brush in each bathroom.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2005 at 6:42PM
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I am so glad I am not alone!!! I was just sure I was the only one in the world that had a cabinet under my sink that looked like a bomb went off in there. I can't find anything when I need it. I felt so alone and ashamed when someone would open my cabinet under the sink thinking I keep my garbage can in there; which I keep in the bottom of my pantry. I'm so glad I stumbled on to this post. I honestly think I was drawn to this post by a higher power.
You have inspired me to get that junk out of there and duplicate cleaning supplies in each bathroom.
Thank you!!! Thank you!!! Thank you!!!

    Bookmark   January 4, 2005 at 9:57PM
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I have general household cleaners under my kitchen sink in a basket.I have bathroom cleaning supplies in each bathroom so they are handy for quick cleanups.Everythin here is humid,so I seperate wet towels and rags from dry laundry and keep them seperate till wash time in extra buckets or baskets near the washing machine.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2005 at 10:06PM
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"My cleaning supplies are where I use them. I have duplicate bathroom cleaning supplies in each bathroom and the kitchen supplies are under the sink."

I am working on doing this, too. We finally have a house with good storage in all 3 bathrooms, so I have no excuse. I find that if I don't have the cleaners *right there*, it just doesn't happen very often. My goal for THIS MONTH is to reorganize all the bathroom cabinets under the sink and make sure I have the proper cleaning supplies for each bathroom. It works great for the kids, because when I delegate bathroom chores to them, it's all right there.

When I didn't have adequate bathroom space, I'd use a caddy and it worked well.


    Bookmark   January 5, 2005 at 12:18AM
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I keep cleaning supplies in both bathrooms and the kitchen, a vacuum on each floor, and a supply of cleaning cloths upstairs as well as down. I never want to be unprepared when inspiration strikes.:)

    Bookmark   January 5, 2005 at 3:27AM
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I keep cleaning supplies in each bathroom because I follow the flylady system. I NEVER clean my house all at once -- when I used (or attempted to use that system) the place was always a mess because I never wanted to devote the block of time.

Now I clean a few minutes at a time -- I clean bath if it looks dirty while I am in it -- takes about a minute. I swipe the bathroom counters, clean the mirrors etc.

I should note that I have very few actual cleaning supplies because following flylady's advice I really am down to the basics. Cleaning supplies are also clutter and because I have decluttered the bathrooms and kitchen, I have room to store the essentials that I do use everyday.

I keep a few swifter dust cloths in my desk drawer so that I can dust the computer, desk, books etc.

If I am in a room and see that something is dirty and will take a minute to fix, I can do it right then. If I had to walk to where the supplies were, I would let it go being the essentially lazy sloth that I am.

It is one of those aha things that seems simple but once implemented makes a HUGE difference in how presentable my house is -- think of it this way -- How often would you wipe down your kitchen sink or run the dishwasher if your store the sponge and soap in another room. To me, it's no different than bathroom supplies -- again, though through flylady, I've realized that the supplies I need to clean anything are really very minimal and that "specialized" cleaners except for obvious ones like toilet bowl cleaner are a waste of space, money and ultimately time.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2005 at 7:19AM
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When I talk on the phone I am usually cleaning something.It's an easy way to get through the small tasks without that "I must clean feeling".I also tend to do at least one wash a day no matter what because laundry buids up so fast.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2005 at 9:08AM
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Anybody care to discuss what cleaning supplies they actually use and like? Favorite cleaners for specific tasks? Kind of relates to what to keep on hand/where to keep them, I think.

I was decluttering a bit this morning and discovered two spray bottles of Fantastik Oxy Power. I've never used it--must have bought it on a great sale. It may be the perfect cleaner for *something*, but I don't know what. Frankly, I'm happy with my Comet, Soft Scrub, and Windex Wipes. But if somebody has a great use for it, I'd love to hear about it before I just toss or give them away. I really want to pare down, too.

(My cleaning supplies seem to be everywhere *but* under the kitchen sink. We have that cabinet wired shut because the cat loves to go under there.)


    Bookmark   January 5, 2005 at 9:38AM
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I have the main cache of cleaning supplies in caddies, grouped by type. They are on a high shelf in the washer/dryer closet, because we have cats. Extra sponge and non-toxic cleaner in each bath. Kitchen soap and sponges are under the kitchen sink.

As for cleaners, I like Method's grapefruit cleaner (pink, sold at Target). It's non-toxic and smells great. Method makes several other cleaners too, also non-toxic. I like the non-toxic type for cleaning around pets, and also for my son to use (he's 12 yrs old).

For heavy-duty cleaning, Krud Kutter is great for taking marks off painted walls. Orange-oil cleaners work well on greasy kitchen messes. Scrub-Free really works on soap scum. And Folex will take ANY stains out of your carpet.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2005 at 12:42PM
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I keep some bathroom cleaning supplies in our one bathroom - flushable wipes & tub & shower cleaner. I also keep some supplies under the kitchen sink - stove cleaner, 409 or similar for countertops, & Simple Green. When our laundry room is finished I'll keep a caddy out there with some cleaners I don't use every time I clean.

Cleaners I like: The Works when I need strong bathroom cleaning, Scrubbing Bubbles flushable wipes, Simple Green for greasy stuff. I've just bought Mr. Clean Magic erasers & Clorox gel pens, so I'm curious to see how they work.


    Bookmark   January 5, 2005 at 6:49PM
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I keep duplicate supplies upstairs and down.
Windex,cleaner,p towels and cloths in both bathrooms.I also found that if I keep a basket under the sink in the kitchen for dishwasher det,dish liquid,glass cleaner and vim,I can store seldome used cleaners at the back of the cupboard and it doesn't look cluttered when you open the door.
Laundry supplies are kept on a shelf in the laundry room as are things that only get used once or twice a tear ie. carpet shampoo,pet shampoo,etc.
Eliza ann,who is scared to death she's starting to behave like her mother...LOL

    Bookmark   January 8, 2005 at 10:15PM
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Don't be scared, Eliza ann - it happens to all of us, I think. LOL

I use vinegar a lot for carpet cleaning and other spills/stains. It's cheap, and I always have it on hand. I use petfresh for the carpets, clorox toilet bowl cleaner, and downstairs where the dogs aren't allowed I use those drop-in disks in the toilet tank. I'm too chicken to use them up here, just in case a guest doesn't close the toilet lid, and the dogs were to get in there.

Windex for glass and windows, and I'm still trying to find a furniture polish I like for our wood table - I've been using pledge, but I don't really care for it, so that's up in the air. Water doesn't work with whatever finish the factory put on the table, or I'd use that. And I have the ever-trusty pine sol for floors, washing walls & cabinets, etc.

Today is the day - as soon as I log-off, I'm going to go move my cleaning supplies to the hall closet, and set up my laundry basket under the sink. :-)

    Bookmark   January 9, 2005 at 12:53PM
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LOL , in the trunk of my car. I'm still cleaning houses so that's where the majority of my stuff stays until I drag it out for home use.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2005 at 6:24PM
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General items under the kitchen sink but I also keep bathroom cleaning supplies in the bathroom so they don't need to be lugged around throughout the house.


    Bookmark   March 10, 2005 at 9:34AM
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I keep cleaning supplies for the bathroom in the bathroom. Same goes for the kitchen. The items I use in other rooms I borrow out of one of those two rooms. I have a minumum of cleaning supplies, window spray that I also use for surfaces, Pinesol for heavy duty scrubbing/germ destruction, degreaser in the kitchen. Even though the water is full of minerals here I have found that if I use a bleach tablet in the toilet tank, I can clean the bowl with one of the disposable brushes. Fast, easy, and nothing setting around. I use rags to clean, and there are some of them in both rooms, again I borrow to clean in the other rooms of the house.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2005 at 2:07PM
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Talley Sue,

I LOL at your comment about needing a whole window of time when drilling holes is concerned :) I have a drawer and slider thingee for under my kitchen sink and haven't installed it yet... I moved 1.5 months ago and still have my "cleaners and cleansers" packed in boxes. The main stuff I use is sitting a caddy on my one kitchen counter. I won't even put the stuff under the kitchen sink yet. If I do that I might never get around to putting the elfa glider and drawer in.

In fact after I do that one I was going to see how that worked out and maybe put some glider type things in other kitchen cupboards. In another thread here you made some great suggestions to me and I didn't reply on that but it did give me some great ideas. My canned goods and spices did wind getting put away. Most of the kitchen is done for now :) except I still want to put up a pots and pan rack. And also the aforementioned under sink gliding drawer.


    Bookmark   March 21, 2005 at 4:52PM
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I'm still working on my organization and even the type of cleaners that I use regularly. I also very much wish to purge much of the "cleaners and cleansers" stuff that I have. I still have 3 packed boxes from my move (U-Haul smalls) with everything from sifter refills to cat deoderizers in them. Much of this stuff I don't use anymore. For instance I don't have the swifter anymore, but I have refills for it :(

I find that my "main stuff" is:

1) a bottle of Green Apple Lysol spray cleaner. I use this almost everywhere.

2) a bottle of no-drip Windex. Windows, mirrors, glass.

3) dishwasher detergent

4) hardwood floor cleaner in a spray bottle. I had hardwood floors installed in my new home and this is essential. Don't know what the stuff really is. Probably something "common", but I got it since it was recommended my floorer. I use the microfiber pads that attach to a mop thingee and have several of them. I've gone thru a few and have to put all of this stuff into a "rags" load of laundry. Haven't yet. I also use just clean whites rags and often just paper towels with this stuff too for wiping up spills that happen on the hardwood floors.

5) a sprayer bottle that I keep a mixture of water and clear dish soap. I use this for most spills and spot treatments on my carpets or rugs. For most things this is all I need. Anything more complicated I wick up the spill with clean cotton rags and use the soap mixture and then call Coit for same day service. Okay I'm lame, but I don't like messing up my carpet. A whole cup of full strength espresso got spilled on my carpet at my old condo and while I got a lot out, Coit (a professional carpet cleaner) got most out and if I had them in right away I think it would have all gotten out.

6) clorox wipes. I know lazy perhaps. But I find them way too conveinent. I have containers of them all over the house, even one in my car..

7) Orange-glo "wood cleaner". This is the slimy stuff. I use a clean rag and then desiginate the rag for only this stuff. I use this to dust and shine up all my wood furniture which is just about everything: dining room table, night stand, chest of drawers, telephone stand, end tables, TV tables, etc, etc.

And then other stuff that doesn't get used as often, but has gotten used since I've been in my new house:

1) orange soft scrub (has bleach). use this on the kitchen sink, the bathroom sink, the bathtub and its tiled walls.

2) stainless steel cleaner that came with my new frig. only used there. works like a charm. I'm too afraid to use anything else on the SS frig. I follow the "directions" on this. Is this a sham to sell this stuff? Would good ole Lysol spray cleaner do the trick?

3) disposable toliet cleaner doohickies. I used to just use jonny mops (oh and when I had multiple baths, one in each) and toliet bowl cleaner. but now I use the wand thing and the disposable thing. I think I have the Scrubbing Bubbles kind right now.

That's all I can think of right now. I'm sure there's more. But truely if this is all I really seem to be using, when I get around to emptying those 3 boxes, it means I can just purge them. I guess time to freecycle, or something? I guess these could just be tossed? Or I guess put out on the curb when we have our Annual Cleanup done by the City. But I get the impression that these, some of the stuff at least, is considered "haz waste"? Thanks for any advice :)


    Bookmark   March 21, 2005 at 5:29PM
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