I’ve got this great old cookbook from the 1800s filled with all sorts of interesting recipes. My favorite is the recipe for squirrel pie which begins with the instructions, “First, trap a squirrel and then skin it.”
Just like trapping a squirrel is the first step in making squirrel pie, tracking down out cleaning supplies is often the first step in cleaning our homes. Instead of having our cleaning supplies organized in one easy-to-reach location, most of us have them scattered all over the house and garage. By the time cleaning supplies, buckets, brooms, and rags have been rounded up, half the morning has disappeared.
One way to make better use of your time is to organize your cleaning supplies before you clean. Here’s how it’s done.
Designate a cleaning or broom closet.
Most newer homes come with a special closet known as a broom closet. Broom closets are designed to hold mops, brooms, cleaning rags, buckets and cleansers. If your home doesn’t have a broom closet, finding some other area to store your supplies is necessary. A cellar or basement, the mud room, closed in back porch, the garage, or an underutilized coat closet will also work. The ideal location should be large enough to hold mops and brooms upright with some shelf space to keep harmful cleansers up out of the reach of children.
Install an “over the door” organizer for small items.
For small items, a wire rack that fits over the interior broom closet door is a great way to organize and store smaller cleaning items. These smaller items include things like vacuum cleaner bags and belts, room freshener, scrub brushes, cleaning gloves, sponges, metal polish, toothbrushes, pumice stones and other cleaning tools. Keeping these small items in an organizer means no more wasted time searching for a specific cleaning tools.
Start a rag bag.
If you don’t have a rag bag you should. Rag bags are where you stash those old torn up towels and sheets, old cotton shirts and cotton socks that make great all purpose cleaning rags. These rags can go inside a dollar store laundry bag which can be hung from a hook in the broom closet. The advantage of a designated rag bag for cleaning is that kids and hubby can see at a glance which old towels are OK for cleaning the dog and the cars.
Keep the most commonly used supplies in a cleaning bucket.
When I owned a maid service, my staff carried all-purpose buckets around filled with the more typical cleaners and supplies they might use when cleaning house. The buckets held a window cleaner, an all purpose disinfectant, furniture polish, a mild abrasive (such as Soft Scrub) and rags. As the girls reached the bathrooms, the buckets were emptied out and used to mix up a solution of all purpose cleaner. By keeping cleaning supplies and tools organized in a single bucket, my staff saved time by not having to search around for the items they needed.
Cleaning the house is a big enough drag without having to waste time searching for your supplies and materials. By keeping your cleaning supplies organized and in a central location, the task of cleaning is much less complicated. Carrying your supplies in a bucket can also help streamline the house cleaning process and prevent wasted steps as well.