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We are taking command of our cleaning! We have always kept a generally neat and de-cluttered home, but we were definitely lacking in the cleanliness department. We blame it on the kids, lack of time, and a bit of laziness. The truth is it is mostly laziness. The only other contributing factor is cleaning disorganization, which was easily solved. Now, we just have to get past the lazy :)
Our cleaning routine and supplies were completely disorganized. We did not have a central place for all of our cleaning supplies. And, the places where we were storing them were not easily accessible.
We had general kitchen cleaning supplies in the pantry, high up on a shelf for kid safety. The broom leaned in the corner of the pantry and the dustpan sat on a lower shelf. I was always kind of grossed out by the cleaning stuff being so close to our food. Our vacuum was stashed in the closet off the mud room. Stashed is a polite way of saying crammed in with only a 1/4′ to spare to get the door shut. Oh, and the ironing board my hubby used every day was in the same closet behind the vacuum. I shared how I solved that problem yesterday. Our bathroom cleaning supplies were spread out in closets all over the house.
By reclaiming the laundry room, I discovered a great place to create a centralized cleaning command center. The stair tread shelves that once held my craft books and supplies high out of the reach of kids, were a perfect spot to put all of our cleaning supplies. Since we were no longer using the room for art or art display, the giant quatrefoil cork board below the shelves was revamped to hold our cleaning tools.
Instead of just shoving random bottles of cleaning supplies up on the shelves, I organized them into cleaning caddies. The two smaller caddies hold specific supplies for the kitchen or bath. I can easily grab a caddy and get to cleaning. The larger caddy has other general cleaning supplies we use less often, but when I want to do a deep cleaning I can grab this caddy and get to work. I also have a few cleaning related books that I keep on this shelf.
Below the shelves is where I feel the real magic happened. No more broom leaning in the corner of the pantry. No more vacuum crammed in a closet. I added a simple utility hook that can hold up to three long-handled tools. It holds our broom, long-armed duster, and the dustpan. The trio of small clipboards were leftover party favors from a few years I ago. The colors work perfect in this room. I plan to create laminated cleaning checklists for daily, weekly, and monthly chores.
I added a wire utility shelf next to the hooks for our beloved Minty (our robot mop). The shelf is a great place to store Minty, her GPS unit, and her cleaning clothes (white for sweeping, grey for mopping). There is an outlet just below the shelf so we can keep her charged. Under the shelf is the new parking spot for the vacuum. It is ridiculous how much easier it is to grab the vacuum. We are using it so much more often now. And, to round out the cleaning haven is my all time favorite aqua Simple Human trash can.
I know we are very lucky to have such a large laundry room. We have come from much less. Our first home had a tiny closet with a 20-year-old stackable washable and dryer. We could not even replace them because modern units would not fit in the closet. Our second home had a slightly larger laundry closet where the washer and dryer sat side by side. In our current home, the laundry room feels like a palace and it was definitely a selling feature of the home.
I know some of you have tiny laundry rooms and are thinking great for her she has so much space, but I can’t do that in my home. It is true my laundry room is large, but when you break it down the cleaning command center is in a very small foot print. It only takes up 3-4 linear feet of wall space. So, even if you don’t have room in your laundry room for your cleaning supplies, think of another spot where you can spare 3 feet of wall space. Shelves and utility hooks are key to maximizing the space…they help you go vertical and use the wall.