How to Organize Your Cleaning Closetby Craig Sutton • December 22, 2016
If your cleaning closet is disorganized, it’s hard to get motivated to clean the rest of the house. When you straighten your cleaning closet, you’ll know you’ll have the cleaning supplies you need, and they’ll be easy to find. It makes a natural jumping-off point for cleaning the rest of your home. Read on to learn the essentials of any good, organized cleaning closet.
Must Have House Cleaning Supplies
Start out by taking a survey of what cleaning supplies you have and what you still need to buy. This is also a great excuse to remove all the current contents of your cleaning closet so that you can then put them back in a more sensible order.
Your cleaning closet should include the following:
- A broom, dustpan, mop and bucket (if you have hardwood or tile floors)
- A vacuum (if you have carpet)
- A duster
- Cleaning tools, like paper towels, rags and/or sponges
- Cleaning substances, like all-purpose spray cleaner, glass cleaner, vinegar, baking soda, toilet bowl cleaner, oven cleaner and any others
Obviously, you can add and subtract to this list according to your personal preference. But if you have several different cleaning tools or substances that accomplish the same job, you might think about consolidating your collection. The same goes for if there are some items you never use (and not just because you’re slacking on chores!).
Everything in Its Place
From there, you have several options on how to organize your space. Your final decisions will depend on your budget, your items, the size of your closet and your needs, but here are some good places to start.
Get a Rack
Most cleaning closets will have a broom, a mop, a duster and other long, thin items. These have a tendency to fall over on top of each other and become a real mess.
To resolve this, get a hook rack from the dollar store or a container store. It should mount on the inside of your door or inside your closet. Most brooms and other long, thin cleaning implements have holes you can use to hang them up, so they’re off the floor and easy to access.
Use Your Door
Your door is valuable storage space. If you’re not hanging your rack on it, use an organizer that fits over your door. One easy way of doing this is by using a clear plastic shoe rack: Each bottle of cleaning fluid fits neatly in a different compartment.
Buy Some Bins
A big pile of cleaning supplies doesn’t help anybody. Get a few large, clear bins to keep things in. Sort them by different parts of the house or different sets of chores.
When a cleaner visits your house, it can be hard for them to figure out what’s where even when your house is well-organized. Once you have bins, write on them or create labels so your organization scheme is readily apparent, to both members of your household and cleaning professionals.
And always be sure that any spray bottles you fill yourself are clearly labeled with their contents to avoid poisonings and dangerous accidents. This is particularly vital if you have a house cleaner since they won’t know what’s what from its location alone.
Use Your Shelves, But …
If your closet’s built-in shelves are deep, your cleaning supplies can end up pushed back into its depths, where they’ll get lost. Get a lazy Susan to rest on the edge of the shelf, and put your cleaning supplies in it. This way, you can spin it around and easily find what you need.
Remember What You Need
You probably use some cleaning supplies daily or near-daily, while others you may use very seldom. Make sure your most essential cleaning supplies are within easy reach, preferably in their own bin near the front of your closet. This is also highly convenient for your house cleaner.
Hang a Whiteboard
Banish all disputes about whose turn it is to do chores by hanging a whiteboard inside your calendar (on the back of the door or right inside). Update it with weekly chore assignments. If you have a house cleaner, you can leave notes for them here.
Your cleaning closet won’t catch as much junk as other spots in your house. But depending on your cleaning techniques, it can still get pretty crowded, so be sure to go through it semi-regularly. Frequent culprits are rags, which tend to multiply — cutting a few from used clothes is good, but you don’t need a ton.
The same goes for newspapers: It can be good to keep a few around for cleaning glass streak-free, especially if you don’t have a subscription. But too many gets to be a real mess, especially if they get moisture on them from your other cleaning supplies.
Consider Using Extra Storage
Once you have everything tucked away in bins and on shelves, you may have some extra room in the closet. Your cleaning closet can do double duty to hold toilet paper and other household essentials. Just be sure it doesn’t get too crowded in there and that everything’s still easy to find.
Your cleaning closet is the jumping-off spot for all the chores in your home. Getting it straightened up takes some thought and planning and might mean a trip to the container store. But once you get everything in its place, you’ll find that keeping your entire home neat and clean is a far simpler and more enjoyable task, and it will go far more quickly for your house cleaner as well.
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