cleaning, fEAsible, nEAtening, organising, rEArranging, simplifying, taking stock

simplifying the house – declutter day 3…

It is a while since my last post on decluttering (usual work and home commitments taking over) however, I had in mind all week to have a good sort through my cleaning products when I could spare a bit of time with a view to taking stock, using up and creating some space in my cupboards.

Over the last few years I inherited first my mum’s unwanted cleaning products when she moved and down sized, and then my mum-in-laws when we cleared her house.  I gave all the products a home as I cannot bear to throw out perfectly good items even though a lot of the products I don’t usually buy or use.  And of course when we emptied the kitchen at the cottage I had to bring the cleaners back home and absorb them into my cupboards here.

I generally use Bi-carb, white vinegar and elbow grease alongside Ecover all purpose cleaner for my worktops and Stardrops for floors and general cleaning jobs.   I keep Dettol to give door handles etc a good wipe over and I use washing powder to clean my sink as well as my clothes.

For those jobs that need a more specific cleaner I use Lakeland Oven cleaner (which is a gel as I do not like sprays), metal polish for my silver, Flash for paintwork and Ecover cream cleaner for the bathroom pottery and tiles.  In addition I have Ecover toilet cleaner and I keep a bottle of thick bleach which I use a teaspoon at a time to add to the water when I soak my dishcloth overnight in a little non bio washing powder.

In the garage I keep an assortment of car shampoos and waxes (not that I use these very often!), alongside a few specialised cleaners such as sugar soap when we decorate.

I have also a bit of a collection of products I have bought at sometime for a purpose  – aluminium cleaner is one of them – although now I cannot even remember what I actually needed it for and Upholstery shampoo another – I never did get to do that patch test!

So  working in true Kondo style I emptied all my cupboards of any cleaners and cloths and laid it all out on the kitchen worktop.  I must say I was quite shocked at the amount I have accumulated especially those that I haven’t used in the last 3 years.  I even found I had multiples of some products I would never think to use such as methylated Spirits – I am still wondering what I can use this for as I particularly hate the smell.

Cleaners 2

This is just some of the cleaners – there is more outside of this snapshot!  After sorting and separating the items I normally use from those that I just want to use up I put the useful cleaners back into my trusty Muji containers.  In this one below I have oven cleaner, Stainless cookware cleaner, some mould cleaner, silver and brass wear cleaner and the aluminium cleaner (although I am still not sure what I am going to use this for)…oh and not forgetting the iron cleaner.

 Cleaners organised

I keep my rubber glove supplies in this one with some non-stick pan scrubs.Containers

And my Eco – cleaning cloths in another container.

Cleaning Cloths

I do like to look after my clothes and therefore I am very careful washing and ironing them to keep them looking good for as long as possible so I do tend to keep a variety of different washing powders and liquids.

I generally use Persil non-bio powder unless I have really grubby clothes from the garden and then I tend to add a little bio to the mix.  I use non bio liquid for the 40 degree knitwear and underwear and it is also useful to prevent those white powder marks appearing on all our black garments.  For hand wash wool and those delicate delicates I have a bottle of Ecover liquid for woollens and I also keep a container of pure soap flakes for those items that need a gentle non-detergent wash.

Yes I know I could start a regular little laundry service – it looks worse written down than seeing all the products in the cupboard LOL!  Someone tell me they have such a collection too.

Cleaners stock

I removed everything that needed using up and I am working my way through this box in the picture below.  It consists of a few almost empty items some of which I inherited and would not purchase again but do not want to waste and one or two duplicates.

Use Up Cleaners

Whilst the cleaners were out I began straight away to use up some of the almost finished bottles and in doing this I created a bit more shelf space too.   I now have some very shiny pans after using the Shine Brite and the tiles in my shower are gleaming after using some old Jif cream cleaner.

Shine Brite


I also got to work with the remains of the Sticky Stuff remover and cleaned the ‘sticky’ patches off a number of items.  Next I will clean up my silverware and the car might even get a wash and polish, I may even get around to cleaning that upholstery.

There are still a lot of cleaners to wade through but my cupboards feel a bit lighter – I just hope no one else is thinking of moving and giving me their unwanted stuff!  Even though these products may not exactly ‘bring me joy’ I cannot throw them out as Kondo would mainly because I have the environment on my conscience  – but at least now spring is on the way I can make an effort to get cleaning.

13 thoughts on “simplifying the house – declutter day 3…”

  1. Wow, those are some shiny pans! I have some old cleaning liquids such as brass polish that I don’t dare throw out for environmental reasons; maybe they will get used some day or I can pass them on to someone else, LOL!


    1. I wish I could pass on some of my redundant cleaners as it will take me years to get down it all at the rate I get to clean. I have two large bottles of car wash and I wash my car about twice a year! My hubby takes his to the car wash – he recently won a competition – a huge bag of car cleaning products!!


  2. I love this post, like you these days I use vinegar, bi-carb and eco cloths:) I also have a large quantity of cleaning products which I no longer use but hate to throw away:( I’ve recently purchased Marie Kondo’s book (halfway through) it’s been so interesting reading your decluttering posts using the Kondo methods, I’ve picked up some hints and tips from your posts, all I need to do now is to find the time to declutter, easier said than done at times:) Linda


    1. Hi Linda – it seems there are a number of us in the same position with regards to the ‘throwing away’ dilema. Maybe we should organise a mass cleaning product swap one day. I am like you – finding the time to declutter is difficult as to do a thorough job takes just that… time! I do like the get it all out and in one place so you can see the extent of the problem. I was shocked by the amount of cleaning products I have. At least I know I do not have to go down that aisle at Sainsbury’s for a long time.


  3. I just starting reading Marie Kondo’s book. I organize others for a living, so I’m particularly intrigued to be reading something new on the topic.

    You’ve made great progress. I also enjoyed a tiny glimpse into your living space. It’s lovely.


    1. Hi Alys – I am always on the look out for that new idea that might help me keep organised. I was quite encouraged by some of the things Kondo says in her book – she too keeps trying different ways of storing items until she is satisfied. My main aim is to have a lot less stuff to organise.


      1. I think that’s the perfect end goal. I also like the way she suggests visualizing what you want, like the romantic bedroom example in the book. Knowing *where* you want to go will help you get there. It was an interesting point, to, that once you do the big tidy, you’ll never ‘tidy’ again, at least in her context. Of course I’m always moving clothes, groceries, dishes and gardening items through the system, day in and day out. But I’ve worked with clients who own over 100 pair of unmatched socks and they feel completely overwhelmed. I have a week to ten days worth of socks and undergarments and that is plenty.


        1. I think reducing the amount of stuff is definitely the way to go. This means less to buy – less to store and manage. All I have to do is make sure they are maintained / washed etc so I don’t find I have run out of clean undies on a Monday morning!


  4. Wow – such shiny saucepans!

    Everything is so neatly organised – I love the labelled boxes! I probably have the same amount of cleaning items, but they’re spread across the house from bathrooms, to kitchen under-sink and laundry. I try to buy ‘enviro friendly’ and biodegradable products but it does concern me just how expensive it all is and how much space is needed for storage.


    1. Looking at the amount of cleaning products I have acquired I should have a very cheap year – I must remember not to be tempted by any offers when I am in the ‘cleaning aisles’ at the supermarket – in fact I should make a mental note to quickly pass these aisles by.


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