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.
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.
I keep my rubber glove supplies in this one with some non-stick pan scrubs.
And my Eco – cleaning cloths in another container.
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.
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.
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.
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.