For a change of pace, let’s get out of the kitchen into the laundry this week and deal with those growing piles of cleaning cloths, the gadgets that looked too good to be true that would clean the house all by themselves and the old mops, brooms etc.
So how do we decide what stays and what goes?
If you need a refresher, revisit the criteria you created during Week 1 of our challenge to assist you in making decisions about your cutlery and kitchen utensils and give yourself a limit. If you are new to the challenge, you can see our Week 1 post here.
For cleaning cloths, ask yourself, on average, how many cleaning cloths of what type do I use to complete a standard clean of my home? Add no more than 20% and you have your number! Make sure you have something suitable for cleaning the range of surfaces in your home (glass, timber, stainless steel etc.).
For mops, vacuums, brooms, sweepers, dusters and any other cleaning tool ask yourself the following:
- Do I use it?
- How many do I have, need and use?
- Does it fulfil the function it was purchased for?
- Is it past it’s useful life?
- Do I have something else that can fulfil the same function?
- How many can I fit into the allocated storage space?
Now let’s talk about cleaning products including all of those bottles of spray/wipe/foam/polish/oil which seem to breed! There are so many products we are bombarded with these days for cleaning our homes and sometime just a trip to the supermarket to grab something to clean the glass isn’t as simple as it sounds. We all seem to have something to clean the kitchen bench, another for the kitchen sink, something for mirrors, something for windows, for shower screens, and the list goes on…..
Consolidate partially used products of the same type, recycle the empty plastic bottles, refine back to what you use and like and dispose appropriately of the rest (refer here for more info about recycling these items in the ACT).
Put everything aside that no longer has a useful purpose in your home.
What do I do with the keepers?
Everyone’s laundry storage is different. You may be fortunate to have plenty of cupboard space, a shelf or drawer, or just the space under the laundry sink. Whatever you have, everything needs a home so you can access things easily – especially items like these that you access regularly. You also need to work within the physical limits of your allocated storage space.
I have limited storage space in my laundry so I use a cleaning caddy (such as this one from Bunnings) to store the cleaning products that I use regularly to clean our home. I find this a great way to keep everything together, but also makes it very portable to take from room to room. It sits nicely on a shelf in my laundry and can hold all I need and is easy to get out and put back.
I then store my mop and broom up off the floor using wall mounted holders such as these. I like that they are out of the way, up off the floor and easily accessible.
**Cleaning Tip for your Cleaning Cloths**
Fabric softeners are not a good options when washing these items as the softener essentially coats the fabric in chemicals which reduces the fabrics capacity to absorb water. Instead, you could consider a homemade softener which is vinegar based (such as the recipes here) or simply use white vinegar in the softener slot in your washing machine.
What do I do with the ones that no longer have a purpose for me?
If the items are broken or no longer functional, or the cloths are well and truly worn out and no longer doing their job they are just taking up valuable space in your home and need to go in the bin (recycling whatever you can of course!).
Some Charity shops recycling clothing and textiles for industrial rags and textile by-products. Please contact your nearest charity to find out if they accept cleaning cloths for recycling. Please ensure that they have been washed in advance of donating them for this purpose and label the bag appropriately.
If they are still in good condition but no longer have a purpose in your home, here are some sell/swap and donation options.
- Sell or Swap:
o Swap with your friends or family.
o Facebook Marketplace or any of the myriad of Buy/Swap/Sell groups
o Garage Sale
- Donate options:
o Green Shed (Mitchell or Mugga Lane)
o Let’s Recycle Canberra (Hume)
How did you go? Feel free to share your successes, challenges and tips on our Facebook page.