I love a clean house, but hate the process. Unless you're Bree Van De Kamp or Monica Geller, I suspect you hate it too. I don't even think non-fictional homemaker mavens, such as Martha Stewart, actually enjoy the act of cleaning.
As such, I rarely do it. Sure, I get my place spotless when I know company is headed over, but barring that, things are not as spotless as they should be in our household. I need to clarify something, it's all me.
When I first met Dan, I was thoroughly intimidated by the cleanliness of his apartment. It was immaculate, not just neat, but white-glove clean. Then we move in together and things got a little sloppy. I know that it drives him nuts and this is part of the big push to get things organized in the new year. An organized house, makes for a much easier house to keep clean.
I'm not going to completely throw myself under the bus, I do a lot around the house, but admittedly, I focus on the chores that I don't mind doing or the ones that have to be done in order to keep me feeling sane. I don't like to let the dishes or the laundry pile up, so those are always done. The kitchen tends to be cleaner than the rest of the house, because I am nutty about germs. I loathe vacuuming and mopping, so the floors are always at the bottom of the list.
Part of the problem is space. Don't get me wrong, we have a two bedroom townhouse with plenty of storage and a garage, this is technically plenty of space for two people. The problem is, between us we have way too much stuff. This is part of the push to eliminate in the new year. Stuff is stressful. Culling is a slow process, but every day it's getting a little better. The stuff creates a barrier to organization and cleaning.
Back to cleaning, because we are disorganized, we have a glut of cleaning products. The 2012 mindset was to just buy more cleaning products and jam them into the cupboard. We didn't know if we already owned it, so we would pick up another bottle when shopping, "just in case". This led to a big mess, where all of the cupboards are overflowing with various cleaning products, including stuff that Dan brought over from Sweden.
In efforts to use what we already own, I knew that I needed to organize the products and take inventory. I started by buying a Lazy Susan at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Bed, Bath and Beyond is certainly getting our money in 2013, I can't enter the store without walking away with several bags of organizational goodies. It's an adult toy store.
Here is the before shot of the downstairs bathroom cupboard.
First, I emptied the entire cupboard and put products into piles according to type. Among the stuff, I had six (four full) containers of toilet bowl cleaner and two types of laundry detergent that can't even be used in our high efficiency washer. I took the kitchen specific cleaners to the kitchen and the laundry stain remover out to the garage. I threw out nearly empty containers or things that I knew we would never use.
You might be able to see pick them out in the above picture, there were two buckets jammed full of more products. I took repurposed one bucked to the garage and used the other for duplicate products. It's time to check the bucket, when we run out of a product on the Lazy Susan.
Here is the finished result.
Overall, I am pleased with the result. The Lazy Susan can't make a complete revolution, due to the pipes, but it's still easier to see everything and reach items. I put one of each type of product on the Lazy Susan and a few in front of the bucket. The bucket is much easier to reach now that the clutter is clean. Hopefully being able to see what we own, will lead to using the products more frequently and ultimately a cleaner home.
I will need to tackle the upstairs bathroom cupboard and under the kitchen sink in a similar fashion, although each poses unique challenge due to size, structure and functionality. The bigger picture also has me using the garage storage closet for all of the extra cleaning supplies, freeing up a ton of space in the house and keeping everything orderly.