I wanted to introduce you to an idea that I was introduced to quite recently by a good friend of mine – the cleaning drawer.
Yes friends, a drawer full of cleaning things, one in every room.
I know, you’re probably thinking right now “but Helen, that’s so silly!! I just keep all of my cleaning things under the sink!”, and that’s great! Really! I do that for the most part, too.
But have you ever thought about how often you trudge to the kitchen for a bit of anti-bacterial cleaner? A bit of kitchen roll to wipe a surface or a microfibre cloth to do a smudge of dusting? How much time and energy do you spend walking to and fro, collecting those things? How much energy do you have for cleaning after all of that walking? How much time gets wasted?
This is why you need a cleaning drawer in Every. Single. Room.
I know, even I hadn’t considered it until now and yet, when I thought about it, I too had spent half of my time walking back and forth for bits to clean a room, and then leaving them out because I couldn’t be bothered to walk back to put them away (the shame!). It’s not only energy, but time as well, and time is time I could be blogging, looking after myself or spending time with my family. Time matters, people!
But thanks to my cleaning drawers, that’s not an issue anymore. I can just pop my cleaning supplies away when I’m finished et voila! Whether it be a surprise visitor or a relaxing evening with my husband, I’m ready.
We live in a small flat, so I only really have 4 lots of cleaning supplies – the kitchen, the lounge, the bedroom and a shared one for the bathroom and hallway. They’re small, unobtrusive kits designed only for the cleaning needs of that particular room. For example, the one in the lounge has:
- A small bottle of anti-bacterial spray – A little goes a long way for a quick wipe down or for a spot of moisture for dusting.
- A small bottle of glass cleaner – For mirrors and windows.
- A bottle of fabric freshener- the caps do not come off of this stuff, so I had to reluctantly settle for keeping a full-sized bottle in here. For spraying on soft furnishings before guests arrive.
- A box of tissues – so I can top up the tissue box holder if we run out at 10:30pm during a sad movie.
- A roll of kitchen roll – For those all-important wipe-downs
- A couple of microfibre cloths – I adore these for dusting! Use them and toss them in the wash – perfect!
You see? Just this little kit allows me to maintain the lounge, typically within on 10-15 minutes and without having to walk from room to room, saving me time for the bigger tasks, or for entertaining.
What’s more, at a pinch, you don’t even need to vacuum before guests arrive. A quick sweep with a broom and they’ll think you spend your days cleaning, if they only knew..
Here are my top 5 tips for putting your cleaning drawers together:
- Make a list of the rooms that will require them
For me, I only required four kits, but if you have a 3-bedroom house, you might want a few more. For example, it could be the lounge, the kitchen, the dining room, the entrance, the master bedroom, the bathroom and two children’s bedrooms.
2. Create lists of what you will need for each room
Think about what is in each room and decide what you need to maintain it. For example, anti-bacterial spray and some paper towel is fine for a coffee table, but you’ll want bleach spray for the bathroom and kitchen. Do you have anything that requires regular replenishing, like automated air fresheners or tissue boxes? You might want to make a note to contain supplies for these, too.
A sidenote: Consider who is using these kits. If you have children, you’ll want nothing more than perhaps some anti-bacterial wipes available to them, depending on their age!
3. Reduce the size of your kits, if you can
For me, space is at a premium and so having smaller bottles of two of the three cleaning products in my lounge was a lot easier than trying to store away three 500ml spray bottles. You may find it necessary for some rooms or, for example, you may only want a small kit for a home office. Unfortunately, the fabric freshener couldn’t be reduced and I refuse to buy smaller packets of tissues (which come with an abundance of plastic), so there are some things that I couldn’t reduce the size of.
I also refuse to use anti-bacterial wipes because of the length of time they take to decompose. Although anti-bacterial cleaner is still bad for the environment and something I use sparingly, I at least know that it’s not going to sit in landfill for the next 100+ years. If steam wasn’t likely to lift the laminate up on some surfaces, I’d steam everything in my home. Unfortunately, there are some surfaces that steam just isn’t suitable for.
4. Decide where you are going to keep these supplies
A cleaning drawer is a great idea, but naturally you may well want to not leave a bottle of cleaning spray where young children can reach. If children aren’t an issue, then a drawer (or even an attractive box on a shelf) can be a great solution, but if curious little ones are of concern, consider up high places or lockable boxes. 2 of my cleaning drawers are cube storage drawers, the bathroom one is a few supplies simply tucked on the shelf behind the toilet cistern because I don’t need to worry about inquisitive minds. Find what works for you.
5. Now that you have them set up, make sure everyone knows where they are!
It’s great to have these cleaning drawers and boxes, but they should be for the whole family, not just for you. Even if you look at non-toxic, child-safe cleaners (like white vinegar or lemon juice), anyone who is old enough to clean, should be cleaning – and often!
I hope this little housework tip helps you and I hope it helps you conserve energy for those bigger tasks and those brighter, better moments.
Over to you, what do you do to help make housework easier?
Stay well, everyone!
Be Big, Be Bold, Be Beautiful,