This post is written by our guest blogger, Amanda Kuzak, Northern California's Premiere Professional Organizer and Estate Liquidator. Her blog, Kuzak's Closet, has been awarded best blog of Silicon Valley in 2012 and 2013. She has been featured in Getting Organized Magazine, Back Home Magazine, and is a contributing author of The Spirit of Silicon Valley. You can find her at www.kuzakscloset.com/blog/
Have you ever considered using a cleaning caddy to tote your cleaning supplies from room to room? Even in our little condo in Chicago I had a caddy in my storage closet so I could quickly clean the space without running from room to room looking for supplies. Now that we live in a larger home, I rely on my cleaning caddy so I can clean all three bathrooms and the living spaces in a flash.
I learned this trick as a kid from my Grandma. Not because she had a caddy but because she needed one! She stored her cleaning products in the garage, under all of the sinks, in the laundry room, etc. yet never knew what she owned. She was always overbuying because she didn't store her cleaning products in a central location and struggled to stay organized.
I see many of my clients make the same mistake as my Grandma and I always suggest that we set up a central location for the cleaning supplies. I organize it to look similar to a store shelf and then suggest that all of the essentials are in a cleaning caddy ready to go. As the product in the caddy need to be replaced I teach them to look at their stock before shopping at the store.
Sterilite makes a large cleaning caddy that I really love because it has two deep compartments to hold all of the my full-size supplies. Most caddies are half the size and can only hold two or three cleaning products.
Here is a look at what is in my cleaning caddy right now. I have tried everything on the market and these are my favorites right now:
I know summer is here but just in case you are behind on your spring cleaning, here is a room by room guide to follow to get your home in tip-top shape! Just fill up your cleaning caddy and get to work!
- Move your appliances away from the wall and vacuum and mop the floor under them. Using your vacuum attachment clean the coils and the nooks and crannies on the back of your oven and fridge.
- Defrost your fridge and freezer, wipe it out with Clorox wipes.
- Sort through all of the toys and games, purge things that don't get played with or that are missing pieces.
- Disinfect all of the toys with your favorite cleaning products and don't forget to wipe out any bins and baskets. Remove fabric liners and throw them in the wash.
- Rearrange the toy room setup; the change of scenery will excite your kids and give them a new interest in the toys they haven't played with recently.
- Remove the cushions from your sofa and chairs and vacuum them. Vacuuming your upholstered furniture is the best way to preserve it and help it last.
- Wash or dry clean your heavy blankets and throws, store them in vacuum sealed closet bags to save room and keep them fresh. Swap them out for light weight options.
- Vacuum your and dust your window treatments. If they are machine washable throw them in the washing machine. If parts of your room get more sun, rotate the window treatments to avoid fading.
- Wash the windows, inside and out.
- Remove the china and dishes from your hutch or china cabinet, dust the shelves and wash items that haven't been used in a while.
- Shampoo your carpets or if you have rugs take them to the cleaners.
- Turn over your mattress to distribute the wear evenly. Replace cool-weather bedding with warm-weather bedding.
- Wash the pillows, whether made of natural fibers (such as down) or synthetic (often polyester), most pillows can be machine-washed. This rids them of mold, bacteria, and odors.
- Clean out your medicine cabinet and cosmetic drawers. Check the expiration dates and toss anything that you don't use anymore. Most cosmetics expire after three months, if kept longer there is a greater chance of bacteria spreading (especially mascara and eye makeup).
- Review insurance policies, contracts and family documents.
- Scrub computer casings with a solution of one drop mild dish washing liquid per one quart of water and a lint-free cloth; dust crevices in keyboards with cotton swabs; wipe screens with a soft cloth or a dry screen-cleaning sponge.
- Swap out cold weather clothing for warm weather clothing. Get winter coats and sweaters dry cleaned and store them in a hanging garment bag.
- Go through your closet, any items that won't make it until next winter, toss or put in a Goodwill bag. Try on all of your spring and summer clothes to make sure they still fit and are still in style. There is no use filling up your closet with ugly stuff that doesn't fit. Make a list of items that you need to add to your wardrobe for spring and summer so you can stay on track when you are shopping. If you need help with this please contact me, I love helping people determine what they need to keep and what needs to go.
- Scrub decks, patios, sidewalks, and driveways. If needed, rent a power washer.
- Wash outdoor furniture with a solution of mild dish washing liquid and water and a soft-bristle brush. If your furniture is looking old and tired, pick up some spray paint for a quick makeover.
Garages & Attics
- Sort through items that are piling up and donate all of the unwanted junk. Sort the rest into sections so it is easy to find. Put items that are not going to move anytime soon in the back and the items that are used more often in the front. Toss old storage bins that are cracked or missing lids (you don't want to risk damaging the items inside). Use concrete bricks under bins to keep them high and dry.