Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom ~ Decluttering and Cleaning Supplies

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Cindy

I’ve been thinking a lot about cleaning supplies recently – how many I should have, where I should store them, etc. and I have come to a somewhat shocking conclusion: I’m going about it all wrong.

I don’t use a lot of cleaning products, and they are stored in a couple of places. I have a caddy of supplies in the laundry room, a huge container of vinegar under the kitchen sink, a toilet brush by one toilet but the toilet bowl cleaner is in the laundry room, and a vacuum in the upstairs closet.

What got me on this train of thought was a problem with the vacuum. I’ve had my vacuum for many years, and it’s been repaired a couple of time. Literally, one of the wheels has fallen off and won’t stay on for more than a minute at a time. (Ironically, this doesn’t seem to impede the action of the vacuum or scratch the floors – makes me wonder what the wheels are for!) I only have one 10 x 12 rug in the whole house. I thought when the vacuum finished dying, I would chuck it, sell the rug, and just work with a broom and dust mop. Then Colleen and my mother persuaded me that I would have a lot less dog hair on my floors if I vacuumed more, rather than less.

What happened next is the opposite of what I preach: I bought a second of something while the first was still functional. Yes, I bought another vacuum cleaner, an upright. I planned to sell my old canister-style vacuum cheaply on Craigslist. But the more I used the upright vacuum, the less I liked it. Instead, I tried to sell it on Craigslist, with no success. The upright was good on the rug, but less great on the hard floors. I had a brain storm, and even though I felt completely indulgent doing it, I brought the old vacuum downstairs and left the new one upstairs. My floors, upstairs and down, were cleaner. Because I didn’t have to lug the vacuum up the stairs, I was vacuuming more often. My floors really were less hairy. Yes, I became a person with two vacuums.

This revelation of convenience got me started thinking about my other cleaning supplies. For example, what the heck is my cleaning caddy doing in the laundry room? I never clean in there (except clothes, of course). Why do I only have one toilet brush with the cleaning fluid stored elsewhere? I started noticing that I would think, “If I had a sponge (or toilet brush or glass cleaner) nearby, I’d take care of that real quick.” But “real quick” did not involve going to another room, getting the proper supplies, and bringing them back. That was not “real quick.”

I started small: I got a toilet brush for beside every toilet, and I added toilet bowl cleaner to the grocery list – one bottle for every toilet. I’m adding a scratchy sponge and a container of baking soda beneath every sink. I have two vacuum cleaners. What I discovered is that, for me, more cleaning supplies, not fewer, more duplicate items, not less was the secret to housekeeping success.

Today’s Mini Mission

Declutter a fashion accessory.

Eco Tip For The Day

Share and borrow between friends and family rather than everyone owning/buying everything.

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow


Continue reading with these posts:

Comments

  1. Your habit of decluttering has provided the space to store needed supplies conveniently nearby!

  2. I have found that keeping more cleaning supplies in the different areas helps my family too. I do not want my kids dragging the toilet bowl brush through the house so they can clean all the toilets(gross). Its better to have one in each bathroom. It gets the cleaning done faster too. I do wish we had a vacuum for each floor but that may be down the road. Of course if we move again the goal is for a one floor plan so it won’t be an issue then ๐Ÿ™‚ I still have certain cleaners in the laundry room on the shelf since I have a little, but since we use mostly vinegar for cleaning that can be stored throughout the house without concern. Makes it easy to clean up a mess right away when its just a few feet away.

    • How do you clean with vinegar
      What do you clean with vinegar

      • Hi Betty, I have a jar in my pantry in wish soak lemon skins in white vinegar to give the vinegar a nice lemony smell and also extra cleaning boost from the citrus. This jar hold about 1 cup of vinegar which I then put into my empty spray bottle with a cup of water and a couple of squirts of eco friendly dishwashing detergent. I use this as my surface cleaner on everything from toilets, to baths, to showers to bench tops and sinks. I also use straight white vinegar instead of fabric softener. Mixed with bicarb soda and hot water as a drain cleaner. And in a bowl with bicarb soda, hot water and a couple of drops of dishwashing liquid to clean precious jewellery.

      • I use it the same way as Colleen, including dish soap mixed with vinegar for cleaning shower walls. I have a command hook in the shower with a zip tie around a “dish” cleaning tool. It hangs on the wall so it can be washed down easily after a shower. I also soak lemon peels in a jar of vinegar for at least two weeks then use it for deep cleaning. If I don’t have lemon peels I add extract to the vinegar for a better smell. If you look on the internet it will give you many different uses for cleaning with vinegar, I also posted a link(in the comments) to a site that gives tips on making homemade cleaners

        • I clean almost everything with vinegar though, you can even clean off fruit and vegetables to keep them from going bad, just mix one part vinegar to 10 part water and rinse fruit in it and allow to dry

    • Using non-toxic cleaning products does let you store then anywhere.

  3. We have only toilet in our house, so more than one brush is absolutly unnessecary. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    It is an interesting question: should I get more to do less, or have less to do less/more?

  4. This is a very smart post – thank you! Similarly, I feel the same about scissors and have pairs of them throughout the house: one in the entry with my candles for snipping wicks, in my closet for cutting threads or price tags, in the bathroom for impromptu hair trims, in the kitchen and so on. One pair is specifically for my husband so that he doesn’t have to remember that sewing scissors are not for cutting paper etc. It’s a balance of convenience, practicality, clutter and size of object?

    • Our scissors seem to move around the house in waves. For a week, I’ll have 4 on my desk. A week later, i can’t find a single pair. Annoying!

  5. We just have one bathroom and it has a pedestal sink so no storage there. The brush is in a little caddy beside the toilet, but yeah, I haul cleaning products in there to clean and yeah, it’s annoying and I would clean more often if it were such a dang production. LOL

    I have been trying to pare cleaning products down as per an e-mail conversation with Colleen, and things seem to be staying clean and I’m not missing those extra products that I have used up and not replaced.

    My good fabric scissors are hidden away from hubby. That man does not know the difference!! Scary.

  6. I have had two vacuum cleaners for a while now and I only have a little unit.
    But the garage is two floors down and I keep my old cylinder vacuum cleaner down there for ‘hoovering’ the car. It was just a cheap vac I bought years ago and it’s handy for the car.

  7. Cindy – I’ve been thinking about cleaning stuff this week myself. I do have a toilet brush and cleaner next to both toilets and it works well. Maintenance of these areas needs to happen quick. As for cleaning products. When I started with 365 I discovered I had many of the duplicate products due to be scattered around the house ie floor cleaner, I ended up with a bottle in the laundry, the kitchen, one in the bathroom and one in the en suite. And so on and so on with our cleaning products. So I returned everything to the laundry area on the top shelf and located a plastic basket onto the lower shelf and placed one of each cleaning item in the baskett. At the time we had a cleaner come in once a week so it worked well for putting those out for her. We found we didn’t require a cleaner once the house became more streamline although I must confess I do miss coming home on a Thursday to it all being done in one hit.

    I have gotten used to returning to one spot for cleaning supplies or for taking this basket around with me. And apart from one product I am down to only one bottle of each type of cleaner. It occured to me the other day that if I cleared out the under tub shelves I would have enough room to store all our cleaners in there, so I’m trailing that option at the moment. In the cupboard under the tub were an assortment of items such as cat feeder, hoses for the washing machine (we simply re-attached the ones from my old machine), bits and pieces, general flotsom.

  8. Jennifer Wallington :

    I am a pretty dejunked and minimalist but we have 2 vacuum cleaners! We live in a 3 story town house with a kitchen and utility on the ground floor, lounge on the first floor and bedrooms on the top floor I have a cordless dyson a DC 35 it is brilliant for a quick clean up and a regular Henry Hoover for a thorough hoovering! I also have 3 toilets, one on each floor and spend time running up and down stairs with toilet brushes and cleaners as no place to put them in the first floor shower room except on the floor behind the pan which looks awful and marks the floor! Ah well keeps me fit!

  9. Cindy-
    This is the solution I also found to help me perform “quick” cleaning that actually resulted in a home that stayed cleaner, longer.
    Great article!!
    Rilee

  10. Good old convenience rears it’s ugly head again. Please everyone stop and think for a moment why you are here. How many of the items you have decluttered already were things of convenience. Two of this, four of that, that tool you bought to use once, items you could have borrowed for the few times you needed them, excess items you stored in bulk because it was cheaper that way and saved you another trip to the store in two months time… I know we are only talking about a few cleaning products here but this is the mentality that got us into a cluttered mess in the first place. Stop and think for a moment about how little extra time it takes to retrieve the items you need for a cleaning job. Not long I bet and the exercise won’t do you any harm either.

    Please read this blog post for more of my opinion on convenience clutter.

    How clean does the inside of your toilet really need to be anyway. I clean mine once a week when I do the rest of my housework. I might give the downstairs toilets a quick once over if we are having visitors but that is it. The environment will thank you for not washing toilet cleaning solution down the drain too often. If you must keep something in each bathroom keep a microfibre cloth. Microfibre will clean every surface without chemicals.

    I talk often about the willingness to let go of clutter requiring a change of mindset. Well housework is no different, ignoring it because it is too much bother requires a change of mind set too. Devising ways to make it more convenient is only a diversionary tactic. If my 74 year old mother can see that housework is good exercise then I’m sure you can too.

    • Yikes! I’m in trouble now!!

      • You are never in trouble Cindy. You do whatever works for you. I am just saying that convenience is often the cause of clutter. It is like the person that drives around the car park for ten minutes looking for a park close to the entry. Meanwhile they could have parked further away got a little exercise walking a little and taken three minutes to achieve it.

        I wish you had asked about what sort of vacuum cleaner to buy. I have only had an upright once and would never buy another. They are too cumbersome for my liking and aren’t as versatile as a barrel model.

        • Colleen and Cindy – I have an upright vacuum cleaner and I love it.

          • I have a Bag less Upright
            & I LoVe it Too !!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

            Also I have Cleaners in Both of my Bathrooms & My Kitchen
            On the Tops they Are Labeled Bath 1 & Bath 2 & Kitchen
            I don’t have alot in each Bathroom so it’s NICE to have it right there.
            Also THEN There is NO ECUSES for the bathrooms to Be Dirty ๐Ÿ™‚
            & ANYONE CAN HELP KEEP THEM CLEAN ! (( ๐Ÿ˜€
            Also my Big Extra Bottles of Cleaner/s are in the Garage Pantry with the Bleach & Laundry Detergents & polish ๐Ÿ™‚

            Great Topic thx

  11. Years ago, I had a friend tell me how she loves having two vacuums in her home. I thought it was crazy and unnecessary. I came upon an almost new Kirby vacuum and had the chance to purchase it for only 75 dollars and decided I would try having two vacuums, since I was tired of lugging ours up and downstairs. I knew that if I didn’t like it, I could easily sell the second vacuum for more than I bought it for. It is wonderful. It is so nice to have a vacuum on each level, even though it is duplicating something. I find I keep the home cleaner by having easier access to one when I need it. If an item proves to be useful on a regular basis, it can be worth buying a duplicate in rare occasions. As for cleaning supplies, I cleaned out my cupboards of all the toxic stuff and am using natural cleaners now. They are eco-friendly and there are no more toxic smells. I love it. I only have 3-4 things in my cleaning cupboard compared to the 10-15 things I had before.

  12. I have cleaning supplies all over the house and am beginning to think less is more. We have small amounts of various cleaners stashed here and there and can’t even remember what we have. So we have bought replacements for cleaners we already have. After I use these existing cleaners up, I plan to replace with less toxic cleaners and keep them in a central location in the house. (Cleaned the shower on Sunday without gloves and today the skin on my fingers is peeling. Yikes!)

    We solved the problem of lugging the big vacuum up stairs by purchasing a dustbuster several years ago. It’s great for cat hair tumbleweeds and now I can keep the upstairs tidy without lugging the heavy vacuum upstairs so often. The dustbuster is used frequently and for different purposes, so I don’t think of it as clutter. The multitudes of almost empty containers of cleaning products will soon be out of here, though!

    • Good for you June. I am glad that you are switching over to more natural eco friendly cleaners. I also have a central place (the laundry) for most my cleaning products. I use vinegar as a base for much of my cleaning these days and it works well. My spray-and-wipe concoction of vinegar, lemon and a couple of squirts of eco friendly dishwashing liquid, resides in the kitchen because it is used there most often. It is also used for cleaning the showers, the bath, the outside of the toilet and all bench tops. I use water and microfibre to clean all glass and tiled floor. I have no pets so one vacuum cleaner is enough for me. I did purchase a dust buster for $5 at my thrift shop a while back but it got used so infrequently that I gave it to my daughter.

  13. Shannon Eaton :

    Ohmygosh, for the first time, a suggestion you make that I already do! Patting myself on the back…

  14. We do have duplicate toilet brushes and toilet cleaning supplies. We both clean our own bathrooms and it is handy to have the items right there so that we don’t string drips off the brush as we take it back. The rest of the cleaning supplies are all together in one place.

  15. I, too, thought that having cleaning supplies in each of our three bathrooms would make life easier. Until I started forgetting to buy one of the many cleaners (window/mirror cleaner, toilet bowl solution, toilet seat spray, all-purpose liquid cleaner … yes, I used to use all of those) which I thought was required for good housekeeping; then I’d be running to one of the other bathrooms and then when I cleaned that bathroom I’d be running back to retrieve it, etc, etc … or else buying extra cleaner “just in case” (gah) and ending up with many extras.

    But.

    I believe the “right” answer to the question of “convenience versus simplicity” can change as our circumstances change. There are many factors to consider: our age, our health, how big or small a home we have, how many levels, our financial situation, our storage space, our organizational skills (writing down what we need before heading to the grocery store, for one), whether we work, have small children, have many children, have other responsibilities such as elderly parents or volunteer commitments or overtime required at work, have pets (hairy, hairy pets), have cleaning help, clean in five-minute-do-it-now spurts or strictly once a week, and on and on.

    Good points raised by everyone so far.

    • Jo H – I agree, everyone’s homes and circumstances are different and we all have reasons why we do or don’t do things a particular way. For me, keeping most of my cleaners in one place is working well but I have to admit that sometimes I’d like a spray bottle of the citrus cleaner in the kitchen too. Yes it doesn’t kill me to walk to the laundry, but other people in my household aren’t so inclined, in fact some could be described as minimum effort type cleaners! But I’d have to go into the plastics/storage solution shop to get a spray bottle and those stores have been my weakness in the past. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Jo H, you are correct, everyone’s circumstances are different. I can’t argue with that.

    • I don’t clean my house all at once. I don’t even clean one room all at once. I am more of a spot cleaner – I spot something dirty, and I clean it! If i was spending 3 or 4 hours cleaning the entire house, having a caddy would be convenient. But since I’m cleaning “on the fly” it makes more sense to have the products as convenient as possible to where they’ll be used.

  16. I’ve just moved two households into one – oh my the proliferation of commercial cleaning products! There were even some left in our new rental!! I hate them… ok, almost. I can’t believe you didn’t previously have a toilet brush per toilet – there’s no way I’d move those around!! I totally agree it needs to be ‘easy’ to clean – and having things in the right place is the start!

  17. I keep loo cleaner, surface spray, loo brush and a cloth in every bathroom. One is the guest bathroom and is rarely used but the other two get a regular beating! The first time I use either bathroom each day I give the loo a quick clean and run round the bathroom with a spray. I can practically do it as I wash my teeth. Likewise washing up liquid, a vast bottle of vinegar and a tub of bicarb and more surface spray is under the kitchen sink and laundry products (including more vinegar and bicarb) in a tin in the laundry. Anything not needed regularly (silver polish, beeswax etc) is in a tub in the laundry ready to be picked up for the weekly clean. I even keep a small box of old face flannels (which I use for clothes) in the upstairs bathroom so that as the old one goes in the wash I have a clean one immediately to hand.

  18. I do agree it depends on our life circumstances when you make decisions on simplicity vs clutter. We have to clean our bathroom each day, three boys in the house, one of which is toilet training ๐Ÿ™‚ I also homeschool my children, have one child that is medical special needs and then of course have other responsibilities and so the faster we can get the chores out of the way for the day the better. We do deep clean once a week but the hit and run method works for us during the week so its best to have things close at hand. Suggestion for Cindy, rather then buy multiple cleaning bottles for each bathroom to clean the toilet. Put some in each holder that the brush sits in. It will always have cleaner on it ready to go but you are not cluttering under your sinks with multiple cleaning supplies.

    • I homeschool too:) We took the entire summer off and started back today.

    • Interesting idea Angel, but after I clean the toilet, I don’t want the germs plunging back into the cleaning fluid that I’ll use the next time, especially since I’m not using bleach or other heavy chemicals in my toilets, or anywhere else in my house.

      • I usually just allow the brush to be rinsed off with a toilet flush. Then since it goes back into “cleaner/vinegar” it doesn’t seem to be dirty, I think of it as “sanitizing” it for next time. Since it is a daily swish the toilets never seem to be gross. How do you “clean” off your brush then?

        • I don’t flush after I clean. I let it soak until someone uses the toilet. I put the brush between the seat and the bowl with the cleaning part hanging over the bowl until it dries then put it back into the holder.

  19. Cindy, you still have young kids at home and I think that you work outside the home so your daily life is different from empty nesters and SAHM. Do what works for you! I have a Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Brush with a hook that attaches to the side of the toilet tank in every bathroom in my house. This way I don’t carry a toilet brush that might drip on my floors. I got a bleach stain on a rug from a toilet brush:(. I use the Scrubbing Bubbles brush refills over and over. I have one toilet bowl cleaner that is kept in my cleaning caddy that I carry from room to room. My cleaning caddy also contains baking soda, vinegar, Glass Plus, 2 microfiber cloths, rags, Granite Cleaner, Furniture Cleaner with a special cloth. I keep Tilex Mold & Mildew and Comet in my cupboard to use when needed. I own a lightweight Oreck upright and a small Oreck canister with attachments that travels to all 3 floors. I use my Orecks on my hardwoods, rugs, mattresses, lampshades and curtains. I also have a Shark Steam Mop that cleans my tile floors in the basement, laundry and all bathrooms. I also use Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner with a generic Bona sweeper and microfiber pad to clean the spills off the hardwoods and dust/hair under furniture. This system works great for me. I would love to have everything clean at one time though… maybe when the kids are grown:). Now, I do park far away from the entrance to buildings. I don’t want door dings on my 11 year old car and the outdoor exercise is good for me.

  20. I have followed this blog, literally for years. ๐Ÿ™‚ I come back once every few days to catch up on what I’ve missed out on and have really enjoyed doing this and while I do not post I consider myself “one of the team” in an odd way. I myself do not have issues with clutter, living almost on the extreme side of the minimalist spectrum, the 365 provides me insight for how things are for more normal, but still minimalist, husband.

    However, and I say this as nicely as possible, it appears as if the blog has become more and more critical of others over the last year and it’s not particularly pleasant. I felt slapped by Colleens reaction to Cindys thoughts and even held off on mentioning anything with the vague thought that Colleen might take it down after reconsideration. When that didn’t happen, and after multiple discussions with my husband about it, I realized I would need to make my first comment.

    When I refer to myself as a minimalist I am not exaggerating. I have had guests walk into my home and ask when I am moving in… after I have lived there for years. I cannot take part in the traditional minimal clothing challenges on blogs because I don’t have enough clothing even before they start. We do not own a single piece of art. Etc. HOWEVER. I have two pairs of shoes. They are identical but having two pairs allows one pair to dry out while I wear the second pair. My husband and I have exactly two towels. A blue one and a green one. Just as I feel no pressure to have extras shoes or towels for guests, I feel no pressure to move down to a single pair of shoes or only a single towel. It is true that the shoes mostly dry overnight so strictly speaking I do not HAVE to have a second pair (and did not in fact for many years) and that only one towel is used at a time allowing both of us to share a single towel (which has happened in the past) but a clutter free life does not need to mean a life totally void of convienance or consideration for your time/efforts/body.

    To berate someone, anyone, for having two of an item was a little embarrasing to see unfold. Two pairs of shoes can be reasonable, two pairs of socks can be reasonable and so can two vacuum cleaners. I personally enjoy having more than one fork. I find it very convienant. Having multiples of items, does not force you to live in a “cluttered mess”. My husband has taught me that an item that is usefull and is actually USED is not clutter.

    You went on to suggest she probably needs more exercise anyway, accused her of using too many chemicals by foolishly cleaning too often, and managed to add an additional insult to both her and your mother by outright commenting that if someone like your mother (!) can learn then so can she. I found her response to you to be amazingly discreet. Had my friend dressed me down in such a manner and publicly to boot I would have been horrified and then deeply hurt.

    And, not to save the best for last, but since this is likely to be my only/last post I wanted to say that I purchased a small backpack vacuum cleaner. It is easy to carry around while moving from room to room and going up or down stairs is a snap. It needs to be emptied more often but as a bagless vacuum it doesn’t effect the garbage produced by it. I can strap it on and do several rooms quite quickly regardless of what obstacles need to be overcome and there is no bending, pulling or squatting to be dealt with.

    • Hi Morgen, thank you for your comment and also for being a faithful reader for so long. I accept your criticism in good grace and will use it to help change my approach in the future. On reflection, although not meaning to come off as nasty as I sounded to you, I realise the my comment could sound more scathing than it was meant. I was not actually meaning to direct the comment to Cindy personally although that does not make it excusable. I merely wanted to get the message across that one needs to be careful where this kind of thinking can lead too.

      You are the second person to bring it to my attention that my posts have become critical in nature of late. I therefore will pay more heed to what is in, and how I deliver my message in the future. I must admit I have been struggling lately at coming up with fresh and informative posts that are helpful to both newcomers who are at the beginning of their journey to declutter as well as to those who are in much the same situation as myself.

      Perhaps the vacation I am about to take is much needed. I will use some of that time to reflect on how I can better serve my readers in the future.

      Thank you again for your comment. Regards Colleen.

      • Colleen – a whole two comments out of tens of thousands of comments over the same time – I wish I had that kind of strike rate! LOL

        Don’t be so hard on yourself. I have been a 365 follower for a while now and I love the advice, the community, the banter, the topics. Who’d have thought getting rid of stuff would be so much fun! You do a bang up job, I know how much work is involved in reply to everyone and writing so many posts!!!!! Its surprisingly hard work. And with no kickback from advertising! You do a great job. There can’t be too many people who can say they have made such a difference in so many homes around the world! Keep the faith!

        • Thank you Moni. I appreciate your support. Sometimes I think I am toughest on you than any of the other commenters so I am glad you appreciate the fact that I am just trying to be helpful. You have been a very loyal reader and my most prolific commenter and I thank you for that. I will be expecting you to hold the fort while I am away. So conjure up your best decluttering advice and have at it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        • I agree very much.

      • I DID happen to read the previous negative comment and want to be clear that I do not believe that person was being very nice or even very helpful and as well I thought they were over the top. I think it’s clear that you are a really fun, energetic and loving person and your grace at my thoughts only proves that out. I’ve often wished I was slightly closer to you then the East cost of the U.S. I would have a beer with you anytime and will certainly continue to check in as well as recommend you to others. ๐Ÿ™‚

        I often have difficulty talking about cleaning or decluttering or minimalizing. With me being so aggressive in my life style, and having been so for so many years, it can be very stressfull for me to talk with those in a more normal situation. I suspect it’s very stressful for them as well. Lol. Our viewpoints are simply so far apart that I’m not entirely sure that we are discussing the same subject any longer. I very much appreciate what you are saying about spanning from beginners to people well on their journey and how difficult that can be. ๐Ÿ˜€

        I’ve also appreciated the slow drift of the blogging to a more minimal and green lifestyle. That is right up my alley and I’m glad to follow along. It’s great to hear about where you are now, knowing where you have come from.

        • I am very new to your site, in fact the post that was commented on was the reason I signed up to follow your blog!

          I love your voice, love your message, and want you to know you sure inspired me to get going!

          Off to declutter my one book:). Have a great vacation.

          Laurie

          You will never be able to please everyone, please just keep doing the wonderful job you are. I read many of your previous posts and I am very impressed.

    • Morgen, I have been reading for years, too, and what I heard in Colleen’s comment was someone who had gone down that slippery slope already and was desperately hoping to remind others of what can happen. Could it have been more moderate? Perhaps. But I tend to see this site now as a group of old friends with whom we can speak frankly and respectfully. And if we have some off days and speak more on the frankly side and less on the respectfully side, our friends here will make allowance and forgive us.

      • Thanks Jo H, a appreciate your support. Between this apartment deal fall through and the nasty chest infection I have at the moment I dare say my passion was overtaking my temperance. Roll on vacation I say.

        • Have a good vacation, and I hope you shake that bug … hey, who knows, you might fall in love with one of those vacation destinations and life may take a different turn …

        • Colleen, I love that you say what you mean, and when I saw your comment to Cindy, I wondered if you were over-stressed by all that was going on in your life. It tends to go that way; so I am glad that Cindy was gracious and you were gracious as you realized how the words sounded to some. : >

  21. since we have been talking about cleaning and supplies and many using natural products, here is a blog that gives lots of great ideas to put together your own homemade cleaning supplies http://www.cleanmama.net/2013/08/cleaning-with-natural-cleaners-round-up-55-simple-recipes-5-free-printables.html

  22. It has been brought to my attention that my earlier comment to this post was harsh and insulting to Cindy. I can assure you it was not meant to be so. However, reading it from the angle of a reader and not the writer, I can see that it sounds a whole lot harsher than was intended.

    I therefore not only apologise to Cindy (which I have done personally) but also to anyone reading that took offence. I would like you too know that my intention was merely to make the point that duplicating items throughout the house may seen convenient but can also lead to clutter. I know this because my biggest clutter weakness was always useful items that were intended to make my workload easier. They are the items that I find hardest to part with and easiest to fall into the trap of purchasing. Therefore this post sent warning bells off in my head.

    During my married life I have been a stay at home mom, worked outside the home while raising kids, and am now an empty nester. So I know this situation from all angles. Although I have recently become an empty nester, I do work very hard at maintaining this blog and doing volunteer work in the community, so making housework easy is still a priority for me. I have simply found that in general less is less, less stuff to deal with, clean around and store is less work no matter what the category.

    My intention is always to help people see how much simpler life can be with less stuff. One of the reasons I am now able to stay at home and do what I do is because of the way that decluttering and losing the desire to acquire has simplified our lives. Our next goal is for my husband to do the same. I hope that what I preach here at 365 Less Things can help you all reach a similar goal.

    Once again I humbly apologise to anyone who found my previous comment insulting in any way.
    Sincerely Colleen

    • I also wanted to say that even if you haven’t felt “inspired” lately, your blog has changed my life in so many ways. Yes, its true we may not do things the same, but I have made huge steps forward in reducing the things around me and I have felt so much peace because of it. Hope that you have an awesome vacation but mostly I hope that you have not gotten discouraged. I look forward to this blog each week. I subscribe to other blogs but do not always have the time to read them so I have to delete so my inbox doesn’t fill up(declutter even on the computer). Your blog I read each week no matter what because it encourages me. Thanks for taking all the time to be honest where you are in the process but also to be an encourager to so many.

      • Thank you Angel I appreciate your support. I am so glad that 365 Less Things with the help of all who post and comment here is inspiring you to change your life for the better. And thank you for that great natural cleaners link. I have bookmarked each page and have already learned a thing or two from them. Cheers Colleen

  23. Colleen and Cindy,
    This seems like a good time to let you know how much I appreciate you both and enjoy reading your posts. Like many of your readers, I was a long time reader before my first post and you have both helped me break through my inertia in our home. As I look around me in our living/dining room, I have to say it looks nice! I have much more to do, but I know that reading this site will keep me motivated. This is the only website I’ve ever posted on. Why? Because in general the comments are positive and supportive, even through differences in opinions. This kind of positive atmosphere is few and far between these days. I started reading in late March. By April 1, I was decluttering at least a thing a day. I even pile up extras before going on a business trip or vacation. I would have never thought to do this without this site.

    After reading all the comments on Cindy’s post, I’ve learned a lot about natural cleaners and will try these tips. No kidding, my skin is STILL peeling from cleaning the shower without gloves last Sunday! And I’m going to throw caution to the wind and go purchase toilet brushes for the other 2 commodes (Southern U.S. term for toilet). What was I thinking carrying a wet toilet brush up and down the stairs. Yuck!

    • Hi June and thank you for your support and for sharing with us your successes. I am so glad 365 Less Things has been a help to you and hope it will continue to be so. I am glad you are learning some eco friendly cleaning tips as they are not only good for the environment but often cheap. Win win!

      I has occurred to me that I must be the only person who has a toilet brush that has its own drip bowl. This drip bowl allows me to take it from room to room without dripping all over the floor. It is just a very basic cheap plastic brush and bowl but obviously well designed nevertheless. Thus, I will continue to only have one for my three toilets. It resides in the one that gets used the most.

  24. I got another blog post this week that I thought went so well with this discussion. I have never used microfiber clothes before but Colleen mentioned that is what she uses. Here is a review of what they can do, I had no idea ๐Ÿ™‚ http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2013/08/cleaning-with-microfiber-cloths-no-chemicals-required.html/comment-page-14#comment-160831

  25. I admit I was confused when reading this post [subtracting, not adding!! ;)], but I totally understand. I just rediscovered this quote/question (I quoted it on my facebook.. it might have been from Becoming Minimalist??):

    Is this going to make my life noticeably better?

    It’s such a good question to ask before any purchase, and I totally see how some extra cleaning items and another vacuum can make life better ๐Ÿ™‚ Plus if you use it, it’s not clutter ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks! I very much enjoy the blog!

  26. I appreciate Cindy’s blog which always gives useful information. Using appropriate janitorial supplies and storing them needs to be done in a careful manner. Getting cleaning supplies according to our need is made simpler by In stock supplies as we can go through their various products online. I ordered several janitorial supplies from them and they offer good quality products with affordable price. Thanks Cindy for the blog expecting more from you.