Thank you for joining The Compassionate Home Decluttering Challenge!
This week we are going to begin by decluttering (and detoxing) your Cleaning Tools & Supplies!
This means it’s time to sort through your:
- Bathroom Cleaning Tools & Supplies
- Kitchen Cleaning Tools & Supplies
- Miscellaneous Household Cleaning Tools & Supplies
PLUS: take a moment to think about your typical cleaning habits and routines (or lack thereof!)
The reason I like to start here is twofold:
- First of all ~ eliminating toxic cleaning chemicals is something I feel should be essential to every household. Believe it or not, it’s the number one way you can improve the quality of your indoor air and prevent problems with allergies, illness, and asthma! Click the following links if you’d like to know more about The Hazards of Conventional Cleaning Products and learn more about the 4 Non-toxic Cleaning Solutions I highly recommend.
- The second reason I like to begin here is because de-cluttering and cleaning go hand in hand. Combined they create a beneficial habit I call “Spiritual Housekeeping”.
Spiritual Housekeeping goes well beyond traditional housekeeping or cleaning in the sense that it’s a state of active awareness. In this state, you are consciously and consistently scanning your environment and removing anything that does not resonate with your desire to create a positive home environment that nurtures and supports your mind, body, and soul. It’s a practice that helps you clear out the physical clutter (along with any dirt and debris that have accumulated), as well as the consuming emotions that created it in the first place.
(Wondering what “consuming emotions” are? I discuss them further in 3 Health Benefits of Decluttering.)
The primary goal of Spiritual Housekeeping is to redefine the act of cleaning and clearing space.
Don’t think of de-cluttering, dusting, sweeping, vacuuming, or cleaning as a chore—think of it as a spiritual cleansing. Along with the dirt and excess physical clutter you remove from your home—you have a conscious opportunity to cleanse your soul!
“The external dust and debris around you are basically a manifestation of the faults and stains within your own mind…Therefore, as you cleanse the environment, think that you are also purifying your mind.” ~ His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Path to Bliss.
So, in order to properly prepare for this de-cluttering challenge, we need to get into the right mindset and prepare our arsenal of healthy cleaning tools and supplies so we can clear away the negative thoughts, consuming emotions, and bad habits along with our physical clutter.
Before you begin decluttering, set an intention for this aspect of your home:
- Do you want to have your cleaning supplies in one accessible location instead of spread in various spaces throughout your home?
- Do you want to stop buying duplicate items because you don’t know what you already have, or forgot what you previously bought?
- Do you want to make cleaning more of an enjoyable experience instead of a chore?
- Do you want to improve your indoor air quality and health by using non-toxic cleaners?
Remember, your intention for this aspect of the de-cluttering challenge will help you stay on track and be more likely to succeed in creating a space that nurtures and inspires your true potential.
Once you are clear on your intentions, it’s time to choose a de-cluttering method that suits your schedule and style…
Choose your method:
You can try this a couple different ways…
- You can take baby steps by doing one drawer, closet, or cupboard at a time.
- You can try the Konmari method! Simply gather EVERYTHING related to this category you have spread throughout various locations in your home into one single location. Then begin sorting through each individual item, one at a time!
While the first method creates less chaos and may be good if you’re short on time…it does make it harder to stay on task, as it’s too easy to stop at one or two drawers and forget about the rest.
The second method will temporarily turn your home upside down—but it encourages you to go through your things with a fine tooth comb, all at once, in one major overhaul!! This ensures that you won’t come across duplicate items you misplaced in the future!
Regardless of the method you choose, it’s important to establish criteria for what you’re keeping, and what you’ll do with the rest!!
Questions to ask yourself to help decide whether or not you should keep something:
- Is it broken/out-dated/expired? If it is, adios!
- Do I use it regularly? If not, goodbye!
- Do I have unnecessary duplicates? If yes, keep one then toss the rest.
- Do I need a new one, but can’t afford to replace it at the moment? (Keep it for now, but make a list of what you want to replace, and as you do…toss the old one as soon as you bring the new one in the door!)
- If it makes me feel guilty for having invested the money, but not used it…bye bye!
- If it’s made of toxic chemicals or materials (ex: conventional chemical cleaners) …farewell!
Now, what to do with the items you are not keeping??
- Recycle them if possible. Most cleaning supplies/containers can be recycled.
- Donate them to a homeless shelter or goodwill.
- Sell them (if it’s worth the time and effort!)
- Give them to someone else (ONLY IF THEY NEED IT!! We don’t want to burden someone else with more clutter)
- Throw them away.
The key is to move the stuff you’re not keeping QUICKLY!!
Do not create a pile of stuff that you are going to get to someday. Whatever you decide to do with it, it needs to happen by the end of this week! Otherwise you risk a new pile of clutter that will collect more dust and be another burden to deal with later.
For everything else you are keeping…clean up the dust and dirt in your preferred storage spaces and put it away! Yes, that’s all I want you to do for now.
Do not risk getting caught up in finding new storage systems, as this will take time and energy away form accomplishing next week’s challenge 🙂
When I cleaned out my conventional cleaning supplies awhile ago, I never imagined I had 5 bags full of toxic chemicals scattered throughout my house!
Believe it or not, now that I’ve replaced them with a few natural cleaners I actually find cleaning more enjoyable. (I used to make my husband clean because I couldn’t stand the chemicals!) Now even my daughter loves to help me mix a “potion” here and there!
Technically I could pare my supplies down even more than what is shown in the bottom two photos featured in the collage at the top of this page (as the Branch Basics concentrate can pretty much clean everything!), but I like using Thieves as a disinfectant and mixing my own nontoxic air fresheners.
Don’t forget to share your progress, ask questions, or request support in the Facebook group when you need it!
I can’t wait to hear about your results!!
Happy Clutter Clearing!!