Despite being a place for cleaning products, the cabinet space under the kitchen and bathroom sinks was easily one of our more messy spaces. With a mobile and curious baby in the house I want to minimize the amount of chemicals we’re using to make for a safer home environment. It’s also a bit annoying having to rummage around to find what I need so there’s no better time to declutter our under sink areas. As much as I want to only share the more aesthetically pleasing pictures with perfect lighting, composition and well designed objects I think it’s more important to be authentic and realistic about what my home life is like.
The first step was to clean out things that aren’t needed or used. The act of cleaning out these cabinets is a good memory to think back to when I’m wanting to buy new hair products or cosmetics. Through years of trial and error I’ve found what really works for me & what gets tossed out which helps me curb making impulse buys of new make up or hair care products. I’m still learning to say “no, thank you!” to free cosmetic samples because I know I won’t use them.
Occasionally I’d find myself in the dilemma of whether or not to toss something I don’t use often but am not quite ready to let go of. When this happens I ask myself these questions:
When was the last time I used it?
Does it work for me?
Do I already have another product that does the job?
Why am I holding on to it?
Sometimes I hold onto hair and cleaning products because they are practically full even though I know I’m not likely to use it. In that case I’m challenging myself to post it on my neighborhood Buy Nothing group or see if a friend would actually use it to avoid wasting it.
The most efficient change happened by reducing the number of cleaners we have. Fewer bottles and fewer chemicals is good all around. We used what we had left in the existing bottles then when the time came to restock we purchased Dr. Bronner’s Castille soap which has so many uses – dishes, mopping, veggie wash, body wash, laundry soap, countertop and toilet cleaner. We need to mop our tile floor more often so I use a kombucha bottle to store some pre-made cleaner in so it’s ready to go.
The recipes we use are:
Laundry: 1/4 cup Citrus or Lavender Dr. Bronner’s Castille Soap and sprinkle of baking soda (more or less depending on how dirty the clothes are).
General Cleaning: 1/4 cup Dr. Bronner’s Castille Soap and fill the rest of the spray bottle with water.
Veggie Wash: 5 drops of Dr. Bronner’s Castille Soap in a bowl of water, set produce in for a few seconds then rinse.
Toilet Cleaner: Squirt soap in a ring around the toilet bowl, sprinkle in some baking soda then scrub with a toilet brush. I let it sit for a few minutes then flush.
A few spray bottles were worth saving since those can be refilled with general cleaning solution. I’m also saving a few foaming pump bottles to make body wash when our current supply runs out. I have a hard time letting go of nice candle containers because I convince myself I’ll pour new candles into them one day. Until that day comes the old candle containers have been cleaned out and hold hair ties and cotton swabs in the medicine cabinet.
Despite getting things under control, it’s still not a pretty sight! I’d love to hear any recommendations for more Dr. Bronner’s recipes or ways to keep the chemicals to a minimum.
So, what’s the purpose? Why even take the time to declutter these ugly areas?
- You’ll be more aware of what you have and what you don’t use helping you curb future unnecessary purchases.
- You’ll free up space in your cabinets and reduce visual clutter.
- Streamlining your cleaning products will reduce the amount of harmful chemicals in your home.