the cluttered space under my kitchen sink

i did some minimalizing around the house yesterday.  i didn’t set out to find a minimalizing project, i was just looking for some dishsoap.  but when i opened the cabinet door under the kitchen sink, i knew i had found my most recent minimalizing effort – cleaning solutions of all sorts, sponges, scrapers, and plastic bottles.

i followed my typical formula: pull out everything, create three piles (sell/donate/trash, relocate, return), reorganize, and complete.  but for this project, i added one important step: test.  that’s right!  i took every product that we don’t use regularly and tested it before deciding to keep it.  it’s amazing how many “specialized” cleaning solutions seem to do the same job as one multi-purpose disinfectant.

it took me one trash bag and about 45 minutes to complete the task.  at the end, i had one new minimalized, clutter-free cabinet, a new understanding of our cleaning solutions, and one clean shower (the bathroom cleanser worked so good i decided to keep cleaning and finish the shower too).

my advice to my wife and to you – the next time you are about to buy a new, specialized cleaning solution in fresh-looking packaging, ask yourself if you really need it.  and if you do, ask yourself how you ever kept it clean without it…

related posts: benefit #4 – easier to clean; i had to do something

Joshua Becker

About Joshua Becker

Writer. Inspiring others to live more by owning less.
Bestselling author of Simplify & Clutterfree with Kids.

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  1. says

    I bought soooo many cleaners trying to clean the top of my stove. One day I tried a bit of baking soda and it came right up. That’s the day I decided to give away most of our bottles of cleaning ‘solutions’. Baking soda and/or vinegar will clean a lot of stuff, and there’s usually a simple solution for what they won’t clean.

  2. says

    Thanks! And you’re very welcome!

    I’ve really enjoyed your blog and look forward to reading more. I’ve been looking for more blogs or sites for minimalist living, but haven’t come across many at all. Basically, yours, Zen Habits, and Unclutterer. Not a bad bunch, of course ; ) But if you know of any more sites you’d recommend, please let me know.

    • Mandi says

      To help ease the smell of vinegar, add fresh squeezed lemons and oranges to the mixture. It doesn’t completely get rid of the smell but it helps make it more tolerable when cleaning with vinegar and baking soda. Plus the additional citrus juices give your homemade cleaning solution a “boost” since the acids in the fruits help cut through grime and helps disinfect the surface. Of course you always want to take caution if you have granite or marble counters, and do research to make sure your homemade cleaner wont ruin the surface.

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