Once a year I deep clean and reorganize my laundry room. Part of the process is to take a hard look to see what I am storing on my laundry room shelf. It’s a scary thought, I know, but since I only do it once a year, I can handle it!
The maintenance during the year is mainly keeping the floor clean and restocking supplies. Now it has been a full year since I worked in this area beyond maintenance, and it is time to re-evaluate the space.
I have open shelving in my laundry room, and it is a great area to chunk off and do each shelf in 10-minute bites.
There is one shelf that contains my cleaning and laundry supplies and this year it looks a bit overwhelming. I wonder if I can do it in 10 minutes.
Laundry room shelf for supplies
Why is this shelf so much worse than it has been in the past?
It is important for me to understand how I let this happen.
- This past year when I ran low or out of a favorite product, my store often would not have it in supply. So, I would try a similar product. It might work OK but when I did see my favorite back on the shelf, I would not only grab it, but I would also grab a back-up in case the next time I was low it was not available again.
- I like to try out “green products”. Some of these I really like but I still have the ones that they are replacing.
- My cleaning lady likes certain products that I try to keep in stock for her.
- I hate to trash usable products
Right now, the laundry room shelf is a mess. I must move products to get to ones I want. I suspect there are items on that shelf that are not even good anymore.
I am up to the 10-minute challenge!
Organizing tool: deck of cards
I pull out the Laundry Room Shelf card from my deck of Organize Your Home 10 Minutes at a Time. I set my timer for 10 minutes.
- Remove all items from the shelf and wipe it down.
- Toss or recycle any trash and empty containers.
- Consolidate partial boxes of products you are using and discard any that you no longer want.
- Put everything that doesn’t belong in the laundry in a goes elsewhere bag or box.
- Neatly replace items on the shelf.
- Relocate the items that go elsewhere to where they belong.
Group products by function
As I removed the items from the shelf, I grouped them according to function – laundry products, wood cleaning products, general cleaning products, other. By doing this I could easily see what I had that were duplicates or did the same function of another product.
I saw that I had a full bottle of Simple Green and two partial bottles. It took me a minute to consolidate the two partial bottles.
Put everything back
I got everything back on the shelf right at the 10-minute mark. I put products that I don’t use as often towards the back of the shelf and the ones I use every week are right in front. Four items got trashed. I have set aside two items that need to go to the outside storage area.
The shelf is now organized, and I don’t have to move items to get to my main cleaning products. It is still not perfect (see fourth bullet point about not wanting to trash usable products) but I now can easily see what products I duplicated and as I use up a product, I can see I already have a replacement. If my space was really tight, I could remove the backups and place them elsewhere but since I do have the space, I prefer to have them where I see them and know that I already have a back-up.
This reorganization of the laundry shelf with my cleaning products was done in 10-minutes. The other shelves will take less. Keeping like items together helps keep inventory of what you already have so that you don’t duplicate purchases.
It is easy for any area to become cluttered. It is helpful to take a moment to analyze why this clutter accumulated in this one spot. But once the clutter begins to annoy you, realize that it only takes a short amount of time to declutter and reorganize. Taking 10 minutes or less will affect how you feel when you are working in this area.
I challenge you to look around and find one area that you could declutter in 10 minutes or less. Then just do it! Just for fun send us pictures of your project on our Facebook page Ask the Organizers Diane and Jonda. You will feel so much better when you see the organized space you have created!
Jonda S. Beattie, Professional Organizer owner of Time Space Organization, and co-owner of Release, Repurpose, Reorganize. She is based in the Metro-Atlanta area. As presenter, award-winning author, as well as a retired special education teacher she uses her listening skills, problem solving skills, knowledge of different learning techniques, ADHD specialty, and paper management skills to help clients tackle the toughest organizational issues. Jonda does hands on organizing and virtual organizing.
You inspired me to take a look in my laundry room. There is no shelf near the washer and dryer, so that area is clutter-free. However, I have a supply closet in the laundry room that could use a once-over. Like you, during the pandemic, I stocked up on extra supplies as I found them. And now my cabinet is full and not so organized. I think I know what I have, but not really. It’s time to take everything out, release what I’m not using, and organize things back, putting like with like. I’m actually kind of excited about tackling that project because I know it won’t take long, and it will feel so satisfying.
Have fun with your newly organized laundry room shelf. Enjoy!
I have some cleaners under my kitchen sink that were “all I could get” during the peak of COVID. I didn’t really like them, and now I am feeling motivated to just go and move them on. If I’m never going to use them, why am I keeping them, right?
Great job! We recently got a new washer and dryer and decided to revisit all the items on the shelves. We ended up getting rid of the shelves and used drawers instead, which significantly helped me declutter the area.
I’m all about 10 minute tasks and you presented it in such a smart way. Easy to understand, easy to do. That’s motivating!
I also like how you combine same products that are half used and save space. I’ve seen labeled canisters just for that purpose. They look great but it isn’t necessary.
Doesn’t it feel amazing to check this off your list? Well done!
Consolidate, consolidate, consolidate! I love that you put the same cleaning product in one bottle to gain some space in your laundry room. The 10-minute idea is also fabulous, great for folks who need a little help getting started : )
The laundry room is one of those spaces I keep decluttered because it’s so very small. But my backup shelf of cleaning supplies at the foot of the stairs is out of sight, out of mind. When I read your post and headed down there, I saw that we have some covid purchases too. I like to use powdered detergent but I found bottles of liquid detergent and even some pods down there too, who knew? I must have found powdered detergent the next time I needed some and forgot about my stash. Your post is a good reminder for me to shop the basement next time I run out of detergent.
I love decluttering and organizing small spaces like a cabinet. It does only take a short amount of time but it seems that people want to do more than that and then get overwhelmed. I developed a subscription service that is based on 15-minute organizing exercises. It makes so much sense to me that that’s how you would maintain a home.