Sunday, October 20, 2013

De-Cluttering Part One

One of the difficult things I've found since I've started to green up my environment is that I am living in a shared space. Just because one person in a shared space (me) has decided to make some changes doesn't mean that everyone sharing that space shares those goals.

I wanted to find a space that wasn't enveloped in cleaners and air fresheners. So I decided to start the de-cluttering in the downstairs bathroom -- this would be a spot where I could transition to green cleaners while the transitional cleaners could still be used in the upstairs bathroom.

But first it had to be de-cluttered!

See? This is what the bathroom closet looked like.

On the bottom, there were cleaning products where visiting nieces and nephews had direct access to them.

There were all kinds of miss-mashed products and towels and appliances crammed on the shelves.

Cleaners right next to products that you put in your mouth or on your skin, moth balls next to foot powder, and trash bags resting on top of it all.

Way too many of each product, some of them expired.

And a top shelf no-man's land where things just kind of got tossed.

The products had spilled out of the closet and were all over the shelf in the bathroom.

 And don't even get me started about under the sink!

I had my work cut out for me!

The first thing I did was clear out the entire closet and wipe down the shelves.

Then I put down some shelf liner.

Next, it was time to group products into categories. (It doesn't make sense to put toothpaste and towels on the same shelf!) Then put each category into its own separate basket or container.

 Towels were rolled and placed together in a basket.

Cleaning products placed together in a bucket that could be taken out all at once.

Now, you can open the closet and in an instant, see exactly what is in there!

No more dangerous cleaning products down low where little prying hands can get them!

Expired items or products that had separated or had a funny smell were tossed. The rest in bins.

The cleaning bucket high up on the third shelf!
And the cleaning products not close or touching personal care items.

Always a good idea to label the bins. Though I do not have a label maker, a sharpie and some stickers will do the job just as well!

Top shelf reserved for potentially dangerous products. 
(Now the air-fresheners fall into that category in my mind!)
I'd like to get rid of the air fresheners completely, but again, with a shared space, we have to make changes in baby steps!

The shelf is now clear save for a few select items displayed in decorative containers.

Now I can look under the sink without the fear of being attacked by a monster of some sort!
Just a basket of towels and wash cloths, a basket with hair dryers, and a couple travel bags -- easily accessible for that next plane trip!

The entire process took about 3 hours, beginning to end. It's a start. A little oasis of reduced clutter where I can start transitioning over to green cleaners. 

Of course, looking back in at all the personal hygiene products -- the powders and lotions and deodorants and shampoo and conditioner and dental products lead to another question to ponder: do we really need all this stuff?

But that is a question for another day.

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