In The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo insists (she's convincing!) that we declutter by category rather than by location. I've been itching to KonMari (yes, we have a new verb in the lexicon) my cleaning supplies and when I did, I found out that her suggestion really is, um, life-changing...
The concept of sorting through all my cleaning supplies at once stemmed from the notion of tidying up by category; otherwise, I might have sorted through them as I came across them in each room I happened to be cleaning. If I'd done that, I never would have had a clear picture of all the cleaning supplies I have, where they need to go to be most useful, and what I need to buy to fill in the gaps in my cleaning arsenal.
One day, I finally took the plunge and gathered all my cleaning products and tools: extras and refills from the garage and laundry room, various items from all three bathrooms, everything I had under the kitchen sink, and all the supplies from the cleaning closet.
Next, I sorted everything by type: all-purpose cleaner, glass cleaner, granite cleaner, baking soda, vinegar, wood polish, sponges, rags, disinfecting wipes, etc. Since I already had multiples of most things, I knew I wanted to have a set of supplies in each bathroom as well as a set of kitchen-cleaning supplies in the kitchen. I compiled sets and the kids helped. From here, I saw what was missing in my sets, filled in as necessary, brought the sets into each bathroom and the kitchen, and set them up in cabinets under the sink.
While getting all my supplies ship-shape felt great in and of itself, the real fun happens when it's time to clean. Rather than rallying the mental and physical energy to gather cleaning supplies and then put them back when I'm finished, I just go into the bathroom and reach under the cabinet. Magic.