Building a Cleaning Caddy
The motto of the organizer is “a place for everything.” But sometimes it’s easier if that “place” is portable. Cleaning supplies, for example, are needed all over the house, but often stored in one central location. To make spring cleaning a little bit easier this year (and to help my kiddos help me) I’ve built a cleaning caddy. Now I can keep my cleaning supplies organized and take them with me all over the house! Let me walk you through the process and give you some ideas for how to implement this concept in your own home.
The Cleaning Caddy
The example caddy I made is designed to be stored under the sink. In it, it has everything you would need to clean a kitchen or bathroom from top to bottom! I visited an amazingly cute local store, Details & Design, to purchase the bulk of my supplies for the caddy, and supplemented with items from The Container Store and Amazon. If you are local I highly recommend stopping by Details & Design to gather supplies for your own caddy. The bin I was able to put together with items from the store is both beautiful and eco-friendly.
Here is what I purchased for my under-the-sink caddy:
- The caddy itself (from D&D)
- Bar Keepers Friend (from The Container Store)
- Reusable Gloves (from The Container Store)
- A bottle scrubber (from D&D)
- The Laundress Surface Cleaner (from D&D)
- The Laundress Glass & Mirror Cleaner (from D&D)
- A grout brush (from The Container Store)
- Unpaper Towels (from Amazon)
When thinking about what products to include, I took a quick tour around my space, and made a list of what I normally use when giving it a thorough scrubbing. If I was making a caddy for a bathroom, I might add in toilet bowl brush; for the living room, I’d probably include a feather duster. It’s totally customizable to your cleaning preferences!
OK, back to the cleaning caddy. You’ll see that I chose a bin that was relatively open inside. I used The Home Edit tall organizers to create spaces inside for the reusable “paper” towels and the Bar Keeper’s Friend. If you choose a bin with more compartments, you may not need these.
In case you aren’t local to Annapolis, I’ve put together a list of items that you might use to create a cleaning caddy (or caddies!) in your own home on my Amazon Shop.
Do you need more than one?
If you use a lot of multi-purpose cleaners around your home, you may be able to get away with just one caddy. However, if you like to use specialized tools or products for deep cleans, you may consider building a caddy for each type of room in your home (e.g. living spaces, bathrooms, kitchen, bedrooms, etc.). You may also consider having duplicate caddies one each floor of your home for super easy access. They don’t take up much space, so you can slip them into a pantry or linen closet easily. A cabinet in the laundry room is another option, and, of course, under the sink!
The Cleaning Caddy Checklist
One of the ways I helped my kids become more independent in their household chores, was to provide them with a checklist for each area in our house they keep clean. It’s important for them to have a reminder of each individual task to complete when cleaning a space and also the equipment they will need to complete it. Keep it in your caddy! Just slip it into a page protector or laminate it. A wet erase marker in the caddy will allow them to check items off as they go.
Here is an example of what one of my checklists looks like (it’s just a simple excel document):
I’ve provided a template for you to use. Just print off as many copies as you need, fill in the specific tasks and tools/products needed for each one. Use your completed checklist as a starting place if you are planning to have multiple caddies for easy access throughout your home. Make sure the caddy has all of the products and equipment needed for that space.
Getting Kids Involved
I’m not going to sugar coat it – it can take time to train kids to do household chores properly. You have to be patient and really hold their hand through the process in the beginning. The younger you have them start helping you with small tasks, though, the better it will go as they get older. I follow a pretty standard teaching method when introducing a new task:
- You do it, while they watch. Talk them through it. Explain what you are doing and why – even the smallest things.
- Let them try it, while you watch. Jump in to assist as needed.
- Let them try it on their own. Come to inspect afterwards.
- Give them independence to complete the task(s) on their own.
Creating a cleaning caddy to contain everything they need makes chores so much easier! They don’t have to do a lot of prep work and can get to work quickly and efficiently. I hope you will try this method with your kids – let me know how it goes!
Another way to help get kids get involved in the cleaning responsibilities of the house is to make it a game. Download my Easter Bunny Bingo card and have them compete to see who can get a bingo first!
A Few More Resources
You can also use this fantastic and comprehensive Spring Cleaning Checklist from my friend Jen at Life in Jeneral. Systems by Susie is a Life in Jeneral partner, which connects us to a fabulous network of organizing professionals from all over the country. I highly recommend following her on Instagram for great tips and organization inspiration!
Clean Mama and Go Clean Co are two other accounts I follow for cleaning help. They are both fantastic and use simple and natural cleaning recipes to achieve a deep clean. If you love a good before & after, you won’t want to miss these two! I’m fairly obsessed with watching Go Clean Co “strip” laundry and do deep cleans on Instagram. It’s mesmerizing. You can purchase their Cleaning Army Handbook or download their free Spring Cleaning Guide if you are looking for more guidance on how to clean.
And remember, if spring organization just feels like one more thing on your never-ending to-do list this year, we are here for you. Sign up for a quick consult with me – it’s free. We can discuss your goals for organization in 2021 and then make a plan to make it happen! Fill out this contact form to get on my calendar.
Each of my career choices-wedding coordinator, event planner, and teacher — gave me the creative freedom to organize everyone and everything. I have always thrived on to-do lists, planners, and systems! Now, I lead a team of organizers to help me on my mission. Read more…