When would you declutter cleaning supplies?

Fact: Even the supplies that help keep your house clean and tidy can turn into clutter.

It almost feels a bit contradictory at first.

However, think about it. Those bottles of half-used cleaning liquids, sudsing powders, rags, brushes, buckets, and piles of sponges can get unruly and need a cull from time to time.

Here are the reasons you would declutter cleaning supplies (and how to do it).

When would you declutter cleaning supplies?

Five Situations When You Would Declutter Cleaning Supplies

1. When the cleaning supplies start to overflow from your cabinet space.

This one’s easy to spot. When you can’t put your cleaning supplies back where they live (at least in an organized manner), they probably need to be decluttered.

When your cleaning supply storage space starts to multiply and spill over into other areas of the home, that’s also a good sign that you need to declutter.

Ask yourself:

  • Why do you need all of these different supplies?
  • Can you do the job sufficiently with a multipurpose product?
  • Do you have different products that do the same job, but you only like one of them?

2. When you start to build up a collection of duplicates.

Maybe you buy a new bottle before you finish the first. Or, perhaps you misplace a bottle in a cluttered home and end up buying more because you can’t find the original.

Whatever the reason, having a collection of duplicates (yes, even “useful” duplicates) creates unnecessary clutter.

Ask yourself:

  • How quickly will you use these cleaning supplies?
  • If you won’t get to a new container in the next year, is it really worthwhile to keep it around?

3. When you’re moving house.

Who wants to move boxes of half-used powders and nearly-gone liquids to a new home across the city/state/country. That’s a recipe for disaster.

Even spills of cleaning products get messy!

Cleaning supplies are just one of 100+ things to declutter before a move.

Ask yourself:

  • Would you prefer to start fresh at your new abode?

4. When you haven’t used something in more than 12 months.

At that point, it’s probably safe to let it go. While cleaning products generally have a decent shelf-life, effectiveness can lessen over time.

Regardless, if you haven’t reached for that product in a year, you probably won’t be using it anytime soon.

It’s especially safe to let go if you no longer have a use for that specific cleaning product. If you got rid of the carpet in the bedroom then you would no longer need a carpet cleaner, right?

Ask yourself:

  • Why haven’t you used this product in the last year?
  • Do you prefer another brand?

5. When the product is defective.

If the nozzle on your cleaner is broken, or the aerosol cap is missing, it doesn’t exactly help you get the cleaning done.

You might also have a look at the quality of your cleaning rags, sponges, and brushes while you’re at it. Get rid of products that aren’t going to help you get your job done effectively and efficiently.

Ask yourself:

  • Does the state of this product help me or hinder me?

What to Do With Cleaning Supplies You Declutter

If the cleaning supplies are in good condition, then you can:

  • Donate to a local shelter or church
  • Ask friends and neighbors if they need any cleaning products

(Check this post on donating decluttered items the right way for extra advice.)

For disposal, be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions listed on the bottle in case the contents are considered hazardous.

For items like rags, towels, brushes, and mops, you can simply dispose of them in the normal trash.

When cleaning supplies need to be decluttered

When It’s Okay to Keep the Extras

There is no right or wrong when it comes to the amount of cleaning supplies you keep in your home.

If you’re setting up cleaning supply storage areas in various parts of the home, then you probably need a couple of duplicates. It simply makes life easier to have some glass and tile cleaner in the bathroom as well as the kitchen.

If you go through certain products quite regularly (say every few months), then stocking up when there are deals also makes sense.

Every home and every home’s needs are different, so do what works for you…

As long as you keep the clutter to a minimum, of course.

How often do you declutter your cleaning supplies?

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Welcome. I’m Sarah!


I’m the creator of Decluttering School (formerly known as Early Bird Mom), lover of organized spaces, encourager to women and mom to four boys. Click here to read more!

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