Closed September 2017

Windex Here, Windex There, Windex Everywhere?

Cleaningsupplies2 People often ask me how to organize their cleaning supplies… the main question being whether you should store the supplies together in a central location, or have duplicate supplies throughout the house in each bathroom or on each floor? The answer– it depends! Let's look at some of the factors:

  • Who is cleaning? If you have a housekeeper, that person is likely cleaning in "one fell swoop" throughout the house. The best approach for this is to have the supplies centralized in one place, like the utility/laundry room, with a carrying caddy that is used to easily bring the supplies from room to room.
  • Are you a Batch Processor, or a Continuous Processor? I wrote a blog post about this a long time ago (click here to read "How Baking Cookies Relates to Procrastination"), about whether you prefer to batch tasks up and do them all at once vs. doing tasks as they come and handling them in "real time." If you like to clean your bathrooms as you go, such as wiping up the mirror as soon as you notice spots, you will want to keep at least a few frequently-used cleaning supplies in each bathroom. Batch Processors are probably going to clean in "one fell swoop" like a housekeeper, so the centralized approach would be better.
  • Do you have good storage where you want it? If you have storage space that is adequate for cleaning supplies in each bathroom, that's great, but if there is only a pedestal sink and nothing else, the centralized approach might be better for you.
  • Do you have multiple floors in your home? If you have 2 (or more) floors, you might consider having a duplicate set of supplies for each floor. You could have one centralized caddy for each floor with all supplies, or you could have supplies in each bathroom. If it makes sense, you have the storage, and you have access to another vacuum cleaner, it can be wonderful to have a vacuum on each floor. We once had a central vac system, and you had only to carry the hose around and plug it into the outlet. We ordered a second hose unit for the upper floor so we'd have even easier access.

The perfect compromise:  Have one centralized set of cleaning supplies with a large carrying caddy, then have a few quick-cleaning wipes in each bathroom to touch-up. Disinfectant wipes are so great for touching up right before someone rings the doorbell, or for homes with, ahem, lots of boys… The centralized approach is also better overall for shopping efficiency (knowing when you need to buy things). Getting a large, sturdy cleaning caddy is really key, so choose wisely!

There is not any giant rule from above about these things– it's whatever works for you! What have been your solutions? Share in the comments!

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Hazel Thornton

Well said, Lorie! My clients always think they’re “doing it wrong”. This is a great example of how there’s no one perfect solution that fits everybody. And that’s OK!


I glad to know that ‘my way’ is ‘a-o-k’….now I have to just get eveyrone else in the house on board!


Hooray, I do what you suggested! I keep the cleaning supplies that my cleaners use in a caddy in an upstairs bathroom. The other bottles I had from my pre-cleaner days are under the kitchen sink, I never use them so I should get rid of them! And then I keep a bottle of Clorox wipes (my absolute favorite, especially for baby potties) in each bathroom.

Lola Meyer

I’ve been working on ‘uncluttering’ my cleaning products and I love the results. There is one spray bottle of Windex under each sink (kitchen and two baths). It works well for cleaning windows, mirrors, sinks, and countertops. Terry cloth towels are the best cleaning cloths and are easily washed. Also under the sink in each bath is a large, pretty, plastic flower vase filled with water and soap ends and the toilet brush. A friend once told me “soap is soap, you don’t need to buy something special for cleaning”. During my regular shower time, I grab my ‘shower cleaning’ nylon net puff and large yogurt cup (also stored together under the sink) and clean the shower up with bar soap, using the shower head to rinse and the yogurt cup to rinse where the head can’t. The friend mentioned before makes beautifully scented homemade soaps and she gives me all her seconds and rejects for cleaning.


I think everyone should get in the practice of being a continuous processor, and supplies should be easily at hand. No one has time to be a batch processor anymore. Coming up with 3 or 4 hours to just clean house is pretty unrealistic for most people, so it doesn’t get done and it builds up and it becomes a nightmare!
Make things as easy as possible. One set of cleaning supplies on each floor. And don’t let things build up in the first place. Your house will stay cleaner, and you’ll be a lot happier and calmer.


A San Francisco outfit that has an online presence, the Clean Team, recommends a multi-pocketed apron for cleaning supplies that will easily go with you from room to room. There are patterns online to make your own, too. Well worth checking out what the professional cleaners use, I believe.

Inadequate Wife

As someone with six bathrooms on two floors, I’d go crazy if I had to drag everything around! I keep toilet bowl cleaner, a brush, a bottle of multi-surface Windex, and a few microfiber cloths and old towels under each sink.
A few minutes here and there, and all the bathrooms stay clean.
I keep kitchen-specific items under the kitchen counter and any extra or rarely used supplies go in the cabinets above the washer and dryer. Over the years I’ve really pared down my cleaning supplies to just a few multi-purpose items

Joanne Schmidt

Damp microfiber cloths do wonders on bathroom mirrors and windows- no need for Windex(or its replacement, water and vinegar). A couple of microfiber clothes and an old towel in each bathroom will solve most surface cleaning problems. a squirt of shampoo also works in a tub or shower.


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