i did some minimalizing around the house yesterday. i didn’t set out to find a minimalizing project, i was just looking for some dishsoap. but when i opened the cabinet door under the kitchen sink, i knew i had found my most recent minimalizing effort – cleaning solutions of all sorts, sponges, scrapers, and plastic bottles.

i followed my typical formula: pull out everything, create three piles (sell/donate/trash, relocate, return), reorganize, and complete. but for this project, i added one important step: test. that’s right! i took every product that we don’t use regularly and tested it before deciding to keep it. it’s amazing how many “specialized” cleaning solutions seem to do the same job as one multi-purpose disinfectant.

it took me one trash bag and about 45 minutes to complete the task. at the end, i had one new minimalized, clutter-free cabinet, a new understanding of our cleaning solutions, and one clean shower (the bathroom cleanser worked so good i decided to keep cleaning and finish the shower too).

my advice to my wife and to you – the next time you are about to buy a new, specialized cleaning solution in fresh-looking packaging, ask yourself if you really need it. and if you do, ask yourself how you ever kept it clean without it…

related posts: benefit #4 – easier to clean; i had to do something

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we enjoy entertaining and having people over to our house. we almost always have guests in our home once per week, occasionally twice per week, and sometime three times a week. with this much company, you would think that we would do a better job of keeping our house spotlessly clean. but with two small children, it’s not that easy. and just like most families, we are tidying, dusting, and vaccuming in the hours preceding the guests’ arrival hoping that none of them arrive too early.

since intentionally becoming minimalist 45 days ago, we have noticed a significant decrease in the amount of preparation time before our guests arrive. there are less things in the house that need to be relocated. there are less things that need to be cleaned or dusted, and we have a tendency to keep our house cleaner throughout the week because the clutter is more obvious in a minimalist home.

this benefit came sharply into focus over the last two test cases. 1) my mother-in-law came to stay with us for a week to watch our kids. 2) a group of strangers came over for an evening to discuss investing in our businees. in both cases, we were ready preparing the house in record time and even had time to spare before the guests arrive.

since going minimalist, we have found it easier to entertain and more enjoyable.

related posts: benefit #4 – easier to clean, full list of benefits of minimalism

7 things that could be minimalized in your bathroom right now:

  1. reading materials
  2. over-the-counter medicine
  3. make-up
  4. bath toys
  5. cleaning agents/supplies
  6. nonworking appliances (hair dryer/curler, electric razor, electric toothbrush)
  7. bottles of shampoo/conditioner (for some reason there are 8 bottle in my bathroom right now)

previous posts: 7 things – the kitchen