Make a Portable Cleaning Tote

I am the least qualified person on the planet to write on organization. Seriously! But I am the person that I know most in need of it.  This is almost a foreign language to me. It is so important to get it right however, because let's face it, you can not be self sufficient if you lack organization. DIY becomes highly overwhelming if you can't make habits that fit into your day. But a wise woman recently told me, once you can make time work for you, the rest is cake.

So, baby step number one. (I think I saw this idea on Flylady.net.) Get all your cleaners in one place.

Oh wait....I actually have to back up one baby step here. My baby step number one was realize that you can't do it all and hire some help. Only I can be my kids mom. Only I can write my blog. Only I can nurture my business relationships, but someone....anyone....but me can come help clean my house. So, I asked a sweet young lady to come for 4 hours a week this summer and help. Oh my, what a relief. Problem is, every time she gets here, I run around the house looking for the cleaning supplies I want her to use. I have certain ways I like things done...aka, no chemicals, but my "cleaners" have a myriad of uses, so they could be anyplace. Time to stop all that time wasting nonsense and have everything I need in one place. Brilliant? I think so! Also, it makes it easy for the kids to do their daily chores.

So, here are the things we need to clean bathroom, kitchen and living room. (Disclaimer, I use essential oils and Norwex products as part of my cleaning. They work for me. They are by no means required for a chemical free home. But if you are looking for something great, these totally rock!)

So, here are my must haves for my cleaning tote:
(Some affiliate links included)

1. Hired help...admit it, it feels good. (You can pay someone or trade a service for it)
2. Vinegar...just for cleaning
3. Baking Soda...just for cleaning
4. Shower cleaner (I use Norwex Descaler....awesome!)
5. Essential oils that are just for cleaning...I use lemon, protective blend, and melaleuca
6. Liquid Castile Soap... One bottle just for the cleaning bag.
7. Scotch Bright pad
8. A scouring cleaner: you can make one or use Norwex cleaning paste (love that stuff!)
9. Counter cleaner
10. Cleaning cloths (I like Norwex travel Enviro Cloths) One for toilets and one for everything else.
11. Glass Cleaner...again easy to make, but I prefer just plain water and the Norwex Window cloth.
12. A micro fiber cloth or dusting instrument of your choosing.
13. Oil polish for wood. So easy to make. Spray down wood doors and cabinets lightly and wipe with microfiber.
13. A handy dandy tote for holding them all together so you don't have to waste precious time hunting.

How do I use them? Many of these ideas have links to original post. Feel free to click away and browse these natural cleaning solutions.

Use the baking soda, vinegar and melaleuca on the toilet bowl like so... (Click here for a chemical free toilet)
Spray the outside of the toilet with the vinegar and wipe down with cloth.
Use the descaler or scouring cleanser and scotch bright pad to clean tub and shower
Use the scouring cleanser or Norwex Cleaning Paste for sinks
Use your glass cleaner or water and window cloth for mirrors and faucets.
Sweep and mop (not included in the tote, but wouldn't that be awesome)
Refill hand soap dispensers with castile soap and protective blend.
Wood polish on cabinets

Clean the stove top with lemon oil and baking soda.
Wipe down counters, tables and chairs with cleaner
Shine the appliances with Polishing cloth or glass cleaner
Use the scouring paste on your sink
Dust the cupboards and apply wood polish...occasionally
Sweep and Mop floors. I really love the Norwex mop... only requires water, which is an awesome solvent and generally non-toxic.

Living room:
Use water and polishing cloth on windows
Dust surfaces and apply wood polish as needed.

Toss the soiled cloths in the laundry and once clean, return them to the bag. Now, help with laundry folding....is there an oil for that? Dang, first thing I have found that oils don't make it easier. Oh yea, I have 5 kids for that! Wahoo, let's get folding.

Do you have a portable cleaning kit? Has it simplified cleaning time?

Interested in learning more about Norwex?

Become a power oils user! Sign up for tips, tricks, vidoes and recipes delivered to your inbox.

We respect your email privacy


  1. I have two little caddies from the dollar store that have cleaning supplies in them. It's much easier when you use "natural" cleaners like baking soda and vinegar to keep the number of bottles down. Thank you for sharing. Hello from Fight Back Friday.

    1. Hi Melissa, thanks for stopping by. Glad to hear you are already organized! I am getting there!

  2. I love the idea of keeping all your cleaners in a tote like this! Because we foster, social services requires that I keep all cleaning supplies up or locked away so having everything in a tote would make it so easy to move from place to place and then put back away. Thanks for linking up today!
    -S.L. Payne

    1. Bless you, bless you for what you do. We took in a family member last year and it is not always peachy! I admire all who open their homes to those in need. I hope this helps you!

  3. It looks great! Great idea. But for me I can not afford to pay someone. I do all the cleaning & so does my teenagers ( they help which is free!) lol I am now following you via Blog lovin. Found you at The Homemaking Party

  4. I love this idea and the natural cleaning products. Thanks for sharing at Gluten-Free Wednesdays, but I had to delete your link since it's not food related. Sorry! :)

    1. Dahhhh! I'm sorry about that!! Thanks for letting me know I did that. I have lots and lots of gluten free recipes I will continue to share and I appreciate your party!!

  5. That is very nice tips, I need to make this one always cleaning 15 minutes goes for searching the things. Thanks for sharing with Hearth and Soul blog hop. pinning it.

  6. Hi Janine,
    What a smart idea. It's an awesome way to make housecleaning easier and more efficient! Just grab that bag and get to work! I can't wait to create my own cleaning tote. I also use natural DIY cleaners in my home. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful idea as well as effective cleaning tips on the Healthy, Happy, Green and Natural Party Blog Hop. I am pinning and tweeting this post!

  7. I love this idea! I usually run around, gathering various cleaning supplies from under kitchen and bathroom cabinets when I start to clean. This is brilliant!

  8. Thanks for all the tips! I pretty much just use vinegar or peroxide for everything, but I do plan on trying something else... eventually! :p Thanks for sharing this at Savoring Saturdays!

  9. I love the concept of making a tote bag your handy dandy container for your DIY cleaners. It's like hitting two birds with one stone. Organizing your things, while saving money. Talk about being totally efficient. Thanks for sharing that, Janine! Kudos and all the best to you!

    Courtney Morris @ Onyx Cleaning

  10. I am glad it was useful to you Courtney!