Cleaning Shelves With Many Items On Them
If you have storage shelves, book shelves, or other shelves, cleaning them can be a daunting task. Shelves, by their design, are meant to hold items. Sometimes, they hold many items. Cleaning shelves with many items can be overwhelming and seem like an impossible task.
Tip: Break your cleaning down into smaller tasks. Let’s say you have 5 shelving units in your house, maybe clean 1 unit per month. Or, clean the messier/dirtier shelves more often, and the little-used shelves less often. By breaking down a large task into smaller parts, it can seem less overwhelming.
We have several large, storage shelving units in our house. I plan my cleaning of each unit based on frequency of use, how messy they get, or how dusty they get (dust is my enemy!).
There’s no way around it…the easiest way to clean shelving units is to take every, single item off the shelves. This sounds like a pain, but it is much easier to clean shelves when they are empty. If you are doing “up-keep/maintenance” cleaning in between major cleanings, a (affilliate link) Swiffer duster and/or cans of compressed air are great tools. You can more easily clean around items on the shelf with these handy tools.
Tip: As you are taking things off shelves, clean those same items before you put them back on the shelves. Don’t put dirty or dusty items back on your clean shelves.
This Spring, I had a goal to tackle the messier & dustier shelving units in the house.
Last week, I tackled the garage shelves. We have 2 storage cabinets in the garage that needed to be wiped down and cleaned out.
Tip: While you are cleaning your shelves, use it as an opportunity to get rid of things. I was able to purge quite a few things from my garage cabinets in the process of cleaning them.
This week, I tackled the shelves in my son’s playroom. These shelves probably get used the most in the house. My son is truly a ‘mini-me,’ and does not like mess or disorganization. He helps to keep the shelves fairly well-organized. The shelves do get dusty though, and needed to be wiped down really well. Again, as I was cleaning the shelves, I purged several items and was able to give away some unused toys. I wiped down items before placing them back on the shelves.
Tip: Enlist the help of your kids. I told my son what I was planning to do, and asked him to help me. He thought it was fun to be given permission to take every single thing off the shelves. Most kids like to take things off shelves, so ask them to help you, especially if you are cleaning shelves in their room/playroom!
Before: My son’s playroom shelving units.
During: My son helped me empty every single item off of the shelves. I purged several toys in the process. I cleaned all of the shelves, and the baseboards behind the shelves.
After: The final product. I cleaned items before placing them back on the shelves. I rearranged the whole unit.
Tip: When you place items back on the shelves, rearrange them in a different way. This can actually make your whole room look different. For my son, it makes him see his toys in a different way. He immediately wanted to play with something he hadn’t paid attention to in several months.
Happy Spring Cleaning!