By Real Simple
Updated March 12, 2007
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Credit: David Prince

Tidy supplies encourage a tidy house. "During your precious Saturday hours, an organized, fully stocked broom closet will save you time, motivate you, and remind you what you need to do," says Cheryl Mendelson, author of Home Comforts ($20, amazon.com). If you don't have a whole closet to devote to cleaning supplies, part of a pantry, a nook under the staircase, or a corner of a room will work, too.

Organize Your Cleaning Rags

Problem: Rags everywhere.
Solution: Don't put dirty rags back in the closet. It's too hard to distinguish between clean and dirty ones. Launder them after use. Keep small clean rags in a hanging bag so you don't have to worry about folding or stacking them. Larger towel rags can be stacked on a shelf.

Store Your Vacuum Cleaner

Problem: The vacuum cleaner is bulky, and the hose is always in the way.
Solution: Position your vacuum cleaner front and center, so it's easy in, easy out. Hang the hose on a hook to free up floor space and to keep from tripping over it.

Organize Your Cleaning Products

Problem: Cleaning products are in a confusing scrum on the floor of the closet.
Solution: Keep the products you use every time you clean in a handled caddy. Store the rest in a spot that is accessible but not in the way. A lazy Susan makes infrequently used items, such as polishes and waxes, easy to find when you need them. (Try Rubbermaid's turntable; $10.50, Ace Hardware, acehardware.com for stores.)

Use a Bucket to Organize Cleaning Supplies

Problem: Buckets take up lots of space.
Solution: Get a bucket that nests with your cleaning-supply caddy. (Try the Container Store's caddy and bucket. Caddy, $6; bucket, $10; containerstore.com.)

Hang Your Rubber Gloves

Problem: The insides of your rubber gloves are always damp, and they don't dry well hanging over the side of a bucket or the sink..
Solution: Glue clothespins to the inside of your broom closet or door, and clip the gloves by a fingertip to air-dry, open-side down. (If you don't want the pins permanently affixed, try 3M's removable Command Adhesive Spring Clips; $4, amazon.com.)

Organize Your Brooms and Mops

Problem: Brooms, mops, and other long-handled cleaning tools clutter the floor.
Solution: Mount mop and broom holders on the back of the closet door. (Try the Crawford Spring Grip; $4, acehardware.com for stores.) They'll be out of the way and can air-dry. Even better, for ventilation, insert a screen panel on the lower half of the door.